Why does your heel hurt, and what's going on with the arch of your foot? It's sore, too, particularly when you get out of bed in the morning. At Foot and Ankle Clinic, Inc. in Spokane Valley, WA, podiatrist Dr. Jacqueline Babol analyzes the reasons for heel pain and can help you feel and function at your very best.
Could it be plantar fasciitis?
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says plantar fasciitis causes the majority of heel pain cases in adults. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the wide band of connective tissue stretching across the arch of the foot between the heel bone (calcaneus) and the base of the toes.
Every time you put your foot on the ground, the plantar fascia stretches. When you lift it off the ground, it rebounds. If you run, walk, or simply stand on your feet too much, the plantar fascia stretches too much and too often, becoming strained and painful.
Adding to the problem are factors such as:
- High-heeled shoes
- Shoes with poor arch and heel support
- The presence of a bony heel spur on the calcaneus
- Flat arches
- Sports such as running or tennis
- Gait problems such as overpronation which place excessive twisting forces on the plantar fascia
Getting help for heel pain
At her Spokane Valley, WA, office, Dr. Babol attentively listens to the complaints of people with heel pain. She examines their foot structure and may take X-rays and other kinds of imaging. An apparatus called a contact digitizer shows the podiatrist how you place your feet when you walk. This information helps the foot doctor compose the treatment plant perfect for your issue, your foot structure and your activity level.
Treating heel pain
Surgery typically is not necessary to correct plantar fasciitis and any associated heel spurs. Dr. Babol may recommend some of the following depending on her diagnostic findings and your preferences:
- Stretching exercises for the foot and calf (these work best in the morning upon rising)
- Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen
- Cortisone injections
- Custom-made shoe orthotics, inserts which provide support and cushioning, elevate fallen arches and correct gait problems
- Physical therapy
- Losing weight
Most people respond well within a matter of weeks. The doctor considers surgery only when she sees little improvement toward treatment goals.
Fix that heel pain
Dr. Babol at Foot and Ankle Clinic, Inc. helps numerous patients from all walks of life conquer their heel pain. Would you like to be one of them? Why not call for a consultation? For the Spokane Valley, WA, office, phone (866) 303-3668, and for the locations in Hayden or Kellogg, ID, call (208) 762-0909.