Severe pain in the heel is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, which is where the Plantar Fascia is inflamed. The Plantar Fascia is the thick band of tissue that runs from the base of the toes, through the arch and connects to the heel.
The most common causes of plantar fasciitis (also referred to as heel spur syndrome) are:
- Over pronation
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Being overweight
- Ill-fitting footwear
- Standing/walking for long periods of time on hard surfaces.
The most common of these is over pronation, which is where the foot rolls inward, which lengthens and adds tension to the plantar fascia.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis generally include foot pain in the morning, which lessens after a few steps, and pain that gradually worsens as the day goes on. If left unchecked, a bone growth may occur, which is known as a heel spur. Heel spurs are not the source of pain, but can result from the condition. Treatments are conservative, including anti-inflammatory prescriptions, icing, stretching exercises, foot braces, ibuprofen, orthotics, and physical therapy. In more persistent conditions, surgery may be needed; this only happens in about 5% of cases in Dr. Gauntt’s office.
Plantar fasciitis can be extremely painful, so call our office at 503-648-1713 or 503-538-0466 to set up an appointment with Dr. Kim Gauntt. He can give you a proper diagnosis and let you know what can be done to help keep your feet healthy.
Diagnosis is made by histroy, clinical exam XR and often imaging ultrasound is used to evalute the plantar fascia itself.
In persistent cases, in office cryosurgery or outpatient endoscopic surgery may be required to resolve the heel pain with minimal down time.
For more on diagnosis and treatment information, go to Plantar Fasciitis Treatment.