Most heel pain is caused by Plantar Fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick, broad ligament on the bottom of the foot that helps to support the arch. During any weight bearing activity, the plantar fascia is stretched. This may lead to small micro-tears in the fascia which cause an inflammatory response. It is this inflammation within the fascia that creates the heel pain. Typically, it is worse when getting up out of bed or after sitting for a while.
The basic treatment for acute plantar fasciitis includes rest, ice, stretching exercises for the calf muscle and the use of anti-inflammatory medications such as Aleve or Ibuprofen. Avoiding triggering factors such as walking barefoot or in flat shoes or shoes without arch support such as flip-flops is important as well. A good fitness style shoe will offer support to the foot and allow the inflammation time to resolve. In order to prevent recurrence of the heel pain, we provide a high-quality arch support (orthotic) to place in the shoe and provide proper support to the plantar fascia. We advise most patients to avoid the use of drug store brand arch supports or even the devices sold where you "stand on a machine" to have your arch measured, as these rarely work and are usually a waste of money. In addition, many health insurance companies cover the cost of a custom orthotic.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment
One of the newest modalities for treatment is the Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT). This advanced device is similar to the one that is used to break-up kidney stones. By bombarding the heel with a series of ultrasonic waves, the body's own system to fight off inflammation is triggered and the pain resolves. The advantage to this treatment is that it is a completely non-invasive procedure (no incision, no stitches) and allows one to return to most normal activities immediately. While this treatment has been around for over 10 years, Dr. Roger Friedman was the very first Physician in Northeast Ohio to use this technique and was featured on the "Live on Five" television show performing the procedure at the Premium Surgery Center, in Sheffield Village Ohio.
For consultation and treatment for your heel pain, please call us at 440-934-8444 to schedule an appointment. You can also request an appointment online. Advanced Foot Care and Laser Center, located at 5321 Meadow Lane Court in Elyria Ohio treats all foot and ankle conditions including, arch pain, bunions, corns, calluses, diabetic foot conditions, foot deformities, hammertoes, achilles tendonitis, ingrown toenails, skin rashes, infections, warts, and toenail fungus.
Here is a video with Elyria Podiatrist Dr. Roger Friedman talking about heel pain and plantar fasciitis: