Heel pain is never something anyone wants to greet them in the morning. The smell of coffee and breakfast? Definitely. Kisses from the dog? Maybe. But heel pain. Certainly not.
But for many with plantar fasciitis, heel pain becomes an expected part of their morning routine. If you feel a sharp jolt of heel pain as soon as your feet hit the floor, and need to move around a bit for it to go away, then there’s a good chance you have this condition.
Whatever the cause of persistent heel pain may be, though, it should never be ignored! While plantar fasciitis tends to be the no. 1 culprit for heel pain, and consistent trouble should be addressed sooner rather than later to reduce the risk of the condition becoming more severe or harder to treat in the future.
Fortunately, plantar fasciitis and other sources of heel pain tend to be highly treatable once you get to the root of the problem. Below are a few of the many tools in our arsenal.
Our recommendations for each case will depend on the causes behind the condition and which methods will best suit each patient’s needs. Many times we may recommend more than one course of treatment for best results. But no matter the case, we will always be happy to discuss all your options and answer any questions you may have about treatment.
The plantar fascia is soft tissue. And, like any soft tissue that becomes injured, can heal better with proper rest and attention. By resting, we don’t necessarily mean sitting on the couch all day and doing nothing. We may recommend activities that reduce the impact of stress on the area. If you exercise regularly, we certainly want you to keep going and may recommend cross-training and other changes in activity to help lessen the burden on the plantar fascia. Ice and anti-inflammatory pain relievers are often recommended to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Please follow all icing and medication directions as provided, and never place a source of cold directly on your skin. Always wrap in a thin towel and never ice for more than 10-20 minutes at a time, to avoid damage to the skin.
Where you stand and what you are wearing can have significant effects on the strain experienced by the plantar fascia. We may recommend changing to footwear that is more supportive of your arches or is more accommodating to your foot structure and biomechanics. Similarly, if you find yourself standing or moving about on hard surfaces all day, we may recommend changing that if at all possible. Anti-fatigue mats placed beneath your feet at common stations can help significantly if permitted where you work.
When more cushioning and structural support is required than footwear alone, we may recommend custom orthotic inserts to provide the exact dimensions your foot shape needs. When properly prescribed, custom orthotics can help shift excess weight and force away from a strained plantar fascia, providing it a better opportunity to recover and a lower risk of it becoming injured again.
The plantar fascia is connected to the base of the toes and the heel bone, which in turn are connected to other structures such as the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Improving strength, flexibility, and endurance in these interconnected tissues can help relieve pain and stress on the plantar fascia. We will help you construct a simple exercise regimen that will best meet your specific needs. Most exercises of this type can be easily performed at home.
We are proud to offer MLS laser therapy, an advanced form of treatment that stimulates the body’s natural processes to relieve pain and accelerate repair.
Laser therapy tends to be particularly effective in treating soft tissue injuries like plantar fasciitis (as well as most other forms of heel pain). A course of treatment typically involves several sessions spaced out over a period of weeks or months, with positive results stacking after each successive treatment session.
The need for surgery to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis is rare, but it is a possibility for specialized situations and when more conservative forms of treatment are not yielding the results you desire. For certain patients whose plantar fasciitis pain comes from flat feet or other abnormalities in foot structure, a minor surgical procedure to install HyProCure stents can provide lasting relief. In more severe cases, another surgical procedure involves releasing the plantar fascia. If any form of surgery becomes a consideration, we will be sure to provide you with every bit of
information you need to make an informed decision about how you wish to proceed.
The vast majority of heel pain problems are significantly improved or fully eliminated following conservative forms of treatment. The key is to determine what exactly is causing the pain and address it directly in the ways that best benefit the patient. We are pros at handling all types of heel pain, and we would love to treat yours as well. Schedule an appointment with us by calling our Enid office at (580) 237-3338
If you prefer to reach us electronically, you can also fill out our online contact form and a member of our staff will reach out to you during our standard office hours.