How to Heal Heel Pain

Wesley Johnson of the LA Clippers sat out of the game against the Lakers recently due to foot pain. Johnson has what is known as plantar fasciitis. Approximately 10% of people will suffer from plantar fasciitis at some point in their life, and it is responsible for 80% of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation and pain along the fascia on the bottom of the foot that attaches the toes to the heel bone. Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a direct injury to the fascia, overuse, obesity, or wearing unsupportive shoes. It is most common in ages 40-60, but can occur at any age.

Patients with flat feet are also more prone to develop this condition. The most common presentation of plantar fasciitis is pain with the first few steps in the morning, or after sitting for a long period of time. For most people, the pain improves with a few steps. Plantar fasciitis is also often associated with heel spurs. Although many patients have heel spurs, the spurs are typically not the cause of the pain.

Plantar fasciitis responds well to conservative treatment in 90% of cases. Conservative treatment consists of the following:

  • stretching
  • icing
  • anti-inflammatory medications
  • rest
  • physical therapy
  • orthotics
  • steroid injections

Once conservative treatment has failed for approximately 6 months, then surgical options are considered. Surgery consists of removing part of the plantar fascia from the insertion on the heel bone.

Other causes of heel pain include stress fracture, traumatic fracture, or tumor. If you are suffering from heel pain, stay in the game, and contact your Columbus Podiatry & Surgery. You can visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus, Gahanna or Dublin, OH office.