Heel pain presents in our office quite frequently. People say the first step of the day is the most painful and when their reaching for their coffee all they can think about is their foot. Throughout the day this pain seems to evade just a little bit, but it’s still a nuisance. The next morning you wake up to feel that exact same sharp pain in your first step. What causes heel pain? Usually it’s called Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Spur Syndrome; that’s another way it’s referred to. There are two underlying problems; first off, you have inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament where it inserts onto the heel bone. This plantar fascia acts as a high bar and keeps your arch intact. So one of the ways we treat the inflammation is by keeping an orthotic in the shoe and it takes some of the pressure off that ligament. Also we sometimes pursue things such as injection therapy and just icing to try and keep the inflammation down. There are sometimes some underlying problems with your foot or with your ankle, sometimes your Achilles tendon. So we go over things such as stretching and night splints to try and alleviate those underlying problems with your body. Usually these types of modalities and treatments, they work for most patients and 90% of the time we don’t have to pursue anything more urgent or surgical; but don’t delay coming in to be seen because once it becomes a chronic problem it’s a lot harder to attack and that’s something we don’t want to have to struggle with.
Dr. Sarah Abshier, Heel Pain Specialist in Columbus, Ohio