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As podiatrist we see a lot of patients with heel pain. Typical symptoms of heel pain include pain upon first step in the morning as well as after sitting for awhile and standing having pain in your heel. Heel Pain is caused by a ligament called the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a long ligament that runs from the back of your foot to the front of your foot. This ligament actually ends of being tight and tearing off the bone. The result of this tearing and this tightness is actually what leads to heel spurs. So what is hurting is not the heel spur but actually the plantar fascia which is the ligament pulling on the bone. This in turn can lead to inflammation and chronic pain and tearing at the level of the bone. We diagnose heel pain using such modalities as digital x-ray and ultrasound. It is essential to understand that 95% of heel pain is treated conservatively. Conservative treatments include such things as stretching, icing, anti-inflammatories, and injection therapy. Once we have the acute pain and inflammation under control, now it is time to control the biomechanical abnormality that caused the problem to begin with. We do this via custom orthotic devices. Custom orthotic devices are essentially eyeglasses for your feet. They put your foot in the correct biomechanical position and in a neutral position so there is less strain on the plantar fascia, hence causing less pain in the long term. It is essential to have this custom orthotic device as a part of the treatment modality that is conservative. If conservative modalities fail then there is time for surgical intervention. Before surgical intervention we do have other modalities which are non-invasive in order to control the pain and reduce the inflammation in the plantar fascia. These treatments include shockwave and PRP. PRP stands for protein rich plasma.  In this procedure we take a small sample of blood from the patient, spin out the growth factors and reintroduce it into the heel to promote faster healing.

So, if you suffer from heel pain it is essential to come in for a complete evaluation so we can provide you the care you need to get you back on your feet as soon as possible and keep you doing the things you love to do.