Heel pain is a commonly experienced discomfort that can have various underlying causes, including stress fractures, arthritis, nerve irritation, cysts, tendonitis, and most frequently, plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis arises when the tissue linking the heel to the toes becomes inflamed, leading to persistent pain on the underside of the heel, which may worsen over time.
Individuals with less-than-optimal foot mechanics, like flat feet or overly high arches, or those with poor alignment that causes them to walk on the inner or outer edges of their feet, may be more susceptible to this painful condition. Additionally, factors such as being overweight or spending prolonged periods on the feet in unsupportive footwear can heighten the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
Addressing plantar fasciitis may involve implementing an effective stretching routine, applying ice, making modifications to footwear, considering anti-inflammatory medications, and managing weight to reduce stress on the feet. In severe cases, additional measures like extra padding, orthotic devices, walking casts, night splints, and physical therapy may be recommended. If you’re grappling with heel pain, consulting one of our podiatry specialists can help identify whether plantar fasciitis is the underlying cause.