Help for Hurting Heels

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One of the more common reasons patients visit us at Goldsmith Podiatry is heel pain. There are many potential sources of pain in the heel ranging from arthritis to injury, but frequently, it is caused by a condition known as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a long ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot and supports the arch. When you are off your feet and resting, the plantar fascia contracts. As you begin to walk, the ligament has to pull and stretch. This can result in tiny tears which bring pain to the heel. For this reason, people with plantar fasciitis often experience severe symptoms of pain or burning in the heel and arch when they first get up in the morning. The pain may decrease as you walk around and stretch the plantar fascia, but then increases again as the day goes on and more pressure is put on the ligament.

Relief is in Sight

If these sound like symptoms you are experiencing, it’s essential that one of our podiatrists, Dr. Howard Goldsmith or Dr. Rosanna Troia, examine your foot and heel to diagnose the source of your discomfort. The foot doctor will want to get a complete medical history and also information about your job and recreational activities. A digital x-ray may be ordered (which can be done right in our New York City office) and/or other imaging studies to check for heel spurs and rule out other possible causes of your heel pain.

There are several conservative ways to treat heel pain. These include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication and icing to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Cortisone injections
  • Exercises to stretch the plantar fascia

The podiatrist may also recommend a custom orthotic device for your shoes. Orthotics help provide proper foot support and positioning which can eliminate or greatly reduce the strain on the plantar fascia and bring relief from heel pain.

In extreme cases where conservative measures do not reduce the pain, surgery may be necessary. The sooner you begin treatment, however, the better the chances for avoiding surgery. To learn more, contact us by calling: 212-877-1002.