If you have a stabbing pain in your heel, it’s hard to go about your day normally. You may be favoring the other leg and putting most of your weight on your other foot. It’s time to see a specialist. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeon and pain management and regenerative medicine specialists at Urgently Ortho treat many patients with foot and ankle conditions at our office in Scottsdale, Arizona.
You may have developed plantar fasciitis, a degenerative condition that can cause inflammation and/or microscopic tears in the tough length of tissue running from your heel to your toes. When the tissue is stretched beyond its capacity, you begin to have the symptoms of plantar fasciitis — burning pain in your heel, especially when you’ve been on your feet for a long time and often when you take your first steps in the morning. You likely feel tightness in your Achilles tendon, and you may experience swelling in your heel.
It’s possible for plantar fasciitis to resolve on its own, but it can be a very lengthy process of up to or even more than a year. Seeing a specialist right away can avoid complications in the future.
If plantar fasciitis is left untreated, it can become a chronic condition that leads to other problems. You may already be changing your walking gait because of the pain in your heel. Your body is off balance, which can lead to back pain. In addition, untreated plantar fasciitis can lead to calcium deposits that become painful heel spurs.
Your Urgently Ortho physician ensures that you receive a correct diagnosis for your foot pain. Foot pain can have many possible reasons, each with different treatments. Following are effective treatments for plantar fasciitis.
Rest is essential to helping your plantar fasciitis to heal. Your Urgently Ortho physician discusses alternate forms of physical activity you can do while your foot heals. Swimming and cycling are great non-weight-bearing activities.
You’re already likely taking over-the-counter pain medication. Your doctor gives you instructions for icing your heel.
Your doctor provides stretching exercises or recommends physical therapy. Specific exercises stretch the fascia, the painful band of tissue. Others strengthen your leg muscles to provide more stability to your heel and ankle.
Your physician may recommend custom orthotics, shoe inserts that provide extra structure and support for your foot. More than a quarter of the patients in one study said it was the most effective remedy for their pain.
If you sleep on your back, your feet are likely pointed downwards with covers over them. If the covers are too tight, your foot pain increases. Your doctor may recommend a night splint that keeps your foot at a 90-degree angle while you sleep and helps stretch your calf and foot muscles.
If your pain is severe, our regenerative medicine specialist may recommend an injection of platelet-rich plasma, known as PRP. This technique uses your own blood to help speed healing. The PRP mixture concentrates your blood platelets in one mass. When injected back into your body at the target site, the platelets, carrying important nutrients and growth factors, speed up healing of your tissue.
Call or message Urgently Ortho for an appointment if you have musculoskeletal pain. Early treatment helps avoid complications and gets you back in the game safely.