Heel pain is likely the most common problem most podiatrist treat. Heel pain can happen for many reasons but the most common of these is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This used to be called “heel spur” but we have long ago learned that this terminology is not accurate. Even the term plantar fasciitis isn’t always the most accurate diagnosis for pain in the bottom of the heel especially noticed when you first rise to stand from a seated or rested position. Plantar fasciitis is the acute inflammation of a structure on the bottom of the foot which connects the base of your toes to your heel bone. This structure is supposed to be stretchy, but in the case of acute inflammation, it becomes swollen and tight and less forgiving especially when you take your first few steps. But over time, when left untreated for too long, the recurrent inflammatory damage to the fascia starts to break down the fascia causing tiny microscopic tears within the structure..this degenerative process is known as plantar fasciosis.
Traditional treatments for plantar fasciitis include stretching, prolonged non-weight bearing, arch supports, orthotics, anti-inflammatory medication either by mouth or injected into the heel. But when those modalities fail to improve the symptoms, it’s time to consider either more advanced LASER technology to address the inflammation or consider the possibility of fasciosis. The proper diagnosis will lead to the proper treatment. Treatment could include Platelet Rich Plasma Tissue Transfer or Stem Cell technology to address the degenerative process occurring in the fascia. A timely diagnosis and well-executed treatment plan can get you back on your feet in comfort more quickly and get you back to doing those activities you thought you wouldn’t be able to do again.