You might be able to tackle your heel pain from the comfort of your own home.
Don’t let heel pain keep you from what you love doing most, whether that’s going for your daily run each morning or just walking to your favorite coffee shop every day before work. If you are dealing with heel pain the most obvious question would be, “What’s going on?” Our Oxnard and Ventura, CA, podiatrist, Dr. Steven Vines, has the answers.
The most common cause of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. While this condition is usually minor, the goal of treatment is to reduce your symptoms and give your feet the care they need to heal properly.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects the thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel. When this tissue has been overused or abused, microtears develop within the fascia, leading to swelling and pain when standing or walking.
How does plantar fasciitis happen?
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is if you suddenly change up your workout routine without building up to a longer or more intense workout over time. For example, if you find yourself going from a 2-mile run and then suddenly increasing your run to 4 miles or more all at once, then you may end up dealing with a nasty bout of plantar fasciitis. This condition is most commonly found in runners.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain. The pain is usually concentrated on the bottom of the heel and the pain can radiate to the arches (this is because the plantar fascia are responsible for supporting the arches of the feet). Pain may be worse first thing in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time. You may also experience stiffness and difficulty walking or putting weight on the foot.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
Luckily, it’s not that difficult to treat your symptoms and provide your feet with the TLC they need to heal quickly. The best approach you can take is to just rest. We know that’s challenging for someone with an active lifestyle but if you don’t avoid certain exercises and activities this could just make your foot pain worse or last longer. Here are some of the best ways to ease symptoms until the plantar fascia heal:
- Rest your feet as much as possible (avoid high-impact activities)
- Ice the heel and the arches of your feet up to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever when necessary
- Splint or brace the foot to provide the arches and heel with support
- Wear supportive, properly cushioned footwear
- Consider getting custom orthotics (ask our Oxnard and Ventura foot doctor)
- Perform stretching and strengthening foot exercises
- Consider corticosteroid injections (for severe pain)
- Receive shockwave therapy (for persistent or severe plantar fasciitis)
If you are dealing with heel pain or other foot problems in Oxnard and Ventura, CA, and at-home care isn’t giving you the relief you need, then it’s time to turn to the foot care specialists. Call our office today to schedule a visit with Dr. Vines.