In adults, heel pain is a common condition most often caused by straining or tearing the arch ligament where it attaches to the heel. This is known as plantar fascitis.
Pain is felt under the heel when walking and is typically worst when getting up after resting. The heel usually feels bruised. If sharp pains are present, a nerve may be involved. Heel spurs are often associated with this condition and are diagnosed by x-ray examination. A heel spur is a small projection of bone that forms where the ligament has been tearing from its connection to the heel. The spur is not the source of the heel pain and does not need to be removed.
Treatment is aimed at stopping the arch ligament from tearing, as this is the source of the heel pain. Proper foot support is used to accomplish this. Custom made foot supports, known as orthotics, provide the best support and are the most comfortable. To make orthotics, Dr. Dalvin takes plaster molds of the feet, writes a prescription, and sends the molds to a laboratory. Non-prescription arch supports are available at sporting goods stores and in the foot care section of local pharmacies.
Additional treatment for heel pain may include injections of cortisone, oral anti-inflammatory medication, and stretching exercises. When pain is difficult to resolve, blood tests may be recommended and additional treatment is available with night splints, Aircasts, shockwave therapy (click on the link to the left for additonal information), and surgery as a last resort.
Surgery is only needed in a small percentage of cases, but when surgery is needed, Dr. Dalvin uses an endoscopic procedure. The endoscopic procedure involves two tiny incisions and allows for the fastest recovery.
As you can see, heel pain treatment is a step by step process. You get the best results when you follow an organized treatment plan. Call Dr. Dalvin's office now (330-799-3383) to get started on your treatment plan!