Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain is one of the most common issues we treat.  It usually responds to conservative treatment in its classic form, however, when not treated promptly, it can become a chronic and difficult to treat problem.

Typically, heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis (the old term is heel spurs), and the treatment is usually straightforward, but there are other causes of heel pain, which makes prompt and accurate diagnosis important to prevent more serious consequences.   The following are some options for you at home, but if these fail to improve symptoms in a few days, we suggest you make an appointment.

  1. Wear a stable supportive athletic shoe which will support the arch and heel.
  2. Use an over the counter insert.  REI carries Superfeet or a Powerstep insert.
  3. Ensure you are supported in the home as well.  Use a house shoe or slipper if you do not want to wear athletic shoes in the house.
  4.  Even a vionic sandal may be an effect option in your home.
  5. If you have pain in the morning wear a night splint at night for the first two weeks of your treatment.
  6. Stretching the Achilles tendon daily can help reduce heel pain. Use our equinus/ Achilles hand out available in the patient education section of the website.
  7. Use a foot roller once or twice per day for 5 – 10 minutes. Patients with plantar fasiciitis can use the roller to stretch the plantar fascia and increase flexibility. It can be chilled and we recommend that you keep in in the freezer when not in use.
  8. Avoid going barefoot at all times, until your symptoms resolve.
  9. Ice the area on the heel several times per day. Be careful not to injure your skin. Ice 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off (no ice).
  10. If you are not improved in 2-3 weeks, please make an appointment to see one of our specialists at 303-662-1600.