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Heel Pain Fasciitis

Heel pain is a common condition that is most often caused by plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the ligament, or band of tissue, that connects your heel bone to your toes. This band of tissue runs along the bottom of your foot and is vital for proper support and strength. The plantar fascia provides stability when walking or running and absorbs shock.

Over time, the plantar fascia can sustain injuries or become over-used, causing tiny tears in the fascia that cause pain and inflammation. This can cause a great deal of pain, especially first thing in the morning when first stepping out of bed. As the day goes one, the ligament “warms up” and the pain is often decreased.

Heel Pain Causes

While plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, there are other conditions that may result in heel pain and must be ruled out before treatment can be prescribed.

  • Plantar Fasciitis – This is the most common cause of heel pain and is the result of injury or overuse of the plantar fascia ligament, causing pain and stiffness in the bottom of the foot and the heel.
  • Sprains & Strains – Injuries to the foot, such as sprains and strains, can result in pain in the heel, Treatment for sprains and strains is quite different than treatment for other painful conditions of the heel. Only a doctor’s examination can definitively determine the cause of heel pain.
  • Fracture – A fracture, or broken bone, can cause heel pain and requires immediate medical attention. X-rays will be necessary to determine whether a broken bone is the cause of your heel pain.
  • Achilles Tendonitis – Pain in the heel or back of the foot could be caused by an injury to the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the Achilles tendon, typically caused by a sudden increase in repeated activity. In older adults, Achilles tendonitis may occur when engaging in new-to-the-participant physical activities that might not otherwise cause injuries.
  • Bursitis – Bursae are the fluid-filled sacs that surround the tendons and joints in the body, including the heel. Injury or irritation to the bursae can result in bursitis, an inflammation of the bursae and swelling of the sacs. This condition can be painful.
  • Arthritis – Several types of arthritis can cause heel pain, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and osteochondroses.

If you are experiencing heel pain, a visit to Dr. Kleis can determine the cause and proper treatment. Dr. Kleis is a podiatrist in Costa Mesa with more than 25 years of experience treating heel pain and helping restore patients to full use of their feet and ankles. Dr. Kleis is one of the only doctors in southern CA to offer both shockwave or acoustic wave treatment as well as low-level laser therapy for plantar fasciitis. These treatments are what many professional sports teams use for their elite athletes. You deserve the same level of treatment.

Allow Dr. Kleis to diagnose and treat your heel pain by calling (714) 760-4944 or book an appointment online.

Heel Pain Treatment

Before heel pain can be treated, the cause must be determined. As a part of your diagnosis, Dr. Kleis performs a thorough physical exam and review of your medical history. He may take an X-ray to check for heel spurs or rule out other possible sources of heel pain such as rheumatoid arthritis or stress fractures.

After the initial exam, he will discuss the best treatment options for your particular condition. Depending on your case, treatment may include:

  • Laser or Shockwave Therapy - Dr. Kleis is one of the only doctors in southern CA to offer both shockwave or acoustic wave treatment as well as low-level laser therapy for heel pain. These treatments are what many professional sports teams use for their elite athletes. You deserve the same level of treatment.
  • Anti-inflammatory Medication - Oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medication
  • A Change in Shoewear - Switching to shoes that fit properly
  • Physical therapy – Physical therapy or stretching exercises
  • Taping - Taping the foot to reduce stress
  • Custom Orthotics - Orthotic devices such as shoe inserts

Dr. Kleis examines every option and surgery is rarely needed but some cases of heel pain or fasciitis require advanced therapies. If your condition is severe or doesn’t respond to simple treatment, he may recommend shock wave therapy. This noninvasive treatment uses high energy acoustic waves to promote tissue healing. Dr. Kleis is one of the only doctors in southern CA to offer both shockwave or acoustic wave treatment as well as low-level laser therapy for heel pain.

To find relief from heel pain, call (714) 760-4944 or book an appointment online today.

Heel Injuries

Heel pain is sometimes caused by injuries to the heel or ligaments surrounding the heel.

  • Sprains & Strains – Injuries to the foot, such as sprains and strains, can result in pain in the heel, Treatment for sprains and strains is quite different than treatment for other painful conditions of the heel. Only a doctor’s examination can definitively determine the exact nature of a heel injury.
  • Fracture – A fracture, or broken bone, can cause heel pain and requires immediate medical attention. X-rays will be necessary to determine whether a broken bone is the cause of your heel pain.
  • Achilles Tendonitis – Pain in the heel or back of the foot could be caused by an injury to the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the Achilles tendon, typically caused by a sudden increase in repeated activity. In older adults, Achilles tendonitis may occur when engaging in new-to-the-participant physical activities that might not otherwise cause injuries.
  • Bursitis – Bursae are the fluid-filled sacs that surround the tendons and joints in the body, including the heel. Injury or irritation to the bursae can result in bursitis, an inflammation of the bursae and swelling of the sacs. This condition can be painful.

For an evaluation of your heel injury, call (714) 760-4944 or book an appointment online today.

Heel Pain in the Morning

Pain from plantar fasciitis occurs primarily in the heel of the foot and is described as a stabbing pain that usually occurs first thing in the morning. While the morning is the most common time to feel heel pain from plantar fasciitis, it can occur at any time of day, especially after extended periods of rest.

Heel Pain When Running

Runners experience a higher than normal rate of plantar fasciitis, probably due to the stress and strain that running places on the plantar fascia. According to Runner’s World, an online running magazine, plantar fasciitis often occurs in runners after a dramatic increase in mileage or due to inappropriate running shoes. In addition to the normal symptoms of plantar fasciitis, which include pain in the heel first thing in the morning and after long periods of sitting, runners may also experience pain in the heel during push-off.

Runners need to take extra care to avoid injury. Proper stretching and strengthening of the surrounding muscles and tendons can help prevent plantar fasciitis. Tight calf muscles and Achilles tendons can increase the chances of developing a plantar fascia injury. Dramatic increases in training, including increased mileage or suddenly increasing speed or hills, can result in plantar fascia injuries in runners.

Because plantar fasciitis pain is often worse just after rest and gets better with motion, many runners tend to ignore the pain and continue with their running routine. However, failing to address the plantar fasciitis can cause it to worsen and increase the time it takes for the fascia to heal.

Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain

While plantar fasciitis heel pain is common among older adults, several risk factors may contribute to the condition or indicate make a person more likely to develop plantar fasciitis earlier in life.

  • Age – The most common time in life for developing plantar fasciitis is between the ages of 40 and 60. As a person ages, ligaments sometimes lose some of their flexibility, making them more prone to injuries, including plantar fasciitis.
  • Pronation – When a person rolls their feet inward when walking, it is referred to as pronation. Excessive pronation can contribute to increased stress on the plantar fascia, resulting in plantar fasciitis.
  • High Arches – High arches may have less flexibility, making it tougher for the plantar fascia to absorb the normal wear and tear of everyday life.
  • Flat Feet – Flat feet can cause problems with a person’s walking or running mechanics, placing unusual strain on the plantar fascia and increasing the chances of developing plantar fasciitis.
  • Excess Weight – Carrying excess weight places additional strain on the feet and is a common factor among people suffering from plantar fasciitis.
  • Tight Calves – Tight calf muscles, especially when engaging in running or sports activities can interfere with foot mechanics and place unusual strain on the plantar fascia. Tight calf muscles are an especially contributing factor to plantar fasciitis among runners.
  • Tight Achilles Tendon – A tight or injured Achilles tendon can interfere with foot mechanics and strain the plantar fascia, causing irritation and injury. Maintaining good flexibility in muscles and tendons is especially important among runners and athletes to avoid injuries such as plantar fasciitis.
  • Poorly Fitting Shoes – Shoes that don’t fit well or fail to provide enough support can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis.
  • Certain Occupations – Some occupations that require a person to remain on their feet all day can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

To diagnose and treat plantar fasciitis, Dr. Kleis performs a thorough physical exam and review of your medical history. He may take an X-ray to check for heel spurs or rule out other possible sources of heel pain such as rheumatoid arthritis.

After the initial exam, he discusses the best treatment options for your particular condition. Depending on your case, plantar fasciitis treatment may include:

Laser or Shockwave Therapy - Dr. Kleis is one of the only doctors in southern CA to offer both shockwave or acoustic wave treatment as well as low-level laser therapy for plantar fasciitis. These treatments are what many professional sports teams use for their elite athletes. You deserve the same level of treatment.

  • Anti-inflammatory Medication - Oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medication
  • A Change in Shoewear - Switching to shoes that fit properly
  • Physical therapy – Physical therapy or stretching exercises
  • Taping - Taping the foot to reduce stress
  • Custom Orthotics - Orthotic devices such as shoe inserts

Dr. Kleis examines every option and surgery is rarely needed but some cases of plantar fasciitis require advanced therapies. If your condition is severe or doesn’t respond to simple treatment, he may recommend shock wave therapy. This noninvasive treatment uses high energy acoustic waves to promote tissue healing. Dr. Kleis is one of the only doctors in southern CA to offer both shockwave or acoustic wave treatment as well as low-level laser therapy for plantar fasciitis. These treatments are what many professional sports teams use for their elite athletes. You deserve the same level of treatment.

To find relief from heel pain/fasciitis, call (714) 760-4944 or book an appointment online today.

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