In my Houston podiatry practice, I see a lot of patients who are experiencing heel pain. Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, which is also known as heel spur syndrome. Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammation of the ligament that extends from the heel to the toes. In other instances, pain in the back of the heel may be due to an inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
Heel pain can begin very intermittently, but, over time, become more consistent, more intense, and can even spread to the other foot. For this reason, early intervention is best when it comes to treating heel pain.
There is some good news when it comes to heel pain: plantar fasciitis generally responds well to conservative, non-surgical treatment, including stretching exercises, medications, padding and strapping, orthotic devices, night splints, and physical therapy. In fact, a recent study in the Washington Post showed that plantar fasciitis patients being treated with non-invasive exercises were 1.6 times more likely to be cured than those patients receiving cortisone injections!
When you see study results like that, you’ll understand why I always being with the least invasive treatment possible for my patients. It is only if conservative treatment fails that I will try more invasive procedures, like injections or shockwave therapy, to reduce heel pain. What’s great about shockwave therapy is that it aids in eliminating the inflammation of plantar fasciitis without surgery. As a result, only a very small percentage of patients in my practice require surgery to resolve their heel pain.
As with almost every foot condition, early treatment will make a huge difference in the types of therapies that will be effective for your treatment plan. If you are experiencing heel pain, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider today!