Have you seen that meme online that says, “Welcome to your 40’s – if you do not already have a mysterious ailment, one will be assigned to you shortly”? It’s so true that as we get older, some unusual and unexpected things begin to happen to our bodies. One of the ailments that can mysteriously pop up is plantar fasciitis, which is a podiatrist’s name for heel pain.
Heel pain is something we see and treat all the time here at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists. Patients tell Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts that they feel pain when walking, especially after they’ve been inactive for a time. They may tell us that when they sit watching a movie for a couple of hours and then get up, it’s very painful – even impossible – to walk. When they wake up each morning and get out of bed, they have the same sort of excruciating heel pain.
Why does your heel hurt?
Plantar fasciitis is essentially an inflammation of the long, thick, band of tissue underneath your foot. The plantar fascia, as the band of tissue is called, connects your heel to the base of your toes. There are a number of ways it can become inflamed and cause heel pain:
- Overuse – too much running, jumping, or other high-impact sports.
- Atrophy – the plantar fascia may actually begin to break down. This type of degeneration is most common among our elderly or diabetic patients.
- Obesity – too much pressure on the plantar fascia.
- Heel spurs– outgrowths of bone that form on the heel can either cause or aggravate plantar fasciitis.
Get treatment right away
If you’ve got heel pain – no matter what your age – it’s important to see a qualified podiatrist as soon as possible. Untreated plantar fasciitis has a way of plaguing people for months or even years. But Dr. Christie and Dr. Day-Houts can prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, exercises, physical therapy, and braces that will speed the healing process.