Most often your friend or physician may refer you to my office, with a diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis, or mechanically induced heel pain. This is the area of pain that starts at the heel and runs up toward the big toe ( the area we see on the bottom of this guy's right foot to the left of this paragraph ). And in most instances, that diagnosis will be correct. However, we must keep in mind that other causes of heel pain , besides mechanical factors, can include traumatic injury either as an acute episode [ same guy on the left], or repetitively over time and that could include stress fractures ; as well as neurological; arthritic, infectious ; neoplastic; autoimmune; and other systemic conditions.
If you make an appointment in my office, the first thing we will do, is verify the diagnosis, and look at what the underlying causes are, so that we can try to avoid recurrences. Naturally, the goal is to return to some level of prior activity in a reasonable comfort as soon as possible. But the sooner you seek treatment, the better the chance of optimal recovery.
You can help this process, by taking the time to complete ahead of your appointment the Patient Paperwork ahead of time , and write down the details and recollections of this problem.
We have a large number of options and combinations of care. Surgery is rarely ever needed, so relax. Often people are afraid that an injection will be required. First of all, it is your foot, so all treatment choices are your option. And yes, injections might be an option, but if does not have to be decided on at the first visit. Second, there are lots of other options which may include foot tapings and wrappings, exercises and stretches [ one variation is what you see on the right photo ] , the use of physical therapy ( including ultrasound ), a change in shoe style, brand or manufacturer, temporary oral medications, topical medications, night splints, other stretching devices, balance padding or other additions to your shoes, premade arch supports, and even custom made arch supports ( also known as orthotics ) .
All of these choices can be overwhelming. They can also be costly if just haphazardly tried. So together, we can come up with a game plan that makes the most sense for your circumstances, and for you desires.
There is lot of information about this subject on the internet, but the first step should be to examined and determine if this is the correct diagnosis for you.