One of the most common causes of heel pain is a condition called plantar fasciitis. In this condition the plantar fascia, (a thick, fibrous band similar to tough packaging tape), becomes inflamed or irritated. The band, which spans across the foot similar to the truss in a house, can become irritated by structural imbalances within the foot. This band can also be aggravated by poorly supportive shoes, and in some cases by arthritis.
Depending on the individual the treating doctor or may use a variety of treatments such as custom arch supports in which a plaster impression is taken of the foot which balances more effectively the foot’s interaction with the ground and reducing or alleviating the pain completely.
Other treatment may consist of stretching exercises, physical therapy, injections and medications. Patients unresponsive to conservative measures may require outpatient surgery in which a tiny camera is placed in the foot and a small incision is made to cut the inflamed ligament thereby releasing the tension and source of inflammation.
Because there are many sources of heel pain a visit to your podiatrist is recommended for a thorough examination and appropriate imaging studies.