Heel pain is a very common form of foot pain, mainly because the heel bone (calcaneus) is the largest bone in the foot. The heel is also the first part of the foot to contact the ground during walking, meaning it absorbs the most pressure. In most cases, heel pain is not the result of any single injury – like a fall or twist – but rather the result of repetitive or excessive heel pounding.
Plantar fasciitis typically involves the inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament, the thick band of tissue on the underside of your foot that connects your heel bone and your toes. The plantar fascia ligament supports the arch of your foot and the surrounding ligaments.
Degenerative irritation and excess pressure on the ligament can cause an inflammatory response, heel pain, and stiffness. While the condition is more commonly associated with runners, it can affect anyone at any activity level.
Excess body weight and obesity can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
There are various treatment methods available to relieve heel pain. Most people will start with home remedies like ice and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce inflammation. But when heel pain persists for more than a month or two, and home remedies are no longer sufficient, you should contact your podiatrist. Most cases of heel pain can be treated with conservative methods, but anti-inflammatory medications or injections may also be recommended. These medications not only reduce pain, but inflammation too. Only your podiatrist can diagnose heel pain or plantar fasciitis. There are several conservative treatments available. Once you see your podiatrist he can determine what course of treatment is best for you.