If your heels are causing a lot of pain, you might have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can affect both feet at the same time and make your life miserable. However, there are several causes of heel pain and they present their symptoms in different ways, so seeing a podiatrist to get a diagnosis is the first step in finding the right treatment for your condition. Here are some signs your heel pain might be plantar fasciitis and some things you can do to help the pain.
Signs The Pain Could Be Plantar Fasciitis
One classic sign of plantar fasciitis is that the pain is worse when you first start walking after resting for an extended time. When you get out of bed in the morning and take your first steps, you may barely be able to walk due to the pain in your heels. If you sit for an extended time while you watch TV or go for a long drive, your pain may not bother you when sitting still, but it flares up as soon as you get up and start moving again.
Fortunately, as you walk and stretch the tissues in your feet, the pain usually goes away until you stop to rest again. Since you can't walk constantly, and doing so would probably make your plantar fasciitis worse anyway, you have episodes of pain off and on all day long.
Some Treatments That Might Help Your Heels
You might get pain relief by resting your heels on an ice pack or by taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Mild cases of plantar fasciitis can often heal on their own and clear up in several weeks or a few months. However, it's also possible to develop plantar fasciitis and have a hard time healing from it. The pain could last for many months at a time. It may even go away and then come back to bother you for several more months.
This is why proper treatment by a podiatrist is essential for your recovery when you want to eliminate the pain permanently. One important step is determining why you have the condition so the problem can be corrected with proper footwear, shoe inserts, splints, heel cups, or ankle braces.
Physical therapy sessions might be helpful for your plantar fasciitis by stretching the tissues. The therapist can teach you moves to do at home every day that keep your feet relaxed and loose to help relieve pain upon walking. The exercises focus on stretching the ligament in your fascia as well as the Achilles tendon at the back of your heel by stretching your feet and calves in different ways.
When the pain is severe, your podiatrist might recommend injections into your heels that reduce inflammation. Some cases may even need surgery to reduce the tension on the ligament that causes pain. However, your podiatrist may recommend surgery only as a last resort and after you've given your heels several months to repair themselves by using other forms of treatment.
Contact a business like Collier Podiatry PA for more information.