Does walking on carpet feel like walking on broken glass? Do you change your gait to compensate for the pain? Are you ready to take your first steps toward a pain-free life?
Our team of experts at US Neuropathy Centers specializes in identifying the exact cause of your heel pain and provides you with the advanced treatments you need to find genuine, lasting relief. Here’s everything you should know about your heel pain and how we can help.
You might not realize it, but your heel plays a very important role in your foot’s anatomy and your ability to move.
Your heel is made of the largest bone in your foot known as the calcaneus and is the starting point for a variety of muscles and other tissues, including the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon.
These structures work together to shape the arch of your foot and are crucial to your foot’s ability to manage the stress of walking, running, and jumping.
But the daily stress of weight-bearing and movement and certain health conditions can take a toll on your heel, causing incredible pain.
It’s likely that you’ve felt heel pain at some point in your life, but when it persists or becomes severe, there may be a more serious injury or condition behind it.
Heel pain can stem from a wide range of foot problems, including:
The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. It’s so common that it affects nearly 2 million people and accounts for approximately 15% of all foot problems. Plantar fasciitis occurs when your plantar fascia, which is a long band of strong connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, becomes inflamed and irritated.
Think of your plantar fascia as a bowstring on the bottom of your foot, supporting the arch of your foot and absorbing shock as you move. Too much tension and stress on this bowstring and small tears begin to form.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis can range from mild to debilitating. You may notice that your pain is most severe with your first few steps in the morning and shortly after exercising, or that it’s triggered by long periods of standing or getting up after sitting.
Though your symptoms may be mild, ignoring plantar fasciitis can lead to chronic heel pain that eventually impedes your daily routine. You may also change your gait to relieve your symptoms, which can cause other foot, knee, hip, and back problems.
Fortunately, we offer comprehensive, minimally invasive treatments that effectively reduce inflammation, repair damage, and relieve your heel pain.
Before recommending a treatment plan, we meet with you and conduct a thorough review of your symptoms and health history, and perform physical exams to evaluate the extent and location of your heel pain.
We begin with the most conservative treatment possible. This typically includes orthotics, injections, stretching programs, and specially designed shoes. For nerve damage or compression, we suggest treatments to relieve the pressure on your nerve.
If these methods don’t work, we offer other treatments that address your pain at the source. Here’s a closer look at some of the treatments we recommend most often.
Plantar fasciotomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves making a small cut in your plantar fascia to relieve tension. We use advanced technology, including an endoscope, which is a thin tube with a camera on the end, and ultrasound to perform plantar fasciotomy.
These tools allow us to see clearly inside your heel while making just a small incision on the outside.
This is a type of regenerative medicine that involves taking a sample of your blood and placing it in a machine called a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the rest of your blood. Platelets are powerful growth factors that, when injected into your foot, promote new cell growth and reduce your pain.
Stem cell therapy is another type of regenerative medicine in which we deliver a dose of stem cells into your plantar fascia. These cells are neutral cells that can transform into virtually any other type of cell and can help rebuild your plantar fascia from within.
If you’d like more information about your heel pain treatment options, request an appointment online or over the phone at our Marietta, Georgia, office.