Heel Pain Treatment Options
After being diagnosed with a cause for your heel pain, your Podiatrist will offer a comprehensive treatment plan based on your individual needs. A conservative approach will probably be implemented first. This may involve oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medications, applying ice for swelling and pain, taping the foot to support the arch, recommendations on proper footwear, stretching of the calf muscles to help with Achilles tendonitis, physical therapy, and possibly utilizing an orthotic device.
The orthotic device may be beneficial in correcting biomechanical misalignments, offering support to the tendons and ligaments sustaining the heel bone, and controlling excessive pronation of the foot. The utilization of an orthotic device may effectively treat the problem without the need for surgical intervention.
Shock wave therapy is another conservative approach that may be beneficial. This non- invasive surgical procedure uses sound waves to treat chronic heel pain. The process is done on an out-patient basis and typically takes about 30 minutes using local anesthesia.
The shock waves are aimed at the localized site producing increased blood flow creating a healing response. Typically patients are able to resume normal activity the day after treatment although strenuous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for at least 4-6 weeks.
Conventional surgery may be necessary to treat chronic heel pain that has not responded to conservative treatment. Surgery typically involves releasing the plantar fasciia tissue or removing a bone spur or bursa. When the plantar fasciia is released the arch of the foot may not function normally and will require additional support. Orthotic devices will be prescribed and should be used to provide extra support and alignment for this imbalance. If the imbalances are not corrected hammertoes and bunions may develop causing pain and disfigurement.
Your Podiatrist will discuss all treatment options with you and come up with a comprehensive plan based on your individual needs. They will make sure you are educated and well-informed about your condition and treatment.