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What Is That Stabbing Pain In My Heel?

Don't get off on the wrong foot. Much like waking up on the wrong side of the bed, your day starts terribly if you’re met with heel pain the moment your toes touch the floor. The most common cause for this sort of pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the toes to the heel and when inflamed may produce stabbing pains to the heel. The discomfort associated with this foot problem is typically strongest in the morning, when the plantar fascia is least flexible.

What causes Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia supports the arches of the feet. If this band of tissue becomes too tight, it will tear. Continued stretching and tearing causes inflammation and swelling–the root of your pain.

Foot structure plays a key role in determining how your plantar fascia will perform. Individuals with flat feet or high arches are affected most. The most common cause for plantar fasciitis is overpronation which occurs when the foot rolls inward while walking or running.

Places of employment that require individuals to stand on rigid surfaces all day increase risk for this type of heel pain. Other people who are most at risk are runners, as well as people who are overweight or pregnant.

How will my doctor diagnose my condition?

Dr. Howard Schaengold will review your health history and symptoms, before examining your feet.  This information is essential to formulating a proper diagnosis. Your podiatrist may ask you to walk in order to observe your gait.  Checking coordination and balance, as well as reflexes, and muscle strength also prove to be helpful. In order to examine the plantar fascia more closely, imaging tools such as MRI's or X-rays may be ordered.

What Are Treatment Options?

Most plantar fasciitis cases heal within a few months. Treatments range from taking anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen to undergoing steroid injections. Other times stretching exercises or physical therapy is prescribed by your doctor. Through these exercises, the plantar fascia becomes stronger and more flexible, which makes the heel and ankle become more stable. Custom orthotics may be fitted to your foot and in certain cases, individuals may require other advanced treatments including platelet rich plasma injections, radiofrequency procedures or even surgery. There are many treatment options available. Each foot is unique and treatments vary depending on the severity of the heel pain and discomfort. Dr. Schaengold will find the option that best suits your needs. Visit our patient education library to learn more.

If you are experiencing heel pain, contact your podiatrist! Our board certified foot surgeon and sports medicine specialist, Dr. Howard Schaengold, of Plateau Foot and Ankle Clinic is happy to help!  Call our office in Sammamish, Washington today by calling (425) 868-3338, or you may book an appointment online. Don't let plantar fasciitis affect your feet and overall health. We believe you deserve the very best.