Heel pain is a common complaint among people of all ages — athletes, children, men, and women. Dr. Mafutaga Tagaloa-Tulifau at the Tagaloa-Tulifau Foot & Ankle Center, Inc provides shockwave therapy for treating resistant heel pain and get you moving again. If you’re ready for pain-free walking, call Tagaloa-Tulifau Foot & Ankle Center, Inc in Lakewood, California, or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.
You can develop heel pain from many different causes, such as flat arches and running on an uneven surface. Shoes that don’t cushion your feet adequately can lead to heel pain.
Inflammation of your Achilles tendon often causes pain behind your heel. When the pain originates on the bottom of your heel, you may have a bruise from stepping on a hard object, plantar fasciitis, or a heel spur.
A broad band of strong connective tissue starts at your heel, runs across the bottom of your foot, and connects to your toes. This connective tissue, the plantar fascia, serves as a shock absorber and supports the arches in your feet.
When the plantar fascia endures too much pressure, the tissues become damaged or wholly torn and inflamed. This condition is plantar fasciitis.
The primary symptom of plantar fasciitis – heel pain – may be dull or quite sharp. The pain is typically worse with the first steps you take after resting, then improves with activity. There are two exceptions, however. Plantar fasciitis is painful when you climb stairs and engage in repetitive activities like jumping.
Heel spurs usually develop when plantar fasciitis continues for an extended period, but you can also have a heel spur without the plantar fasciitis. Abnormal bone accumulates in response to ongoing stress, causing a bone spur to grow on your heel where the fascia attaches to the bone.
Your Doctor will take an xray to rule out a fracture of the heel bone known as the calcaneus. A swelling of the plantar fasciia may or may not be detected. The Doctor will then perform a diagnostic ultrasound to rule out any inflammation or rupture of the plantar fasciia and to detect any abnormality of the periosteum of the calcaneus.
The traditional treatments for plantar fasciitis are a night splint to stretch the plantar fascia, a series of cortisone injections to reduce swelling of the plantar fasciia, non steroidal anti inflammatory medication and custom functional orthotics to control abnormal mechanics placing stress on the plantar fasciia.
If the patient does not respond to traditional treatment, your Doctor will treat using EPAT or shock wave. EPAT is FDA approved for treating plantar fasciitis and a minimum of 3 weekly treatments are required.
EPAT is the most regenerative way to treat plantar fasciitis and avoids any unnecessary surgeries.
As a last resort, your Doctor may perform surgery to release part of the plantar fasciia.