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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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Posts for tag: x-rays

By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
March 20, 2018
Category: Heel Problems

Heel pain is one of the most frequent reasons patients come to us at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM. One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis and the heel spurs that often develop as a result.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a long band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. When it gets inflamed or aggravated it can cause severe heel pain. The pain may be worse first thing in the morning when you get up or after you’ve been sitting for a long period of time. Patients who have a history of plantar fasciitis have an increased risk for heel spurs. A spur is a calcium deposit that forms in the back of your heel that can make walking and wearing shoes very painful.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

To diagnose plantar fasciitis our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will first want to examine your foot and get a complete medical history. The foot doctor will want to know a bit about your lifestyle, work and fitness activities. In addition, the podiatrist may order x-rays (which can be done right in our Washington office), an MRI or a bone scan to more precisely pinpoint the source and cause of the pain. Diagnosing plantar fasciitis, however, is only the first step. Next, it’s necessary to find out what is causing the inflammation of the plantar fascia. There are several possibilities:

  • Faulty foot structure—abnormalities with the arch of the foot (flat feet, fallen arches or overly high arches) put a strain on the plantar fascia
  • Overuse—a job that requires standing for long hours on a hard surface or certain sports activities may cause injury or inflammation
  • Shoe choice—wearing shoes that are not supportive in the arch area or that don’t fit properly may also aggravate the heel
  • Obesity—extra pounds mean extra pressure on the arch and entire foot, increasing pain and irritation

Treatment Options

Knowing what is causing plantar fasciitis will determine the ideal treatment solution for you. The first goal will be to relieve pain and give the inflammation a chance to go down. The foot doctor will most likely prescribe rest and avoiding activities that cause heel pain in addition to icing and/or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Shoe modifications and custom orthotics, stretching exercises and physical therapy can all help eliminate the problem. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to remove heel spurs or fix a structural problem with your heel. If you are experiencing heel pain contact us for an appointment at (724) 225-7410.