Heel Pain

Dr. Afsaneh  Latifi -  - Podiatrist

Dr. Afsaneh Latifi

Podiatrist located in Upper Eastside, New York, NY

Heel Pain Specialist
Heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis can create painful walking for several individuals. At Lenox Hill Podiatry, Dr. Latifi can offer patients in and around New York City, NY numerous treatment options from her office in the Upper East Side.

Heel Pain Q&A

by Dr. Afsaneh Latifi

What is Causing My Heel Pain?

Plantar fasciitis frequently causes heel pain. The condition is also known as heel spur syndrome. Other factors can lead to heel pain as well including arthritis, nerve aggravation, tendonitis, stress fractures, and in some rare instances a cyst. To identify the exact cause, the podiatrist will assess the foot and ankle for any indications of a variety of medical conditions.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition which causes inflammation, or swelling, of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue which connects the heel bone to the arch of the foot. When this ligament is irritated, it can swell, causing heel pain. The irritation is typically the result of structural defects within the foot itself. Wearing shoes which don’t provide support, particularly when standing or walking on hard, flat surfaces, can put a strain on the plantar fascia which can also cause irritation. Many individuals with the condition have a bony spur present on the heel bone, which is a common cause of heel pain and gives the condition the name heel spur syndrome.

How is Heel Pain Addressed?

Treatment will usually start with physical therapy and at-home strategies. Options will include:

  • Avoid being barefoot- this can relieve pressure and strain on the ligament
  • Icing- employ an ice pack for 20 minutes 3-4 times a day to reduce swelling
  • Shoe modifications- wear shoes with optimal arch support and a slightly raised heel
  • Limit specific activities- minimize activities which can strain the fascia
  • Medications- NSAIDs such as ibuprofen can minimize swelling and pain as well
  • Padding- pads in shoes and straps can support the ankle can lessen strain
  • Orthotic devices- custom devices can correct structural issues
  • Splints- wearing a splint while sleeping can maintain a stretch over the course of the night and lessen morning pain
  • Walking cast- a cast can keep the foot immobile for a while to allow it heal
  • Injections- corticosteroid injections can reduce pain and inflammation
  • Surgery can be used to repair a bony growth if one is present.