Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Does Your Heel Hurt?

Dr. Randall Contento explains why:

Plantar fasciitis is pain on the bottom, central bottom or lateral bottom of your heel. Most of the time, people will have this symptom first thing in the morning or when they get up from a seated position where they have been seated for 15 minutes or longer.

The main reason why people have plantar fasciitis is their calf muscles.

The calf muscles become the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon comes down and inserts into the back of the heel. When we walk forward, the calf muscle will constrict and force us forward. It allows us to propel and toe off. It gives us our power when we walk so the calf muscles are a very strong group of muscles.

When we are off of our feet for 15 minutes or longer, the calf muscles start to tighten up. The calf muscles do not like to relax; they like to be tight. When we're off our feet and as time goes by, we'll start to notice that our foot starts drifting in a downward position. When we go to sleep, most people will sleep and end up in a position with the toes pointed down. Therefore, all night long, our calf muscle is tight. It's going to be the tightest that it is all day first thing in the morning. When we get out of bed in the morning, our calf muscle is nice and tight and our foot wants to be stay in this position. Since we can't get up and walk in this position (unless we want to walk on our toes),  we stand up on the floor and our body weight is going to push our foot so that it's parallel with the floor and perpendicular to your leg. It's going to force the calf muscle and the Achilles tendon just right. That's a lot of force that causes it to do that! It makes your calf muscle even tighter because we're forcing it back up. There's so much tightness of the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia that fibers on the plantar fascia are going to rip. We have millions of fibers and if we break 10 or 15 of them, it's not going to be a major structural problem for us but it is going to cause inflammation and pain. To avoid this, there are stretching exercises that you can do before you get up. Dr. Santiago has a stretching exercise video that is available on our website. You can take anti-inflammatory medications. There are a number of things that you can try to do on your own at home but if you do have nagging pain of your heel, there are many things that we can do for you.

If you do have this problem, give us a call. We offer same-day appointments!

Gaston Foot & Ankle Specialists

251 Wilmot Drive
Gastonia, NC 28054