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Heel Pain: Causes and Treatment

Written By Pro Physio on April 6, 2018

What is a Common Cause of Heel Pain?

What Causes a Heel Spur?

Can Physical Therapy Help Heel Pain?



Plantar Fasciitis

plantar fascia ligament heel painWhile there are multiple conditions that may cause heel pain, plantar fasciitis is the most common culprit. The plantar fascia, also known as the plantar aponeurosis is a strong layer of white fibrous tissue located beneath the skin on the sole of the foot. The plantar fascia runs from the inside of the calcaneus or heel bone forward to the head of the metatarsal bones.

The purpose of the plantar fascia is to support the arch of your foot. It is designed to absorb the high stresses and strains that we place on our feet. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the strong band of tissue that supports the arch of the foot becomes irritated and inflamed. The body’s natural response to injury is inflammation, which results in heel pain and stiffness.

A person with plantar fasciitis will experience pain with one or several of the following:

plantar fasciitis heel pain treatment Bozeman

  • In the morning when taking the first steps of the day
  • With prolonged standing
  • When standing up after sitting for awhile
  • After running
  • When climbing stairs
  • When walking barefoot or in shoes with poor support

The following are risk factors for developing plantar fasciitis:

  • Very high or low arch
  • Obesity
  • Repetitive activity such as running
  • Recent increase in mileage (greater than 10%)
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Prolonged standing, especially on hard surfaces


What is a heel spur?Heel Spur Pain Physical Therapy Bozeman

A heel spur is a hook of bone that can form on the heel bone and is often associated with plantar fasciitis. A calcaneal bone spur is caused by long-term stress on the plantar fascia which pulls on the attachment on the heel bone. This long term stress produces micro tears in the fascia near its attachment on the calcaneus. In an attempt to repair the injured area a bone spur may develop.


How can Physical Therapy help?

A licensed physical therapist will provide a thorough evaluation of your heel pain to determine if you have plantar fasciitis. Once a diagnosis is established, your physical therapist will provide manual therapy to improve circulation, break up scar tissue and promote healing. Foot and calf stretching exercises will be initiated. Depending on your examination, strengthening exercises for the lower extremities and core may be prescribed. Most cases of plantar fasciitis improve with conservative treatments and good news is, surgery is rarely required.


Physical Therapy Treatment for heel pain, heel spur, and plantar fasciitis in Bozeman, MT can be found at Pro Physio Bozeman and Pro Physio Belgrade. Call us today, and mention this ad for a special discount off your first treatment following your exam!

This information brought to you by the physical therapy team at Pro Physio Belgrade.

Posted In: Runner's Physical Therapy Foot / Ankle Physical Therapy

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