QUESTION: I have been experiencing heel pain in the morning and occasional sensitivity when I walk. Are these symptoms serious and will they go away on their own?

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The possible causes are: plantar fasciitis, a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or, rarely, a cyst. It is important to have heel pain accurately diagnosed by a podiatrist who is able to determine the underlying source of your heel pain. Chances are you have plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. The pain is caused by the inflammation of the fibrous tissue on the bottom of the feet (plantar fascia). The pulling of the plantar fascia on the heel bone can cause breakage of the fibers, resulting in pain and swelling and the development of the heel spur.

The likely causes are flat feet, high arched feet, inflexible calf muscle, poor footwear, arthritis, diabetes, irritation or repetitive trauma to the heel tissue. Typical symptoms are sharp pain and tenderness on the sole and at the heel bone when standing and walking. If you think you may have plantar fasciitis or have heel pain, do not hesitate to seek treatment. A physician has several options for treatment: anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections to ease the pain and inflammation, strappings and taping to support the foot,  Physical Therapy to provide relief of the inflammation and pain, and orthotics to control foot function which may reduce symptoms, to name a few.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact Dr. Holli Alster at Family Foot & Ankle Center of Central Jersey at 600 Bridge Plaza Drive in Manalapan , phone:(732) 851-1617 or check out our website