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

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ANSWER: The possible causes are: 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.

As a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the American Society of Podiatric Surgeons (ASPS), I have acted as a residency coordinator and educator for young physicians, and sat on the Board of Directors for the ASPS.  I currently serve on several committees for the ASPS.  I have been practicing podiatric surgery in central Jersey for the last ten years.  I have dual board certification in foot and rearfoot and ankle reconstructive surgery by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. Fewer than 5% of foot and ankle surgeons in the United States have these surgical credentials.

Feel free to contact me at:
Dr. Holli Alster at Family Foot & Ankle Center of Central Jersey
600 Bridge Plaza Drive
Manalapan, NJ 07726
Phone:  (732) 851-1617