Rearfoot Injuries

A very common rearfoot injury is heel pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis.  This is caused by either inflammation or the thickening of the plantar fascia (the band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from your heel to you toes).  This problem is considered a chronic injury because it is caused by the continual overstretching of the plantar fascia, which causes tears in the fiber and thus pain.  Common symptoms are pain under or along the side of the heel with the worst pain being felt first thing in the morning.  Getting your pain under control is the first priority.  This is often achieved thru rest, icing, physical therapy, stretching and anti-inflammatory medications.  More severe pain can be helped with cortisone injections right into the area if pain and inflammaton.  Restoring stability to the arches is the main course of preventative treatment.  Proper fitting shoes and custom corrective foot orthotics help maintain the stability of the foot and prevent reoccurence of Plantar Fasciitis once the pain is relieved.  More severe cases may require surgery.

Another common cause of rearfoot pain is Achilles Tendonitis.  This occurs when the tendon that runs from the back of the calf to the heel (Achilles) is strained, causing tears.  Rest, icing, anti-inflammatory medication, and stretching and strengthening exercises are the starting point of treatment.  More severe cases may require ultrasound therapy.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful condition seen mostly in active adults.  This occurs when the tibial nerve is compressed causing shooting pain, burning or tingling sensations, or even numbness, along the bottom of the foot or ankle.  Early detection and treatment is critical to avoid permanent nerve damage.  Orthotics and proper shoes are very important for taking pressure off of the nerve.  Surgery may be required for more severe cases.

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