Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis

Heel Pain, Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain Plantar fasciitis

Heel pain (often caused by planter fasciitis) is the most common problems our Northwest Indiana foot doctors treat. If heel pain is a problem for you, please consider seeing one of the friendly podiatrists at our award-winning podiatry office (we have been honored with the “Best Podiatrist” award from the Post-Tribune and “Best of the Region” from the NWI Times repeatedly — in fact, ten times!) Read patient reviews of our care by clicking here.

Incidentally, Dr. Nirenberg or “Dr. Mike” as patients call him, has helped law enforcement, including the FBI, on homicide cases involving foot-related evidence (such as footprints) and gait analysis and his assistance has helped convict murders. His foot and ankle expertise has been sought by numerous media, including USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, WBBM radio and FOX News (click here to read more news). To read Dr. Nirenberg’s CV click here

Heel pain can be excruciating and frustrating, and closely related to heel pain is arch pain in the foot. People may refer to heel or arch pain from plantar fasciitis as heel spur syndrome when a heel spur is involved in causing the heel pain. Some people may develop chronic heel pain or chronic foot pain. 

Other problems can also cause heel and arch pain, such as a heel spur, stress fracture, tendon tear, pinched nerve (or tarsal tunnel syndrome), inflamed ligament, bone cyst, gout or even a tumor. In terms of nerve pain causing your heel or foot problem, Dr. Nirenberg is trained in nerve surgery of the foot and ankle, and is a Fellow of the Association of Extremity Nerve Surgery. A pinched nerve in the foot can lead to chronic foot pain or chronic ankle pain. 

Heel pain can also be from both plantar fasciitis and a pinched nerve. Some people will have burning pain in the heel or tingling in the heel. Burning or tingling or shooting pain in the heel can be from a pinched nerve. It may be tarsal tunnel syndrome or the medial heel nerve (medial calcaneal nerve) or even a branch of another nerve that is radiating to the heel. 

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of a thick ligament found on the bottom of the heel and arch of the foot called the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia can tear or rupture in severe cases, making the pain in the heel much worse.

As an aside, some our patients (and even some doctors) will confuse plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Even in cases where a large heel spur is present, often plantar fasciitis alone is the cause of heel pain. Our podiatrist will determine if a spur is an issue in your heel, arch or foot pain.

Additionally, plantar fasciitis often causes morning heel pain or heel pain when you step out of bed, with your first few steps of the day when you start to walk. If you have morning heel pain or pain with the first steps of the day, the heel pain may be due to other causes or may be due to combination of heel pain factors.

Plantar fasciitis develops often in people who have an abnormal foot structure or whose foot does not move as correctly as it should (foot doctors call this abnormal biomechanics). For example, patients with a foot that has too low or too high an arch are more susceptible to plantar fasciitis and heel pain. Often, the heel or arch will hurt with the first step of the day – the moment you get out of bed.

Our podiatrist office treats people with heel pain or plantar fasciitis or heel spur syndrome or pain from Northwest Indiana (Lake County and Porter County), including: Valparaiso, Merrillville, Schererville, Dyer, Winfield, Gary, Portage, St. John, Highland, Chesterton, Cedar Lake, Griffith, Lowell, Wheatfield, Hobart, Hammond, Munster, Lafayette, Michigan City, Kouts, East Chicago and Valparaiso, and even Chicago! Call us for an appointment at (219)663-2273!


Expert Diagnosis of Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

The first thing our podiatrist will do when a patient comes to see us with heel pain, arch pain and/or plantar fasciitis, is to perform a thorough examination of the foot to ensure that the cause of the heel or arch pain is due to plantar fasciitis and nothing else.

In some cases heel pain or arch pain may be the result of several problems simultaneously, such as plantar fasciitis, a heel spur, Achilles tendinitis and a nerve problem (such as tarsal tunnel syndrome or a pinched nerve).

Heel pain is often on the bottom of the heel but many of our podiatrists’ patients have heel pain at the back of their heel. Heel pain at the back of the heel can be due to a number of problems, such as a heel spur (or spurring of bone on the heel bone), Achilles tendonitis, a deformity of the heel bone (such as Haglund’s deformity of the calcaneus or heel bone), heel bone fracture, bursitis of the heel (pump bump), arthritis of the heel, or even a bone cyst or a tumor. Back of the heel pain can cause swelling, redness, or a blister at the back of the heel.

Our friendly Northwest Indiana foot doctors often use our in-office digital x-ray to check the heel and foot bones, and may use our diagnostic ultrasound technology to “see” the plantar fascia. (Our digital x-ray technology means superior state-of-the-art visualization of your foot and less radiation for you!)

Our podiatrist office foot doctors alleviates heel pain for people from Northwest Indiana (Lake County and Porter County), including: Schereville, Valparaiso, Merrillville, Winfield, Gary, Dyer, Portage, Highland, Chesterton, St. John, Cedar Lake, Griffith, Lowell, Wheatfield, Hammond, Munster, Hobart, Lafayette, Roselawn, Michigan City, Kouts, East Chicago and Valparaiso, and even Chicago! To see one of our podiatrists, call (219)663-2273!



Treatment Options for Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Our friendly podiatrists alleviate heel pain and plantar fasciitis with a variety of treatments. Not all treatments are right for everyone nor is every patient the same. Our Northwest Indiana podiatrists will work with you to discuss the best ways to help you with your heel pain.

Our office has had the honor of alleviating heel pain and plantar fasciitis for people from just everywhere in Northwest Indiana, including Merrillville, Winfield, Schererville, Valparaiso, Dyer, Portage, Gary, Dyer, Highland, St. John, Griffith, Lowell, Wheatfield, DeMotte, Michigan City, Hammond, Munster, Lafayette, Kouts, La Porte, Hobart, Michigan City and Chesterton.

Heel pain and plantar fasciitis treatment may range conservative care heel treatments to physical therapy to outpatient surgery procedures.

The best treatment for your heel pain will be based on numerous factors, including the severity of your heel pain or plantar fasciitis (or bursitis), your medical history, your foot’s unique structure and your foot’s biomechanics, the medications your taking, and other factors.

Our friendly podiatrist will discuss the treatment options with you and together, you and our foot doctor will decide on a treatment plan for you.



Conservative Treatment of Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Because abnormal motion in the foot and/or foot structure contributes to heel pain/plantar fasciitis, our podiatrist often solves the problem by making our heel pain or arch pain patients custom made orthotics. Foot orthotics are special insoles that are made specifically from a mold of your feet to specifically fit and work for your feet.

Our foot orthotics act to nudge your foot to move and function as correctly as your foot is able.

Other measures our Northwest Indiana podiatrist may use to alleviate heel pain includes topical creams and prescription medications that can reduce plantar fasciitis inflammation and the pain.

Our podiatrist may also prescribe oral anti-inflammatories or a muscle relaxer. In some cases an injection of cortisone or inflammation reducing medicine may be given.


Plantar fasciitis may be the sole cause (excuse the pun!) of your heel pain and if it is you can do several things for relief. These measures include wearing sensible supportive shoes, stretches, massage, and if you do not have diabetes, circulation or nerve issues and your doctor says these are safe for you, then you can try using ice or soaking in warm water and Epsom salts.

Before initiating any of these heel pain relief treatment measures, it is important that you see a podiatrist at our office to make certain that the cause of the heel pain is only due to plantar fasciitis, as conservative treatments or “home” remedies could worsen the problem, espeically if your heel pain is due to other issues.

In some cases, heel pain may be due to a plantar fascia tear or plantar fascia rupture. A tear of the plantar fascia or rupture of the plantar fascia is something you should see a podiatrist at our office for treatment.

Additionally, keep in mind that every heel pain treatment and/or surgery has risks and results vary. Our podiatrist may need to try more than one treatment to alleviate your heel pain.

To make an appointment to have your heel pain evaluated by our award-winning podiatry office, please call us today at (219)663-2273 or make an appointment online by clicking here now.


Heel Pain Injection and Plantar Fasciitis Injection

An injection for heel pain or injection for plantar fasciitis is a common treatment by our podiatrists. Often a cortisone injection for heel pain or plantar fasciitis can provide pain relief and allow your heel pain to go away. Cortisone injections are not for everyone and too many cortisone injections for heel pain (or other foot problems) may lead to some problems. Our podiatrist will discuss cortisone injections with you if you are interested in receiving an injection or as some people say “a shot” in the heel for plantar fasciitis. Injections are also given for heel spur pain or heel spur syndrome.

Cortisone injections are used to alleviate heel pain. The main reasons for a cortisone injection or cortisone shot in the heel is for pain when walking from plantar fasciitis, a heel spur, general heel pain or a pinched nerve or nerve entrapment in your heel. Heel pain can be sharp, shooting, stabbing, burning, aching or present in other ways. A cortisone injection for heel pain or a heel spur is a steroid that is mixed with a local anesthetic. Steroid injections are synthetic cortisone which reduces inflammation and pain. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament and using a steroid injection or steroid shot in the heel or the plantar fascia of the foot is a way to reduce the plantar fasciitis inflammation and alleviate heel pain.


Heel Spur Injection and Heel Spur Pain

A heel spur is a bone growth on the heel bone. Spurs can occur in many places in the foot or ankle, but they occur by far, much more often in the heel bone. The heel bone is called the calcaneus and hence, heel spurs may be called a calcaneal spur. They occur often on the bottom of the heel but are also found at the back of the heel as well. In some cases, the heel spur itself can even fracture. .

Heel spurs by themselves do not typically cause pain. Heel spur pain or heel spurs are troublesome as part of other issues, such as plantar fasciitis or a pinched nerve in the heel. Treatment for heel spurs or a heel spur often involves addressing the problems associated with the heel spur – not just the spur. Besides, an injection or a “shot” for heel spur pain, our podiatrists may suggest stretching exercises or make you a custom made orthotic or foot insert to heel the heel pain. Surgery for heel spur pain is an option, too.


Advanced Treatments and Surgery for Plantar Fasciitis

With severe heel pain due to plantar fasciitis that persists despite conservative treatment, our foot doctors use various innovative measures to alleviate the problem, including surgery. These techniques include:

Surgical options for heel pain are not commonly needed. If you do need surgery, our doctor will discuss heel pain surgery with you in detail. Our office performs plantar fasciitis surgery generally on an out-patient basis. Plantar fasciitis surgery usually takes under twenty-minutes and an anesthesiologist will give you sedation so you do not have any discomfort. Most plantar fasciitis surgery patients go home about an hour after their plantar fascia surgery.

To make an appointment to have your heel pain evaluated by our award-winning podiatry office, please call us today at (219)663-2273 or make an appointment online by clicking here now.


Affordable, Low-Cost Cash Price and Payment Plans for Plantar Fasciitis

If you do not have insurance or you are under-insured, or you have a high deductible and wish to pay cash, we will work with you! We understand that not everyone has insurance and we offer affordable, reduced fee cash pricing for custom-made foot orthotics, podiatry office visits and even heel or plantar fasciitis surgery.

Our plantar fasciitis (heel pain) surgery fees for patients paying cash are low-cost and reasonable and we are connected with an accredited surgery center that will work with you to keep the cost of your heel (plantar fasciitis) surgery affordable. If you are looking for heel pain relief or plantar fasciitis surgery at a low-cost, reduced fee, cash price, please call our insurance/billing department today at (219)663-2273.


Our award winning Indiana podiatry practice treats heel pain, heel spur pain, arch pain and plantar fasciitis for people throughout Northwest Indiana, including Merrillville, Winfield, Schererville, Valparaiso, Dyer, Portage, Gary, Dyer, Highland, St. John, Cedar Lake, Griffith, Michigan City, Lowell, Wheatfield, DeMotte, Rensselaer, Hammond, Munster, La Porte, Lafayette, Kouts and Chesterton. If you have heel pain, please allow one of our foot doctors the opportunity to help you. Feel free to make an appointment online or call us at (219)663-2273.

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