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Help, it Feels Like Broken Glass is Stuck in My Heel!

Brandt R Gibson, DPM
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Podiatrist, Neuropathy Doctor, Father of 11 and Founder of Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute
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When you get out of bed in the morning, does it hurt like heck as soon as you step down on your feet? Are you walking around all day feeling like there's broken glass beneath your feet? Are you starting to feel like you'll never walk comfortably again? If it feels like there's glass stuck in your heel, you may have a bone spur!

If all of this sounds familiar, don't worry: these are all painful (but common) symptoms of plantar fasciitis, a condition in which the  ligament that extends from your heel to your toes becomes inflamed, and heel spurs, excess bone that forms on the bottom or back of your heel bone. They form due to pressure from the attached tendon or ligament, which is why they often go hand in hand with plantar fasciitis. The pain you're feeling is likely a result of the inflammation, and the feeling of glass may be the result of the heel spur, so once we treat the inflammation and the heel spur, you are likely to experience relief!

Fortunately, most heel pain treatments we offer are minimally invasive--and highly effective! The first treatment I recommend for plantar fasciitis involves changes in your footwear: I'll usually suggest adding an orthotic insert to your shoe to take some of the pressure off your stressed-out ligament.

Next, I'll recommend daily stretches that can help further relax your ligament. Some examples include towel stretches for the bottom of your foot, and flexed foot stretches from a seated position. Both options are effective because they loosen up both your plantar fascia and your calf muscles, and tight calves can contribute to heel pain.

In addition to stretching, you can try icing the area of your foot where you're experiencing pain. Oral anti-flammatories like Motrin may also help with the discomfort, if you're taking them cautiously under the supervision of your podiatrist. Typically, as your plantar fasciitis improves, your heel spurs will as well, although these may need to be treated separately (padding and injections may help if the orthotics and supportive foot wear haven't already done the job.) Laser therapy, which we offer in our office, may also offer you relief.

It's important to note that surgery is always the last option when it comes to resolving your heel pain. And even if it becomes necessary, I offer a minimally invasive procedure, which I call the Topaz Mini, that utilizes radio-frequency waves to stimulate new blood vessel formation and create mild tears in your plantar fascia that allow it to lengthen. The radio-waves also stimulate growth factors to promote faster healing.

Now that you know why your heels are hurting and how easily I can help you feel better, don't spend another day in pain! Schedule an appointment at our American Fork podiatry practice so you can find relief from heel pain.

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