Heel pain in adults can be due to several conditions, however the most common cause is a disorder called plantar fasciitis. The pain from plantar fasciitis commonly are under the heel and the classic sign is that the pain is worse when getting out of bed first thing in the morning for those initial steps. After those first steps the pain does ease considerably, however gets worse again as the day goes on. The plantar fascia is a long ligament underneath the bottom of the foot that is responsible for supporting the arch of the foot, so plantar fasciitis is because there is too much load on the arch of the foot. The primary risk factors for plantar fasciitis are tight calf muscles, being obese and having greater amounts of activity. Lower limb biomechanical problems that raises the load in the plantar fascia can also be an issue in raising the load.
The first approach to plantar fasciitis is pain relief with the use of ice following activity and possibly the use of anti-inflammatory and also pain relief drugs. Strapping can also be used in the short term to help with the pain. Foot supports can be used to decrease the force on the arch of the feet and fix any alignment problems that might be a issue in leading to the problem. It is important to stretch the leg muscles as it really is a significant risk. Splints to wear at night may also be used to help with this stretching if required. Strengthening the muscles that also support the arch is usually of great benefit because they take some strain of the plantar fascia. Over the long term, losing weight is critical as this truly does create a lot of strain in the foot. In case these strategies are not helping to well, then it is time to try treatment such as shockwave therapy or corticosteroid shots. A final option would be surgical procedures.