In your feet are thick, fibrous bands of tissue known as the fascia. The fascia reaches from your heels to your toes and provides support for the muscles and arches of the feet.
Just like any other muscle in your body, the fascia can overstretch and when this happens, it can cause tiny tears on the surface. These tiny tears can cause pain and inflammation.
No one wants to deal with plantar fasciitis, but nearly one and 10 people will have to, which is why it’s important to know the symptoms, causes, and treatments for plantar fasciitis.
What is Policeman’s Heel (Plantar Fasciitis)?
Plantar fasciitis, also called policeman’s heel, is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It occurs when the thick band of tissue that runs from the heel bone to the toes becomes inflamed.
The result is a painful stabbing sensation that commonly occurs when you take your first step for the day or after you have been sitting for an extended period.
Policeman’s Heel Symptoms
If you’re experiencing pain in your foot, you may be wondering Do I have plantar fasciitis?
Symptoms of policeman’s heel include pain in the bottom of your foot, specifically at the front or center of your heel bone. You may notice that the pain is worse in the morning when you first wake up, or after you have been sitting for a long time and stand up.
What Causes Policeman’s Heel?
Lots of things can cause plantar fasciitis. The condition is much more common in women than in men, but anyone can get plantar fasciitis.
Your risk for policeman’s heel increases if you meet any of the following criteria:
- Have flat feet
- Have a very high arch
- Have tight Achilles tendons
- Have an unusual foot position
- Wear thin-soled shoes
- Wear high heels
- You’re overweight
How Is Policeman’s Heel Diagnosed?
Plantar fasciitis can be easily diagnosed by your doctor. Your doctor will typically be able to tell whether or not you have it by checking for tender areas in your foot. Imaging tests are rarely needed, except for in rare cases where your doctor may want to rule out a compressed or pinched nerve.
Policeman’s Heel Recovery Time
Plantar fasciitis typically goes away on its own. While recovery times vary, plantar fasciitis usually resolves in a few months.
Policeman’s Heel Treatment
The best way to treat policeman’s heel is by resting. We recommend taking over-the-counter pain medication like aspirin or Tylenol to reduce pain and swelling. If your plantar fasciitis doesn’t improve or the pain gets worse, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
The main goal of treating plantar fasciitis is to ease your pain and reduce the inflammation in your foot. This can be done by:
Medication: Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can ease your pain and reduce inflammation. Your doctor may recommend you take NSAIDs for several weeks.
Steroid Injections: Sometimes plantar fasciitis pain is severe or doesn’t respond to NSAIDs. In these cases, your doctor may recommend a steroid injection. This will help ease your pain for about four weeks and keep the inflammation down for about eight weeks.
Physical Therapy: In rare cases, typically plantar fasciitis treatments don’t work and doctors will recommend physical therapy. A physical therapist will focus on exercises that strengthen the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and low leg muscles.
Shock-wave Therapy: Shock-wave therapy literally shocks your plantar fascia with sound waves, stimulating blood flow in the foot. As a result, the tissue heals faster.
Tenex Procedure: This is a procedure in which a small cut is made to remove scar tissue. It is a simple in-office procedure that can have some people back to their regular routine in 10 days.
Surgery: In rare cases, your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgery for plantar fasciitis involves removing plantar fascia from your heel bone. Surgery is typically the last resort but can help those with severe, stubborn pain. Recovery time is minimal and people typically go home the same day.
Home Remedies For Policeman’s Heel
If you have policeman’s heel, there are lots of things you can do at home to treat it.
- Apply Ice To Your Heels: Apply an ice pack to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes three to four times a day. This can reduce your pain and inflammation.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight can put stress on your plantar fascia so maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you are obese.
- Change Your Workout Routine: If you walk, jog, or run, try switching up your workout routine to include low-impact sports like cycling or swimming.
- Wear The Right Shoes: Plantar fasciitis can be caused or aggravated by wearing incorrect shoes. Opt for shoes that provide good support and never wear shoes once they are worn out.
Complications of Policeman’s Heel
Sometimes policeman’s heel can worsen if it’s not treated appropriately. Ignoring plantar fasciitis can change the way you walk, which can lead to pain in the foot, knee, hip, or back.
Request An Appointment At The Orthopedic Clinic Today
At the Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis, let us help you get back to doing the things you love. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.