Heel pain in adults can be due to several disorders, but by far the most common one is a condition called plantar fasciitis. The pain from plantar fasciitis typically occurs beneath the heel and the traditional sign is that the discomfort is a whole lot worse when getting up first thing each morning for those first couple of steps. Right after those first steps the pain does ease to some degree, but gets worse once again as the day goes on. The plantar fascia is a long ligament underneath the bottom of the foot which is responsible for assisting the arch of the foot, so plantar fasciitis is caused by there is excessive load on the arch of the feet. The key risk factors for this are tight calf muscles, being overweight and having increased levels of activity. Lower limb structural issues that increases the load in the plantar fascia are also an issue in raising the load.
The primary approach to plantar fasciitis is pain alleviation by using ice following exercise and maybe the use of anti-inflammatory and also pain relief drugs. Taping may also be used for the short term to help you with the pain. Foot orthoses enables you to reduce the stress on the arch of the foot and correct any structural problems that might be a factor in leading to the problem. You should stretch the leg muscles as that is a major risk. Splints to wear at night can also be used to help with this stretching if necessary. Strengthening the muscles which also support the arch could also be advantageous because they take some stress of the plantar fascia. In the long run, weight reduction is very important because this actually does produce a lot of load in the foot. If these types of approaches are not working to well, then it is time to look at treatment such as shockwave therapy or corticosteroid injections. A final consideration if the plantar fasciitis is chromic and nothing seems to be working could be to explore options for surgical procedures.