Michael Piccarelli, DPM
1478 Victory Blvd
Staten Island, New York 10301
(718) 273-0123




Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis-a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present.  Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or, rarely, a cyst.

Because there are several potential causes, it is important to have heel pain properly diagnosed.  Dr. Piccarelli is trained to distinguish between all the possibilities and determine the underlying source of your heel pain.


What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes.  In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed-resulting in heel pain.  The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:

·  Pain on the bottom of the heel

·  Pain that is usually worse upon arising

·  Pain that increases over a period of months

People with plantar fasciitis often describe the pain as worse when they get up in the morning or after they’ve been sitting for long periods of time.  After a few minutes of walking the pain decreases, because walking stretches the fascia.  For some people the pain subsides but returns after spending long periods of time on their feet.


Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

The most common cause of planter fasciitis relates to faulty structure of the foot.  For example, people who have problems with their arches-either overly flat feet or high-arched feet-are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis. 

Wearing non-supportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia and can also lead to plantar fasciitis.  This is particularly evident when a person’s job requires long hours on their feet.  Obesity also contributes to plantar fasciitis. 


Treatment Options

·  Stretching exercises

·  Ice

·  Weight loss

·  Orthotic devices

·  Injection therapy

·  Night splint

·  Physical therapy

·  Shock wave therapy – new treatment option to use before surgery (Ask the doctor for more information)


Long-term Care

No matter what kind of treatment you undergo for plantar fasciitis, the underlying causes that led to this condition may remain.  Therefore, you will need to continue with preventative measures.  If you are overweight, it is important to reach and maintain ideal weight.  For all patients, wearing supportive shoes and using custom orthotic devices are the mainstay of long-term treatment for plantar fasciitis.

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