Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

Heel Pain Specialist

Dr. Wenjay Sung

Podiatrist located in Greater Los Angeles, Arcadia, CA

Heel pain can take a considerable toll on your quality of life, sometimes spreading to the sole or ankle and making nearly any movement painful. At his practice in Arcadia, CA, Dr. Wenjay Sung, DPM, provides comprehensive care of heel pain for optimal outcomes in every patient.

Heel Pain Q & A

What causes heel pain?

Heel pain can have many causes, including:

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Heel spurs (or bone spurs)

  • Tendinitis

  • Injury to the Achilles tendon or other tendons

  • Deep bruises and other injuries to the soft tissues in or around the heel or ankle

  • Arthritis

  • Sprains and strains

  • Footwear that doesn't fit properly or doesn't provide adequate support to the arch or ankle

Identifying the source of heel pain and related symptoms is an important part in making sure the most appropriate treatment is administered.

What is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a tough band of tissue that extends across the bottom portion of the foot from the base of the toes to the heel, providing support for the arch and the midsection of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that occurs when this band of tissue becomes inflamed and irritated. Plantar fasciitis becomes much more common with age, and people who are overweight or obese are also more likely to develop plantar fascia. Repetitive stress on the midfoot from running, jumping and other activities can also cause the plantar fascia to become irritated and strained.

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

Plantar fasciitis is usually successfully treated with therapeutic stretching exercises, sometimes using special splints, to improve flexibility and resilience as well as relieve painful symptoms. Custom orthotics can also help by providing additional support to the arch. Many people with severe symptoms can find relief with cortisone injections to relieve inflammation. In very few cases, surgery may be required to release and reposition the plantar fascia.

While treatments such as custom orthotic bracing, strapping and cortisone injections can provide some relief, a more advanced way to actually heal the injury and provide long-lasting improvement is through biologic regenerative treatments such as Platelet Rich Plasma therapy. Platelets initiate tissue repair by releasing growth factors in the area. These growth factors start the healing process by attracting cells that repair the plantar fascia, including critical adult stem cells. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy intensifies this process by delivering a higher concentration of platelets than normally incurred from injury. The therapy involves a small sample of the patient’s blood placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the other blood components. The concentrated plasma is then injected into and around the area of pathology, in this case the plantar fascia, significantly strengthening the body’s natural healing.

For even more severe cases however, there are still things that can be done. Extra Corporeal Shockwave therapy has become a common solution for plantar fasciitis because it effectively addresses the inflammatory tissue on the bottom of your foot via medically enhanced sound waves which facilitates healing and regeneration, allowing you to overcome the chronic pain caused by plantar fasciitis. 

What are heel spurs?

Heel spurs are deposits of hard calcium that develop on the underside of the heel. Spurs can cause painful symptoms when pressure is applied, such as when walking or participating in sports. Also called bone spurs, these deposits are typically treated with orthotics to relieve pressure in the heel area combined with cortisone injections to relieve inflammation and pain. When these treatments aren't effective or when a spur is pressing on a nerve or irritating other tissues, surgery may be needed to remove the deposits.

Insurances

We accept most major Health Plans. Please contact our office for details.

Aetna
Anthem Blue Cross
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Shield of California
Humana
Medicare