GOT HEEL PAIN?
We hope that you all are in good health and that you’ve made the best of this “season of quarantine”. For some of us, this permissible time at home has given us the rest and healing that we’ve needed, for others however; this time at home has made us stagnant, stiff and has caused us to develop issues that we haven’t had before (or worsen conditions that we were only slightly experiencing before this time). One of these conditions is plantar fasciitis.
Have you noticed terrible heel pain and/or arch pain when you step on your feet after resting, or when you wake up in the morning? Does the tissue and muscle at the bottoms of your feet feel tough and tight? You may have plantar fasciitis, a painful stabbing sensation at the bottom of the foot or in the heel due to severe inflammation in the foot bands.
There are many things that can cause plantar fasciitis. From a past foot/ankle sprain, to over-use simply by increasing activity. It is also common for those who have flat feet or high arches to develop some degree of plantar fasciitis over time.
High and Low Arches
High Arches: High arch patients are known to have poor shock absorbing feet because the foot structure does not adapt to the terrain they are walking on. The constant shock can cause inflammation of the plantar fascia and cause pain that can be transmitted as high as the neck if left untreated.
Flat Feet: People with flat feet have severe imbalances in their foot structure measured in degrees of deformity of the heel, causing an abnormal pull of the plantar fasciitis. This becomes more troublesome as we increase the pace of walking. To put it simply, a 100 lb person walking with a 3 degree imbalance of their heel is transmitting a 450 lb force through his/her feet and body. A sure recipe for pain, inflammation and plantar fasciitis.
In both cases, the constant strain of repetitive stresses on the foot can result in additional spur formation on the bottom and/or back of heel commonly known as a heel spur.
Other Risk factors
Sometimes plantar fasciitis can develop without a cause and may be simply due to one of the following:
- Age. Plantar fasciitis is most common between the ages of 40 and 60.
- Certain types of exercise. Activity such as long-distance running, ballet dancing and aerobic dance can contribute to this condition or any other type of exercise that puts a lot of pressure and impact on the heel.
- Obesity. Gaining or maintaining an unhealthy weight can certainly lead to plantar fasciitis.
- Occupations that keep you on your feet. Factory workers, teachers, cooks, waiters and others who spend most of their work hours walking or standing on hard surfaces can damage the plantar fascia.
What You Can Do?
- Ice Massage. Place a bottle of water in the freezer, take it out and roll the bottom of the feet on it for 10 minutes in the AM and PM.
- Stretching- Take a towel or one of those fancy Therabands(R) and stretch your toes towards your nose with it. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds, no bouncing as this will cause more pain. Remember to breathe when stretching.
- Arch Support for Flat Feet Refer to your Podiatrist for orthotics and invest in high quality shoes for your feet. We suggest and also offer the Vionic brand of shoes in our office.
- Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDS) Taking the correct dosage of NSAIDS can help aid in the reduction of inflammation resulting in a decrease of pain. Of course, this is a temporary solution. Caution for those with Stomach Ulcers, Asthma, Bleeding or Allergies- please consult with your family Doctor.
If you believe you have plantar fasciitis, see your Podiatrist as soon as possible for proper treatment. Solutions include: a foot x-ray, steroid injection, physical therapy, shock wave therapy, custom footwear and as a last, but effective resort, surgery.
You don’t have to live with pain. Da Vinci Foot and Ankle can help! Call your nearest location below to book your consultation appointment with one of our Doctors.
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Lake Oconee, GA 706-999-9994
West Augusta, GA 706-597-0102
Madison, GA 706-999-9994