Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Don't Ring in the New Year with heel pain!!!

New Year's Eve is a time when most are thinking about their resolutions for improving their well being for the following year to come.  Some people are deciding to enter into a new exercise program or join a gym.  Both of these endeavors are wonderful, except for those with heel pain or plantar fasciitis!

If you are one of those people that experience pain with first step in the morning, right smack dab in the bottom center of your heel or have pain in the same area after standing for a while, then I am talking to you.  Plantar fasciitis or heel pain is one of the most common and, believe it or not, easily treatable foot ailments that walks into our office. I find the biggest problem people have with plantar fasciitis in their treatment protocol is bad advice from friends, family and co-workers.  No, I am not throwing your loved ones under the bus, it is just that sometimes advice from multiple sources creates a white noise in our brains and just confuses the situation.

Below you will find recommendations regarding treating and making your heel pain go away. I think it is important to first and foremost determine if your heel pain is from the back of your heel, which would be more of an Achilles tendonitis or on the bottom which is more in line with Plantar fasciitis.  It is important to delineate this before treating, as both injuries are very different sometimes in how we treat them. By clicking on the picture to the right you can see our webpage and what the difference is between Achilles tendonitis and Plantar fasciitis.

People find it hard to believe that stretching, icing and support can be the perfect combo to relieve and help get rid of their heel pain, but it's true!!!!The plantar fascia is a tight band on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone, the calcaneus, to the long flexor tendons to the toes. What I always tell patients when they come into the office with heel pain or plantar fasciitis, is that even though it hurts so darn bad the cure really does revolve around stretching believe or not, in most cases.  Sure it can require a medicine by mouth or even a shot with some extra support in shoe gear but it is usually a simple fix.

The fix is simple but, depending in how long it takes you to seek help to get better, could be the deciding factor on how long it actually takes you to get better.  The sooner you seek care, start the stretching exercises and put good support in you shoes, the sooner you are on the road to recovery.

Here are my classic three stretches performed by my lovely stick figure drawings, but simple is always better.  Stretching is important for your Plantar fasciitis to get better and stay away.  Yes, that is right, I tell all of my patients that they need to stretch daily after having Plantar facsiitis to prevent it from coming back! These three basic runners stretches should be performed 3-4 times a day when you have Plantar fasciitis.  You should stretch both sides for completeness sake and hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds with no bouncing.

Icing is another thing I tell people to do when they have acute Plantar fasciitis.  But how you ice can be a real key to your success.  You need get a little plastic water bottle and freeze the water inside, then take it out 2 times a day rolling it under the arch of the foot back and forth.  I tell patients this is like physical therapy without a copay.  It is a natural anti-inflammatory and stretches the arch very effectively.

These are the two main ways to start treating your Plantar fasciitis: stretching and icing.  But there are many great ways to help support the fascia when you are standing like inserts and slippers.  Also, there is something called a Plantar fascial night splint that you can wear while you are at rest or even while you are sleeping.

Some people get home and kick off their shoes and then strain the fascia walking barefoot around the house.  Support, even at home has a very positive effect in your outcome and feeling better sooner.

Here is a link to our webpage, with our top recommendations for heel pain and plantar fasciitis from our affiliate FootSmart.  I put my favorite helpers for heel pain available at :

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