SUMMER: THE SEASON FOR HEEL PAIN

07-22-2010

SUMMER: THE SEASON FOR HEEL PAIN

By William W. McNair, DPM

When the weather turns warm and people break out their sandals and other flat, flexible shoes, I know it’s plantar fasciitis season. Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury affecting the sole or flexor surface (plantar) of the foot. It occurs when you have inflamed the tough, fibrous band of tissue (fascia) connecting your heel bone to the base of your toes by wearing non-supportive shoes–among other causes.

This time of year, fully half of the patients I see are complaining of plantar faciitis. Most people can avoid plantar faciitis by wearing shoes with a one- to one-and-a-half inch heel. Not only does this heel height help take the pressure off the heel, it also aligns the knees, hips and back correctly and helps maintain correct posture. Treatment of those with the condition may include rest, ice and exercise to stretch the Achilles tendon. More severe cases may require steroid injections, but we try more conservative treatments first.

Another tip: if you have hardwood, tile or stone floors at home, make it a point to wear clogs around the house. Hard flooring can cause heel pain and the height of clogs is ideal for maintaining correct body alignment.

In addition to Dr. McNair, Newport Orthopedic Institute offers the services of two Board-Certified orthopedic surgeons who specialize in foot and ankle care. If you, your family members or friends experience foot or ankle problems this summer, NOI can help.

Categories: Foot & Ankle

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