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.