Quick Ways to Relieve Heel Pain

If you have ever had plantar fasciitis, then you know it can be a real pain in the foot! Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Approximately 2 million patients are treated for this condition each year. Plantar fascia is a ligament that attaches the heel to the front of the foot, and sometimes becomes inflamed due to overuse. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include obesity, long distance running, flat feet, high arch, poor arch support, new or increased activity, and tight calf muscles. Pain is often the worst in the morning with the first few steps after getting out of bed, or after long periods of sitting. Heel spurs sometimes occur with plantar fasciitis, but are not usually the cause of the heel pain.

Heel and foot stretching exercises are one way to relieve plantar fasciitis pain. Calf stretching can be done by taking a towel, looping it around the ball of the foot while keeping the leg straight, and gently pulling back towards the body until a stretch is felt in the muscles of the lower leg, holding the stretch 30 seconds, then repeating the exercise. Another calf stretch exercise involves standing against a wall and moving one leg back while pushing the heel down towards the floor. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, and then bend the knees to get a stretch that involves the muscles in the lower leg, again holding the stretch for 30 seconds, and repeating. Stretching the taut plantar fascia may also provide relief, and this can be done by flexing the toes up and down 10 times before standing. Massaging the bottom of the foot across the plantar fascia may help, and rolling the foot over a tennis ball, or even a cold water bottle does this. A night splint or brace may be used to hold the foot in a position that applies a constant stretch to the plantar fascia, and may help relieve pain while plantar fasciitis heals. Low-dye taping and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are sometimes used to provide temporary relief for plantar fasciitis.

Sometimes rest and stretching are not enough to keep the pain at bay, and medical intervention is necessary. Orthotics, steroid injections, and sometimes surgery are used as long-term solutions for plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can be very painful, but there are many treatments available. If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis or undiagnosed heel pain, then do not hesitate to contact your Podiatrist.

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more tips for healthier and happier feet or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

Columbus Podiatry & Surgery has opened a new location in Gahanna, near Easton. Please call 614-476-3338 (FEET) for an appointment with a podiatrist in Gahanna, OH today.

If you would like to be seen by our podiatrists in Dublin, Ohio near Tuttle Crossing, call 614-859-3338 (FEET) for an appointment.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia