Ever stepped out of bed with severe pain in the heel? Or your heels hurt for a little while when you first stand up and start walking? This type of heel pain is one of the most common foot ailments in the world. It can flare up at any time of day, from the first thing you feel when you get up in the morning to a mid-afternoon run. This pain is enough to make movement incredibly painful until your foot begins to loosen up. The condition is called plantar fasciitis, which has several causes and, luckily, several solutions.
The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the ligament that connects your heel to the ball of your foot. This can be caused by a variety of factors, from flat feet, worn shoes and poor foot biomechanics to overuse and muscle tightness.
Plantar fasciitis can be treated in several ways. Prior to exercising, it is important to warm up and stretch properly, keeping your muscles flexible and less prone to inflammation. Avoid exercising on hard surfaces to minimize impact injuries, and rotate exercises to limit the amount of time you are spending on your feet. Maintaining a healthy weight lessens the pressure on your feet and ankles, which reduces your risk of strain.
Your shoes should be appropriate for the activity you are participating in. For example, if you are hiking on uneven surfaces and rocky terrain, you should not be wearing flip-flops. If you are walking along cobblestone streets, sensible shoes may be better for your ankles. You should replace your shoes at least once per year as they wear, to discourage poor walking habits.
One of the most effective treatments for heel pain is custom orthotics. Orthotics provide an extra layer of cushioning and support to your foot while keep your bones and muscles aligned. Orthotics will help evenly distribute weight across your feet and resolve biomechanical issues that are causing pain. Ankle & Foot Specialist of New Jersey will take a mold of your feet to match them exactly to your arch, relieving stress on your heels to allow proper recovery. Along with custom orthotics, you may be prescribed anti-inflammatories and icing, as well as stretching exercises as soon as you are able.
Heel pain can be a burden on your life, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Ankle & Foot Specialist of New Jersey will evaluate your feet and symptoms and determine whether custom orthotics will ease your pain. We can be reached at 908-222-8980 or 732-356-FOOT, or you can request an appointment at our Warren or South Plainfield offices online.