With the warm weather comes the increase in marathons and races. If you’re an athlete or avid runner, you might have already competed in several this season. Perhaps you’re even planning on competing in the Brooklyn marathon this November. If so, you want to make sure that your feet get the best treatment and care they deserve while you’re pounding the pavement. And if you’re already experiencing heel pain, that can be tricky. No one wants to sit out from their favorite activities due to injury or discomfort. However, your Brooklyn podiatrist is ready to pinpoint the cause of your heel pain and get you back into those running shoes.
Common Cause of Heel Pain
The common cause of heel pain is better known as plantar fasciitis, which is just a fancy way of saying that there’s inflammation of the connective tissue that lies on the bottom of your foot. You may notice that the pain stretches from your toes down your arch and all the way to your heel bone. One cause of plantar fasciitis is overpronation, which is when your foot rolls profoundly inward when walking.
Of course, conservative and less invasive treatments are always the first course of action. Who wants to go through expensive and more time-consuming procedures when medication and rest can do the trick? Here are the ways we often treat this condition.
Take a break
The first line of defense: We will most likely recommend anti-inflammatory medications (e.g., Tylenol; Ibuprofen) and ice to help with swelling. These are easy treatments that you can do from the comfort of your own home. When it comes to icing, we tell our patients to ice three times a day for about 10-20 minutes. Also, keeping your foot elevated will help take some of the pressure off the connective tissue.
Work it out
We will also show you some stretching exercises to help increase ligament flexibility and strengthen muscles in the arch of the foot. Some exercises include wall stretches and squats, the staircase stretch (which also stretches the calf muscle) and rolling a golf or tennis ball along the arch of your foot. These stretching exercises are even great for preventing plantar fasciitis.
Orthotics can help alleviate heel pain and restore function back into the foot and heel. Custom orthotics can be especially helpful for those who live an active lifestyle. Custom orthotics provide comfort and support while enjoying your day-to-day activities. Just by placing orthotics into your shoes, you can enjoy walking, jogging or running once again.
If none of these treatments offer you the relief you need, we might recommend extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), which initiates your body’s natural healing response. By telling your body to repair itself, ESWT has been a great option for those who are dealing with serious or persistent heel pain.
It’s high time you said goodbye to your heel pain. If you’re ready to take charge of your life and enjoy even the simple act of walking pain-free, then call my office today at (718) 624-7537.