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My Heel Hurts! - Keeping your plantar fascia stretched

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A good portion of us have dealt with heel pain at one time or another, including myself!  If the problem resolved after a few days, no one would come to see us at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists.  Unfortunately, heel pain is likely the number one complaint people visit us for and rightfully so.  Your Austin podiatrist is an expert of all things foot and ankle and will get you back on your feet, pain free, as soon as possible!

 

The number one factor in my heel pain and most of my patients is a tightening of the plantar fascia.  Like anyone else, I sometimes forget about how important stretching and flexibility can be until that stabbing pain in my heel reminds me.  Waiting for the injury to occur is never a good idea.  Make stretches part of your daily routine.  Take thirty seconds to pause on a set of stairs and let your heels drop down, stretching both your Achilles and plantar fascia.  Slip your shoes of at your desk and dorsiflex your toes while pushing your foot down.  When at home, consider using the towel stretch a couple days a week.  These and several other stretches are ones we recommend to people who visit our office.   Just remember that stretching counteracts whatever daily activities are tightening that ligament and one session of stretching is not going to permanently fix it.  Stretching is most effective when it is done routinely.

 

In the case of heel pain that does not improve with stretching, our foot experts have many modalities to help.  Custom inserts can be created to correct the mechanics that cause the fascia to become tight.  You might argue that you have already been stretching, but together with Three Lakes Physical Therapy we can utilize EPAT and other advanced modalities to better stretch out your foot.  These conservative treatments can improve a high percentage of heel pain.  In the acute situation, an injection to the heel can provide pain relief and decrease inflammation thereby breaking a chronic cycle.  Only in the rarest of cases does surgery become necessary. keep heel pain at bay!

Dr. Shine John, DPM, FACFAS
Podiatric Physician, Surgeon, Specialist at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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