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Podiatrist Dr. Joanna Chura Champions Heel Pain Prevention

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Podiatrist Dr. Joanna Chura Champions Heel Pain Prevention

Heel pain can be a real pain in the, well, a pain in the heels. Did you know that the condition affects millions of American feet every year? Plantar fasciitis alone – the most common cause of heel pain – causes approximately 2 million achy pairs of feet to seek treatment each year.

The heel bone is the largest of the 26 bones in each of your feet. Together with 33 joints and a network of over a 100 ligaments, muscles, and tendons, they all play a part in keeping you moving.

Passionate about practicing prevention, Dr. Joanna Chura – a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) at FVO – shares her expertise on how to keep you on your feet by taking care of your ankles and feet.

Know Your Foot Type

Do the wet foot test. Place your wet foot on a paper bag. Now look at the image left behind…

  • Half an arch indicates a neutral arch.
  • An entire foot indicates flat feet.
  • A thin line connecting the ball of the foot to the heel indicates high arches.

If the Shoe Fits

A flat-footed person has different needs than someone with high arches. Custom orthotic shoe inserts may be the best foot care investment you ever make.

For someone with high arches, arch support, a slightly raised heel, and extra cushioning are a must-have in shoes. Along with buckles, laces, or straps, this shoe type will provide both cushioning and stability.

No Runner Left Behind with the Right Shoe

If you participate in the same sport three or four times a week, get a shoe designed specifically for that sport.

  • Heel pain and stress fractures can be prevented by simply wearing the right shoe.
  • Runners can avoid problems such as Achilles and ankle problems, bursitis, shin splints, tendonitis and others with a little foot TLC.
  • Replace your shoes every year. Running shoes lose a lot of their oomph after 4 or 5 hundred miles of running.

Avoid Plantar Fasciitis

You’re at risk for plantar fasciitis if you have flat feet or high arches. The leading cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis is degeneration and inflammation of the tissue along the foot bottom.

  • Stay fit. Make regular walking and gentle weight-bearing exercise your main mantra for maintaining good foot health.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Lightening the load on your feet will pay off big time over the long term.
  • Stretch your feet before rising each day. Together with a few gentle calf and Achilles stretches, this regimen may serve as a preventive to plantar fasciitis.
  • Warm up and cool down. Before exercising, the calf muscles need to be loosened and flexible. Tight muscles can trigger heel pain.
  • Proper nutrition and rest…Never underestimate your body’s need for these essentials.
  • Never put off foot pain concerns. If you’re experiencing heel pain from the onset of plantar fasciitis, know that it can get much, much worse. See a podiatrist as soon as possible, especially if you’re a super athlete, obese, or at risk in some way.

When to See a Foot Care Specialist

If pain, swelling, heat, and redness persist, limit your daily activities and contact a doctor of podiatric medicine. She will be able to outline the many treatment options available. Once they’ve implemented a few simple treatment methods, over 90 percent of plantar fasciitis patients improve within several months.