Start the New Year on the Right Foot

Start the New Year on the Right FootAs the new year is upon us, many of us want to get back into the gym to start a fitness routine. Although this is great, it is important to properly prepare your feet to prevent overuse injuries and most commonly plantar fasciitis. 

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of pain on the bottom of the heel. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, a strong band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot, becomes irritated and inflamed. The plantar fascia is designed to absorb the high stresses and strains we place on our feet when walking, running, and doing other activities like playing sports. But, sometimes, too much pressure damages or tears the tissues. The body’s natural response to injury is inflammation, which results in heel pain and stiffness of plantar fasciitis.

There are many factors that can make you more prone to the condition such as new or increased activity, repetitive high-impact activity, prolonged standing on hard surfaces, anatomy (flat feet or a high arch), tight calf muscles and obesity. The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain on the bottom of the foot near the heel, greater pain after (not during) exercise or activity, and pain with the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning, or after a long period of rest, this pain improves after a few minutes of walking

Treatment for plantar fasciitis includes:

Rest: Decreasing or stopping the activities that make the pain worse is the first step in reducing the pain. You may need to stop high-impact activity or use a walking boot or crutches for a short period of time

Stretching: Plantar fasciitis is aggravated by tight muscles in your feet and calves. Stretching your calves and plantar fascia is the most effective way to relieve the pain that comes with this condition

Ice: Rolling your foot over a cold water bottle or ice for 20 minutes is effective. This can be done 3 to 4 times a day.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen reduce pain and inflammation.

Physical therapy: Your doctor may suggest that you work with a physical therapist on an exercise program that focuses on stretching your calf muscles and plantar fascia

Supportive shoes and orthotics: Shoes with thick soles and a supportive arch are best. Pre-made or custom orthotics (shoe inserts) are also helpful.

Avoid unsupportive and worn-out shoes: Make sure to replace your old athletic shoes before they wear out and no longer support your feet. Also, it is important to rotate shoes. 

If pain is still not improved, it may be time to come and see our doctors at Brucato Foot and Ankle Surgery for further treatment. We offer many treatment modalities such as cortisone injections, casting for custom orthotics, bracing, surgical intervention, and more!

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