Working With Your Podiatrist

Working With Your Podiatrist

Experiencing Heel & Arch Pain? Here's What You Do About It

Lillian Kelley

If your heels and arches hurt after spending time on your feet, such as running or working, you might have a problem called plantar fasciitis. You can experience plantar fasciitis from several things, including placing repeated stress, tension, and pressure on your feet. You can take steps to ease your painful feet temporarily with the information and tips below.

Why Do Your Heels and Arches Hurt?

The plantar fascia is a thick ligament that extends from your heel bones to your toes and helps form the arch of your foot. Although the ligament is tight, it allows you to wiggle your toes and flex your foot. Inflammation from overuse, shock, and other types of stress can cause pain in the soles, arches, and heels of your feet. 

Inflammation can make the plantar fascia feel tight or stiff. Running, playing active sports, or walking and standing all the time can place repeated stress on the ligament. Eventually, the ligament develops small tears or injuries.

Sometimes, the plantar fascia develops when your calf muscles are too tight. The tight muscles prevent you from flexing your feet. If you're overweight, you might place too much pressure on the soles and heels of your feet.

While most people experience pain in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time, the pain can show up at anytime. It's possible for the pain to show up after you exercise, especially if you like to run or jog. Without the appropriate steps or treatments, your pain may become worse. 

How Do You Ease Your Discomfort?

You can temporarily ease your discomfort by gently flexing your feet. To perform your foot exercises, soak your feet in warm water to soften up your skin. Dry your feet thoroughly, then sit in a high-backed chair to support your back and relax.

Now, follow these steps:

  1. Cross one leg over the other; if the stretch hurts too much, sit on the floor with your back placed against a wall, sofa, or bed to perform the next steps.
  2. Place one hand near the back of your toes, then gently run it down the length of your foot until you reach your heel.
  3. Use light pressure to massage the sole and heel.
  4. Place the other hand on your ankle to stabilize it, then use your free hand to slowly push your foot toward your shin. 
  5. Pull your foot back until you feel a slight stretch or tension in your shin. 
  6. Release your foot and allow it to rest for 20-30 seconds.
  7. Repeat step 3-6 for 5 minutes, then perform the steps with the other foot.

After you complete the steps above, massage both feet with foot lotion. Cover your feet with soft socks, then place your feet on a pillow to rest. Be sure to keep your heels raised to allow fresh blood to circulate to them. If possible, rotate your ankles several times to help alleviate your pain. 

If you're overweight or struggling to lose weight, speak to a nutritionist or private trainer. You may need to use a special exercise plan to lose the excess body weight. Also, take frequent breaks at work or during activities. By giving your feet a rest, you may reduce the inflammation in them.

Contact a podiatrist as soon as possible for an exam. The tips above only provide temporary relief. A foot doctor can examine your feet to see if you require additional treatment, such as physical therapy or medication. In addition, you may need to wear shock-absorbent cushions in your work shoes or sneakers to help manage your condition.

For more information about treating foot pain, contact podiatrists through services like Camden County Foot & Ankle Associates.


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About Me
Working With Your Podiatrist

When you have an ingrown toenail, it can be tempting to take care of the problem on your own. Armed with a set of tweezers and some nail clippers, you might be ready to get in there and take care of business. Unfortunately, a few missteps could lead to a serious infection. I have made this mistake myself, and it almost cost me my toe. I hope that as you evaluate your own foot problems that you will remember how valuable a podiatrist can be. Your foot doctor can inspect your problem and recommend the proper course of action. Read through my website to learn more.