Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: inflammation

By By Rion A. Bertg, DPM
March 29, 2011
Category: foot care

 

Up to 10% of the population suffers from heel pain, plantar fasciitis. Millions of dollars are spent per year in health care to resolve this problem. Many common treatments including cortisone injections, physical therapy, orthotics, and surgery are available, but the advantages of one over the other are not necessarily proven in randomized studies.

I’ve been in practice for thirty years, and I continue to utilize the latest techniques in resolving heel pain. My heel pain patients in Seattle are happily running, walking, skiing and enjoying the active lifestyle the Northwest offers. I continue to hope that some of these techniques will resolve your heel pain faster, with less down time, and provide more lasting relief.

Speaking of lifestyles, with the passing of the infamous, Elizabeth Taylor, passes a time when high heels are required as part of the work "uniform" for women. Save the stillettos for evening. To keep your feet happy and healthy in the long term, wear lower heels with work attire and consider a dress flat to wear with slacks.
 



1.   So what is plantar fasciitis?

  • It is the inflammation of the attachment of a long flat ligament, the plantar fascia, at it’s attachment to the heel or along its course to the base of your toes.
  • It becomes inflamed when it is over pulled from the heel to the toes. If the process continues it pulls on the bone and a spur can develop.

2.  What are the most important factors contributing to heel pain?

Self Assessment

Your Weight             Overweight?  Yes     No
Your Work                Prolonged Standing?  Yes     No
Your Play                  Runner?  Mileage/wk  _____ Court Sports______ Other___________
Your Foot Type        Flatfoot?  Yes    No    Very High Arches   Yes      No
Your Shoes              Slip On?  Yes    No     Stable?    Yes    No   

                                    Stable = Bends at ball, not in the middle
                                                  and doesn't twist easily from side to side

Barefoot/stocking feet/house slippers at home?   Yes     No

3.  Where do you start when it comes to treatment?

Begin by being honest with yourself and deciding how long you have been having your heel pain.  1-4 weeks, 1-3 months, 3-6 months, 1 year or longer

What is your pain level on a scale of 0-10?

Divide this up_______AM pain level

_______During the day

_______Pain only at end of day

_______Pain during athletic activities

_______Pain when you are off your feet

4. First Steps to Self Help
 

Don’t go barefoot/slippers at home

If you have a house rule of no shoes, buy Crocs for in house only

 

For acute pain >6/10, short duration

(1-4weeks) with no Hx of injury

Begin icing ten minutes/day, if tolerant and no GI issues/or other contraindications, oral anti-inflammatory per your physician’s recommendation

 

Check your shoes for stability

Generally an athletic shoe with slight heel is preferred. Remove insole of the shoe and replace with a good OTC support such as Powerstep or Superfeet

 

Before rising

Stretch your calf, flexing your ankle 20 reps, stretching against the wall.

 

Runners

Stop running until symptoms are subsiding.

 

Heel pain can prevent you from enjoying your dailing life as well as leisure time at the parks and urban trails we have right here in Lake City, Shoreline, Ravenna and Kenmore. Take care of your feet and get outside to enjoy the beginning of Spring!

If you have signs of heel pain, call us today for an appointment at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.