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Heel Pain, Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis

A common foot complaint is pain in the bottom of the heel. This is often referred to as heel spurs or plantar fasciitis. It commonly is painful the first few steps in the morning or after rest. It tends to get worse the longer one stands during the day. It is caused by subtle changes in foot structure that occurs over time. These changes result in the gradual flattening of the arch. As this occurs a thick ligament (the plantar fascia) that is attached to the bottom of the heel and fans out into the ball of the foot is stretched excessively. This ligament acts as a shock absorber while walking. As the foot flattens it stretches. If it stretches too much it gets inflamed and causes pain. Over time the pull of the ligament creates a spur on the heel bone. It is important to realize that it is not the spur that causes the pain and therefore the spur does not need to be removed in most cases. This condition may also cause generalized arch pain called plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of the plantar fascial ligament.

A common factor that contributes to this condition is tightness of the calf muscles. Women who wear high heels and people who walk for exercise will often develop this problem because of the tightness that results in the calf muscle as a result of these activities. A non-supportive shoe also contributes to this problem. Weight gain is another factor in developing heel pain.

Clarix Amnio Injections

Now offering Clarix amnio injections, a new state of the art non-surgical treatment for chronic heel pain, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. Clarix injections are made of an injectable freeze-dried human amniotic and umbilical cord tissue. This is not a steroid injection. Clarix can help your body actually repair the damaged tissue and relieve your chronic pain.

Home Treatments

RICE

Using the RICE method for heel pain focuses on initial self-care following the onset of plantar fasciitis pain.

  • Rest (R) - This does not mean you have to lie down or even sit all the time. It refers to reducing your previous activity level. In other words, whatever level of activity you were at when your plantar fasciitis flared up, cut back some. For example, walk a little more and run a little less or sit a little more and stand a little less. The degree to which you change your activity will be somewhat dependent on the severity of the pain.
  • Ice (I) - Use ice to reduce the inflammation and/or swelling in your feet. Ice packs work great for this. Be sure to wrap the ice or ice pack in a towel or protective sleeve to prevent the ice from burning your feet. Alternatively, you could freeze a plastic bottle full of water and roll your foot over the frozen bottle or you could freeze water in a small paper cup, remove the ice from the cup and rub the ice over the sore area for 5-10 minutes.Elevating your foot.
  • Compression (C) - During the initial phases of recovery it is a good idea to add support to your foot. The added pressure can be applied with a wrap, such as a simple Ace bandage, or special socks/hose, such as TED hose. Shoes with appropriately strong support are a must at this stage of recovery.
  • Elevation (E) - Elevating your foot, when possible, can also be helpful, just as it is whenever you have any type of foot or leg injury. Elevation helps reduce and eliminate swelling. One good way to do this is to lie on your back and elevate your foot onto a chair for 5-10 minutes.

Stretching

Calf muscle stretching is very useful. The typical runners stretch by leaning into a wall is helpful. An alternative method of stretching is to stand approximately two feet from a wall. Facing the wall turn your feet inward so you are pigeon toed. Lean forward into the wall keeping your heels on the floor and the knees extended. Also keep your back straight and do not bend at the hips. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and do the stretch ten times in a row. Do the stretching three times each day. Always stretch the calf muscles following any form of exercise.

Oral Anti-inflammatory Medications

Medications like Advil, Tylenol, or Aleve may be of some benefit. Always read the medications directions and warnings before use.

Professional Care

Do you suffer from heel pain?

Call (505) 983 - 7393 to speak with New Mexico Foot and Ankle Associates about this groundbreaking medical advance.

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