Wear the Right Footwear, say Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Surgeons
ROSEMONT, IL – Dec. 10, 2012 – Heading to the mall for a long day of shopping? Plan your day and your footwear to protect your feet from plantar fasciitis, a painful overuse injury affecting the sole of the foot. According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS), prolonged walking or standing on hard surfaces can lead to this condition, the most common cause of heel pain. It is important to wear cushioned shoes and take some time to rest during a long stretch of standing and walking.
Plantar fasciitis is the cause of 11% to 15% of all foot complaints requiring medical attention. The plantar fascia is a tough band of tissue which connects your heel bone to the bones of the toes. The classic signs of this condition are heel pain when waking up in the morning or after a period of inactivity. Left untreated, it can become a chronic condition. Plantar fasciitis may cause individuals to limit their activities; and could lead to knee, hip and back problems because of changes in the way they walk because of the pain.
Steven L. Haddad, MD, an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon in Glenview, IL and President-Elect of AOFAS, treats many patients with plantar fasciitis and suggests the following. “Plantar fasciitis can be a debilitating and long term problem. Prevention is the best treatment, and revolves around wearing comfortable shoes with a cushioned sole during shopping season to prevent repetitive impact on hard store surfaces. If plantar fasciitis does develop, it is best to treat it aggressively at the first sign of the problem. Patients will be told to incorporate stretching exercises right when they wake up in the morning, and might be provided a night splint to wear to keep the plantar fascia stretched overnight.”
Other treatment options include rest, heel inserts, non-steroidal inflammatory medications and ice. If the plantar fasciitis continues after a few months of conservative treatment, doctors may use steroid injections, splints or walking casts to treat the problem.
Prevention is the best course of action, though. For stretching exercises for the foot, heel and Achilles tendon, visit www.footcaremd.org to learn more or to find a local orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in foot and ankle care.
Public Education Manager