DMFA Blog

Posts for tag: heel spurs

After the long winter the Chicagoland area went through this year, we know many of you want to spend the summer being active. Whether that means taking your bike on the Metra into city to speed along the paths beside Lake Michigan to taking advantage of soccer, baseball or basketball facilities offered by the Lemont Park District, this is the best time of year to be active and on your feet.

From 5-and-10K races to a Warrior Dash to boot camps, there are plenty of ways to stay fit during the warm weather.

But for 2 million folks, the first steps in the morning can mean shooting pain in the heel or arch.

This results from problems with the plantar fascia – the band on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes. My colleague, Dr. Diana Emini, and I see lots of patients of all ages in our Lemont office with heel pain. It's a common problem and when this band gets irritated, pain under the heel can result. It has several causes, including:

  • Too much physical activity can stress the heel bone and surrounding tissue, especially with prolonged activity on hard surfaces.

  • Footwear with thick soles that doesn't properly absorb shock. Force goes into the foot as a result.

  • Sports with quick turns: Cutting movements in tennis and basketball can place increased stress on the heel and surrounding tissue.

  • Pregnancy: Hormones released during pregnancy relax the ligaments, which reduces support in the heel.

  • Age: The plantar fascia loses elasticity as people age and can't always bounce back.

  • Being overweight. Extra pounds cause breakdown of the heel padding and flattening of the arch.

Just as there are many causes of heel pain, there are also many treatments. At DM Foot & Ankle, we offer several remedies:

  • Medication to reduce inflammation

  • Custom arch supports and supportive shoes

  • Night splints that hold the band in a fixed position

  • Cortisone injections

  • Physical therapy

We've had a lot of success in helping patients get back on their feet WITHOUT surgery. Early treatment can help you get back to warm-weather activities sooner. Summer is too short to be sidelined — call our Lemont office and seek help if you are suffering from heel pain.


 

By Michelle Kim