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More Outdoor Activity Can Lead to Arch and Heel Pain

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic most Americans have transitioned to a “work from home” schedule.  As a result of the majority of businesses being placed on standby, many people are turning to outdoor activities to breakup their day.  Those who may not have been very active are now walking, running, biking and playing in the yard with their kids.  If you weren’t very mobile beforehand, all this new activity may lead to the development of arch and heel pain.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain.  The soft tissue structure which supports the arch (the plantar fascia) becomes tight and pulls on the bottom of the heel bone.  Causes include overuse, change in activity, barefoot and ill-fitting shoes.

Common signs and symptoms include:

1. Pain when you first step out of bed in the morning or pain when you stand after sitting   

2. Sharp pain or burning sensation in the heel

3. Tight feeling in the arch

The three most important areas that need to be addressed when treating plantar fasciitis are: reducing the inflammation, stretching the tight plantar fascia, and making sure your foot is properly supported. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or NSAIDs are commonly used to treat inflammation.  Stretching plays a critical role in alleviating plantar fascia pain. Last, but not least is ensuring that your feet are properly supported.  Unfortunately, barefoot walking is out.  Wearing a supportive sneaker or slipper even around the house will make a huge difference.

Plantar fasciitis can be stubborn and linger for weeks, even months.  The key is not to become frustrated and to stick to the program: anti-inflammatory medicines, stretching and support.

Check out our next blog post which will review our Plantar Fasciitis Home Exercise Program