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Exercise in the Treatment of Heel Pain

By Dr. Jason Gold, DPM, FACFAS | Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus DPM, RPhs, FACFAS

Foot pain causes millions of Americans to seek medical treatment each year. When that pain is felt in the heel and Achilles tendon, it can be immobilizing. Furthermore, as a range of motion in the immediate area is compromised, secondary issues in the knees, hips, and back develop as a result. Thankfully, there are heel pain treatment exercises and other self-care measures you can undertake that can help alleviate your pain.

The Problem

Pain felt in the heel and foot can usually be traced to two structures: the Achilles tendon (the cord-like tendon at the back of the leg, near the ankle), or the plantar fascia. The two parts are joined, and a pull on one becomes a tug on the other. The calf muscles are attached to the foot via the Achilles tendon which then links into the plantar fascia. This web-like connective tissue stretches across the bottom of the heel and sole of the foot. The strain on either can result in heel pain. Poor alignment, excess weight, high heels, and muscle strain cause inflammation and shortening of the Achilles and plantar fascia. Sufferers often find themselves reluctant to put weight on their feet due to the sharp pains that follow.

The Solution

A combination of heel pain treatment exercises and improved foot care can heal your feet. To counter the muscle tightening at the root of foot pain, offset your time in high heels with flat shoes or even better, walking with bare feet. The foot, calf muscles, and structures in between were designed to stretch and flex. Walking with a heel-to-toe motion in which you roll through the entire sole of the foot as you walk will loosen them and restore circulation. This is the perfect excuse to take a therapeutic barefoot walk along the beach in Boca Raton! If you spend much of your day in a seated position, stash a tennis ball or golf ball in your desk drawer. While you work, roll the ball between the sole of your foot and floor, pressing it into tight spots to massage away trigger points.

Finally, remember that improving the flexibility of your calves constitutes great foot care. Standing with flat feet, gently bend forward in the waist until you feel a stretch throughout your calves and hamstrings. This will open the entire chain of muscles that link to the Achilles tendons and soles of your feet.

With these heel pain treatment exercises and foot care measures, you should get back on your feet in no time. If pain persists after several weeks, speak with your podiatrist.

Dr. Jason Gold, DPM, FACFAS

Known for his expertise in thorough diagnostic testing and a steady surgical hand, Jason M. Gold, DPM, is a leader in modern foot and ankle care and sports medicine. He’s one of a handful of doctors who’s board certified in foot and ankle surgery in Palm Beach County. Dr. Jason Gold cares for patients at Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center, a state-of-the-art practice with locations in Boca Raton and Boynton, Florida.

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus , DPM - Podiatrist in Boca Raton, FL

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus DPM, RPhs, FACFAS

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus is a foot, ankle, and leg vein specialist practicing in South Florida. She is considered a leader and innovator for various procedures in her field, including fat pad and vein care. Dr. Schoenhaus grew up in southern New Jersey and she considers herself a true Philly girl. After graduating from the University of Michigan, having studied kinesiology and human movement, she went to Temple University in Philadelphia where she got her doctorate.

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