ARE YOU FEELING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING?
Pain or tenderness along the arch or the inside of the edge of the heel that occurs when:
Walking on the toes
Taking your first few steps after getting out of bed or after sitting for more than a few minutes
Beginning a game or workout
THIS CONDITION IS BROUGHT ON BY
- Repeated and forceful stretching or pounding (on a hard surface)
- Tight calf muscles
- A sudden increase (more than 10% per week) in the intensity of a workout or sports activity
- Faulty foot mechanics (flat arches, rigid arches, etc.)
- Wearing shoes with little arch support or heel padding
The plantar fascia runs along the bottom
of the foot, from the heel to the toes.
TO RELIEVE PAIN AND SPEED RECOVERY
Unless your heel or arch pain is severe or you're unable to walk, you can try the following:
- Rest from all activities that cause pain, especially running, impact cardio and jumping.
- Ice 2-3 times per day. Rub an ice cube over the painful spot for approximately 5-10 minutes.
- Aspirin or Ibuprofen:
- To reduce pain - take per productís guidelines
- To reduce inflammation - take 650 mg of aspirin or 400 mg of ibuprofen three times a day for 1-2 weeks.
- Important: Stop taking if it causes stomach upset or bloody stools. Contact your physician if you are currently taking other medications or if you have any questions.
Shoes that have a firm arch support and well-cushioned heel, help reduce the tension in the Achilles tendon. Change shoes that show excess wear (change running shoes every 400 miles). If shoes are in good condition, but lack adequate support and cushion, try putting an additional arch support in both sides.
STRETCH - to reduce tension along the arch
Technique: Warm up until you start to sweat, stretch to a gentle pull, and hold without bouncing for 20-30 seconds.
Frequency: Do 2- 3 sets of repetitions per day, 6-7 days per week.
Stand with your feet pointed forward.
Keep your heels down and back leg straight.
Slowly bend your front leg until you feel a gentle upper calf stretch in the back leg.
Stand with your feet pointed forward and heels down.
Slowly bend your back leg until you feel a gentle lower calf or heel stretch along that leg.
Grab your toes and ball of the foot.
Pull the toes and foot back until you feel an arch stretch.
- Sit in a chair with a tennis or golf ball under the foot.
- Slowly move your foot back and forth, rolling the ball underneath.
STRENGTHEN - the arch to prevent injury
Frequency: Do three sets of ten repetitions, 3-4 days per week.
Spread out a towel in front of your foot.
Use your toes to pull the towel toward you.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
- Your arch or heel pain continues after two weeks of self-care.
- You feel sharp, shooting pain even at rest (sitting and sleeping).
- You can't walk without limping.
- Your arch or heel swells.
- You feel unusual numbness or tingling in your foot (possible circulation or nerve problems).
- Your foot or toes are blue and cold (possible circulation problems).
- Your heel, foot or toes are red and hot and you have a fever (possible infection).
you are a registered University
of Illinois student and you have questions or concerns,
If you are concerned about any difference in your treatment plan and the information in this handout,
you are advised to contact your health care provider.
Visit the McKinley Health Center Web site at: http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu
© The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, 2007.
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