Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 20:10 EDT

Shopping for the Holidays?

December 1, 2011

Give Feet Plenty of Rest, Say Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Surgeons

ROSEMONT, Ill., Dec. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — If you are heading to the mall to do holiday shopping this season, be sure to give your feet plenty of rest in between stores. According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) prolonged walking or standing on hard surfaces can lead to plantar fasciitis, a painful overuse injury affecting the sole of the foot. Twenty-five percent of Americans suffer from plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of heel pain.

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Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tough fibrous band of tissue (fascia) connecting your heel bone to the bone of your toes. The condition typically starts gradually with mild heel pain. The pain classically occurs right after getting up in the morning. Stretching exercises and keeping off your feet until the initial inflammation goes away are a few of the best treatment options.

Steven L. Haddad, MD, an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon in Glenview, IL and Vice- President of the 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 from creating scar and inflammation to the plantar fascia. If plantar fasciitis does develop, it is best to treat it aggressively at the first sign of the condition. Immediate incorporation of stretching exercises in the morning when the patient wakes up, and in the evening before they go to bed is the hallmark of treatment. Wearing a night splint to keep the plantar fascia on stretch overnight while the patient sleeps eliminates pain with the first steps out of bed in the morning. Treatment by a trained physical therapist decreases inflammation at the site of the disorder and provides significant benefit.”

Other treatment options include:

  • Resting from the activities that caused the problem
  • Heel stretching exercises
  • Heel inserts
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Ice application

Treatment of plantar fasciitis is important because it has the potential of turning into a chronic condition. Plantar fasciitis may prevent you from keeping up with your current level of activity and you may also develop symptoms of foot, knee, hip and back problems because the pain associated with plantar fasciitis may cause you to change the way you walk.

Public education resources on the treatment of plantar fasciitis including foot stretching exercises may be found on the AOFAS patient education website www.footcaremd.org The site also features a surgeon referral service, making it easy for patients to find a local orthopaedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle care.

About the AOFAS

About Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons

SOURCE American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society

Source: PR Newswire