Q. I have had pain in the bottom of my left heel for two months. I work out regularly but do not remember hurting it. It hurts a lot and is really stiff when I wake up in the morning. Once it loosens up, it feels better for a while. At the end of the day, when I have been standing on it a lot, it starts to hurt again. I tried a heel pad and Advil, which helped a little. What do I have to do to get better?
A. Heel pain as you describe is usually known as plantar fascitis. Plantar fascia is the medical name for the arch and where the arch begins on the heel is the usual site of symptoms. This area has a poor microcirculation, and when injured can be very slow to heal. Treatment options include anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, night splints, “Airheels,’’ not walking barefoot, stretching exercises, or a cortisone injection. I recommend you see an orthopedic surgeon or foot specialist who will examine your foot, likely take Xrays and establish the correct diagnosis. Then, you can begin the right treatment.
Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to HarlanS@baptisthealth.net
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