IU Health Bedford Hospital

Heel Pain Got You Down? Tips for Plantar Fasciitis

We are IU Health

July 06, 2018

The right pair of heels can totally make an outfit, but with beauty often comes pain and discomfort. Years of wearing high heels can be costly in many ways, taking a toll on your hips, knees, spine, ankles and feet, also while altering your posture and gait.

Heel pain got you down?

Plantar fasciitis (inflammation of your plantar fascia) is a cause of pain under the heel of your foot. About one in 10 people will develop it at some point in their lifetime. It is twice as common in women as in men (often the result of high heels).

The plantar fascia is a strong band of ligament-like tissue that stretches from your heel to the middle of your foot and supports your arch. It can also serve as a shock absorber for your foot.

Repeated small injuries are often the cause of plantar fasciitis.

You are more likely to injure your plantar fascia if:

  • Running, walking or standing a lot;
  • Exercising on a different surface;
  • Wearing shoes with poor arch support;
  • Straining heels from weight gain.

“The key is to rest your feet as much as possible if you notice symptoms,” says IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians Podiatric Surgeon Geno DeVane, DPM.

“Avoid unnecessary pressure on your feet, and don’t walk barefoot on hard surfaces. Also, choose your shoes wisely for the best possible arch support.”

Plantar fasciitis usually goes away over time, but treatment can sometimes speed up recovery time. Some treatments can include rest, good supportive footwear, heel pads, pain medicine and exercise. A steroid injection may be used in more severe cases.

Problematic shoes

Tips for foot and ankle health from IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians Podiatric Surgeon Geno DeVane, DPM:

  • Keep heels under three inches to prevent tightening of the heel cords.
  • Find a heel with a wider toe box to prevent bunions and hammertoes.
  • Wear a soft metatarsal pad with heels to help prevent hardening and calluses on balls of the feet.
  • Wear lower heels to create ankle stability, preventing ankle pain and strain.

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