Dear Foot Blogger Chick,
What can you tell me about the pain in my heel? I woke up this morning and stepped out of bed and almost fell down. There was incredible pain. I ran a little further yesterday then I usually do. I expected my legs to hurt but my heel?
In Need Of Heeling
Dear Heel – (With a name like that, I think we must have dated)
First of all, you need to check it out and see where exactly the pain is located.
If your heel pain is on the bottom of your foot, it could be from plantar fasciitis. This happens when the tissue band that connects your heel bone to the base of your toes is inflamed. This tissue band can get stretched out from many things (like my budget) and need some time to repair. It can be very painful (also like stretching my budget).
Maybe your pain is actually in the back of your heel. In that case, it could be achilles tendonitis. Your achilles tendon connects the muscles in your calf with the heel bone. This tendon can get strained due to overuse or arthritis or direct injury.
Now that you know where you hurt, you can put ice on it. You need to ice down the area for 15 -20 minutes twice daily. If it really hurts you can also take either some ibuprofen or acetaminophen (really big word for Tylenol) as long as those don’t make you sick. And – this is the most important part so I will say it slowly –
LAY OFF THE RUNNING FOR A FEW DAYS
If these suggestions don’t help, it is time to see your friendly podiatrist. IF however, it hurts so much that you can’t walk or it is warm to the touch and red and/or swollen, GO TO THE DOCTOR NOW. Don’t be like my Aunt Edna. She always waited too long and you know what happened to her. Oh, you don’t? She ruptured her Achilles tendon and had to have surgery. It took her forever to get back to her running club – the Swiftie Seventies.
The podiatrist isn’t going to do anything to hurt you at the visit. The doctor will examine your foot and may order an x-ray – pretty painless stuff. There are options for treatment that you can discuss with the doctor.
A visit to the physical therapist may be in order. The physical therapist will teach you exercises to help slowly stretch and get that achy tendon or band back in shape.
The doctor may also get you fitted for orthotics. (Personally I thought that sounded like old lady stuff but it seems that once again, I am wrong. Most athletes have orthotics to help them keep their feet in great shape.) The orthotics will help your shoes cradle your feet in all the right ways.
So get back on your feet and see your local podiatrist. If you are in the Evanston, IL, area, call Evanston Podiatric Surgeons (847-475-9030 or www.evanstonpodiatric.com). They will get you in quickly to see one of the friendly Doctors. You will soon be back on the trail feeling great.
Foot Blogger Chick
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comment section below. I am not a doctor but I check with one before answering questions.
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