WHEN SHOULD I SEE A CERTIFIED PEDORTHIST?
If you are dealing with foot pain, suffering from a disease process that affects foot circulation or sensation, or have noticed abnormal wear patterns on your footwear, you may want to visit your local Pedorthist, they will be able to help you with your foot and lower limb discomfort. As one of the few medical professionals educated in the design, manufacture, fit and modification of footwear and orthotics, Certified Pedorthists are regularly called upon to fill orthotic / footwear prescriptions and make recommendations.
Pedorthists are trained to deal with both common and complicated conditions of the human foot. In some cases internal or external footwear modifications (i.e. sole lifts, rocker soles, balloon patches, changes to the shoe profile) may be indicated to treat foot deformities. A custom made foot orthotic may also be indicated to deal with specific biomechanical problems, pressure distribution or impact. Your Pedorthist is qualified to assess and treat these and many other conditions of the foot or lower leg.
Severe pain on the bottom of the heel after rest (rising from bed or sitting) pulling your ‘toes towards your nose’ exacerbates the symptoms firm pressure with the thumb elicits a deep tender spot, often over the medial tubercle of the calcaneus (heel bone)
What Causes it?
- abnormal motion of the foot called excessive pronation or supination
- a shortened Achilles tendon/ calf muscle traumatic injury
- excessive, prolonged pressure through the foot (obesity, heavy lifting)
- long, rigid and elevated arches
- changes in shoes, activity level, terrain
- Orthotics – the most effective, permanent way to treat and to avoid re-injury
- Stretching – decreases the likelihood of recurrence.
- Shoes – the correct choice of shoes can be effective treatment for padding and protecting heel
- Anti-inflammatory medicine – cortisone injection or oral anti inflammatory medication to relieve symptoms, but may not address source of problem
- Physical Therapy – Ultra sound/ Electrical Stimulation/ Paraffin/Deep Heat/ Whirlpool
Giving your injured foot a hand!
Give your foot a rest. Fasciitis is, after all, an overuse injury. If you’ve just started to get a tender spot, you may get over it in a few weeks. If you’ve had pain for a while, don’t expect an overnight recovery. It can take 6 weeks or longer to get better. Cut down or cut out running and extended walking to rest the foot, or try other forms of exercise. Simply varying your workout with a less foot-dependent sport (e.g. swimming or cycling) might be all you need in the early stages of fasciitis.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (e.g. acetaminophen or aspirin) can help reduce inflammation thereby decreasing pain. Massage the painful area with ice. This is another good way to reduce inflammation. Once or twice a day for no more than 20 minutes at a time should be sufficient. Stretch your calf muscles. Crazy as it sounds, this works! The calf muscles/Achilles tendon complex runs from the bottom of the heel to the back of your knee. A tight heel cord pulls the heel bone up and back, stressing the fascia. A relaxed tendon and calf muscles puts less strain on the injury. Wear shoes with a moderate heel height. We recommend a heel height of 1/2” to 3/4”. A lower heel height tightens the Achilles tendon and causes more pull on the plantar fascia. This will help handle the symptoms but will not fix the problem.
In simple terms pronation is the flattening out of the arch when the foot strikes the ground. Normally, the foot will pronate to absorb shock when the heel hits the ground, and to assist in balance during mid-stance.