Belleair Living - July 2013

Belleair Living magazine is a monthly publication produced as a social newsletter for the residents and guests of Belleair, Florida. Happy Feet Plus® is proud to provide products and services to our friends in Belleair and the surrounding communities.

Our contribution to the inaugural issue “Why do I have heel pain?” discusses one of the most prevalent and painful foot ailments - Plantar Fasciitis. We hope you find the article interesting and informative.

Why do I have heel pain?

If you are experiencing pain in the arch of your foot or heel you’re not alone. Each year approximately 2 million Americans suffer from Plantar Fasciitis. Fortunately reversing the injury, if addressed early, can be as easy as wearing the right pair of footwear.

Medically speaking, Plantar Fasciitis is a painful inflammatory condition of the foot caused by excessive wear to the plantar fascia that supports the arches of the foot or by biomechanical faults that cause abnormal pronation. When a foot pronates the heel bone angles inward and the arch tends to collapse. This flattens the arch as the foot strikes the ground in order to absorb shock when the heel hits the ground.

Plantar Fasciitis pain usually is felt on the underside of the heel, and is often most intense with the first steps of the day. Recovery from Plantar Fasciitis takes time, but can begin with your first steps of the day. When you roll out of bed in the morning be sure to have a pair of supportive sandals ready to slip onto your feet.

Soft, cushy slippers are not designed to provide the support your arches require. A great option for most sufferers would be the Kenkoh Massage Sandal. Not only does the Kenkoh sandal provide exceptional arch support, but it also has hundreds of massaging “fingers” which stimulate nerve endings and increase blood flow.

With the arches supported you reduce or eliminate the stress on the plantar fascia (the thick connective tissue which supports the arch). Now healing can begin. By promoting the increased blood flow, the Kenkoh Massage Sandal will help accelerate the healing process.

Just wearing supportive sandals in the morning is great but you cannot ignore your feet during the rest of your day. As you go about your daily activities it is important to wear footwear with complete orthopedic support, such as those made by Birkenstock and Finn Comfort. You can also use Birkenstock and “Birko” insole inserts for your existing shoes. Styles are available for both dress shoes and for athletic shoes.

Additional Information about Plantar Fasciitis

  • You’re at a greater risk for Plantar Fasciitis if you walk or run for exercise, especially if you have tight calf muscles that limit how far you can flex your ankles.
  • People with very flat feet or very high arches are more prone to Plantar Fasciitis. The condition often results in a heel spur on the calcaneus, in which case it is the underlying condition, and not the spur itself, which produces the pain.
  • You’re more likely to get the condition if you’re a woman, if you’re overweight, or if you have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces.
  • Walking barefoot can aggravate the condition.
  • Stretching your leg muscles, especially the calves, can help reduce the pain.
  • Plantar Fasciitis is an injury and recovery will take some time. Be patient and wear the proper footwear all day long.

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