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The Best Tips For Treating Heel Pain

Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise.

But behind every great stride, is an even greater threat: foot injuries and heel pain caused by running.

Dr. Ian Goldbaum, who’s treated thousands of patients in his Delray Beach podiatry office, sees at least five patients daily about running related heel pain.

If you’re running on the sidewalk or on a road that’s angled for water to run off, chances are you’re experiencing a lot of pain in your heel.

Did you know a cure could be as simple as running clockwise as opposed to counterclockwise?

According to Dr. Goldbaum, for example, running on the same sidewalk causes one leg to extend more than the other leg, resulting in an imbalance distribution of your weight.

“If you’re running on the street it’s a necessity for you to change the leg you lead with,” said Dr. Goldbaum.

“It’s very important that the muscles are firing correctly and you’re not shortening one leg over the other. When that occurs, you’ll become more prone to foot and heel pain.”

Foot injuries caused by running culminate into your feet’s very own personal rendition of Hell.

“Foot pain and foot injuries are typical with running because people aren’t necessarily aware of preventive measures they can take to stop them,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “The more you know when it comes to treating a foot injury the less likely it’ll reoccur.”

The majority of running injuries stem from wearing shoes that don’t offer proper support to your heels.

So, if you’re still wearing those worn-out sneakers from two years ago with the soles falling off, you’re heels and feet are most likely suffering from it.

To a podiatric physician, running on hard surfaces while wearing worn-out footwear is a recipe for disaster.

“When you run, your lower legs take all of the initial impact forces, which then run through the rest of your body,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “Trauma to your feet and heels can lead to an onset of problems not exclusive to your lower extremities including your back, legs and pelvic.”

But fear not. You no longer need to equate running with bouts of pain.

Below is a guide to some of the most common forms of heel pain associated with running and preventive treatment from Dr. Goldbaum you can take to lessen your chances of an injury.

Dr. Ian Goldbaum is a licensed podiatric physician who has practiced podiatry for the past 30 years. Although Dr. Goldbaum provides the latest news and first hand suggestions, you must consult with a professional and accredited podiatric physician for a trusty diagnosis.

Delray Beach Podiatry provides a seven point assessment report to determine if you need any biochemical corrections with your feet.

Referred to as digital orthotics, Cutting 3DO Technology assesses your weight distribution, areas of high pressure, body balance and mass displacement, according to its website.

Cutting 3DO Technology also analyzes gait symmetry, body symmetry and your phases of gait. For a consultation with Dr. Goldbaum, click here more information.

Plantar Fasciitis

Have you ever felt a sharp, painful sensation emanating at the base of your heel? If you have, then you’ve experienced plantar fasciitis, a common type of heel pain, firsthand.

Typically, plantar appears periodically during or after a run, only to return the next day even when you’re not running. When left untreated in can make difficult for you to develop a routine running schedule as you’ll always be in pain.

According to, heel pain affects nearly 2 million Americans each year and can be responsible for mild discomfort or even debilitating pain.

The problem: Plantar fasciitis stems from weakened muscles in your feet. When you’re running, you body balances your weight evenly throughout your body. When you’re wearing sneakers that do not provide the necessary cushion or support during running your muscles are in a weakened state because they cannot support the stress or load.

If your feet are weak, the heel takes on an excessive load and can’t handle the training you are trying to do.

The fix: Plantar fasciitis can easily be treated by performing strengthening exercises such as stretching your legs and calves or using a foot roller.

Dr. Goldbaum recommends stretching for at least twice a day for two to five minutes.

“When you wake up in the morning, your muscles are cold,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “Stretching with a foot roller will warm your muscles and actually causes them to awaken.”

These types of preventive exercises helps you prepare your feet, ankle and heels for running. You can also resolve plantar fasciitis by wearing orthotic sneakers which are shoes that are specifically made with extra support for your heels.

“Applying cold pressure in the form of an ice pack will provide immediate relief to inflamed tendons,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “But it most be done with compression as well in order to numb the pain.”

Achilles Tendinitis

A closely related cousin to plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of your Achilles tendon. Your Achilles tendon is a thick band of tissue that attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone.

Tendons are made up of lots of collagen fibers intertwined together. When the Achilles is damaged, these fibers are torn causing heel pain.

Since your lower legs aren’t at close proximity to your heart, there’s very little blood flow to the area, resulting in a very slow healing process. When the Achilles tendons heal, they tend to get stuck together. The resulting scar tissue is not fully strong making you more likely to injure it again if it hasn’t properly healed.

Running can cause wear and tear of the Achilles tendon, causing pain and swelling, according to WebMD. Achilles tendinitis presents itself as pain at the back of the lower leg just above the heel at the Achilles tendon. If you’re suffering from it, you’ll complain of swelling and pulsating pain near your heel which can be debilitating.

The problem: According to Dr. Goldbaum, one of the main culprits behind Achilles tendinitis is tight calves.

Dr. Goldbaum advises diligent stretching combined with strengthening exercises as a preventive measure for Achilles tendinitis.

The fix: “Many people don’t know that Achilles tendinitis can be corrected with leg lifts,” said Dr. Goldbaum, a licensed podiatrist for the last 30 years. “Sometimes you’re suffering from Achilles tendinitis because you have a leg length discrepancy. Thus, utilizing a small lift to balance out your lower extremities will take the pressure off of your ankles, knees and hips. Thus your tendons won’t be inflamed from strain.”

Another exercise you can perform to prevent Achilles tendinitis is a static stretch, which involves you extending your muscle to the end of its range of motion then holding it in position.

Dr. Goldbaum recommends performing the standing calf stretch before and after running to prevent foot injuries.

“It’s a fairly simple static stretch that I recommend to anyone who is suffering from Achilles tendinitis,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “Stand in front of a wall as if you’re going to do a push up. Make sure your arm’s length from the wall and place both hands on the wall shoulder-width apart. Lean into the wall with your hip and hold the stretch for 30 seconds.”

Dr. Goldbaum advises doing the standing calf stretch twice a day for five minutes.

But regardless of how many static stretches you perform, if you’re soles aren’t properly protected, cushioned and supported in the right shoes all bets are off.

“The best preventive measures for ongoing foot problems, especially if you’re prone or have suffered from them are custom-made orthotics,” said Dr. Goldbaum, who provides orthotics at an affordable cost in his office, Delray Beach Podiatry. “Real orthotics is beneficial considering the demand you’re placing on your feet when it comes to sports in general—not just running.”

Dr. Ian Goldbaum is a licensed podiatric physician who has practiced podiatry for the past 30 years. Although Dr. Goldbaum provides the latest news and first hand suggestions, you must consult with a professional and accredited podiatric physician for a trusty diagnosis. For a consultation with Dr. Goldbaum, click here more information.





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