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Persistent Heel Pain?


I am a male-power walker in my mid-60s with symptoms of plantar fasciitis developing in my right foot.

To give you some background, I ran for 10 years (I stopped in 1995, but I am familiar with the ailment. As a runner, I had full-blown plantar fasciitis in both feet, for which I sought the services of a physiotherapist.)

In more recent years, I have be walking between two and three miles daily, but will occasionally walk 3 to 5 miles.
After I walk longer distances, I make sure to ice the affected foot with a bag of frozen peas for 20 minutes following my workout.

In addition, I’m using a pair of custom orthotics that were made for me several years ago (I am flat footed,) along with full-length sorbothane insoles in a pair of old running shoes.

Can you suggest something I can do to prevent worsening of my condition? Would new walking shoes be worth trying?


For your plantar fasciitis, get a new pair of orthotics. As you man know, plantar fasciitis is perhaps one of the most common sources of heel pain.

Those who suffer from the condition have pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue — the plantar fascia — which runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, plantar fasciitis usually creates stabbing pain, often during the first steps one takes in the morning. Yet once the feet limbers up a bit during the day, the pain normally decreases. Still, it may return after long periods of standing or when a person gets up after a period of being seated.

The condition is common among runners, those who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support. For that reason, we suggest you get a fresh diagnosis for your plantar fasciitis and find out the biomechanical cause. For instance, if tight calves are causing the pain, look for shoes with a little bit of a heel and do plenty of calf and plantar stretches.

The podiatrists at Ankle and Foot Centers are experts at treating heel pain, so make an appointment at one of our offices if you need help. In addition to diagnosing your pain, we can provide patients with pre-made or custom orthotics and suggest the right type if shoes for you.

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