New Ways to Treat Foot Pain

Wednesday, 20 Feb 2013 09:09 AM

By Mehmet Oz, M.D. and Michael Roizen, M.D.

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Jennifer Lopez fell off her high heels (ironically) while performing the song "Louboutins," about 7-inch-high shoes. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard did a faceplant when her spikes got caught in the lawn at India's Gandhi memorial. But as dangerous as the fad for stiltlike shoes is, it's nothing compared with the heel pain that propels more than 2 million people a year to a doctor's office for relief of plantar fasciitis.
 
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the thick tissue (the plantar fascia) extending along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes and creating your arch. It causes both sharp and dull pain, and stiffness in the bottom of the heel.
 
Treatment usually combines exercises (see below) to stretch the fascia, ice to reduce inflammation, heel cushions for arch support, overnight splinting, and injections of steroids to stop the pain. Unfortunately, 2.4 percent to 5.7 percent of folks who get steroid injections rupture their plantar fasciitis.
 
A better treatment routine? Research now shows good effects from a combination of plantar-stretching exercises (they're absolutely essential), icing morning and night, and Botox injections.

For an exercise, try this one: Cross your affected foot over the knee of your other leg. Grasp your toes and pull them up. Hold 10 seconds. While holding, rub your plantar fascia (it'll feel like a tight band) with your other hand or thumb. Repeat 10-20 times, three times a day.
 
Then, check with your doctor about the pros and cons of the off-label use of that wrinkle-fixer.

© King Features Syndicate

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