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If you’re wondering why your heel/arch hurts after rest but gets better with walking, that’s a good question. You would think it would be the other way around, right?

Typically, when it first begins, it is common for heel/arch pain to be worst after just getting out of bed or getting up from sitting to take the first few steps. If this problem is left untreated, the heel/arch will eventually hurt just after rest and during walking, standing and weight-bearing activities.

Most often, heel/arch pain that is present after the first few steps out of bed or after getting up from sitting to walk is present due to irritation of the plantar fascia (also called plantar fasciitis). The plantar fascia is a strong band of connective tissue that attaches from the heel to the balls of the feet. The job of the plantar fascia is to support the arch of the foot, distribute and disperse the bodyweight evenly across the foot during weight-bearing, and to act as a shock absorber during weight-bearing activities.

There are many causes of plantar fascia (heel/arch) irritation.

Flat feet overstretch the plantar fascia causing irritation at the attachment point of the fascia to the heel. High arches irritate the attachment point at the heel, as well, since the plantar fascia never elongates enough during weight-bearing since it is always in a “tight” position. Standing for long periods on a daily basis especially on hard floors with poor footwear, or starting a weight-bearing new sport or exercise routine too much, too soon, can all cause irritation and pain at the heel/arch.

The good news is that heel/arch pains are very common, and if the cause of the problem is identified and addressed, the issue can be fully resolved.

However, it is important to find and address the reason why the heel/arch pain began versus just treating the symptoms with pills, shots and/or surgery. Just treating the symptoms can help temporarily, but not in the long run.

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The key to eliminating heel/arch pain is to get fit with a proper shoe for your specific foot type and activity, increase the mobility/flexibility of the calf muscle and strengthen the muscles that support the arches of your feet. In addition, you may need custom orthotics, which is a device that is made custom to your specific foot type and serves to support your arch and heel by distributing the pressure evenly across the foot.

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The expert physical therapists at Cardin and Miller Physical Therapy help people with heel and arch pain address and eliminate the root cause of their problem each and every day. We also fit people in the correct shoe for their specific foot type, and we perform 3D weight-bearing and walking orthotic scans by which we make custom foot orthotics that are 3D printed so that the orthotic is a precision match to your foot.

If you would like to rid yourself of heel/arch pain and get your life back, please do one of the following:

1. Email me at smiller@cardinmillerpt.com and provide your phone number or call my office at 717-245-0400 to request more information, and I will send you my free report, “5 Quick Ways to End Your Heel/Arch Pain.”

2. or, if you are “fed up” with heel/arch pain and are ready to do something right now to address it so you can get back to living your life, working and doing what you love, then call today at 717-245-0400 to schedule your free one-on-one private screen with on of our expert physical therapists. We will listen to the issues you are having and tell you whether physical therapy is right for you, or whether you need to see a specialist first.

Steve Miller is the owner of Cardin and Miller Physical Therapy and can be reached by email at smiller@cardinmillerpt.com. His column will appear bi-monthly in the Thrive section of the Sentinel and on Cumberlink.com.

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Steve Miller is the owner of Cardin and Miller Physical Therapy and can be reached by email at smiller@cardinmillerpt.com. His column will appear bi-monthly in the Thrive section of the Sentinel and on Cumberlink.com.

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