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Family Foot & Ankle

Top Tips for Bunions and Plantar Fasciitis

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With Halloween just around the corner, it’s your last chance to check out one of the area’s many haunted houses—The Dent School House or the USS Nightmare, to name two. If you suffer from unsightly bunions or stabbing heel pain—two of the most common complaints we hear at Family Foot and Ankle Center, Inc.—you might wish you were a ghost, too.

Since these conditions are so common, we thought we’d give you some pointers on how you can manage your symptoms using simple, at-home techniques.

Bunions

There’s some disagreement about what ultimately causes this deformity. What is clear, however, is that bad shoes—narrow toe boxes that squeeze digits and high heels that place tons of pressure on the forefoot—exacerbate the problem tremendously. It’s why this problem is much more common in women than in men.

The best way to avoid getting them in the first place—or keep them from getting worse—is to ditch the heels, the pointy-toed dress shoes, and the tight and narrow and restrictive pair you’ve been keeping in your wardrobe. Protective pads that shield the bump from friction are a good idea, as are shoe inserts or custom orthotics—they help correct underlying structural problems that may have caused the bunion in the first place.

Heel Pain

Heel pain might be the most frequent complaint we hear at our office, and plantar fasciitis is the most common culprit. You’ll feel a sharp, even stabbing pain in your foot when you first step out of bed in the morning or after getting up after a long sit.

Since this is an overuse injury, if you notice symptoms, try to give your feet a rest from hard-impact activities for a while. Icing your foot for 10 to 20 minutes, three to four times per day can reduce swelling as well.

The pain is being caused by tight muscles, so a physical therapy program of gentle stretching can go a long way. Try calf stretches or a plantar fascia stretch we like—cross the leg with the painful foot over the other knee, then gently pull the toes toward you.

At Family Foot and Ankle Center, Inc. we deal with a wide range of common and not-so-common conditions. If stubborn foot pain is getting you down, give us a call at (513) 728-4800, or (859) 282-1572 in Northern Kentucky.

Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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