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Posts for tag: arch pain

Plantar Fasciitis. Let’s say it together, PLAN-tur fashee-EYE-tis. If you’ve hung around the FAAWC enough, I’m sure you have run into this term. Whether you heard it in passing in the hall or saw it on a brochure, it’s important to know what it is, because you may be experiencing it! When you wake up in the morning and, after hitting the snooze button several times, swing your feet onto the floor, do you feel sharp pain in your heels or the bottoms of your feet? This is due to your plantar fascia.

The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that connects your heel to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. Previously, it was believed that this was an inflammatory condition, but recent research shows actual structural changes in the plantar fascia. Essentially, repeated stress on the plantar fascia causes small tears in the ligament, can lead to calcium deposits in the connective tissues, and may rearrange the collagen fibers of your foot.

There are several risk factors that can lead to plantar fasciitis including:

  • Walking or standing for long periods of time on hard surfaces
  • Having very high or very low arches
  • Wearing shoes that do not fit properly
  • Rolling your feet inward when you walk
  • Having excessively tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons

As always, the first thing you should do is stop all activity and rest the affected foot or feet. Heat and ice along with stretching and strengthening exercises will help with plantar fasciitis, but it’s important to see your podiatrist for a full recovery plan. This plan may involve taping techniques, custom orthotics, steroid shots, or even surgery as a last result.

If you wake up in the morning with pain in your arches or heels, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. Please call the FAAWC today to make an appointment and get you waking up to a pain free morning!

Whenever we talk about heel height we always seem to talk about women. But let’s take some time to concentrate on men instead. Men’s heel heights are not a normal topic of conversation. Most men don’t even think about the height of their shoes when they buy them, but just like women’s shoes, men’s shoes come in a variety of heights too.

Many men complain about arch pain, heel pain, and other common conditions. One possible cause of these conditions could be that their shoes are too flat. Many athletic shoes and popular casual shoes like converse are completely flat and offer no support for the heel. This can be a major problem and contribute to many foot ailments. I would imagine that most men don’t even think about the height of their shoes. And I’m sure that quite a few men don’t even know the proper terms for the different styles of shoes offered to them.

If you want something with a very low heel that will give some support to the heel, you should go for a loafer or moccasin type shoe. These shoes are generally worn casually, but can be worn with a business suit if they match appropriately. The moccasin will be the flatter of the two and the heel is not truly noticeable. For a loafer, there will be a distinct heel, albeit a very short one. These styles provide minimum support, but can still be more beneficial than a flat running shoe.

 

For styles with distinct heels of .5” to 1.5”, you want to aim for an oxford type shoe.  There are many sub-styles of oxford shoes, but the average oxford will have about a 1” heel height with a good cushioned footbed and lots of support. Dress boots will also have a short to medium heel and provide good support.

And then of course we have elevator shoes. Every man on the shorter side of average has probably looked into elevator shoes at least once. These shoes can add 2” to 5” to a man’s height almost invisibly. True elevator shoes are built specifically for the purpose of lifting the heel and generally add a small platform under the sole to compensate for the additional heel height. Heel lifts are also available as an option and can be placed in almost any shoe to raise the height. In addition to making men appear taller, these lifts can be very helpful in adding much needed support to an otherwise heel-less shoe. However, you must make sure that the rest of your foot is supported properly. Heel lifts will put additional pressure on the balls and toes of the foot, which many men are not used to. A full sized insert that provides cushioning is ideal.

Hopefully by now, any man reading this has at least looked down at the shoes he is wearing to start contemplating his heel height. If not, take a short look in your closet when you get home and see if you are getting the support you need. Talk to your podiatrist about your options and the best height for your foot type. We are always here to help.