PODIATRISTS IN THE NEWS
ILLINOIS Podiatrist Discusses
Prevention and Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
Whether you are a regular runner, a weekend warrior, or someone knocking around the yard, foot problems can easily cause you pain. Most pain associated with the heel can be tied to one disorder: plantar fasciitis. "There is a ligament called the plantar fascia which attaches at the heel bone and then runs through the arch and into the toes," explains Lowell Weil, Jr., DPM, team podiatrist for the Chicago White Sox. "Its function is to support the arch. If you bend your toes back, you can feel a tight band in your arch. That is the plantar fascia."
A good preventive measure is stretching exercises two or three times a day. "I don't think the importance of stretching can be over-emphasized," stresses Dr. Weil. "Even if you don't have heel pain, you want to maintain some kind of daily stretching routine. These should be done before exercise and absolutely afterwards."While custom-made orthotics provide the most accurate way to direct the foot into the correct position for walking or running, they are often not necessary as a first-line treatment. "I would say about 80% of my patients respond favorably to over-the-counter inserts," notes Dr. Lowell Weil, JR.