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Health Team

Ease Heel Pain With Simple Stretching Technique

Posted April 20, 2007

Heel pain can sweep exercisers right off their feet, but there is a simple solution that may stop or even prevent pain.

The clinical name for the most common heel pain is plantar fasciitis. Dr. Steven Weinfeld of Mt. Sinai Medical Center said it's caused by inflammation in a ligament that runs from the heel to the toe.

"Right where the ligament originates, which is right at the base of the heel, is a very high stress area and that's where the inflammation occurs," he said.

The pain can slow down exercisers or just busy moms like Karen Flatow.

"You're feeling like a little old man kind of shuffling because you can't get your feet to move," she said.

To correct the problem, patients may need a custom-made orthotic, a sort of spint in the shoe. In the worst cases, they may need surgery. However, doctors are finding a simple stretching technique can stop the pain and keep it from coming back.

Flatow said before she gets out of bed, she puts her foot over her leg and pulls her toes back. Weinfeld suggests holding that pose for 10 seconds and then relax. Then, repeat again for 10. He said you should do that 10 times, usually three times a day with the regimen lasting four to six weeks.

Health experts said constantly stretching the ligament relieves stress in the heel as well as prevent inflammation and pain. Flatow, along with a recent study, said the stretching technique is highly effective.

"It feel much better. It's amazing. I didn't really believe it but it really does work," she said.

If you are experiencing heel pain, you should first talk to your doctor before trying the stretching technique or any other type of treatment.

4 Comments

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  • claudnc Apr 23, 2007

    yes please share the info on where to obtain magnetic insoles

  • 24 Fan Apr 23, 2007

    Where did you find the magnetic insoles ?

  • jaynet Apr 20, 2007

    I dealt with this type of pain for 8 years. Stretching didn't help, custom orthodics made it worse, wearing the "boot" that the orthopedic prescribed didn't help, strong pain relievers didn't help, wearing shoes with heels helped while I had the shoes on only because it took stress off the tendon, as soon as I took the shoes off the pain returned. Magnetic insoles ended my pain. I teach dance and was literally crippled for several years. With the magnetic insoles I was running again in two weeks and painfree within a month. That was 8 years ago. I realized that my arches needed more support than they were getting with everday shoes, so I now use either water-filled or gel-filled insoles. Problem solved!

  • spottswood Apr 20, 2007

    i developed the symptons from walking o cement floor all day long i used my wifes wedge shoes tha dr had prescribed for her symptons an 3 4 mos. later my pain was gone. men this only works if u do not have too much pride.