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Dr. Lipoff: Plantar Fasciitis: Pain in the feet

Plantar Fasciitis is a tightening of these muscles that run from your toes to your heel, where they attach by a tendon.

Often when you wake in the morning you have to walk gingerly because there is so much pain in your feet. As you move around, the muscles warm up and the symptoms decrease. As you become less active or wake the next day the muscle will have cooled and retightened.

Over time, due to stress, the body deposits calcium in the tendon to strengthen this region, where it attaches to your heel, and can create heel spurs. You need to break this cycle now.

What are some causes of Plantar Fasciitis?

  • • Muscle tightness in the Achilles tendon and/or the plantar muscles.
  • • Bad shoes.
  • • Wearing the wrong shoes for the task at “foot.”
  • • Improper foot alignment
  • • Sudden weight gain
  • • Poor arch support or Flat Feet

Things to do to help avoid this problem:

  • • Invest in new shoes. Shoes wear down visibly but physically, before you see the signs. Especially if you exercise a lot in them. Bottom line is you want good support.
  • • Switch shoes each day or every other. That will force your feet to adapt to different soles.
  • • Have the right footwear for the activity. Don’t play basketball in work boots or run in boat shoes because you forgot the appropriate foot gear.
  • • Pick decent shoes not just fashionable ones. I treated the lead singer of a band and he told me he was feeling spasms and pain in his calf. I looked at his feet and he had those non-supportive, Converse sneakers on. I hate those.
  • • Runners can try to run on various surfaces to change it up. Rubberized tracks, the woods, treadmill or the opposite direction on the road to change the effect of the crowned road on your body.
  • • Try massage. Relax your foot muscles with massage or work the bottom of your feet with the knuckles of your hand or your thumb. Manual pressure to remove these is called trigger point therapy, which increases circulation and helps break up these knots.
  • • Try Chiropractic. The approach is to work on the muscles of your feet to break up adhesions in the muscles but also adjust the bones they are attached to. If you have a muscular problem you HAVE to address the bones the muscles are connected to or you will keep having the same issue.
  • • Chiropractic and physical therapy could also use an ultrasound machine to provide deep heat to relax the muscles and possibly breakup calcium deposits in the heel spur.
  • • Roll your plantar muscles on a golf ball in a tub of warm water.
  • • Freeze water in a 12-ounce plastic bottle and roll on that.
  • • Get orthotics to help better support your feet in your shoes. Just supporting it will not remove years of abuse on your feet. They need some attention.

Working on this area isn’t super comfortable but sometimes you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet. The longer you let plantar fasciitis go, the worse it will get. So start now.

To stretch the Achilles tendon you could stand with the balls of your feet on a step. Allow your heel to lower. That should stretch the back of your lower leg. To stretch the plantar muscles put your toes against the base of the wall and place the rest of your foot on the floor. The wall will push your toes back and stretch the underside muscles of the plantar region.

Something you could try to strengthen your plantar muscles is to squeeze marbles or a pencil with your toes and try to bring it toward you. You can even pull your toes in while you have shoes on. Just curl your toes and that will help recreate the arch of the foot.


May 30th will be the Wildewood Shopping Center’s Family Fun Day from 11 – 2pm. We have a Super Hero Costume Contest, Princess Contest, visit the nonprofit heroes from Foundation 4 Heroes, The Balloon Nerd, 50/50 Raffle to benefit Gabriel Sanchez, as well as a dunk tank and snow cones. There will be food and drinks available, sidewalk chalk drawing contest, a moon bounce and much more. Come out and support a great community event!


Dr. Jay M. Lipoff is the owner of Back At Your Best Chiropractic & Physical Therapy, LLC, which is located in the Wildewood Shopping Center. Dr. Lipoff is also the author of “Back At Your Best; Balancing the Demands of Life With the Needs of Your Body.” It is available in book and Kindle format at Amazon.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in 1990, a Doctorate of Chiropractic (D.C.) from New York Chiropractic College (NYCC) in 1994 and he became a Certified Fitness Trainer (CFT) in 2005.

Dr. Lipoff is an Executive Board Member, International Chiropractic Association Council on Fitness and Sports Health Science; has a radio segment: Back At Your Best in 5 Minutes or Less, President and Founder; Foundation 4 Heroes, Contributing writer, Huffington Post’ Co-Founder, Drug Free Training USA; Member, NY Strength-promoting the importance of physical conditioning; Board Member of Public Relations Committee, Maryland Chiropractic Association; has spoken on nationally broadcasted radio interviews, has articles in print and referenced in over 100 print papers, magazine and on websites, President, Wildewood Business Network-promoting better business relations and community outreach.

For more information, go to www.BackAtYourBest.com, find us on facebook, or call 301-863-BEST (2378).

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