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Heel Pain May be Cause of Common Condition Called Plantar Fasciitis

Date: 09.30.2011
Contact: Erica Rosenthal Phone: (330) 375-3052

Contact: Erica Rosenthal, Phone: (330) 375-3052, Email:             

AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 30, 2011– Foot and heel pain can make everyday activities and exercise both difficult and frustrating. However, there are steps to relieve a common cause of heel pain called plantar fasciitis. The condition, which affects one million people in the country, is defined as the pain, swelling or increased stress on the plantar fascia tissue that attaches to the heel bone and supports the foot arch.

The heel pain specific to plantar fasciitis can be a sharp or a dull ache; especially after getting out of bed in the morning or sitting for long periods of time. People may also experience swelling or redness in the heel.

Though anyone can suffer from this pain, people who are most at risk for plantar fasciitis are on their feet the majority of the day or are active runners. Other people at risk may be overweight, diabetic, or have a high or flat foot arch.

“While there are several treatment options, the first is to rest and work on activity modification, especially if the person is on their feet for long periods of time,” said James Goff, D.O., orthopaedics and sports medicine physician at Summa Health System who wrote an article titled “Diagnosis and Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis” in the September issue of American Family Physician. In addition, Dr. Goff recommends these treatment options at home to help relieve the pain:

  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Wear heel cups or arch supports in shoes.
  • Ice the heel a few times throughout the day for 10-15 minutes.
  • Take pain reliever medicines (consult a doctor before beginning).
  • Daily stretching at home using a towel, wall or step.
  • To learn how to perform these stretches from Dr. Goff, watch this video:

Dr. Goff says there are other treatment options if the pain endures.

“If your heel pain is not improving after doing these conservative measures, please contact your sports medicine physician for further treatment options, which may include physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, heel inserts or night splints,” he said. “But 90 percent of patients will recover from this pain with stretching and other conservative measures.”

About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet® status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook at and Twitter at