Shopping For The Holidays? Wear the Right Footwear, say Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Surgeons

Dec 10, 2012, 14:08 ET from American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society

ROSEMONT, Ill., Dec. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Heading to the mall for a long day of shopping?  Plan your day and your footwear to protect your feet from plantar fasciitis, a painful overuse injury affecting the sole of the foot.  According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS), prolonged walking or standing on hard surfaces can lead to this condition, the most common cause of heel pain.  It is important to wear cushioned shoes and take some time to rest during a long stretch of standing and walking.

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Plantar fasciitis is the cause of 11% to 15% of all foot complaints requiring medical attention.  The plantar fascia is a tough band of tissue which connects your heel bone to the bones of the toes.  The classic signs of this condition are heel pain when waking up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.  Left untreated, it can become a chronic condition.  Plantar fasciitis may cause individuals to limit their activities; and could lead to knee, hip and back problems because of changes in the way they walk because of the pain. 

Steven L. Haddad, MD, an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon in Glenview, IL and President-Elect of AOFAS, treats many patients with plantar fasciitis and suggests the following.  "Plantar fasciitis can be a debilitating and long term problem.  Prevention is the best treatment, and revolves around wearing comfortable shoes with a cushioned sole during shopping season to prevent repetitive impact on hard store surfaces.  If plantar fasciitis does develop, it is best to treat it aggressively at the first sign of the problem.  Patients will be told to incorporate stretching exercises right when they wake up in the morning, and might be provided a night splint to wear to keep the plantar fascia stretched overnight."

Other treatment options include rest, heel inserts, non-steroidal inflammatory medications and ice.  If the plantar fasciitis continues after a few months of conservative treatment, doctors may use steroid injections, splints or walking casts to treat the problem.

Prevention is the best course of action, though.  For stretching exercises for the foot, heel and Achilles tendon, visit  to learn more or to find a local orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in foot and ankle care.

About the AOFAS
The AOFAS promotes quality, ethical and cost-effective patient care through education, research and training of orthopaedic surgeons and other health care providers.  It creates public awareness for the prevention and treatment of foot and ankle disorders, provides leadership, and serves as a resource for government, industry and the national and international health care community.

About Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons
Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis, care, and treatment of patients with disorders of the musculoskeletal system of the foot and ankle.  This includes the bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, nerves and skin.  Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons use medical, physical, and rehabilitative methods as well as surgery to treat patients of all ages.  They perform reconstructive procedures, treat sports injuries, and manage and treat trauma of the foot and ankle.

Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons work with physicians of many other specialties, including internal medicine, pediatrics, vascular surgery, endocrinology, radiology, anesthesiology, and others.  Medical school curriculum and post-graduate training proves the solid clinical background necessary to recognize medical problems, admit patients to a hospital when necessary, and contribute significantly to the coordination of care appropriate to each patient.

SOURCE American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society