Heal your heels! By Dr Nicholas Yeo

If you’re a runner experiencing sore or tender heels, especially aggravated by walking barefoot on hard floors in Singapore, you may be dealing with plantar fasciitis, the most prevalent cause of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, a band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes, becomes irritated due to excessive pressure and strain, resulting in heel discomfort. Runners and individuals who spend prolonged periods standing or walking on hard surfaces are particularly susceptible. Factors like flat or high-arched feet and tight calf muscles increase the risk, while poorly-fitting, unsupportive shoes can worsen the condition. Symptoms often manifest as aching pain in the heel or along the underside of the foot, typically more pronounced in the morning or after prolonged sitting. If persistent for over two weeks and impacting daily life, consulting a doctor is essential. Early treatment includes calf stretches, plantar fascia exercises, and using a tennis ball to massage the foot. Custom insoles and night splints can be beneficial. More advanced treatment options like Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) and ultrasound-guided injections are available if necessary. For those with resistant plantar fasciitis, a specific type of Plantar fasciitis surgery (endoscopic surgery) might be considered. Seek specialist help promptly for Plantar fasciitis in Singapore to enhance your quality of life and prevent chronic pain.