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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

So you wake up and are about to get out of bed. You’re thinking of the million Sukkot preparations you have to do today. Ready to spend a few hours standing on you feet while putting the sukkah together. But wait…as you step out of bed, you feel a shooting pain in your heel and you realize you will not be putting this sukkah up today. You’re not even sure you are going to be doing anything today. Why does my foot hurt like this every time I start walking after I have been sitting for a while? Why do I have shooting pains whenever I get up in the morning and step out of bed? I do not have time for this today! So you run to the podiatrist’s office. Well not actually run, but slowly hobble. You tell her all about your heel pain. You explain that you noticed that it started pretty recently. It hurts so much when you walk barefoot, but seems to get better after you’ve been walking around for a while. Does she have any idea what it could be? Has she ever heard of this crazy condition?!

After speaking with you and taking some x-rays, she tells you what it is…plantar fasciitis. It’s a very common condition actually and afflicts about 10% of the population. She explains that it can be caused by a number of things, such as weight gain, flat feet, high arches, too much exercise, not enough exercise…or for no apparent reason at all. She explains that it is caused by micro trauma to something called the plantar fascia, a thick band of fibers that spans from your heel bone to the base of your toes, and when it’s stretched during the first step down in the morning or after rest, pain results. She offers you many options such as cortisone injections, stretching exercises and custom molded orthotics. You walk out of her office feeling much lighter on your feet and fortunately (or unfortunately) now able to put up your sukkah…while standing up. You pick up your screwdriver and suddenly you hear a pop in your shoulder…you then realize you’re going to your in laws this year.

Chag sameach to all and a happy and healthy Sukkot.

By Carla Benson, DPM