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Supporting Your Feet - Podiatry

It’s one of the most common reasons patients visit a podiatrist. “Heel pain, there are a lot of things that can cause it. Depending on if you’re a runner who is active and running on pavement, or if you’re older and your foot has flattened out, there are a whole host of things that can cause it,” explained Dr. Sean Dunleavy, a podiatric surgeon on the medical staff of Lee Health. One of the most common causes is exercise footwear. “They will relate having done some extra activity, or a new workout, or they ran a little further, but one of the biggest ones is new shoes,” said Dr. Dunleavy. Depending on where the pain is and if there is any swelling, redness, or bruising, doctors may need to do a full exam followed by an x-ray. “Swelling and redness are very common in plantar fasciitis, very common with retrocalcaneal bursitis, which is something else on the back of the heel,” he said. If there’s no bruising and the pain is located in the back of the heel, doctors say it could be a stress fracture. “If it’s staying the same, or getting worse, or really slow to feel better in any way shape or form, just come in and be seen,” Dr. Dunleavy said. Depending on the diagnosis, patients may need shoes with more support. “Somebody with a good arch that doesn’t collapse, maybe only needs some extra silicone or cushioning in the heel portion of the shoe; whereas somebody who’s arch fully collapses and that may be the etiology of what’s causing the pain, you have to get them into something to support the arches as well,” he said. Making sure you stretch before and after your workout and getting the right support can keep you active and prevent injuries. View More Health Matters video segments at Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit