It’s that time of year again! New Year’s resolutions will start, which means we (me included) are trying to get our shapely legs and six-pack abs back after eating all of the holiday goodies from the past 2 months. With all the new activities we start, regardless of whether our bodies are ready for the challenge or not, we have to remember how important it is to safely start these new exercises. Many of us forget the importance of starting exercise programs that match our capabilities! Yes, I’m sure you can run 5 miles if you put your mind to it on Day 1 or 2 of your work out, but the potential for causing an injury is very high. Easing into an exercise program and slowly increasing speed, resistance, or longevity is not only safer but more effective long-term. One of the most common problems we see when people start new exercise programs is plantar fasciitis. Too often, Mr. or Mrs. Couch Potato decides to get off the couch to lose weight and begins running 2-3 miles every day for 2 weeks. Although I commend the effort, it is an easy way to develop an acute case of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascial band, which is a band of tissue on the bottom of the foot similar to a ligament that helps support the arch. If too much stress is placed on the plantar fascia, inflammation starts developing at the insertion site of the band on the heel bone and causes intense, sharp pain at the heel. Plantar fasciitis can also produce some redness and swelling along the instep or the heel. Pain usually occurs within the first couple of steps getting out of bed or after you’ve been sitting for a while. Treating plantar fasciitis can be difficult. Start with standard treatment for any injury. Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE therapy) should be initiated. Try an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or Motrin to resolve the pain and stretching the arch as well. If pain continues to persist for more than 5 days, then you need to see a podiatrist for help! Advanced Podiatry has several ways to treat plantar fasciitis. We have advanced methods such as super pulse laser treatments, orthotics and shockwave therapy that can naturally alleviate pain from plantar fasciitis, especially for people that want to avoid use of medications. Call Advanced Podiatry today at 813-875-055 for an appointment with one of our doctors. Our doctors will discuss not only how to resolve your heel pain but more importantly how to prevent it from coming back!