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Alleviating Heel Pain with Physical Therapy

Heel pain can be a complex problem, but many times it results just from overuse of the foot.   Heel pain can also result from running, especially with poor form, shoes with insufficient support, a sudden injury to the heel, and physical conditions, such as Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, a pinched nerve at the back of the foot, heel spurs or stress fractures.
The best way to treat your heel pain usually involves an integrative paramus physical therapy program that uses both stretching and manual physical therapy techniques. The paramus physical therapy techniques include soft tissue mobilizations to the calf musculature and joint mobilizations to alleviate  joint restrictions that limit foot and ankle range of motion.
Before prescribing such a paramus physical therapy program, we will examine your knees, hips, ankles and feet to assess impairment and restrictions. We can teach you to use exercises to help relieve pain and swelling while improving your mobility. These include stretching exercises focused on the calves, which then stretch the heel cord, and grabbing the base of your toes and pulling them toward your shin to stretch the foot. We can also ascertain whether you are a candidate for hands-on therapy involving trigger-point soft-tissue techniques applied to the calf.
You can take some steps to alleviate the pain in your heel. The following home care tips can make a difference:

  •  Ice the affected area at least twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes, more often for the first few days.
  • Rest the foot for at least a week to allow the inflammation to “cool” down.
  •  Take an over-the-counter agent such as ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce pain and inflammation if recommended by your physician.
  • Obtain and wear proper-fitting shoes with good arch support and cushioning.
  • Weight reduction
  •  Use a heel cup, felt pads in the heel area or a shoe insert in your existing footwear.

Improving muscular strength and balance can protect you from a recurrence of injury and pain. Should your heel pain require surgical intervention, albeit rare, we can design a paramus physical therapy program to complement your recovery. Following a personalized exercise program encourage heel pain healing, avert any future injuries and keep your feet in healthy, active condition.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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