4 Reasons Why You Have Heel Pain

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, knows that pain in your heels can put your life at a standstill. If you find yourself on your feet for long periods of time or do repetitive activities without the proper shoes, you may have experienced strain on the ligaments of the foot. Early treatment is important to ensure relief or pain may become chronic. There are many underlying reasons to heel pain, but there are four major causes: Achilles tendinitis, bursitis, nerve pain and plantar fasciitis.

  1. Achilles tendinitis– The inflammation of the Achilles tendon mostly occurs in athletic patients participating in high-impact sports. Quick repetitive motions can lead to micro injuries of thetendon that cause heel pain.
  2.  Bursitis– The bursa, a fluid-filled sac located in the heel, can become inflamed from repetitive motions or irritated from improper footwear.
  3. Nerve pain– Described as a burning or electrical pain, nerve pain, is a less common cause of heel pain. Though, there are medications that may help with the pain, most need a decompressive surgery to relieve the nerve.
  4. Plantar fasciitis– Inflammation of the band of tissue that reaches from the heel to the toes, called the plantar fascia, is the most common cause of heel pain. This is usually due to mechanical issues going on inside of the foot.

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center we make sure to incorporate a variety of methods to ensure that your pain is covered from all areas. Our Flex N Move program improves flexibility and strength while our soft tissue and joint mobilization works out spasms, tightness and pain. We implement manual therapy to reduce inflammation and use Kinesio Tape to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing stability and support to muscles. Finally, we make sure our patients’ healing is sustained through a home exercise program.

Success Story: “I was treated for plantar fasciitis. After a cortisone shot failed to help I decided to give physical therapy a try. When I first came in my foot was very painful and after four weeks of therapy (two visits a week), my foot was healed completely. I leave here painless. Thank you Walker Physical Therapy!”     – Beverly H

Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert physical therapist!


1111 W. Town & Country Rd. Ste.1

Orange, CA 92868

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3 Tips to Improve Great Toe Mobility

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Dr. Grace Walker, Physical and Occupational Therapist and Nutritionist shares 3 tips from Russ Manalastas, injury zone blogger, on how to improve great toe mobility

Democrat & Chronicle, Russ Manalastas, injury zone blogger  9:04 a.m. EDT August 27, 2015

Many runners are well aware that the foot/ankle area is important for a runner. It initiates contact with the ground and is important for the launch-off phase of running/walking to set you in motion

However, the great toe is an area that often goes unattended. Most people are aware of maintaining proper mobility through the ankle, but the role the great toe plays during the launch-off phase of running can’t be overlooked, since a lack of mobility in this area can lead to other complications. This is why great toe extension is paramount!

Due to range of motion limitations in the great toe, the absence of great toe extension exercises can lead to the plantar fascia having to do more work during the launch off phase of running, which can lead to overburdening the tissue and causing irritation.

Normal range of motion in the great toe can be anywhere from 70 to 90 degrees, so anything that is less than that can lead to increased stiffness in the joint over time..


Tip 1

Check your mobility in your great toe by pulling up on the toe (foot on the ground) to see if you have any limitations. The key is to keep your other toes relaxed as there is a tendency to want to extend all the toes to gain any extra range of motion. This easy test should give you a good idea of whether or not you may need to work on regaining mobility.

Tip 2

Address soft tissue restrictions through the calf and also the bottom of the foot. Any increased restrictions or tightness through these areas may restrict your great toe from moving into end range extension.

Tip 3

PT Erson Religioso III recommends end range great toe flexion to help reset the great toe and to allow it to move into extension without trying to force that motion over and over again.


Russ Manalastas is a licensed physical therapist and clinical director for Lattimore of Spencerport Physical Therapy.


Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to make an appointment with one of our expert physical therapists!


1111 W. Town and Country Rd.

Orange, CA 92868




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