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Q: My heel hurts when I first get up in the morning and when I get up after sitting for a prolonged period of time. What can be done for this?

A: You might have plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain.  This is an inflammation of the band of connective tissue that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot. The pain is most common at the point where these ligaments attach to the bottom of the heel bone.  The most common causes are tight calf muscles, flat feet, obesity, and lack of arch support. X-rays are taken to rule out other potential problems like stress fractures. A nicely-given cortisone injection (YES, there is a way to do this!) often provides rapid relief. Prescription arch supports, icing and calf stretching exercises are also very helpful.

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