Benefits of walking
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There are many things you can do to look after your feet particularly if you have scleroderma. Here are a few pointers:
Foot and heel pain can be down to a variety of different causes. If you have scleroderma, you may have tender problem areas on your feet. For those of you diagnosed with Raynaud's, your feet can be one of the most painful areas; an episode can result in numbness, pain or pins and needles in your feet. But if you are suffering from shooting pains in your heel and along the arch of your foot, and it hurts more in the morning or when you first stand up, chances are that it is plantar fasciitis.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue which runs along the sole of your foot, connecting your heel to your toes. Damage in the form of tiny tears can cause it to thicken; this is what leads to the characteristic shooting heel pains. The damage can occur suddenly as the result of an impact (for example when playing sport) or over time, especially in people over the age of 40.
There are several ways to keep your heels healthy. Maintaining a sensible BMI puts less stress on your feet; obese people are more likely to have the condition. Make sure your shoes fit well and are supportive. Wearing flip flops or high heels every day can seriously stress your feet out. If you are a keen walker or runner, making sure you warm up and stretch before exercising is crucial, and you should replace your running shoes regularly. Here are some stretching exercises to try:
With thanks to Dr Will Gregory MSc, Advanced MSK Practitioner, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust for providing some of this information.