A common summer complaint I encounter in my medical practice is the searing foot pain in one heel, especially when people step out of bed. The cause of such pain may be plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the thick band of connective tissue on the bottom of your foot that attaches your toes to your heel. The pain is worse in the morning because standing up after resting acutely stretches the inflamed area. Your heels may be part of the problem since they put excess strain on the inflamed tissue. Wearing beach flip-flops and bare foot walking on the beach in the heat exacerbates the problem by increasing the abovementioned heel pressure.

To relieve the pain, consider wearing walking shoes with good arch support or dressier summer shoes with a little heel if you are a guy and slightly higher heel if you are a lady. This will take some of the pressure off the fascia.

Icing the area for 15 minutes four times a day can also help, as can simple foot stretches: Gently pull your toes towards your shin until you feel a stretch in your arch. Hold for 10 seconds, then slowly release. Do 10 repetitions three times a day. Another useful exercise is to press and roll your affected foot slowly over the cold water bottle – to massage the painful fascia for 10-15 minutes 2-3 times a day.

An ancient Ayurvedic tradition suggests immersing feet into 2 liters of cold sour buttermilk for 20 minutes once a day. To add sourness, add some lemon juice. For prevention of plantar fasciitis, avoid standing in the same spot for prolonged periods of time. Also, avoid excess intake of hot and spicy foods or junk food.

In resistant cases, I recommend using low frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) therapy with biofeedback – ONDAMED – in my office or at any certified practitioner in your area.