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Put Your Feet First When Running to Avoid Heel Pain

Silver Cross Hospital offers Free Program and Screenings in November

New Lenox, IL (Oct. 19, 2012)—Heel pain affects nearly 2 million Americans each year and can be responsible for mild discomfort or even debilitating pain.  The most common type of heel and foot pain among long distance runners and athletes is plantar fasciitis. This condition is characterized by painful inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament which runs along the bottom of the foot. 

The plantar fascia ligament is made of fibrous bands of tissue and runs between the heel bone and toes stretching with every step. Inflammation develops when tears occur in the tissue.  The most common complaint from plantar fasciitis is a burning, stabbing, or aching pain in the heel of the foot. 

“Most sufferers will be able to feel it in the morning because the fascia ligament tightens up during the night while we sleep, causing pain to diminish,” says Dr. Paul Kirchner, podiatrist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital.   “However, when we climb out of bed and place pressure on the ligament, it becomes taut and pain is particularly severe.” 

Pain usually decreases as the tissue warms up, but may easily return again after a strenuous training session and after long periods of inactivity, such as sitting down to watch television. 

Among the most popular factors that contribute to plantar fasciitis is wearing incorrect shoes. In many cases, shoes either do not fit properly, or provide inadequate support or cushioning. While running or exercising in improper shoes, weight distribution becomes impaired, and significantly stress can be added to the plantar fascia ligament.

“In most cases, plantar fasciitis does not require surgery or invasive procedures to stop pain and reverse damage,” says Dr. Kirchner. “Conservative treatments including medications such as NSAIDs and corticosteriods or special splints are usually all that is required. However, every person's body responds to plantar fasciitis treatment differently and recovery times may vary.” 

Free Program and Screening

To learn more about the latest treatment options for plantar fasciitis, join Dr. Paul Kirchner, podiatrist, on Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.  Register to attend this free program—Feet First:  Running & The Injured Athlete at or by calling 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). 

In addition, The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross will offer free Heel and Foot Screenings Wednesday, Nov. 14 in the Silver Cross Professional Building at 250 Maple St. (Route 3) in New Lenox.  Participants will receive a home exercise program and tips for preventing plantar fasciitis.  Call (815) 463-6123 for an appointment. 

About Dr. Paul Kirchner

kirchner paulDr. Paul Kirchner is a board certified podiatrist and has successfully treated thousands of patients with feet and heel pain. He graduated from the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine and completed residency at Illinois Masonic Medical Center.  He has been recognized as a “Top Doc” for ranking in the top 1% of physicians on the Silver Cross Medical Staff for patient satisfaction.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kirchner at Lincoln Way Medical Associates, 250 E. Maple St. (Route 30), New Lenox, call (815) 485-0760. 

About Silver Cross Hospital

Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years; one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers and was honored with an “A” Hospital Safety ScoreSM by The Leapfrog Group. With over 2,900 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 289-bed acute care hospital and 10 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices and recently opened a state-of-the-art replacement hospital on February 26, 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).


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Located at 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451   Main Phone (815) 300-1100

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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.