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Survey Shows Nearly 40 Percent of Americans Reel From Heel Pain
Date:4/2/2009

Neglecting Immediate Treatment by a Podiatrist May Lead to Long-Term Foot Ailments

BETHESDA, Md., April 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While foot problems such as bunions, corns and dry, cracked skin affect many Americans on a daily basis, one particular ailment -- heel pain -- stands out among foot disorders, according to a new survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).

The 2009 APMA survey, which polled close to 420 Americans aged 18 and older, found that 39 percent of adults have experienced heel pain more than any other foot ailment within the last 12 months. Additionally, nearly 60 percent of respondents believed they suffered heel pain while wearing ill-fitting footwear. However, 64 percent of respondents said they had not yet visited a medical professional -- such as a podiatrist -- to diagnose and treat their heel pain.

"Heel pain is a detrimental foot ailment that affects millions of Americans every day, and foot pain of any kind is not normal," said Ronald D. Jensen, DPM, president of the APMA. "If detected early, most types of heel pain -- including the most common, plantar fasciitis -- can be treated with non-invasive treatment options. However, the longer one waits to have their heel pain evaluated, the more difficult it is to successfully treat."

Sixteen percent of Americans surveyed regularly experience heel pain. Wearing shoes that fit well, wearing the proper shoes for each activity, not wearing shoes with excessive or uneven worn heels or soles, and stretching foot and ankle muscles properly before exercising are several ways to avoid heel pain altogether. However, visiting a podiatric physician, also known as a podiatrist, as soon as foot pain is experienced drastically improves the chance of finding a solution for heel pain.

To view a full summary of the results from the APMA's 2009 foot ailments survey with a focus on heel pain, please visit www.apma.org/heelpain.

Founded in 1912, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) is the nation's leading and recognized professional organization for doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs). DPMs are podiatric physicians and surgeons, also known as podiatrists, qualified by their education, training and experience to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and structures of the leg. The medical education and training of a DPM includes four years of undergraduate education, four years of graduate education at an accredited podiatric medical college and two or three years of hospital residency training. APMA has 53 state component locations across the United States and its territories, with a membership of close to 12,000 podiatrists. All practicing APMA members are licensed by the state in which they practice podiatric medicine. For more information, visit www.apma.org.

EDITOR'S NOTE: B-ROLL AND SOUNDBITES ON HEEL PAIN TREATMENT AVAILABLE AT www.thenewsmarket.com/APMA.

    Contact:
    Mike Kulick, 301.581.9220, mskulick@apma.org
    Angela Berard, 301.581.9227, ahberard@apma.org


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SOURCE American Podiatric Medical Association
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