Posts for tag: heel pain
Heel pain is a common foot problem that podiatrists often treat. Knowing the cause of your pain is important in determining the most effective treatment method. Even if the pain seems minor, it’s amazing how much it can affect your whole body, making it difficult to get out of bed let alone go on your regular run. If you are struggling with heel pain you might be dealing with a condition known as plantar fasciitis.
What is plantar fasciitis?
The source of your pain may originate in the plantar fascia, a tough band of connective tissue that connects your toes to your feet. If the fascia becomes inflamed, you may feel pain in your heel. Of course, everything from wearing high heels to long runs can actually irritate and cause inflammation within the plantar fascia. When this happens this is known as plantar fasciitis. This condition is usually the result of overuse and repeated stress rather than an injury.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis causes heel pain that originates at the bottom of the heel below the heel bone. The pain may spread to the arches of the feet and may also be accompanied by stiffness. These symptoms are often exacerbated first thing in the morning or after long bouts of sitting or standing. Sometimes, light activity and exercise can momentarily lessen the pain.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
If you know that you have plantar fasciitis (perhaps you’ve had it before) then you know it’s important to rest, avoid physical activity, and take over-the-counter pain relievers. Of course, if you’ve never experienced heel pain before it’s important to see a podiatrist to find out whether it’s plantar fasciitis or another condition such as heel spurs or Achilles tendonitis. A thorough evaluation from a medical professional is often necessary, especially if this is the first time dealing with heel pain.
Your podiatrist can also show you stretching and strengthening exercises that you can perform to help stretch the plantar fascia to reduce pain and discomfort. Some patients also choose to wear a night splint to reduce morning stiffness and arch pain.
If your symptoms aren’t being alleviated through conservative treatment methods or if you are experiencing chronic heel pain your podiatrist may recommend surgery.
If you are dealing with stubborn and painful heels turn to a podiatrist for a consultation.
Understanding Heel Pain with Help from Your Podiatrist
- Wear shoes that fit well
- Wear proper shoes for each activity
- Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
- Prepare properly before exercising by stretching and warming up
- Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities
- Don’t underestimate your body’s need for rest and good nutrition
- Lose excess weight
Have Heel Pain? We Can Help!
Does your heel hurt? Heel pain is a common problem that happens when the heel is placed under too much stress. Heel pain is often caused by wearing narrow shoes, being overweight, standing for long periods, and playing active sports. Podiatrists Dr. George Abboud, Dr. Brian Tedesco, and Dr. Carl Conui at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, which is located in Reading, MA, offer treatments for heel pain. Read on to find out how we can help with heel pain.
Custom Orthotics. Orthotics are medical devices that you wear inside your shoes to correct biomechanical foot issues. Custom orthotics are designed to support and comfort your feet. Research has shown that orthotics improve function and alleviate foot pain.
Medication. Your podiatrist may suggest taking medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce pain and tissue inflammation in the heel. You can also get pain relief with targeted topical pain medications from your podiatrist. Use medications safely. It's important to follow your podiatrist's directions when taking over-the-counter or prescription medication.
Steroid Shots. If your pain persists, your podiatrist may inject cortisone into the tissue to reduce pain and inflammation. The steroid injections include a corticosteroid medication or local anesthetic. Steroid injections allow doctors to deliver a high dose of medication directly to the problem area. You can get cortisone injections at your podiatrist's office.
Foot Stretches. Podiatrists prescribe stretching exercises for various foot conditions. Your podiatrist may recommend stretching to manage and prevent heel pain. Studies have shown that stretching exercises alleviate pain, improve function, and reduce swelling. Stretching exercises are easy to do and should be done when you wake in the morning.
Night Splints. Your podiatrist may recommend a night splint to treat your heel pain. Night splints are braces that hold your foot in a neutral position while you sleep, thereby helping to relieve morning pain. This position applies a constant stretch to the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Night splints tend to work really well. And once your heel pain is gone, you can stop wearing them.
Heel Surgery. If other treatments don't relieve your pain, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. A variety of surgical options are available for the treatment of heel pain. As with any major medical procedure, the decision to have surgery should be made after careful consideration, and in collaboration with your healthcare provider.
Conquer heel pain and regain your active life. Call New England Foot & Ankle Specialists at (781) 944-4044 right now to schedule a consultation in Reading, MA. You'll be amazed by the great relief heel pain treatment can bring. We want you to have a wonderful life!
Have you been experiencing any heel pain or bothersome tenderness without any obvious cause? Although heel spurs themselves sometimes do not cause acute discomfort, they are frequently associated with the painful inflammation known as plantar fasciitis, a condition commonly described as feeling like a knife is wrenching through your foot. Read below for more information on the typical causes, symptoms, and treatments of heel spurs.
What is a Heel Spur?
A heel spur is often the result of overstraining foot muscles and ligaments, overstretching the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes), and repeatedly tearing the heel bone membrane. From these actions arises a calcium deposit on the underside of the heel bone. Risk factor for developing the condition include:
Possessing any walking gait abnormalities
Regularly running or jogging on hard surfaces
Wearing poorly fitted or overly worn shoes
Wearing shoes that lack arch support
Being excessively overweight or obese
What are The Symptoms?
Heel spurs do not carry many symptoms by themselves. However, they are often related to other afflictions, most typically plantar fasciitis. The most common sign of this combo of conditions is a feeling of chronic pain along the bottom or back of the heel, especially during periods of walking, running, or jogging. If you are experiencing this recurring inflammation, it is a good idea to visit your local podiatrist's office and inquire about undergoing an x-ray or ultrasound examination of the foot.
What are the Treatment Options?
The solutions to heel spurs are generally centered around decreasing inflammation and avoiding re-injury. They include:
Applying ice on the inflammation
Performing stretch exercises
Wearing orthotic devices or shoe inserts to relieve pressure off of the spur
Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to relieve pain
In extreme cases, surgery can be performed on chronically inflamed spurs
If you are dealing with symptoms of heel spurs or pain in your feet, turn to a podiatrist so that we can get you back on your feet. Don't ignore your pain.
If you have a child who is an avid athlete and has started to complain of heel pain, a condition known as Sever’s Disease may be to blame. Also known as calcaneal apophysitis, Sever’s Disease is an inflammation of the heel’s growth plate. It most often affects children ages 8-15 because the growth plate is not fully developed then and the newly forming bone creates a weak area at the back of the heel.
Who is Susceptible to Sever’s Disease?
At New England Foot and Ankle Specialists, we see several risk factors that make a child more likely to get Sever’s Disease. These include:
- Sports participation—this is by far the most common cause, particularly for children who play sports that involve excessive amounts of pounding on the heel such as running, basketball, football, soccer and baseball. Cleats are also known to increase the aggravation to the heel area.
- Tight Achilles tendon—results in strain on the heel bone growth plate from the pulling done by tight tendon
- Overly high arch or flatfeet
- Being overweight
Our foot and ankle doctors, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., or Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M., will conduct a thorough examination of your child’s foot, heel and lower leg to reach a diagnosis. The podiatrist will also ask questions about activities and symptoms. X-rays or other imaging studies may be ordered to rule out a heel fracture or other heel problem. Once Sever’s Disease is confirmed, the foot doctor will determine the correct treatment for your child.
The immediate aim of treatment is to relieve the pain and discomfort of Sever’s Disease. This means your child will have to take a break from whatever activity is causing the condition. In extreme cases, the heel may need to be immobilized for a period of time. Icing the heel and anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed for pain. Depending on the cause of the heel growth plate inflammation, the podiatrist may prescribe heel pads to protect the inflamed area, orthotics to correct an arch problem or stretching exercises to loosen the Achilles tendon.
With this, or any other pain in the heel or foot that your child experiences, you should never encourage them to “play through it.” Make an appointment at either our Reading office today by calling (781) 944-4044.