Posts for: February, 2020
There’s no need to live with heel pain. Find out how to get your foot problems under control.
Heel pain is no laughing matter, and many people will face a bout of heel pain at some point during their lifetime. Whether you are an athlete or your job requires you to stand on your feet all day, there are many factors that could predispose you to plantar fasciitis, an inflammatory condition that is one of today's most common causes of heel pain. Read on to learn more about this condition, how you can treat it on your own, and when you should turn to our New Albany, IN, podiatrist, Dr. Zahid Ladha, for care.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that supports the arches of the feet and connects the toes to the heel bone. Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. You may be more at risk for developing this condition if you:
- Are obese or overweight
- Are a long-distance runner
- Suddenly increase the duration or intensity of a run or physical activity
- Wear worn-out or improper footwear that doesn’t provide ample arch and heel support
- Have overworked, worn out or tight muscles in the legs or feet
- You have high arches or flat feet
What are the signs of plantar fasciitis?
While plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, it isn’t the only cause. However, you may be able to differentiate this condition from other heel pain causes by symptoms alone. Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Severe heel pain under the heel (below the heel bone)
- Intense stabbing pain, especially when first standing up or moving around
- Pain that eases up with movement
- Pain that radiates to the arches of the feet
- Stiffness around the arches and heel of the affected foot
When should you see a podiatrist about your heel pain?
If your heel pain is minor, you may choose to take some time to stay off your feet and rest, which is always a good idea. In some cases, this may be all you need to help the inflamed tissue heal; however, it can take several weeks for plantar fasciitis to go away. If your pain is severe, if you are experiencing heel pain for the first time, or if you are having trouble walking around because of pain and other symptoms, then it’s important that you see our New Albany, IN, foot doctor for an evaluation.
Our doctors can identify the cause of your plantar fasciitis to reduce your chances of developing this problem again, as well as provide both self-care measures and other treatment options to handle even the most serious and chronic cases of plantar fasciitis.
Don’t just ignore your heel pain. Our podiatrist and his professional team in New Albany, IN, are here to help alleviate your pain. Call Foot First Podiatry today at (812) 945-9221 to schedule an appointment with us.
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.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that often affects blood flow to the legs due to narrowing of the arteries. PAD is caused by atherosclerosis, a serious condition in which fat deposits known as plaques build up in the arteries and eventually restrict or block blood flow.
If you have PAD you will most likely experience painful cramping, weakness or numbness in the legs, particularly during movement. You may also notice that the leg or foot is colder than the rest of your body. Sometimes persistent sores can develop that won’t heal. Your legs may also change color or the skin may appear shiny. While the pain will often go away at rest, if PAD is left untreated you may notice these symptoms even at rest. Sometimes symptoms can even be bad enough to affect your sleep.
While these symptoms can also be indicative of other conditions you should not ignore your symptoms, as undiagnosed PAD can lead to heart attack or stroke. This is why it’s important to see your podiatrist if you notice leg or foot numbness, weakness, tingling or pain.
You may be at an increased risk for peripheral artery disease if you:
- Are obese
- Have high cholesterol
- Have high blood pressure
- Have diabetes
- Are over age 65
- Have a family history of peripheral artery disease or stroke
Preventing Peripheral Artery Disease
Your podiatrist’s goal is to reduce your risk for peripheral artery disease, especially if you are at an increased risk. This involves implementing a variety of lifestyle changes. Some ways to prevent PAD include:
- Getting your diabetes under control
- Lowering your cholesterol
- Exercising regularly several times a week
- Quitting smoking
- Eating a healthy balanced diet and avoiding junk foods
- Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight
Treating Peripheral Artery Disease
If you do end up developing PAD a podiatrist can be an instrumental part of your medical team to help you manage your symptoms and prevent complications. PAD treatments are designed to reduce symptoms such as leg pain while also stopping the buildup of fat deposits within the arteries.
Again, modifying your lifestyle can greatly improve your condition. The same lifestyle changes that prevent PAD can also treat PAD. Of course, lifestyle modifications alone won’t be enough to prevent atherosclerosis from progressing. Therefore, your podiatrist may also prescribe certain medications including cholesterol and blood pressure medications, diabetes medication, and medication that prevents blood clots. Sometimes surgery or angioplasty is recommended if there is a blockage within the arteries.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of PAD it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist right away for an evaluation.