Posts for tag: Heel Pain
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 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.
Are you dealing with heel pain? If so, you aren’t alone. Foot pain, particularly heel pain, is one of the most common complaints and most people will deal with pain at some point during their lifetime. Whether you are on your feet all day for work or you are a runner, there are many risk factors that can play into your likelihood to deal with heel pain. If heel pain is happening to you, you may be wondering what’s causing it and how you can get rid of the pain quickly.
Causes of Heel Pain
As you might imagine, there are many reasons why you might be experiencing heel pain. The root cause will also determine the best course of action for getting your symptoms under control while providing the optimal healing environment for a speedy recovery.
The most common cause of heel pain is an acute inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis, in which the thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel (known as the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. Of course, there are other reasons people experience heel pain. Other causes include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Stress fracture
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Heel spur
- Osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone)
- Page’s disease of bone
- Peripheral neuropathy
Heel Pain Treatment Options
For more mild-to-moderate cases of heel pain, your podiatrist may recommend simple conservative treatment options that you can incorporate into your daily routine from the comfort of home. This is usually the first course of action, unless the condition is more serious. Only once we’ve exhausted at-home care and pain is still present do we decide on more aggressive tactics for handling your symptoms.
Common at-home heel pain treatment options include:
- OTC pain relievers (e.g. ibuprofen)
- Icing the heel several times a day
- Bracing or splinting the foot
- Wearing custom orthotics (shoe inserts)
- Wearing protective and supportive shoes
- Resting and avoiding certain activities or high-impact exercises
If you’ve tried these treatment options for weeks and still don’t notice any change in your symptoms—or if symptoms get worse—then it’s time to visit your foot doctor again to determine the next step. If pain and swelling are severe we may recommend steroid injections, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) or ultrasound therapy. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the imbalance, deformity, or problem that’s causing your chronic or severe heel pain.
Don’t let heel pain affect your day-to-day life when there are simple and easy solutions to manage your symptoms and promote faster healing. Turn to a podiatrist who will be able to handle your heel pain and get your foot health back on track.
Experiencing pain on the bottom of your foot or back of your heel is not always cause for concern. Minor heel pain will usually resolve with rest and by avoiding the pressure and rubbing on the heel that can be caused by shoes that are too tight, such as high heels. More severe heel pain can be caused by a number of issues, some of which can take a long time to properly treat and heal.
Factors and conditions that can cause heel pain include the following:
- Plantar fasciitis—A wide band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed and irritated from too much stress or from an injury, leading to severe pain in the heel that is often most noticeable in the morning when you first put weight on your foot. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is very effective in treating this type of heel pain.
- Achilles tendonitis—The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body and runs along the back of your heel to connect to your calf muscle. It allows you to point your foot and push off when you walk or exercise. Bruising, tearing, or breaking this tendon can cause pain, discomfort, and in severe cases, you will not be able to walk. Fracture—Breaking your heel bone can occur during vigorous training and exercise, especially in high impact sports such as tennis, football, and basketball.
- Diabetes complications—Peripheral nerve damage from diabetes, which can cause pain, numbing, and a tingling sensation in the heel.
- Heel fissures—The thick, dry skin that forms around your heel in response to rubbing on the back your shoes can suddenly crack, causing severe pain and making it hard to just stand and walk, especially in those individuals who are excessively overweight.
Many of the causes of heel pain have similar symptoms, so it is highly advisable to see a foot specialist to find out what is actually causing your heel pain and to quickly get on the right path to healing your heel. If you are suffering from heel pain, schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry in New Albany, IN. Our friendly podiatrist Zahid Ladha, D.P.M. is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!
Severe heel pain first thing in the morning after stepping out of bed is a horrible way to begin your day, and it may be the first sign of a serious injury to your foot.
Two of the most common causes of heel pain after sleeping are plantar fasciitis and injuries from overuse:
- Plantar fasciitis—This is one of the most common causes of early morning heel pain that usually tends to decrease as you begin moving your feet. Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation and stretching of the wide ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis consists of the following:
- Avoid wearing high heels and flip flops
- Use the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to relieve pain and swelling
- Stop any high impact activity, such as running or jumping
- Wear shoes with proper arch support to help avoid overstretching of the plantar fascia
- Stretch out your calf muscles several times a day
- If you notice no improvement after a few days, see your podiatrist
- Overuse injuries—Your heel absorbs the impact when you walk, run or exercise, and it is highly susceptible to injury due to just the stress of daily living. The continuous pressure of being on your feet all day, especially if you are carrying extra weight, can greatly contribute to heel pain.
Treatment for overuse injuries includes:
- Ice to decrease swelling
- Check your shoes for proper cushioning in the heel
- Try lower impact activities, such as biking or swimming
- For pain lasting more than a few days or a couple of weeks see your foot doctor
Some other causes of early morning heel pain include Achilles tendonitis and arthritis. If you are suffering from pain in your heel, it’s best to have an evaluation by a foot doctor for proper diagnosis and suggestions for treatment, so be sure to schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry in New Albany, IN. Our highly qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!