Posts for: May, 2017
Dealing with heel pain? Isn’t it time you found out more about what’s causing your discomfort?
Heel pain is nothing to scoff at. While it might not seem like a big deal when you first notice it, over time it can become a downright nuisance. Heel pain can make it more difficult to move around and it can even limit your day-to-day activities. If you have no idea what might be going on, your podiatrist might be able to answer your burning questions.
What is causing my heel pain?
There are many reasons why you could be experiencing heel pain, which is why it’s so important to visit your foot doctor at the first sign of an issue. Only then can we really determine the root cause. Of course, one of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis.
What is plantar fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a thick band of ligaments that connect your toes to your heel bone. When they become inflamed, this causes heel pain, stiffness and a host of other issues.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
If this condition is truly the cause of your heel pain, then you’ll more than likely notice a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot that may be worse in the morning when you take your first couple steps. You may also notice that the pain subsides a bit during physical activity, but immediately comes back full force right after. You may also experience stiffness or limited mobility as a result of the plantar fasciitis.
How can I treat my heel pain?
Most heel pain can easily be treated with more conservative measures including:
- Avoiding high-impact activities
- Elevating the foot
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers
Most causes of heel pain like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis will go away with these simple at-home measures. However, for those with more persistent or severe cases, you may need to talk to your foot doctor about other options including extracorporeal shockwave therapy or corticosteroid injections to reduce pain and swelling, and to help speed up the healing process.
Contact your Podiatrist
Heel pain doesn’t have to take over your life. Turn to your foot doctor for the help and care your feet need to stay healthy.
While the appearance of blisters may be embarrassing, the pain accompanying them is often much worse and more of a concern for people who have them. Although blisters are a common foot problem experienced by many, have you ever wondered what the cause of those pesky blisters could be? Or, better yet, how they can be treated?
Blisters appear on a swollen part of the foot and consist of fluid, typically clear, though, depending on the blister, the fluid may also have blood. Blisters are usually caused by repeated friction or rubbing on a specific part of your foot. Here are some examples of things that can produce that constant friction:
- The type of footwear and how properly your shoes fit
- Your skin type and foot type (high, low or medium arch)
- The moisture found around your feet
- Heavy objects you may be carrying around, like a bag pack
While blisters are rarely filled with pus, pus can form if the blister is infected. In that case, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you have any of the following symptoms, it’s preferable to talk to your doctor:
- Foot Pain
While the symptoms may seem common, any persistent pain needs medical attention. Individuals with diabetes need to be especially careful. If left untreated, the blister may turn into an ulcer, leaving you susceptible to an amputation.
Preventive Care Treatments:
There are several precautions you can take to prevent blisters. Here are a few preventative care options:
1. Make sure to wear proper fitting shoes
2. Wear moisture-wicking socks
3. Cushioned insoles are a good idea
4. Double-socks will provide extra cushion
5. Wear orthotics recommended by your podiatrist
6. Use antiperspirants, powders, and lubricants to reduce moisture and friction.
The key to healthy feet is preventative care and referring to your foot doctor whenever you have questions or concerns.
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that can develop in various parts of your body. In the foot, the most common occurring neuroma develops at the base of the third and fourth toes. This condition is referred to as Morton's neuroma.
There are typically no physical signs of Morton's neuroma, such as a lump or a knot. Instead, symptoms may include:
- A sharp, achy or burning pain in the ball of your foot
- Numbness, tingling, or cramping in the toes or forefoot
- Feeling as if you're standing on a pebble in your shoe
While the exact cause of Morton's neuroma is unknown, the growth of the neuroma seems to occur in response to injury, pressure or irritation to one of the nerves that lead to the toes. People with foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes and flat feet are at higher risk for developing a neuroma. Women are also more likely to develop this condition, as wearing high-heels or narrow-toed shoes can increase pressure on the toes. Other potential causes are activities that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running.
Morton's neuroma can make walking and performing normal activities difficult and painful. Treatment options vary with severity, and identifying the neuroma in its earliest stage of development is important to avoid more invasive treatments or surgical correction. Left untreated, neuromas tend to worsen, so it's always best to visit our office at the first sign of pain.
Early treatments aim to relieve or reduce pressure on the area around the affected toes. Depending on the severity of your neuroma, a podiatrist may recommend:
- Modifications to footwear. Wide-toed shoes relieve pressure on the neuroma.
- Shoe inserts or padding to provide support for the arch of the foot, which removes pressure from the nerve.
- Anti-inflammatory medications can help ease any pain and inflammation. Ask your doctor first.
- Icing to reduce inflammation.
- Rest to lessen repetitive pressure on the neuroma.
In the most severe cases, surgery may be recommended for patients who do not respond to conservative treatments. We can help you determine the best approach for your specific condition.