Posts for tag: Heel Pain
Find out how to treat heel pain yourself and when to see a podiatrist.
Whether you are an avid runner or just someone who likes going to the gym occasionally, it can be challenging to do these everyday activities when faced with heel pain. Did you take that run just a little too far yesterday? Did you suddenly intensify your exercise regime? Then your heels might be screaming out for sweet relief. Here’s how to tackle heel pain before seeing a podiatrist.
What causes heel pain?
Plantar fasciitis is typically the cause of most heel pain. While the name might seem a bit intimidating, don’t worry! Symptoms can often be managed through simple at-home remedies such as,
- Performing specific foot stretches and exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve function.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medication to soothe pain and inflammation temporarily.
- Avoid high-impact activities, which will often only exacerbate the condition and lead to further inflammation.
- Splint the foot or wear shoe inserts (orthotics) to provide arch support.
- Consider corticosteroid injections and extracorporeal shock wave therapy, which may also be helpful for those dealing with more severe or stubborn pain.
When should I call my podiatrist?
While you may not want to immediately rush to call your podiatrist at the first bout of pain, you mustn’t ignore a potentially serious issue. You should turn to a podiatrist if,
- You have severe heel pain or swelling
- You can’t point your foot downward or stand up on your tiptoes
- You also notice numbness or a tingling sensation in the heel accompanied by pain
- You experience sudden pain that occurs right after an injury
- You have diabetes or have neuropathy in your feet
- You have been trying at-home treatment options for a week, and there are no changes to your symptoms
If rest and home care haven’t been enough to manage your heel pain, it’s time to turn to a foot and ankle specialist who can help.
You are dealing with persistent heel pain
Heel pain is a common complaint and most often the result of an overuse injury such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. The good news is that heel pain will usually go away on its own with rest and home care; however, if the heel pain is severe or persists for weeks without getting better than it’s time to see a podiatrist and find out what’s going on.
You’re dealing with a sprained or fractured foot
If you are dealing with a new foot and ankle injury that you’ve never experienced before, then it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist who will be able to examine it to determine the extent and severity of the sprain or break. Since untreated or improperly treated injuries can lead to long-term foot and ankle pain and instability, it’s a good idea to get proper podiatry care when you sustain an injury.
You have been diagnosed with diabetes
People with diabetes know that they are also at an increased risk for other foot-related complications including neuropathy, ulcers, and infections. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes it’s a good idea to have a podiatrist that you can turn to for regular care, especially when problems arise. Even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms, you should still see your podiatrist once a year for a routine checkup.
You’re dealing with regular joint pain and stiffness
While there are many reasons why someone may deal with a bout of joint pain, if this is a persistent problem, you may be dealing with arthritis. Since arthritis is progressive, it’s important to diagnose this problem early when medications and treatments can help to slow the progression of joint damage.
If you are experiencing a foot or ankle injury or experiencing symptoms that have you concerned, it’s best to consult foot care professionals for comprehensive podiatry care.
When you are dealing with chronic heel pain, it can interfere with your ability to comfortably perform daily activities. For example, the simple act of walking can be painful when you have heel pain. Further, heel pain can get worse throughout the day the more you are on your feet.
Fortunately, here at Big Sky Foot & Ankle Institute in Bozeman and Butte, MT, our knowledgeable foot doctors, Dr. Dallin Greene and Dr. Nathan Judd, can recommend specific treatment options for your heel pain.
Common Causes of Heel Pain
One of the most common causes of heel pain is a foot condition known as plantar fasciitis. Along the bottom of the foot are the plantar fascia tissues. When these tissues become inflamed and irritated, heel pain can develop. Individuals who are most likely to develop plantar fasciitis are those who routinely overpronate when walking or running. Overpronation occurs when the foot rolls inward so that the arch flattens when stepping.
Heel pain can also develop as a result of performing repetitive motions that put stress or strain on the feet. Other potential causes of heel pain include:
- Heel spurs
- Foot injuries
- Stress fractures
Several options are available for treating heel pain. Minor heel pain can often be effectively treated by resting the foot, applying ice, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers. Another way to ease minor heel pain is to wear supportive shoes with adequate cushioning, especially in the heel area.
Severe or chronic heel pain is best treated by a podiatrist. The skilled foot doctors at our office in Bozeman and Butte, MT, can develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Some options for treating heel pain include:
- Physical Therapy — Exercises to improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles in the feet.
- Custom Orthotics — Devices placed inside the shoes to provide cushioning, stability, and arch support.
- Padding and Strapping — Padding in the shoes helps minimize the impact of walking, while strapping provides support for the feet and minimizes strain on the plantar fascia tissues.
- Night Splint — Worn while sleeping, the splint helps reduce heel pain by keeping the plantar fascia tissues in a stretched position for an extended time.
- Corticosteroids — Injected into the foot to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
- Surgery — When other treatment options have not completely resolved the issue, surgery can be performed to correct structural problems in the foot that are contributing to heel pain. Surgery is also needed to remove painful heel spurs or heel calluses.
Heel pain can be resolved with the right treatment plan developed by a podiatrist. To learn about your treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Greene or Dr. Judd, our experienced foot doctors, by calling Big Sky Foot & Ankle Institute in Bozeman at (406) 206-6366 or at (406) 782-2278 for our Butte location.
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.
If you have a sore or aching heel, find out the source and get relief. At Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute, Dr. Dallin Greene and Dr. Nathan Judd provide excellent diagnostic analysis and treatment of heel pain no matter the cause.
It could be many things...
The 26 bones and 33 joints in our feet take a lot of stress. Standing, running, jumping, injuries, and age--they change how our feet look, feel, and perform. In their Bozeman and Butte offices, your foot doctors at Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute hear many people complain of how sore their heels are. Heel pain may stem from:
- Bone spurs, small calcified projections on the underside of the calcaneus, or heel bone
- Very flat or very high arches
- Overuse from sports or other activities
- Achilles tendinitis, inflammation of the large band of connective tissue running between the heel and the calf muscle
- A deep bruise from stepping on a stone
- Plantar fasciitis, an overstretching of the band of connective tissue between the calcaneus and the base of the toes
The most likely problem is plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, states the American Podiatric Medical Association. How does it develop, and why does it become chronic? Usually, plantar fasciitis results from overactivity--too much and too aggressive running, jumping, dancing and so on. People notice pain upon rising, but it may increase or decrease as the day goes on.
In addition, plantar fasciitis develops if:
- You overpronate your feet (roll toward the midline as you walk or run)
- You are overweight
- Shoes offer little to no support in the arches
- Your arches are very high or very flat
What to do about heel pain
Come to Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute in Bozeman or Butte where your foot doctor will do a complete podiatric examination, including digital X-rays and gait analysis as needed. He will review your symptoms and your medical history, arriving at a treatment plan to relieve your pain and increase your foot function.
To manage plantar fasciitis, Dr. Judd or Dr. Greene may recommend:
- More supportive footwear, particularly in the arches
- Custom-made shoe orthotics (inserts) to correct gait issues
- Ibuprofen to reduce inflammation
- Stretching exercises
- Splints (worn at night)
In cases of persistent heel pain, surgery may be needed. Many people respond well to more conservative interventions.
Feel like your self again, and keep moving. Come to Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute for an evaluation of your heel pain from your foot doctor. You'll love the personalized treatment you receive from Dr. Judd and Dr. Greene. We have offices in Butte and Bozeman, MT. Call (406) 782-2278 for an appointment.