Posts for category: Foot Issues
Dr. Steven Vetter and Dr. Jugal Dharia at Oakton Foot & Ankle Center can diagnose heel pain for Fairfax, VA, residents and help manage various health problems. For example, they can help you better understand the nature of heel spurs and provide the long-term recovery necessary for your needs.
How Heel Spurs Cause Pain
Heel spurs occur when calcium deposits grow on your heel and cause excessive bone in this area. Most of the time, this spur is rarely painful and doesn't cause a lot of suffering. Some people may not even know that they have one for years, though it may cause an extension over one-half inch. That said, many people do experience pain when heel spurs that can be pretty hard to handle.
For example, some may experience occasional pain when walking if they put weight on the spur. Others may have chronic pain that they cannot treat, understand, or diagnose. This pain may wax and wane in intensity but usually worsens when walking for extended periods. However, other people may experience more long-term pain issues that could worsen and affect their quality of life.
At its worst, a heel spur may cause plantar fasciitis. This inflammation occurs throughout the plantar fascia in the bottom of the foot and causes intense foot pain. Many cases of Fairfax, VA, heel pain center around this problem. Thankfully, treatment is available to help this problem. Understanding these methods can help to make your life better and avoid heel spur complications as well.
Treatment May Help You Recover
Treating a heel spur requires assessing and diagnosing its severity. Once your podiatrist has identified your spur, they can decide on a care method. Most of the time, they try to avoid surgery or other invasive procedures as long as possible. It is often possible to minimize your pain by treating your plantar fasciitis and increasing the stability of your foot.
Typically, you'll start with a non-surgical treatment to manage this problem. These include pain medications, stretching exercises, changes in your shoes, relaxation methods for your stressed tendons or muscles, shoe inserts, and night splints. In many cases, these methods are used for up to 12 months to help manage your heel spurs and minimize your pain.
However, you may need surgical treatment to manage many heel spur problems. Typically, this process includes releasing the tension in the plantar fascia to help minimize your suffering. Then, the spur is carefully removed from your foot to help avoid long-term issues. You may experience slight pain and even cramps after surgery, though physical therapy and pain medications will help.
Help is Available for Your Needs
At Oakton Foot & Ankle Center, Drs. Steven Vetter and Jugal Dharia understand heel spurs. They can help manage your heel pain in Fairfax, VA. They can also provide long-term relief from other painful conditions, such as bunions and much more. So please contact us at (703) 352-8888 to learn more about the high-quality options available.
Do I really have poor circulation in my feet?
It isn’t always easy to notice the warning signs of bad circulation. After all, it’s normal to feel a lack of sensation in your feet during cold winter days or to notice some aching and tiredness when standing for long periods of time; however, signs of poor circulation in the feet include:
- A “pins and needles” sensation in your feet
- Changes in the color of your feet
- Cold feet
- Numbness or tingling
What causes poor circulation in the feet?
There are many reasons that people may develop poor circulation in their feet as they get older. Some causes can’t be helped but others are due to health conditions or bad habits. Causes of poor circulation include:
- Age: As we get older most people will deal with some degree of decreased blood flow.
- Inactive lifestyle: If you lead a sedentary lifestyle you are more likely to deal with blood flow issues, especially as you get older. We see this most often in seniors who have mobility issues and can’t stay active.
- Overweight or obese: Being overweight or obese also puts a lot of stress on the body, causing the heart to work harder to pump out blood to the rest of the body including the feet.
- Smoking: Smoking restricts blood flow, which makes it more difficult for blood to reach the feet. Smoking can also increase your risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
- Diabetes: Diabetes can increase your risk for inflammation, poor circulation, and even nerve damage in the feet (known as neuropathy). You must work with your doctor and a podiatrist to control your blood sugar to reduce your risk.
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.
Here are some possible reasons why you may be dealing with foot and ankle swelling,
It’s normal for there to be a little bit of swelling in the ankles and feet due to extra fluid and pressure placed on the body from the developing uterus. This is more common for women in their third trimester, especially the weeks leading up to delivery, or during hotter months. However, it’s important to keep an eye on your swelling to make sure it’s not severe or appearing suddenly. If you notice significant swelling of the feet and ankles along with stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or headaches, call your doctor right away, as this could be a sign of high blood pressure (known as preeclampsia).
You have a foot or ankle injury
This is a common reason why people often turn to a podiatrist. Everything from strains to sprained ankles and fractured bones in the foot can lead to sudden swelling after an injury. It’s a good idea to ice the injury to help reduce swelling. If your swelling is accompanied by severe pain or trouble walking on the foot then you should see a podiatrist immediately.
You could have a blood clot
A blood clot in the leg, often known as deep vein thrombosis, can stop blood from flowing through the legs back to the heart. As a result of the blockage, this can lead to swelling in the ankles and the affected leg. Since a blood clot can be particularly dangerous it is important that you seek immediate medical attention if your swelling is accompanied by leg pain, fever, and any color changes in your leg.
You may have heart or kidney disease
It is possible that swelling in your feet or ankles could be warning us of problems with your kidneys, liver, or heart. If you find that your ankles start to swell at night, your body could be retaining both salt and water (a possible sign of heart failure). When kidneys don’t function properly excess fluid can accumulate within the body and lead to swelling. If you notice swelling along with weight gain, loss of appetite, and fatigue then you should talk with your doctor.
These are only some of the reasons why you may be dealing with foot and ankle swelling. Other causes could be,
- Consuming too much salt
- Sitting or standing for too long
- Side effects from certain medications
- An infection (more common in those with diabetic neuropathy)
- Weak or damaged veins in the legs
- Trauma or injury to the foot, damaging the nerve and resulting in swelling.
- Improper footwear, like shoes that squeeze the foot together. High heels also increase pressure on the vulnerable areas.
- Recurring stress to the feet through repeated physical activities or exercise. This is common with patients who are constantly on their feet due to their job.
- Deformities of the foot, like a high arch or flat foot. These lead to instability throughout the foot.
- Taping and padding: This is a special type of tape and bandages that you place on the bottom of the foot. This helps with your symptoms.
- Orthotics: These are the custom shoes that your podiatrist can create for you.
- Medication: Cortisone injections reduce the pain and inflammation in the foot. Anti-inflammatory drugs also reduce your swelling.
- Surgery is the last resort for treatment. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis. The injured nerve is removed and recovery takes a few weeks.