Posts for tag: heel pain
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.
Whether we are walking, running, or jumping, it is our heel that first makes contact with the ground. This means that it bears the full impact of the shock as well as carry the entire weight of our body. So it is not surprising that many people will experience heel pain at some time in their lives.
Mild heel pain should be gone overnight. But it could easily worsen with prolonged standing or walking. If you have yet to visit your podiatrist at Oakton Foot and Ankle Center here in Fairfax, VA, Dr. Steven Vetter or Dr. Jugal Dharia, here are some easy guidelines to alleviate your symptoms.
Simple Home Treatments for Heel Pain
- Rest and Stretch. When the cause of the pain is overuse or over fatigue, resting the affected foot may suffice. Combine resting your foot with stretching exercises to prevent pulling and tightening of the plantar fascia.
- Proper Footwear. The simple case of wearing proper fitting footwear that supports the biomechanics of your foot will be a big help in relieving heel pain. This prevents stressing the tissue at the bottom of your foot so it won’t get stretched and irritated.
- Wearing a Splint. Bracing the foot and ankle stretches the plantar fascia to alleviate pain and maintains its proper position while sleeping.
- Healthy Weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is another way to relieve heel pain.
When Heel Pain Continues
Regardless of whether these home treatments work or not, the moment the pain continues or becomes chronic, it is time to visit your podiatrist in Fairfax, VA. There will be some procedures or treatments that your podiatrist can recommend to relieve heel pain. These might include a mix of the following:
- X-ray or MRI. An X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging will ensure that the cause of the pain is not a stress fracture or spur.
- Prescription pain relievers may be given for pain and inflammation.
- Physical Therapy and Orthotics. Physical therapy that includes stretching of the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia will be taught to strengthen the lower leg muscle. This may be accompanied by the use of custom-fitted orthotics so that the pressure on the feet can be distributed more evenly.
- Steroid medications can be injected into the tender areas to relieve pain.
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy. Sound waves are used to stimulate healing of the pain associated with chronic plantar fasciitis.
- Usually the last resort of podiatrists, surgery may be needed to relieve heel pain.
Contact Us for More Information, Questions, or Concerns About Heel Pain
Set an appointment with your podiatrist, Dr. Steven Vetter or Dr. Jugal Dharia, here at Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, by calling (703) 352-8888.
Struggling with heel pain? Here at Oakton Foot & Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, Drs. Steven Vetter and Jugal Dharia proudly provide patients with quality foot care, including the diagnosis and treatment of painful conditions. Read on to learn how they can help you too.
More about Heel Pain
Heel pain may be the result of a number of conditions, including a stress fracture, nerve irritation, tendonitis, arthritis, or a cyst. However, the most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, a condition in which the plantar fascia (a band of connective tissue that extends from the heel to the toes) becomes inflamed.
Some causes of plantar fasciitis include:
- Faulty structure of the foot, such as overly flat feet or high-arched feet
- Wearing non-supportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces
- Certain occupations that require standing for long periods of time
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain on the bottom of the heel and in the foot arch. People may also feel pain worsening over a period of months and swelling on the bottom of the heel. Pain is usually the worst in the morning, just after getting out of bed.
Drs. Steven Vetter and Jugal Dhari diagnose plantar fasciitis with the use of medical history and examining your foot. Additionally, X-ray screenings or other imaging modalities are used to figure out what exactly could be the root of the problem.
Your Fairfax podiatrist will opt for non-surgical treatments first. That includes stretching exercises, avoiding barefoot movement, icing your heel for 20 minutes several times a day, cutting down on extended physical activities, choosing more appropriate shoes, and using oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation.
Your doctor may also suggest orthotic devices. Orthotics are custom shoe inserts that optimize foot function. Some examples of orthotics include:
- Rigid orthotics, which control motion in two major foot joints
- Semirigid orthotics, which provide dynamic balance to the foot while walking or participating in sports
- Soft orthotic devices, which help absorb shock, increase balance, and take the pressure off of sore spots
Other Non-Surgical Treatment Options Include:
- Padding, taping and strapping
- Injection therapy
- Removable walking cast
- Night splint
- Physical therapy
Need Relief? Give Us a Call
If you'd like to speak with Drs. Steven Vetter or Jugal Dharia of Oakton Foot & Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, about heel pain, dial (703) 352-8888 today.
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.
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