Your Reston podiatrist gives you the lowdown on heel pain treatments.
Sometimes nothing feels better than getting in a really great run. Whether you participate in the Runners Marathon of Reston every year or you just enjoy pounding the pavement around your neighborhood, it’s important that your feet are able to keep up the same pace. After all, working out is great for your body and your mind. However, there are times that even the best athletes will notice problems. If you’ve been experiencing heel pain as of late, it’s important to nip the problem in the bud before it keeps you from your workouts.
Q. What causes heel pain?
A. There are several things that can cause heel pain. For a lot of runners and athletes this pain could be due to overpronation. This means your foot tilts inward as you walk, putting unnecessary pressure on certain parts of your foot. This can lead to inflammation of the fascia, better known as plantar fasciitis.
Other heel pain causes are heel spurs, Achilles tendinitis and rheumatoid arthritis. If you’re noticing persistent pain even when you walk, it’s time to see your Reston podiatrist for a diagnosis.
Q. How do you treat plantar fasciitis-related heel pain?
A. Our first line of treatment is always conservative. Why go right for the more invasive treatments if you don’t have to! Here are some of the most common heel pain treatments:
Over-the-counter medication: Certain anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and Aleve can help ease pain and swelling related to heel pain.
Ice packs: Icing your heel pain can also provide some relief. Never apply ice directly to your skin. Always wrap it in a cloth or paper towel. You can ice your foot several times throughout the day but never for more than 20 minutes at a time. Like icing? Try this: freeze a water bottle and roll it under your foot (remember to wear socks!) for a few minutes a day. This can help ease some of the inflammation. While the coldness might not be the most pleasant experience, it’s most definitely better than pain.
Orthotics: From arch support to heel cups, custom-made orthotics can help you distribute pressure evenly throughout the foot, making walking and even running more comfortable.
Physical therapy: During your visit, we will show you some exercises to help stretch and stabilize the plantar fascia. You can do these exercises anywhere, including the comfort of your own home.
Sometimes these treatments won’t work for more persistent heel pain cases. In which case, we may consider extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT) to treat your heel pain. Through the use of sound waves, we can activate your foot’s healing process. If you’re interested in heel pain treatment in Reston, give us a call. We want you to be able to lace up your shoes and going for your next run again soon.