Posts for tag: Heel Pain
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
Gritting your teeth through the pain doesn't always make you stronger, despite common wisdom. Although uncomfortable twinges often go away quickly if you've suffered a minor heel injury, ignoring severe or lingering pain may lead to chronic pain, arthritis, and other problems, in some cases. Your podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center offer a variety of heel pain treatments at our offices in Fairfax/Burke, Ashburn/Leesburg, McLean/Great Falls, or Reston/Herndon, VA.
What causes heel pain?
Heel pain can occur due to:
- Fractures: Pain that occurs after you fall or jump may be a sign that you have a fracture, particularly if you can't put any weight on your heel. Stress fractures can also occur if you're an athlete and have begun training harder or longer than usual.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain, occurs when the long band of connective tissue called the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. The fascia runs along the bottom of your foot and connects your toes to your heels. The condition is more likely to occur if you're a runner or dancer, spend long hours on your feet, are overweight, or have high arches or flat feet. Pain is often felt first thing in the morning and when you rise after standing or sitting.
- Achilles Tendinitis: Pain in your heel may also be caused by inflammation of the large tendon that connects your calf muscles to your heels. You may feel an aching or burning sensation in your heel and notice that it's red and feels warm.
- Retrocalcaneal Bursitis: Your Achilles tendon glides over your heel smoothly thanks to the presence of the retrocalcaneal bursa. The bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac on the back of your heel. Walking and running can trigger heel pain if you have retrocalcaneal bursitis, as can moving your foot up and down.
How can a visit to my podiatrist help?
If your pain lasts more than a week or two or is severe or disabling, it's a good idea to visit our foot doctors. After performing a thorough examination, we can offer treatments that will ease your pain and help you avoid long-lasting complications.
Is it about time you did something about your heel pain? Schedule an appointment with the podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center by calling (703) 273-9818 for the Fairfax/Burke, VA, office, (703) 723-9267 for the Ashburn/Leesburg office, (703) 556-8637 for the McLean/Great Falls office, or (703) 723-2719 for the Reston/Herndon office.
Have you been experiencing any heel pain or bothersome tenderness without any obvious cause? Although heel spurs themselves sometimes do not cause acute discomfort, they are frequently associated with the painful inflammation known as plantar fasciitis, a condition commonly described as feeling like a knife is wrenching through your foot. Read below for more information on the typical causes, symptoms, and treatments of heel spurs.
What is a Heel Spur?
A heel spur is often the result of overstraining foot muscles and ligaments, overstretching the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes), and repeatedly tearing the heel bone membrane. From these actions arises a calcium deposit on the underside of the heel bone. Risk factor for developing the condition include:
Possessing any walking gait abnormalities
Regularly running or jogging on hard surfaces
Wearing poorly fitted or overly worn shoes
Wearing shoes that lack arch support
Being excessively overweight or obese
What are The Symptoms?
Heel spurs do not carry many symptoms by themselves. However, they are often related to other afflictions, most typically plantar fasciitis. The most common sign of this combo of conditions is a feeling of chronic pain along the bottom or back of the heel, especially during periods of walking, running, or jogging. If you are experiencing this recurring inflammation, it is a good idea to visit your local podiatrist's office and inquire about undergoing an x-ray or ultrasound examination of the foot.
What are the Treatment Options?
The solutions to heel spurs are generally centered around decreasing inflammation and avoiding re-injury. They include:
Applying ice on the inflammation
Performing stretch exercises
Wearing orthotic devices or shoe inserts to relieve pressure off of the spur
Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to relieve pain
In extreme cases, surgery can be performed on chronically inflamed spurs
If you are dealing with symptoms of heel spurs or pain in your feet, turn to a podiatrist so that we can get you back on your feet. Don't ignore your pain.
Are you dealing with heel pain? If so, you aren’t alone. Foot pain, particularly heel pain, is one of the most common complaints and most people will deal with pain at some point during their lifetime. Whether you are on your feet all day for work or you are a runner, there are many risk factors that can play into your likelihood to deal with heel pain. If heel pain is happening to you, you may be wondering what’s causing it and how you can get rid of the pain quickly.
Causes of Heel Pain
As you might imagine, there are many reasons why you might be experiencing heel pain. The root cause will also determine the best course of action for getting your symptoms under control while providing the optimal healing environment for a speedy recovery.
The most common cause of heel pain is an acute inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis, in which the thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel (known as the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. Of course, there are other reasons people experience heel pain. Other causes include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Stress fracture
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Heel spur
- Osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone)
- Page’s disease of bone
- Peripheral neuropathy
Heel Pain Treatment Options
For more mild-to-moderate cases of heel pain, your podiatrist may recommend simple conservative treatment options that you can incorporate into your daily routine from the comfort of home. This is usually the first course of action, unless the condition is more serious. Only once we’ve exhausted at-home care and pain is still present do we decide on more aggressive tactics for handling your symptoms.
Common at-home heel pain treatment options include:
- OTC pain relievers (e.g. ibuprofen)
- Icing the heel several times a day
- Bracing or splinting the foot
- Wearing custom orthotics (shoe inserts)
- Wearing protective and supportive shoes
- Resting and avoiding certain activities or high-impact exercises
If you’ve tried these treatment options for weeks and still don’t notice any change in your symptoms—or if symptoms get worse—then it’s time to visit your foot doctor again to determine the next step. If pain and swelling are severe we may recommend steroid injections, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) or ultrasound therapy. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the imbalance, deformity, or problem that’s causing your chronic or severe heel pain.
Don’t let heel pain affect your day-to-day life when there are simple and easy solutions to manage your symptoms and promote faster healing. Turn to a podiatrist who will be able to handle your heel pain and get your foot health back on track.
Don't know what to do about that pain in your heel? The podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center often treat heel pain in their Reston/Herndon, Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke and McLean/Great Falls offices. They share information about common heel conditions and explain what can be done to decrease your pain.
Common causes of heel pain
Your heel may ache or throb if you have one of these conditions:
- A Stone Bruise: If you have a stone bruise, your heel will feel tender and sore if you touch it or put pressure on it when you walk. Stone bruises can occur due to stepping on a hard object or running or walking in shoes that don't provide enough support or cushioning.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that occurs when the plantar fascia on the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed. The fascia is tough band of tissue that serves as the connection between your heels and toes. If you have plantar fasciitis, you may notice that your pain is worse in the morning or after you sit or lie down for a while.
- Heel Spurs: Heel spurs are caused by calcium deposits. You may develop them if you've had plantar fasciitis, regularly participate in activities that involve running or jumping, wear unsupportive shoes or are overweight.
- Plantar Calluses: Plantar calluses cause a thick, painful build up of skin on your heel. They can occur if poorly fitting shoes rub against your heel or you wear socks that don't fit well.
- Achilles Tendinitis: An inflammation in the Achilles tendon, the tight tendon at the back of your ankle, may also cause ankle pain. The condition tends to affect runners, particularly those who wear worn-out shoes, and people who are obese or have flat feet. Your risk of developing Achilles tendinitis increases with age.
How can my foot doctor help?
A visit to a Reston/Herndon, Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke or McLean/Great Falls office is a good idea if you have a heel pain that hasn't improved after a week or two of home treatment. Relieving your pain can be as simple as shaving your callus or injecting cortisone to ease your Achilles tendinitis pain. Adding a prescription insert to your shoes can be helpful if you have plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis. Exercises or physical therapy may also be effective in relieving the pain of both conditions. Depending on the cause of your condition, you may also benefit from other therapies, including walking boots, splints, shockwave therapy or even surgery.
Are you ready to put an end to your ankle pain? Schedule an appointment by calling (703) 723-2719 for Reston/Herndon office, (703) 723-9267 for the Ashburn/Leesburg office, (703) 273-9818 for the Fairfax/Burke office or (703) 556-8637 for the McLean/Great Falls office.