Posts for: September, 2017
Dealing with heel pain? Isn’t it time you found out more about what’s causing your discomfort?
Heel pain is nothing to scoff at. While it might not seem like a big deal when you first notice it, over time it can become a downright nuisance. Heel pain can make it more difficult to move around and it can even limit your day-to-day activities. If you have no idea what might be going on, your podiatrist might be able to answer your burning questions.
What is causing my heel pain?
There are many reasons why you could be experiencing heel pain, which is why it’s so important to visit your foot doctor at the first sign of an issue. Only then can we really determine the root cause. Of course, one of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis.
What is plantar fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a thick band of ligaments that connect your toes to your heel bone. When they become inflamed, this causes heel pain, stiffness and a host of other issues.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
If this condition is truly the cause of your heel pain, then you’ll more than likely notice a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot that may be worse in the morning when you take your first couple steps. You may also notice that the pain subsides a bit during physical activity, but immediately comes back full force right after. You may also experience stiffness or limited mobility as a result of the plantar fasciitis.
How can I treat my heel pain?
Most heel pain can easily be treated with more conservative measures including:
- Avoiding high-impact activities
- Elevating the foot
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers
Most causes of heel pain like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis will go away with these simple at-home measures. However, for those with more persistent or severe cases, you may need to talk to your foot doctor about other options including extracorporeal shockwave therapy or corticosteroid injections to reduce pain and swelling, and to help speed up the healing process.
Contact your Podiatrist
Heel pain doesn’t have to take over your life. Turn to your foot doctor for the help and care your feet need to stay healthy.
Corns and calluses are thick, hardened areas of skin that develop in response to your body's natural defense to repeated pressure or friction. While neither condition presents a long-term or serious health risk, they can be painful, irritating and unattractive.
Identifying a Corn or Callus
Corns and calluses are similar in nature, but differ in size and location. Corns are smaller than calluses and usually have a hard, thickened center surrounded by red, inflamed skin. They typically develop on the tops and sides of your toes and can be painful when touched. Calluses generally develop on your heels and balls of your feet. They vary in size and shape, although almost always larger than corns.
For most people who develop calluses or corns, eliminating the source of pressure is usually enough to make the thickened skin disappear. We recommend the following for treating corns and calluses:
- Wear comfortable shoes and socks. When footwear fits properly, there is less opportunity for friction and rubbing to occur.
- Soak your feet in warm, soapy water to help remove corns and calluses. Rub the thickened skin with a pumice stone to remove toughened layers more easily.
- Keeping your feet moisturized with foot cream or lotion will help improve the quality of your skin and rid your feet from calluses or corns.
When to Seek Care
When corns and calluses don't respond to conservative care, contact our office for a careful evaluation. We can investigate the possible causes of your corn or callus, safely remove the thick, hardened area of skin, and recommend appropriate footwear and treatment, including padding and inserts. Never attempt to cut away a corn or callus on your own, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation. Instead, seek advice for careful removal and proper care.
A bunion is an abnormal, bony prominence that develops on the joint at the base of your big toe. As the big toe joint becomes enlarged, it forces the toe to crowd against your other toes, and the pressure exerted on your big toe joint results in inflammation and pain. Early treatment is necessary to decrease the risk of developing joint deformities.
Bunions develop due to prolonged abnormal pressure or motion on your big toe joint, most often caused by inherited structural defects, poor-fitting shoes, foot injuries, or congenital deformities. Women are generally more prone to bunions because of the shoe types typically worn, such as high-heels and narrow-toed shoes.
Bunion pain can range from mild to severe, often making it difficult to wear shoes and perform normal activities. You should contact our office if you notice the following symptoms:
- An enlarged, visible bulge on your big toe joint
- Restricted movement of your big toe or foot that prevents you from performing normal activities
- Irritation, corns or calluses caused by the overlap of the first and second toes
- Frequent pain, swelling or redness around your big toe joint
Treatment For a Bunion
Treatment for a bunion will vary depending on its severity. Identifying the condition in its early stages is important to avoid surgery, with the main objective of early treatment being to relieve pressure and stop the progression of the deformity. Many times conservative treatments, such as padding, modified footwear or orthotic devices can be highly effective for preventing further growth and reducing the pressure and pain.
We recommend the following for reducing pressure and pain caused by bunions:
- Wear comfortable shoes that don't cramp or irritate your toes and avoid high-heeled shoes
- Apply ice to reduce inflammation and pain
- Our podiatrists can show you how to apply padding to your foot to place it in its normal position and reduce stress on the bunion
When early treatments fail or the persistent pain associated with your bunion is interfering with your daily activities, a surgical procedure may be recommended as a last resort to realign the toe joint and alleviate the pressure. We can advise you on the best treatment options available to relieve pressure on the bunion and slow the progression of the joint deformity.