Posts for: February, 2018
Find out how your Clintonville and Dublin, OH, podiatrists can help you with your heel pain
The podiatrists in Clintonville and Dublin, OH, are equipped with years of experience and knowledge of how to examine your feet and prescribe the proper course of treatment for heel pain.
More about the heel
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, the heel is the largest bone in your foot and, despite its elaborate network of 33 joints, more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments, it is susceptible to trauma from external forces. When the fascia, a connective tissue that extends from the heel of the foot, supports the arch and extends to the toes, is irritated or inflamed, you will start feeling pain.
Other causes of heel pain
- Heel Spurs, a growth on the bone that may be painless in many cases but may also result in chronic pain.
- Gout is the buildup of uric acid salts, a normal byproduct of the diet, in the joints.
- Arthritis is the swelling of the cartilage and the lining of the joints.
- Psoriasis, a chronic and recurrent inflammatory disease, causes the skin to develop round patches of reddish and dry scales, also covered by grayish-white scales.
- Collagen disorders
- Nerve injuries
- Heel bone abnormalities
Caring for heel pain
There are invasive surgical treatments to get rid of heel pain, such as the removal of connective tissue and heel spurs, but before going down that road, you should consider the following tips on how to take care of your feet:
- Take medications according to your podiatrist's orders, but medicine such as ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation.
- Put your feet in ice water so that your whole heel is completely immersed, but avoid this method if you suffer from poor circulation or diabetes.
- Stretch your feet out daily.
- Avoid rigorous sports and exercises.
- Wear comfortable shoes made of soft rubber.
For more information regarding your heel pain, contact your doctors in Clintonville and Dublin, OH.
Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the long, dense band of connective tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot.
Repeated strain on the plantar fascia can cause tiny tears in the ligament. As tension and tearing increases, so does inflammation and irritation of the affected area. Risk factors of plantar fasciitis include foot arch problems (flat foot and high arches); excess weight; running; and a tight Achilles tendon.
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is gradually developing pain on the bottom of the heel. The pain is usually worst in the morning and after sitting or standing for a long period of time. For some, the pain subsides after walking or stretching.
To reduce pain associated with plantar fasciitis:
- Rest. Limit and/or avoid activities that make your heel hurt.
- Ice. Reduce pain and swelling by icing the affected area each day.
- Stretch. Stretch your heel throughout the day, especially when you first wake up in the morning.
- Footwear modifications. Wear shoes that provide good arch support and a cushioned sole. Ask your podiatrist about pads and shoe inserts to relieve your heel pain.
When conservative treatments aren't effective, or your pain persists for more than a few weeks, schedule an appointment to discuss your symptoms and treatment options. A podiatrist can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs. This may include stretching exercises, shoe padding, orthotic devices, night splints or therapy. Most patients respond to non-surgical treatments, but for pain that won't go away, surgery may be required.
With proper rest and treatment, recovering from plantar fasciitis can take just a few months. Visit us when you first experience pain for a diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs.
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that can develop in various parts of your body. In the foot, the most common occurring neuroma develops at the base of the third and fourth toes. This condition is referred to as Morton's neuroma.
There are typically no physical signs of Morton's neuroma, such as a lump or a knot. Instead, symptoms may include:
- A sharp, achy or burning pain in the ball of your foot
- Numbness, tingling, or cramping in the toes or forefoot
- Feeling as if you're standing on a pebble in your shoe
While the exact cause of Morton's neuroma is unknown, the growth of the neuroma seems to occur in response to injury, pressure or irritation to one of the nerves that lead to the toes. People with foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes and flat feet are at higher risk for developing a neuroma. Women are also more likely to develop this condition, as wearing high-heels or narrow-toed shoes can increase pressure on the toes. Other potential causes are activities that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running.
Morton's neuroma can make walking and performing normal activities difficult and painful. Treatment options vary with severity, and identifying the neuroma in its earliest stage of development is important to avoid more invasive treatments or surgical correction. Left untreated, neuromas tend to worsen, so it's always best to visit our office at the first sign of pain.
Early treatments aim to relieve or reduce pressure on the area around the affected toes. Depending on the severity of your neuroma, a podiatrist may recommend:
- Modifications to footwear. Wide-toed shoes relieve pressure on the neuroma.
- Shoe inserts or padding to provide support for the arch of the foot, which removes pressure from the nerve.
- Anti-inflammatory medications can help ease any pain and inflammation. Ask your doctor first.
- Icing to reduce inflammation.
- Rest to lessen repetitive pressure on the neuroma.
In the most severe cases, surgery may be recommended for patients who do not respond to conservative treatments. We can help you determine the best approach for your specific condition.