Understanding The Cause And Treatment Of Heel Pain
Pain beneath the heel bone or along the arch of the foot is an extremely common and debilitating condition. In our modern society, with its unyielding artificial floors, occupational demands with long hours of standing, and shoes of poor design it’s no wonder that heel pain is one of the most common foot complaints.
Here at A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center, our podiatrists are dedicated to helping you understand the causes of this pain, educating you about the different treatment options, and the reasoning behind the treatment methods we use. Contact our team today with any questions or concerns!
People with heel pain usually complain of a “stone bruise.” The most frequent symptom is that of pain in the morning during the first few steps you take. This is due to inflammation with swelling around the ligament on the bottom of the heel. Inflammation may be due to any of the causes mentioned above, but the most common cause of this type of heel pain is faulty foot function, which causes a rubbing or stretching of the ligaments. This is referred to as plantar fasciitis or heel spur syndrome. If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, contact your local podiatrist at A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center today!
If you happen to find yourself being bothered by any or all of the symptoms mentioned, the first step in treatment can be tried at home. Often, heel pain relief can be attained by:
Padding the heel of your foot with a soft, foam-rubber material to reduce pain and add comfort.
Placing an ice pack against the bottom of the heel in regular, timed sessions to reduce the swelling.
Wearing supportive shoes with a thick rubber heel to help reduce pain, and stabilize the ligaments.
Stretching the calf muscles on a regular basis to keep them loose and functioning properly.
If these at-home treatments fail to relieve your heel pain, it is time toconsult your local podiatrist at A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center. A careful medical history, a complete clinical examination of your feet, and sometimesX-rays are used to determine the cause and what the best treatment plan will be to get you back on your feet.
Treatment of the heel-spur syndrome or plantar fasciitis is two-fold. First, the inflammation responsible for the discomfort needs to be reduced. Secondly, the abnormal motion of the foot needs to be controlled. Let’s take a look at some of the common approaches to completing this two-fold treatment and the reasoning for them.
Simply reduce the amount of motion and inflammation by staying off of your feet.
Temporarily tape or strap your feet for stabilization when you are forced to be on them to avoid abnormal motion.
Take oral or topical anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce the inflammation.
An injection of local anesthesia and cortisone into the inflamed area may be used in severe cases to reduce inflammation.
If symptoms resolve fairly quickly with simply staying off and stabilizing your feet, then many times no further treatment is needed unless there is another flare-up. Controlling the abnormal motion is the key to preventing recurrence of this syndrome. The most effective means of doing this is with the use of custom-fitted functional orthotic inserts. Contact A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center today to learn more!reasoning for them.
When the condition has existed for so long that these aforementioned methods of treatment fail to resolve the symptoms, surgical treatment is sometimes necessary to afford permanent relief.
Fortunately, on October 12, 2000, the US Food & Drug Administration granted approval to market the OssaTron, a new device that uses shock waves to treat chronic heel pain. This is a fifteen minute procedure that allows you to walk in your regular shoes immediately after the procedure and has over a 70% success rate. Contact our team at A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center today to schedule an appointment!
The physicians and staff of A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center maintain two complete podiatric clinical facilities, and provide 24-hour emergency services. We participate in most health plans, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, and Medicaid. Our experienced staff will complete and file all necessary insurance forms, making every effort to assure you of maximum benefits, with minimum out-of-pocket expenses. Contact us today with any questions or concerns!
No matter the cause or severity of your heel pain, our foot and ankle specialists at A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center have treatment plans that can get you comfortable and back on your feet in no time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!