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
Though it is a common condition, heel pain can quickly affect your daily life and cause you to have trouble performing even the most basic tasks, such as walking to the mailbox or climbing the stairs to your bedroom. However, your podiatrist can help you investigate your symptoms, find the underlying condition causing your heel pain, and help you discover the best treatment plan for you. Find out more about heel pain and its treatments with Dr. Thomas Hosey, Dr. Ryan Murphy, Dr. Kristen Patterson, and Dr. Angela R. Jacob at Hosey Foot and Ankle Centers with locations in Clinton Township, Mount Clemens, and Sterling Heights, MI.
What causes heel pain?
Heel pain can be caused by many different things:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel spur
- Stress fracture
- Bone spur
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Sprain or strain
- Pinched nerve
Since there are many underlying conditions which may contribute to heel pain, it is important to consult with your doctor to first find an accurate diagnosis, then work toward finding the best treatment plan for you.
How will my doctor find what’s causing my heel pain?
Your doctor will begin with administering a physical examination to inspect your foot and leg, searching for any obvious abnormalities in structure or movement. They may suggest a technique like an x-ray or MRI to further investigate in the bones and soft tissues under the skin. Your podiatrist will also gather and take into account your medical, family, and lifestyle history. They will provide a diagnosis based on their findings and then work with you to find a successful treatment plan.
Treating Heel Pain in Clinton Township, Mount Clemens, and Sterling Heights, MI
Heel pain treatments differ greatly based on the severity of the pain and the underlying condition contributing to it. In some cases, a simple at-home treatment involving the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) treatment and over-the-counter medication may be enough to treat your heel pain. However, conditions such as plantar fasciitis may require physical therapy or a custom orthotic. Some patients with more severe conditions or symptoms may find that their doctor recommends surgery.
For more information on heel pain, please contact Dr. Thomas Hosey, Dr. Ryan Murphy, Dr. Kristen Patterson, and Dr. Angela R. Jacob at Hosey Foot and Ankle Centers with locations in Clinton Township, Mount Clemens, and Sterling Heights, MI. Call (586) 263-4411 to schedule an appointment in Clinton Township, (586) 468-5445 to reach the Mount Clemens office, or (586) 275-3000 to schedule your appointment in Sterling Heights today!
Many people think corns and calluses are the same thing, but there are differences. A corn is smaller than a callus, and has a hard center which is surrounded by inflamed tissue. Unlike calluses, corns can be painful and make it difficult to wear shoes. The good news is, your podiatrist can help get rid of corns and get you back on your feet.
Corns typically develop to protect your feet and toes from friction and pressure. They can be found in both weight bearing and non-weight bearing areas including between your toes, and on the tops and sides of your toes.
According to the Mayo Clinic, common signs and symptoms of a corn include:
- A thick, rough area of skin
- A hardened, raised bump
- Tenderness or pain under the skin
Since corns are caused by friction and pressure, you can do a lot to prevent corn development. Remember to:
- Wear shoes with plenty of room for your toes
- Use padding or bandages in your shoes
- Soak your feet in warm water to soften corns
- After soaking, rub the corn with a pumice stone to remove hardened skin
- Moisturize your feet every day to keep your skin soft
If you have diabetes and you develop a corn or other foot problem, you need the help of an expert, your podiatrist. Self-treating foot issues when you are diabetic can lead to injuries that don’t heal and could get worse, resulting in a serious infection.
Fortunately, your podiatrist can recommend several treatment options to get rid of corns, including:
- Trimming away excess skin to reduce friction
- Corn-removing medication containing salicylic acid
- Custom-fit inserts or orthotics
- Surgery if the corn is caused from friction due to poor bone alignment
You don’t have to deal with painful corns by yourself. Get some relief from the pain by visiting your podiatrist. Your feet are important, so seek out the best care possible to protect your feet.
Heel pain is one of the most common complaints a podiatrist hears about from patients. If you are dealing with heel pain above the heel bone then you could be dealing with Achilles Tendonitis, a result of overuse. The Achilles tendon is the longest tendon in the body and it serves to connect the muscles of the calf with the lower leg and heel bone.
While Achilles Tendonitis tends to occur most often in runners, this condition can still occur in athletes that play certain sports such as soccer or tennis. Unfortunately, this tendon does weaken as we get older, which makes at an increased risk for developing this overuse injury as we age.
What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?
The most obvious symptom of Achilles Tendonitis is pain above the heel bone. When the pain first appears it’s usually pretty mild and you may only notice it after running; however, over time you may notice that the pain gets worse after certain exercises. Along with pain you may also experience stiffness or tenderness in the heel, especially in the morning or after long periods of sitting.
When should I see a podiatrist?
If this is the first time that you’ve ever experienced heel pain then it’s a good idea to turn to a foot doctor who can determine whether Achilles Tendonitis is causing your symptoms or whether it’s something else. If you’re experiencing chronic heel pain around the Achilles tendon it’s also a good time to see a doctor. If the pain is severe or you are unable to put weight on your foot it’s possible that you might be dealing with a ruptured tendon, which requires immediate attention.
How do you treat Achilles Tendonitis?
In most cases, Achilles Tendonitis can be treated with simple self-care options. Unless symptoms are severe you may be able to treat your heel pain by:
- Taking over-the-counter pain medications
- Avoiding high-impact activities or activities that exacerbate symptoms
- Elevating the foot to reduce swelling
- Performing stretching exercises or undergoing physical therapy
- Icing the heel
- Wearing custom orthotics
- Replacing worn-out shoes, especially running shoes
Surgery is only necessary if your symptoms aren’t responding to any other nonsurgical treatment options after several months or if the tendon is torn.
If you think your heel pain could be the result of Achilles Tendonitis then it’s time to turn to a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist can provide you with a variety of treatment options, from simple lifestyle modifications to custom orthotics.
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