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
Need help for persistent heel pain? Your podiatrists at Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia (with locations in Stafford and Lake Ridge) get to the root cause of your foot ailment and treat it effectively. Is it plantar fasciitis or something else? Learn more about why your heel could be hurting and what you can do.
The causes of heel pain
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that most heel pain originates with overuse. Overuse, plus time, age and weight issues often add up to inflammatory conditions of the foot and ankle such as:
- Plantar fasciitis, a swelling of the connective tissue between the heel bone and base of the toes
- Heel spurs, small bony projections often accompanying plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis, an overstretching of the big tendon which runs between the heel and the calf muscles
- Stress fractures, tiny breaks in the calcaneus, or heel bone, usually associated with running, jumping or dancing
- Bone bruise
Treating heel pain
Surprisingly, most heel pain doesn't require surgical intervention. More conservative measures, and preventatives, usually suffice to control or eliminate the sources of discomfort. However, to determine your best course of treatment, your Stafford or Lake Ridge podiatrist will need to examine your foot and take digital X-rays and any and perhaps another imaging system if necessary. With a confirmed diagnosis, you can proceed with a treatment plan fitted to your diagnosis, other medical conditions, and lifestyle needs.
Treatment recommendations for heel pain often include:
- Rest, ice, and elevation (helpful for stone bruises)
- Shoes with wide toe boxes and good arch support (plantar fasciitis often results from an imbalance in gait)
- Custom-made shoe inserts (orthotics) to support and balance the foot
- Over the counter medications
- Stretching exercises before strenuous workouts
- Cortisone injections
- Heel pads
- Wearing shoes at all times, even indoors
- Losing weight to avoid excessive pressure on the heels and other parts of the foot
If your heel hurts, please don't wait. Get relief and avoid long-term problems. Contact Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia. We have two locations and are open Monday through Saturday: For Lake Ridge Foot & Ankle Center, phone (703) 491-9500, and for Stafford Foot & Ankle Center, call (540) 720-0700.
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.
Many people believe that living with heel and foot pain is an inevitable part of life. Whether the source of pain is from a beloved pair of shoes or too many miles clocked on the treadmill, the "no pain no gain" mantra has been seared into the minds most everyone. And while some form of muscle strain is normal and inherent to any strenuous physical activity, excessive and persistent pain is often the body's way of letting us know that something is wrong.
What Causes Heel Pain?
The Lake Ridge and Stafford, VA based podiatrists at Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC treat patients for a range of foot and ankle conditions that can lead to acute and chronic foot pain. The most common sources of heel pain include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Stress fractures
- Heel spurs
Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis are the leading causes of heel pain. The treatment options for heel and other foot and ankle injuries will vary from case to case depending on the injury and the patient. While many incidences of pain might respond to conservative treatment like rest and over the counter pain medication, fractures and muscle or ligament and tendon tears may require more involved treatment.
Heel pain relief and treatment in Lake Ridge and Stafford
Occasional soreness and stiffness can be perfectly normal from time to time. A worn out pair of sneakers, or starting a new activity can sometimes cause temporary pain that often resolves on its own over time. But when pain persists or returns frequently, it can be a sign of an injury or strain. If you are suffering from heel, foot or ankle pain, contact a podiatrist at Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC in Lake Ridge and Stafford, VA by calling (703)491-9500 and (540)720-0700 to schedule an appointment today.
If you are experiencing heel pain it could be due to these causes:
- Plantar Fasciitis - Out of all the cause for heel pain, plantar fasciitis is the most common. If you are experiencing heel pain from prolonged walking and standing then it is likely that you have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is due to inflammation of the tight tissue that forms in the arch of the foot, which causes irritation.
- Heel Spur - A heel spur is a calcium deposit on the bottom of the heel bone. A heel spur can be visible with an X-ray and can be seen to extend forward by as much as a half-inch. If the spur is not visible on the X-ray, the condition is referred to as "heel spur syndrome"
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome - Tarsal tunnel syndrome is very similar to carpal tunnel syndrome and is caused by the entrapment of a large nerve in the back of the foot.
- Stress Fractures - Stress fractures of the heel bone, or calcaneus, are a more uncommon cause of heel pain. If athletes are experiencing heel pain it is important to consider stress fractures to be a cause, especially if the athlete is a long distance runner.
- Posterior Heel Pain - Posterior heel pain refers to symptoms behind the foot, rather than underneath. Achilles tendonitis and retrocalcaneal bursitis are the causes associated with posterior heel pain.
The most common causes for plantar fasciitis are:
- Advanced or new activity/training
- Prolonged standing on hard surfaces
- Flat feet
- Tight calf muscles
- improper footwear
- increased weight