Heel pain is a common foot problem that podiatrists often treat. Knowing the cause of your pain is important in determining the most effective treatment method. Even if the pain seems minor, it’s amazing how much it can affect your whole body, making it difficult to get out of bed let alone go on your regular run. If you are struggling with heel pain you might be dealing with a condition known as plantar fasciitis.
What is plantar fasciitis?
The source of your pain may originate in the plantar fascia, a tough band of connective tissue that connects your toes to your feet. If the fascia becomes inflamed, you may feel pain in your heel. Of course, everything from wearing high heels to long runs can actually irritate and cause inflammation within the plantar fascia. When this happens this is known as plantar fasciitis. This condition is usually the result of overuse and repeated stress rather than an injury.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis causes heel pain that originates at the bottom of the heel below the heel bone. The pain may spread to the arches of the feet and may also be accompanied by stiffness. These symptoms are often exacerbated first thing in the morning or after long bouts of sitting or standing. Sometimes, light activity and exercise can momentarily lessen the pain.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
If you know that you have plantar fasciitis (perhaps you’ve had it before) then you know it’s important to rest, avoid physical activity, and take over-the-counter pain relievers. Of course, if you’ve never experienced heel pain before it’s important to see a podiatrist to find out whether it’s plantar fasciitis or another condition such as heel spurs or Achilles tendonitis. A thorough evaluation from a medical professional is often necessary, especially if this is the first time dealing with heel pain.
Your podiatrist can also show you stretching and strengthening exercises that you can perform to help stretch the plantar fascia to reduce pain and discomfort. Some patients also choose to wear a night splint to reduce morning stiffness and arch pain.
If your symptoms aren’t being alleviated through conservative treatment methods or if you are experiencing chronic heel pain your podiatrist may recommend surgery.
If you are dealing with stubborn and painful heels turn to a podiatrist for a consultation.
Do your feet hurt when you walk? Is the sensation similar to stepping on a pebble? You may have Verruca Plantaris, or plantar warts. These round, dotted, raised bumps typically appear on the soles of the feet, and yes, they can be unsightly and painful. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Center in McKinney, TX, and Prosper, TX, your podiatrists, Drs. Silvers, Lloyd, and Witt diagnose and treat warts so you enjoy clear, comfortable skin.
Causes of warts
Warts usually appear on the soles of the feet belonging to children, teens and the elderly. These flesh-colored bumps exhibit small dark dots--actually little blood clots--and affect the weight-bearing parts of the foot.
The Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, causes wart growth. As HPV is highly contagious and spreads by personal contact, so, too, do warts multiply. They may appear as solitary lesions, but when ignored, they morph into clusters or mosaics, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
At their McKinney, TX, and Prosper, TX, practice, your podiatrists diagnose and treat warts. Most warts have a thickened outer layer, or callus, and fortunately, they usually respond well to very conservative treatments, such as warm soaks at home and application of over-the-counter salicylic acid.
Other warts may require more involved treatments to remove them and keep them from spreading to other areas of the foot and remote parts of the body, such as the hands. These warts respond well to:
- Surgical excision with a scalpel
- Laser removal
- Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, a simple and quick application of chemical cold
Drs. Silvers, Lloyd and Witt suggest you prevent these ugly little foot bumps by:
- Washing your feet with soap and warm water daily
- Wearing flip-flops in public gyms and pool areas
- Never picking at existing warts
- Avoiding contact with someone else's warts
- Covering any scrapes or cuts you have on your feet (with band-aids and clean socks)
We can help your warts
No, warts are not fatal, but they are a painful, persistent nuisance. If you suspect you have some, please contact Advanced Foot and Ankle Center in McKinney or in Prosper for an appointment with one of our friendly podiatrists. We have ample office hours to accommodate your busy life. Call us at (972) 542-2155.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that often affects blood flow to the legs due to narrowing of the arteries. PAD is caused by atherosclerosis, a serious condition in which fat deposits known as plaques build up in the arteries and eventually restrict or block blood flow.
If you have PAD you will most likely experience painful cramping, weakness or numbness in the legs, particularly during movement. You may also notice that the leg or foot is colder than the rest of your body. Sometimes persistent sores can develop that won’t heal. Your legs may also change color or the skin may appear shiny. While the pain will often go away at rest, if PAD is left untreated you may notice these symptoms even at rest. Sometimes symptoms can even be bad enough to affect your sleep.
While these symptoms can also be indicative of other conditions you should not ignore your symptoms, as undiagnosed PAD can lead to heart attack or stroke. This is why it’s important to see your podiatrist if you notice leg or foot numbness, weakness, tingling or pain.
You may be at an increased risk for peripheral artery disease if you:
- Are obese
- Have high cholesterol
- Have high blood pressure
- Have diabetes
- Are over age 65
- Have a family history of peripheral artery disease or stroke
Preventing Peripheral Artery Disease
Your podiatrist’s goal is to reduce your risk for peripheral artery disease, especially if you are at an increased risk. This involves implementing a variety of lifestyle changes. Some ways to prevent PAD include:
- Getting your diabetes under control
- Lowering your cholesterol
- Exercising regularly several times a week
- Quitting smoking
- Eating a healthy balanced diet and avoiding junk foods
- Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight
Treating Peripheral Artery Disease
If you do end up developing PAD a podiatrist can be an instrumental part of your medical team to help you manage your symptoms and prevent complications. PAD treatments are designed to reduce symptoms such as leg pain while also stopping the buildup of fat deposits within the arteries.
Again, modifying your lifestyle can greatly improve your condition. The same lifestyle changes that prevent PAD can also treat PAD. Of course, lifestyle modifications alone won’t be enough to prevent atherosclerosis from progressing. Therefore, your podiatrist may also prescribe certain medications including cholesterol and blood pressure medications, diabetes medication, and medication that prevents blood clots. Sometimes surgery or angioplasty is recommended if there is a blockage within the arteries.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of PAD it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist right away for an evaluation.
At Advanced Foot and Ankle Center, we see a lot of patients experiencing pain on the inside of the foot and/or ankle. This pain could have come on suddenly with an injury or started slowly and not gotten better. The pain is worse with activity and probably gets a little better with rest. The pain may also be improved with an anti-inflammatory. This can be an issue for kids as well as adults.
Most of the time, this pain is caused by inflammation of a tendon that courses down the inside of your leg, behind the ankle and inserts into the arch. This tendon is called the Posterior Tibial Tendon. This tendon is essential to help create your arch. Due to the anatomy and location of the tendon, it is stretched and worked with every step you take. Without a known injury, this tendon is usually inflamed due to your foot structure. Therefore, if the biomechanics of your feet are not addressed, the pain may never completely resolve.
To ensure proper diagnosis of this condition, one of our providers will perform a thorough lower extremity physical exam and obtain information about your symptoms. X-rays are taken to evaluate the bony anatomy near the tendon as well. Once the diagnosis is made, treatment will begin that is tailored to allow for a quick recovery with the goal to stay pain free in the future.
If you have a question about this or any other foot/ankle condition. Please call us for an appointment.
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