Just about everyone has stubbed their toe at some point which has caused swelling and bruising. After this happens, there are two responses we see in our office: 1) The patient will come in right away because they want to know if something is broken or 2) The patient comes in several weeks later and the toe is still painful. These people don’t come in right away because they say, “there is nothing to do for a broken toe”. Well, that’s not true. The majority of toe fractures just need rest and immobilization for a few weeks. There are fractures however that extend into the small joints of the toes. These fractures are the type that linger, especially when you don’t seek treatment. If the fracture doesn’t heal properly, than you may have chronic pain because the joint is no longer aligned and you can develop post traumatic arthritis which will require surgery to repair. Many of these cases can be avoided by coming to our office and having one of our doctors evaluate you and take X-rays to prevent long term complications. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Center, Dr. Silvers, Dr. Lloyd and Dr. Witt have seen and treated all types of injuries to the foot and ankle. If you have a question about this or any other issue with your feet and ankles, please call us at 972-542-2155.
Are you dealing with heel pain? If so, you aren’t alone. Foot pain, particularly heel pain, is one of the most common complaints and most people will deal with pain at some point during their lifetime. Whether you are on your feet all day for work or you are a runner, there are many risk factors that can play into your likelihood to deal with heel pain. If heel pain is happening to you, you may be wondering what’s causing it and how you can get rid of the pain quickly.
Causes of Heel Pain
As you might imagine, there are many reasons why you might be experiencing heel pain. The root cause will also determine the best course of action for getting your symptoms under control while providing the optimal healing environment for a speedy recovery.
The most common cause of heel pain is an acute inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis, in which the thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel (known as the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. Of course, there are other reasons people experience heel pain. Other causes include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Stress fracture
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Heel spur
- Osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone)
- Page’s disease of bone
- Peripheral neuropathy
Heel Pain Treatment Options
For more mild-to-moderate cases of heel pain, your podiatrist may recommend simple conservative treatment options that you can incorporate into your daily routine from the comfort of home. This is usually the first course of action, unless the condition is more serious. Only once we’ve exhausted at-home care and pain is still present do we decide on more aggressive tactics for handling your symptoms.
Common at-home heel pain treatment options include:
- OTC pain relievers (e.g. ibuprofen)
- Icing the heel several times a day
- Bracing or splinting the foot
- Wearing custom orthotics (shoe inserts)
- Wearing protective and supportive shoes
- Resting and avoiding certain activities or high-impact exercises
If you’ve tried these treatment options for weeks and still don’t notice any change in your symptoms—or if symptoms get worse—then it’s time to visit your foot doctor again to determine the next step. If pain and swelling are severe we may recommend steroid injections, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) or ultrasound therapy. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the imbalance, deformity, or problem that’s causing your chronic or severe heel pain.
Don’t let heel pain affect your day-to-day life when there are simple and easy solutions to manage your symptoms and promote faster healing. Turn to a podiatrist who will be able to handle your heel pain and get your foot health back on track.
What your podiatrists in McKinney and Prosper want you to know about heel pain
Do you suffer from stabbing, aching heel pain? Do you have to limit walking and standing because of it? If you answered yes to these questions, you will be happy to know that there is relief from heel pain, thanks to the treatments available from your podiatrist.
In order to find the most effective treatment, you need to know what is causing your heel pain. The podiatrists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center want to share some common causes and treatments for heel pain. They have two convenient office locations in McKinney and Prosper, TX, to help your feet.
You can have heel pain as a result of medical factors including obesity, flat feet, or diabetes. You can also experience heel pain if you wear poorly-fitting, unsupportive shoes. Running, tennis, or other high-impact sports may also cause heel pain.
Foot injuries are a common cause of heel pain. If you step on a sharp object, you can get a deep bruise your heel. Excess calcium deposits on your heel, commonly known as a heel spur, can also result in heel pain.
For these causes of heel pain, prevention is important. Always wear supportive shoes appropriate for the activity you are doing, and maintain a comfortable weight. Also, monitor the surface you are walking on, and clear your floors of objects that could injure your feet.
Heel pain is also often caused by inflammation of the thick band of tissue running across your heel, known as the plantar fascia. When you suffer from this inflammation, you have plantar fasciitis. It can be caused by walking or standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time, overpronation when you walk, and running, jogging, playing tennis, or other high-impact sports.
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, it’s best to visit your podiatrist. Common treatments for plantar fasciitis from the podiatrists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center include:
- Custom-fit orthotics or padding
- Walking casts or night splints
- Physical therapy and stretching
- Corticosteroid injections
- Surgical treatment for severe cases
You deserve to enjoy your life without pain. To get relief from your heel pain, call the podiatrists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center, with offices in McKinney and Prosper, TX. Protect your feet from heel pain by calling today!
While it might not be something you think about often (or at all), the health of your child’s feet is important. Your child is growing by leaps and bounds and certain habits and other factors can affect how your child’s feet develop or if they experience injuries or other problems down the road. Unfortunately, a lot of children end up wearing shoes that are far too small for their feet, which can lead to pain, structural imbalances and certain foot deformities.
We know that going shoe shopping is certainly not a walk in the park for most parents; however, it’s an important component to making sure your child maintains healthy feet. There are many things to think about when it comes to picking the right shoes, and your podiatrist can also provide suggestions and tips to make the world of shoe shopping easier for you and your little one.
Some factors that you should consider when shopping for the right shoes include:
- Your child’s age
- The shoe’s material
- Your child’s shoe size
- The shoe’s structure
A good rule of thumb is to shop for shoes every 2 months when your child is between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. Once they reach three and four, you’ll want to purchase new shoes approximately every four months. At the point that your child is five or six years old, every six months is a good time to swap out old shoes for new ones.
As you might already know, the bones of a baby or infant’s feet are soft and haven’t fully developed. To protect your child’s feet it’s important that they wear socks and soft shoes. Make sure that as your child’s feet grow that the toes have room to wiggle and move around within the shoes. Bunched-up toes are a major no-no!
Since your little one is growing by leaps and bounds it is important that you are constantly checking their shoe size for changes. Remember that feet swell throughout the day, so shoe shopping should be done at the end of the day when feet are at their largest. If you aren’t sure what size shoe your little one wears, you can ask one of the store’s footwear specialists for help.
Of course, you can’t forget the importance of choosing the right socks, as well. Socks can prevent your little one from blisters, calluses and other foot problems. They can also wick away sweat and prevent fungal infections. When it comes to choosing the right socks for your little one consider the type of fabric, your child’s activity level, the size of your child’s feet and sensitivities they might have to certain fabrics.
When in doubt, you should talk to a foot doctor who can provide you with advice, answer any questions you might have about your child’s developing feet and also provide comprehensive care, when needed.
Warmer weather has arrived and as this article was written, thousands of hikers have already hit the trail. Hiking, especially long distance hiking, is a sure way to test your feet and overall foot health. A pain-free foot is key to transporting you from one camp to the next.
Dr. Eric Silvers of Advanced Foot and Ankle Center states “During a long distance hike, it is likely that a foot problem will arise and it is imperative to recognize a foot problem and treat it before it becomes the reason to throw you off the trail.”
Blisters- Caused from friction, moisture, ill fitting shoes and fungus, can lead to pain and infection and an altered gait. “Your skin is the largest organ in your body,” states Dr. Eric Silvers . “Its main purpose it so separate the outside from the inside of your body.” When compromised, infection, pain and even death can be the end result if an aggressive bacteria such as MRSA or e coli enters the blister and is not treated. Proper foot care and attention is especially important on multi day hiking trips when medical care is not easily accessible. It is important to tend to blisters immediately. First, clean the blister, release the fluid with a sterile needle or small pocket knife. Covering the blistered area with Mole Skin or Leukotape is effective after applying a very thin coat of triple antibiotic ointment or betadine/provodine ointment. Close monitoring of the skin around the blister is important so that an infection does not develop. If you notice increased pain, redness and drainage, it is best to get off the trail and seek medical attention for possible antibiotics and dressings. It is also best to re assess your shoegear if friction from the shoe is causing the blister.
Foreign bodies can also result when walking barefoot around camp. It is important to always wear some type of shoe when you are up and about. If you notice a foreign body that cannot be removed at camp with tweezers, it is important to seek medical attention before continuing with your hike as the chance of infection is high.
Various forms of tendonitis are common during hiking. The Achilles tendon along the back of the ankle and heel area is prone to becoming inflamed. Causes of Achilles tendonitis are frequent uphill climbs and also shoegear that may rub on the tendon. If you notice, pain and swelling of the Achilles tendon due to activity, it is best to add a heel lift for a few days, take an anti inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen and take a rest day or two. Do not attempt to push through the pain from Achilles Tendonitis as it will not improve with continued activity. If the problem persists, a walking boot and immobilization will be required. Other forms of tendonitis such as peroneal, posterior tibial and anterior tibial tendonitis are common especially when you are walking through rocky terrain. If you are prone to ankle sprains, it is highly encouraged that you wear an ankle brace during your activities.
Foot stress fractures can develop during a hike. If you have not slowly introduced your body to hiking conditions, you may be prone to stress fractures. Signs and symptoms of metatarsal stress fractures include, swelling, pain and at times redness along the top of the mid arch area. Heel stress fracture symptoms are consistent with progressive heel pain during activity, swelling at times and pain with side to side compression of the heel. If you suspect that you may have a stress fracture, seek medical attention as soon as you can get off trail. Do not risk developing a displaced fracture by fighting through the pain.
Plantar Fasciitis is one of the more common foot problems that can present itself during a long hike. Symptoms are arch and heel pain that is present after rest and after long periods of standing and walking. The plantar fascia can also become strained. A strained plantar fascia will feel like burning and stretching in the area of the foot arch. “It is recommended to be evaluated for custom molded foot orthotics if you have had any issues with arch and/or heel pain”, states Dr. Silvers.
Insect bites to the foot from ants, ticks, spiders and mosquitoes can be avoided with Gaiters. If you do suffer an insect bite, it is important to monitor the bite for any signs of infection.
Advanced Foot and Ankle center is a full service podiatry practice with emphasis on sports medicine.
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