Podiatrist Blog

Posts for tag: Heel Pain

By Providence Foot Health Center
May 05, 2022
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Find out how to treat heel pain yourself and when to see a podiatrist.

Whether you are an avid runner or just someone who likes going to the gym occasionally, it can be challenging to do these everyday activities when faced with heel pain. Did you take that run just a little too far yesterday? Did you suddenly intensify your exercise regime? Then your heels might be screaming out for sweet relief. Here’s how to tackle heel pain before seeing a podiatrist.

What causes heel pain?

Plantar fasciitis is typically the cause of most heel pain. While the name might seem a bit intimidating, don’t worry! Symptoms can often be managed through simple at-home remedies such as,

  • Performing specific foot stretches and exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve function.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medication to soothe pain and inflammation temporarily.
  • Avoid high-impact activities, which will often only exacerbate the condition and lead to further inflammation.
  • Splint the foot or wear shoe inserts (orthotics) to provide arch support.
  • Consider corticosteroid injections and extracorporeal shock wave therapy, which may also be helpful for those dealing with more severe or stubborn pain.

When should I call my podiatrist?

While you may not want to immediately rush to call your podiatrist at the first bout of pain, you mustn’t ignore a potentially serious issue. You should turn to a podiatrist if,

  • You have severe heel pain or swelling
  • You can’t point your foot downward or stand up on your tiptoes
  • You also notice numbness or a tingling sensation in the heel accompanied by pain
  • You experience sudden pain that occurs right after an injury
  • You have diabetes or have neuropathy in your feet
  • You have been trying at-home treatment options for a week, and there are no changes to your symptoms

If rest and home care haven’t been enough to manage your heel pain, it’s time to turn to a foot and ankle specialist who can help.

By Providence Foot Health Center
October 12, 2021
Category: Foot Care

Heel pain got you benched? Here are some ways to get your pain under control.

Are you dealing with heel pain? If so, you could have an overuse injury known as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of the feet. If you’re a runner, have quickly intensified your workouts, or are on your feet all day, you may find yourself dealing with plantar fasciitis in Washington, DC. Your podiatrist, Dr. James Mintzer, can help diagnose and treat your heel pain.

What are the signs of plantar fasciitis?

Since there are many causes for heel pain you may be wondering if you are dealing with plantar fasciitis or something else. If you’ve never experienced heel pain before it’s a good idea to turn to your podiatrist and his team to find out if you have plantar fasciitis. Some of the telltale signs include:

  • Pain that originates below the heelbone
  • Pain that may radiate to the arches of the feet
  • Swelling
  • Pain and stiffness that are worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

While it’s a good idea to have a podiatrist evaluate your foot, especially if your symptoms are severe or completely new, you may be able to manage your symptoms through rest, activity modification, and simple lifestyle changes. Most minor cases of plantar fasciitis will recover in a few weeks with ample rest and home care. Some of the ways you can ease your symptoms include:

  • Avoiding high impact activities or strenuous activities 
  • Elevate your foot to reduce swelling
  • Stretch the feet every day to loosen the ligaments and muscles to reduce pain and stiffness
  • Ice the foot 2-3 times a day for 10-15 minutes at a time to ease pain and swelling
  • Take an anti-inflammatory medication
  • Talk to your podiatrist about bracing or splinting your heel at night while you sleep. This can reduce pain and stiffness that are often worse in the morning

How does a podiatrist treat plantar fasciitis?

If you are dealing with plantar fasciitis in Washington, DC, you should visit your podiatrist to confirm that this is what’s causing your heel pain. If your symptoms aren’t improving, or are getting worse, despite rest and home care then you should also give us a call.

Ways in which our team may treat plantar fasciitis include:

  • Crafting custom orthotic or shoe inserts to provide additional support and cushioning for the heels and arches
  • Providing a walking boot or cast
  • Steroid injections
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Surgery for severe cases

Are you living with heel pain, or having trouble getting your plantar fasciitis under control? If so, your Washington, DC, foot doctor Dr. Mintzer can help. Call Providence Foot Health Center at 202-269-4062 to schedule an evaluation.

By Providence Foot Health Center
September 14, 2020
Category: Foot Issues
Common Foot and Ankle Injuries And How a Podiatrist Can HelpFoot and ankle injuries are fairly common and can happen to anyone, not just athletes. While minor strains and sprains can be nursed back to health by simply resting and icing your injury, it’s important to be able to discern when you need to see a podiatrist for care. Put your feet up and check out these signs that it might be time to schedule a podiatry appointment.

You are dealing with persistent heel pain

Heel pain is a common complaint and most often the result of an overuse injury such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. The good news is that heel pain will usually go away on its own with rest and home care; however, if the heel pain is severe or persists for weeks without getting better than it’s time to see a podiatrist and find out what’s going on.

You’re dealing with a sprained or fractured foot

If you are dealing with a new foot and ankle injury that you’ve never experienced before, then it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist who will be able to examine it to determine the extent and severity of the sprain or break. Since untreated or improperly treated injuries can lead to long-term foot and ankle pain and instability, it’s a good idea to get proper podiatry care when you sustain an injury.

You have been diagnosed with diabetes

People with diabetes know that they are also at an increased risk for other foot-related complications including neuropathy, ulcers, and infections. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes it’s a good idea to have a podiatrist that you can turn to for regular care, especially when problems arise. Even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms, you should still see your podiatrist once a year for a routine checkup.

You’re dealing with regular joint pain and stiffness

While there are many reasons why someone may deal with a bout of joint pain, if this is a persistent problem, you may be dealing with arthritis. Since arthritis is progressive, it’s important to diagnose this problem early when medications and treatments can help to slow the progression of joint damage.

If you are experiencing a foot or ankle injury or experiencing symptoms that have you concerned, it’s best to consult foot care professionals for comprehensive podiatry care.
By Providence Foot Health Center
February 18, 2020
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Heel Pain  

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 heel painseems 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.

By PROVIDENCE FOOT HEALTH CENTER
March 06, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Is heel pain keeping you down? Pain that occurs following an injury or early in an illness may play a protective role, warning us about the damage we have suffered. SoYour Heel Pain Could Be Plantar Fasciitis what causes heel pain?
 
Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition in which a band of tissue in the sole of the foot becomes inflamed, leading to severe heel pain. The pain can be so bad that it hurts to walk, much less exercise or perform daily activities. If one step causes shooting pain in your heel—especially when you first get out of bed in the morning or stand up after sitting for a long period of time—plantar fasciitis may be to blame. Contact your podiatrist immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment of your pain. 
 

Understanding Heel Pain with Help from Your Podiatrist

Plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, occurs when the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension. This causes the soft tissue fibers of the fascia to tear or stretch at points along its length, leading to inflammation, pain and possibly the growth of a bone spur where it attaches to the heel bone.
 
Inflammation may become irritated by shoes that lack appropriate support, mainly in the arch area and by the constant irritation associated with an athletic lifestyle. Resting may provide temporary relief, but when you resume walking you may experience a sudden elongation of the fascia band, which stretches and pulls on the heel. As you walk the pain may lessen or even disappear, but that may just be a false sense of relief, as the pain will often return after prolonged rest or extensive walking.  
 
You can take steps now to avoid heel pain, including:
  • 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
If pain and other symptoms of inflammation persist, you should limit your normal daily activities and contact your podiatrist immediately.  


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