If you spend your days working on hard surfaces or wear shoes that irritate sensitive tissues, you may develop heel pain, the most common problem affecting the foot and ankle.
Your heel can hurt for any number of reasons, the most common being an inflammation or tearing of the plantar fascia, a band of fibrous connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel bone across the arch to the toes. This condition is known as plantar fasciitis and can cause pain that radiates from the heel to other parts of the foot.
If you are suffering from chronic heel pain, it is imperative that you consult your primary care doctor or orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist right away to determine the severity of the issue and to develop a treatment plan. In most cases, a doctor will examine the heel, looking and feeling for signs of tenderness and swelling.
Five common treatment tips for heel pain include:
RICE: You’ve probably heard of this one before. It’s one of the most common ways to treat heel pain and can be broken down into these relatively simple steps: rest, ice, compress and elevate. Resting the injury limits the amount of stress the area absorbs while the other aspects all contribute to the reduction of of bruising and swelling. This method is usually affected for treating most minor heel ailments.
Stretching: It is important to remember to stretch your calf muscles multiple times throughout the day. A standing calf stretch is often recommended by physicians for this purpose. In order to complete this stretch, stand in front of a wall as if you’re going to do a push up. Then, making sure your arm’s length from the wall, place both hands on the wall shoulder-width apart. Finally, lean into the wall with your hip and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. This should be done as much as twice a day for five minutes.
Shoes: Look for shoes with good arch support, particularly if the heel pain is a result of plantar fasciitis or overpronation. If you frequently feel pain while wearing a particular pair of shoes, stop wearing them. It is also important that you always wear shoes and avoid going barefoot.
Orthotics: One of the best preventative measures for ongoing foot problems, a custom-made orthotic provides support and protection to relieve pain and swelling. There are a variety of different inserts that can be used including heel pads or cups, full-length inserts or arch supports.
Time: Patience is a virtue and, in the case of heel pain, can often get you back on your feet faster. It is important to be patient when dealing with heel injuries as the healing process can sometimes be lengthy. You must refrain from stressing the injury through activity and let the healing process run its course.
If your heel pain does not resolve using at-home treatments in two weeks, visit your podiatrist as additional treatments may be needed such as anti-inflammatory medications, night splints, steroid injections, pre-fabricated or custom-made orthotics, castboots, shockwave therapy or surgery.
At Delray Beach Podiatry, Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatrist with over 30 years of experiences, can provide a seven point assessment report to determine if you need any biochemical corrections with your feet.
Referred to as digital orthotics, Cutting 3DO Technology assesses your weight distribution, areas of high pressure, body balance and mass displacement.
Cutting 3DO Technology also analyzes gait symmetry, body symmetry and your phases of gait.
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The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from www.DelrayBeachPodiatry.com without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:
16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445
8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472