The two most common causes of heel pain are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. It isn’t always easy to tell these two issues apart and they can certainly make it challenging to get around. Knowing the difference is key to figuring out the best way to treat the problem and when you might need to see our Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist Dr. Brian Doerr.
Where is the location of the pain?
This is often the only way to tell these two foot conditions apart. Plantar fasciitis affects the plantar fascia, a ligament that runs along the underside of the foot from the heels to the toes. Therefore, if you notice pain under the heel and around the arches then it is more likely to be plantar fasciitis. Achilles tendonitis often causes pain above the heel bone.
When does pain appear?
If you have plantar fasciitis you may notice that your pain is worse in the morning. This is because the fascia contract and tighten as we sleep. Once you get up, the irritated fascia stretches out, which leads to more severe pain and stiffness. You may also notice that icing the heel and stretching the foot provides some relief.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
If the arches of the foot aren’t properly supported this can lead to plantar fasciitis. This is common for long-distance runners and those who wear improper footwear. If you stand most of the day for work you may also be at risk for plantar fasciitis, particularly if you wear shoes that don’t provide arch support.
Should I see a doctor for my heel pain?
If your heel pain is minor then you may decide to rest your feet and see if the pain goes away. If the pain persists, gets worse or is severe then you will want to see our Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist for a diagnosis. After all, while you may assume that you are dealing with plantar fasciitis there are quite a few conditions and injuries that can mirror this condition.
Is heel pain interfering with your daily routine? If so, call our Fort Myers, FL, office to schedule a consultation with our podiatrist. Don’t let heel pain tell you what you can and can’t do.
With the warmer weather out, it’s now sandal and flip-flop season; however, you may have noticed a large bump sticking out at the base of your big toe. If so, you could very likely be dealing with a bunion, a common foot deformity that causes the joint to shift out of place. If left untreated, bunions can become worse, which is why it’s important to see your Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist, Dr. Brian Doerr, if you suspect that you might have a bunion.
Just Say No to Heels
While we know that it might be impossible to give up your high heels forever, if you don’t want to aggravate the bunion and possibly make it worse, then it’s important that you wear the appropriate shoes to protect and cushion your feet. Shoes that are too tight, bunch up the toes, or put pressure on the bunion are a no-no. However, you can still opt for heels from time to time, just make sure that the heel isn’t above 2 inches tall.
Lose Excess Weight
If you are struggling with being overweight or obese, the added weight can also put more pressure on your feet, leading to bunions and other problems. By maintaining a healthy weight, the joints and bones of the feet won’t have to work as hard or take on as much force and pressure every day. Of course, losing weight isn’t always easy, so you should consult your doctor in Fort Myers, FL, if you need help.
Warm Soaks or Ice Packs
Some people prefer cold presses when easing pain and swelling, but for others, the opposite may be true. While ice has been known to dull pain and reduce swelling, the same holds true for soaking your sore, achy feet in warm water. We believe the choice is up to you. If you do turn to ice, make sure to always wrap an ice pack in a towel before applying to the bunion (never place ice directly on skin).
Splint the Foot
While splinting the foot won’t correct the joint abnormality, it can at least temporarily realign it so that there isn’t too much pressure and weight being placed on the deformed joint. You may also talk to your podiatrist about splinting the joint at night, particularly if you experience bunion pain and stiffness first thing in the morning.
If you are dealing with bunion pain and having trouble getting your symptoms under control, then it’s time to see a foot specialist in Fort Myers, FL, who can help you find ways to alleviate pain and swelling. Call our office today at (239) 931-3668 to schedule an appointment
Heel pain is nothing to ignore. Causing extreme discomfort and even long-term immobility, this podiatric condition can change your life permanently...unless you receive help from your Fort Myers podiatrist, Dr. Brian Doerr. He sees many cases of heel pain, and most come from a condition called plantar fasciitis. Learn here how to regain your mobility and be pain-free.
Plantar fasciitis. An inflammatory condition of the plantar fascia, connective tissue which runs along the bottom of the foot between the toes and heel. plantar fasciitis really hurts, particularly in the area of the heel bone. In fact, many podiatry patients in Fort Myers have spurs, or bony projections, off their heel bones, adding to the discomfort of plantar fasciitis.
Who gets this common problem, and what causes it? Basically, it's an overuse issue associated with poor gait. In other words, if you are on your feet a lot, or if you are an avid runner or tennis player, you may develop heel pain.
Overpronation, a gait imbalance involving the inward rotation of the foot and flattening of the arch, adds to the discomfort, along with obesity, poorly structured shoes and age. Foot experts at the Cleveland Clinic say that most people with plantar fasciitis are between the ages of 30 and 60.
Treating heel pain
When your podiatrist examines and images your feet (with X-rays or an MRI), he can pinpoint plantar fascia problems and heel spurs. Symptoms, along with what precipitates and relieves them, clarify the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis.
What can be done? Surprisingly, few people require surgery. Simple rest, ice, elevation and over the counter pain meds relieve immediate symptoms. Long-term, however, many patients require:
- Custom-made shoe inserts to correct their gait imbalance and to support and cushion the arch
- Physical therapy
- Stretching exercises, particularly first thing in the morning and before a workout, says the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
- Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen
- Night splints which keep the plantar fasciia stretched
- A program of regular exercise and weight loss
University Health News reports that people who consistently follow a rehab regimen set out by their podiatrists or orthopedic physicians experience vast improvement in their plantar fasciitis.
You can manage your heel pain with a little counsel from Dr. Brian Doerr in Fort Myers, FL. He and his staff offer top-notch care for all your podiatric needs; so don't wait. Call (239) 931-3668, and treat your feet well.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, approximately one in ten Americans have heel spurs. While heel spurs are typically painful and cause discomfort, they can also be asymptomatic so many people are not aware of the problem. Heel spurs sometimes develop with plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is another common foot problem that results from inflammation to the long tissue that runs the length of the foot from the ankle to the base of the toes. Dr. Brian Doerr, a podiatrist in Fort Myers, FL, offers diagnosis and treatment for foot and ankle problems and injuries.
Heel Pain Diagnosis and Treatment in Fort Myers, FL
Q: What are Heel Spurs?
A: A heel spur is a bony protrusion caused by calcium deposits on the bottom of the heel.
Q: What Causes Heel Spurs?
A: There are a few potential causes for heel spurs. Approximately half of all cases of heel spurs occur with plantar fasciitis, but other potential causes include:
- Gait problems
- Being excessively overweight, which places additional strain and pressure on the heels
- Wearing shoes that do not fit properly or provide adequate support
Q: What are the Signs and Symptoms?
A: Many people with heel spurs do not experience symptoms, however, the most common symptom is sharp shooting pain in the heel, especially after long periods of inactivity like sleeping or sitting. Bone spurs can also cause inflammation, tenderness, and bony protrusions on the bottom of the heel.
Q: How do you Prevent Heel Spurs?
A: The best way to prevent heel spurs is to wear shoes that provide adequate support and shock absorption for your foot type. Replace athletic shoes at regular intervals, and make sure to stretch and warm up before and after work outs and intensive physical activity with adequate periods of rest and recovery in between. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding excess pressure on the joints is also important to prevent injuries and strains.
Q: How are Heel Spurs Treated?
A: Like plantar fasciitis, heel spurs can usually be treated conservatively with rest, orthotics, and lifestyle modifications if needed. However, in some cases, surgery may be an option if conservative treatments are insufficient.
Find a Podiatrist in Fort Myers, FL
For more information about heel spurs and other foot and ankle injuries and conditions, contact our Fort Myers, FL, office by calling 239-931-3668 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Doerr today!
Heel pain can have a very disruptive effect on your life. In fact, 60 percent of heel pain sufferers surveyed by the American Podiatric Medicine Association had trouble performing their usual activities due to the pain. Fortunately, your Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist, Dr. Brian Doeer, offers treatments that will help ease your heel pain.
Why do I have heel pain?
Nearly everyone has had heel pain at some point in their lives. You may have noticed it after you stepped on a Lego left on the floor or worn shoes that looked good but certainly didn't feel great. Although pain caused by minor injuries usually gets better in a few days, the pain may persist if you have one of these conditions:
- Plantar Fasciitis: The condition occurs when the tough band of connective tissue on the underside of your foot becomes irritated and inflamed. If you have plantar fasciitis, you'll probably notice that the pain is worse when you stand or walk after sitting for a while or just after you take your first steps in the morning.
- Bone Spurs: Bone spurs often develop if you have plantar fasciitis. The calcium deposits rub against the bottom of your heel, triggering pain in some cases.
- Heel Fissures: Fissures are cracks in your skin. Applying lotion regularly may help heal shallow fissures but may not be so helpful if the cracks are deep and painful.
- Achilles Tendinitis: Pain and swelling at the back of your heel may be due to inflammation in the Achilles tendon, the long, thin tendon that connects your calf muscles to the bones of your heel.
When should I call the foot doctor?
When pain doesn't get better even after reducing the amount of time you've spent on your feet, you should pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with our Fort Myers podiatrist. He can reduce your painful symptoms through a variety of treatments, including corticosteroid injections, night splints for plantar fasciitis, physical therapy, and boots/casts that reduce any pressure on your heel while it heals.
Orthotics can also be helpful for many heel conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, bone spurs, fissures, and tendinitis. These prescription shoe inserts improve the alignment of your foot, distribute weight over your feet evenly, as well as support and cushion your heels.
Call us today!
End your heel pain with a visit to the podiatrist. Call your Fort Myers, FL, foot doctor, Dr. Brian Doeer, at (239) 931-3668 to schedule an appointment today!
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