Dealing with heel pain? Find out what could be causing it.
Heel pain happens to the best of us. While most of us will be able to stay off our feet for a couple days until the issue subsides it’s also important to know what’s going on and when you might need to turn to a professional for care. Our Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist Dr. Brian Doerr is here to tell you more about the causes of heel pain and what you can do about it.
What is causing my heel pain?
One of the most common causes of acute heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This occurs when the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of your feet and supports the arches) becomes inflamed.
Those with plantar fasciitis may also find that their heel pain is worse when they first get up in the morning or when exercising but often subsides throughout the day.
Other causes of heel pain include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Heel spur
- Stress fractures
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
When should I seek medical attention for heel pain?
While most causes of heel pain such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis will go away on their own as long as you give your feet proper care and rest, there are some instances in which the smartest and healthiest choice for your feet is to visit a foot doctor in Fort Myers, FL. It’s time to seek immediate medical attention if:
- Heel pain and/or swelling is severe
- You can’t put weight on the foot or bend the foot
- Heel pain is accompanied by numbness, weakness or tingling in the foot
- You also have a fever
- Your pain came about after an injury
It’s also a good idea to schedule an appointment with a foot specialist if heel pain doesn’t go away after a couple of weeks of at-home care, or if heel pain lingers even if you aren’t moving or putting weight on the foot.
No matter whether you have questions about foot care or you are dealing with symptoms that warrant an evaluation from our podiatry specialist in Fort Myers, FL, don’t hesitate to call us and schedule a consultation. We are always here to help.
Bunion symptoms can make your life more challenging, whether your bunions are large or small. Comfortable shoes are hard to find, and walking more than a few steps can trigger immediate pain. Fortunately, help is available to treat your symptoms. Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist Dr. Brian Doerr shares a few things you can do to ease your pain.
Clean your closet
Are you reluctant to give up high heels or tight shoes despite your symptoms? Although you may initially be able to cram your feet in the shoes, continuing to wear these styles may actually speed the progression of your bunion. Throwing out shoes that hurt your feet and replacing them more comfortable styles is a simple way to reduce your pain. Look for shoes that offer plenty of wriggle room for your toes and adequate cushioning.
Pad your bunion
Even the slightest amount of friction or pressure can irritate your bunion. The next time you visit a Fort Myers drugstore, buy a package of adhesive foot pads. Affixing the pads to your bunion will reduce pain, irritation and numbness when you wear shoes. Pads also protect corns and calluses that form when your big toe rubs against the top of your second toe.
Pay a visit to the foot doctor
Podiatrists offer treatments designed to ease your bunion pain, including:
- Orthotics: These shoe inserts are custom-designed to fit your foot. They help stabilize your foot and improve the position of your foot when you walk and stand.
- Taping or Splinting: Taping or splinting your foot at night can decrease stress and pain and may help slow the progression of your bunion.
- Cortisone Injections: If over-the-counter pain medications and ice packs are no longer helpful in controlling your pain, a cortisone injection may be recommended.
- Surgery: Although it may be possible to slow the progression of bunions, surgery is the only way to remove them. Surgery may be recommended if your bunion interferes with your daily activities or causes substantial pain. Bunion surgery may be used to realign your joint, remove damaged tissue or bone, or fuse the bones in the joint together.
Relieve your bunion pain with a trip to the podiatrist. Call Fort Myers, FL, foot doctor Dr. Brian Doerr at (239) 931-3668 to schedule your appointment.
Do you have pain in your heel or the arch of your foot? What about your lower back or calves--do they hurt when you walk or are on your feet for an extended period of time? If so, you may have a common podiatric condition called flat feet. Your podiatrist in Fort Myers, FL, Dr. Brian Doerr, understands this problem and treats in conservatively and effectively. You can find relief for your persistent discomfort.
They're pretty common
The Institute for Preventive Foot Health (IPFH) says that eight percent of Americans ages 21 and up have flat feet. While flat feet--that is, feet with arches that touch the ground--are ok in toddlers and kids, flat feet cause multiple problems in adults, including:
- Pain in the heel and arch of the foot
- Swollen and painful calves
- Lower back pain
- Tendonitis or tearing of the tibialis tendon along the back of the leg (it supports the arch of the foot)
In addition, some patients with flat feet simply complain--and with good reason--that their feet feel tired most of the time.
Causes of flat feet vary, but inherited foot structure, trauma to the bones of the foot, overuse, diabetes, arthritis, pregnancy, and obesity count among them. In addition, people who overpronate their feet, rolling them inward toward the midline of the body, strain and flatten the arches.
Treatment of flat feet in Fort Myers
When you see Dr. Doerr for a consultation, he'll examine your feet, check your gait, look at the pattern of wear on your shoes and take X-rays, a CT Scan or an MRI as needed. He'll also go over your medical history and ask you about your symptoms.
How will Dr. Doerr treat your flat feet? Well, know that surgery can be a treatment, but it's definitely not the first choice. Bone grafts, removal of parts of the foot bones and fusing parts of the foot and/or ankle are options, but conservative approaches serve most people best. They include:
- Over the counter analgesics and anti-inflammatories
- Shoes with well-constructed arch supports and ample room in the toe box
- Physical therapy and stretching exercises
- Custom-crafted shoe orthotics for support and proper gait
- Limiting repetitive motion sports such as running or tennis, particularly on hard surfaces such as concrete
- Use of tape and braces to support the tendons and ligaments
If you think you're developing symptoms of flat feet or have other painful conditions of the feet or ankles, contact Dr, Doerr, your podiatrist in Fort Myers, FL. You and your feet will receive modern diagnostics and treatment with the kindest of touch. Phone the office today at (239) 931-3668 for an appointment.
Do you need podiatric help from your Fort Myers, FL podiatrist?
What is a Hammer Toe?
A hammer toe is when a toe is bent at the first joint of the digit, causing the toe to look like an upside-down V. The condition usually affects the second, third, fourth and/or fifth toes, and are more common in females than males. There are two different types: flexible hammertoes, which are movable at the joint, and rigid hammer toes, which is when the tendons become tight.
An abnormal balance of the muscles in the toes develops in hammertoes, causing pressures on the tendons and joints. What are some other causes:
- Wearing tight shoes
Here are some symptoms you may suffer from:
- Pain due to pressure from footwear on hammertoe
- Formation of corns on the joint
- Redness and swelling
- Restricted motion of the toe joint
- Pain in the ball of the foot
Your Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist advises the following:
- Place a non-medicated hammertoe pad around the hammertoe to decrease pressure on the area
- Apply ice packs several times a day to help reduce pain and swelling
- Avoid heels more than two inches tall
- Wear loose-fitted shoes
- Avoid narrow shoes
- Padding and taping
- Orthotic devices
- Surgical options
There are several things your podiatrist will suggest to do to help prevent hammertoes from forming or progressing:
- Hammertoes may be related to a hereditary problem in your foot mechanics, so wear supportive shoes to help prevent deformities.
- Orthotics may slow the progression or prevent the development of hammertoes.
- Avoid shoes with pointed toe boxes that may compress the toes
If you have any questions or concerns, call your Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist today! Don't let pain persist and see Dr. Brian Doerr, because allowing an untreated hammertoe to persist may prevent non-surgical treatment options.
It is well-established that leading an active lifestyle helps you maintain your body’s health and wellness. However, conditions like athlete’s foot can occur no matter how well you eat or how much time you spend in the gym. In fact, athlete’s foot can spread to your hands or even another person. Find out how you can prevent the spread of athlete’s foot and keep your feet healthy with Dr. Brian Doerr in Fort Myers, FL.
Do I have athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot normally has a few tell-tale symptoms. The most visually obvious is the scaling of the foot, which may occur alongside cracking or peeling skin. The most physically obvious is the itchiness associated with the condition, often accompanied by pain or burning. At first, your skin may seem more pale than normal and moist, with the skin between the toes being the most affected. You may also notice that your foot produces a slight odor.
How can I prevent the spread of athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot is contagious and can transfer from person to person. The first step in preventing the spread of athlete’s foot is to keep the feet clean and dry. Wash your feet every day with soap and water and allow them to dry completely before putting on freshly laundered socks. Never wear dirty or wet socks. Wear shower shoes in any moist, public areas like locker rooms, public showers, or public pools. Allow the feet to breathe and air out as often as you can. Use an anti-fungal powder on your feet, especially when performing strenuous activities which cause perspiration. Never share towels, wear socks while inside your home, and wash your sheets in hot water to prevent the spread of athlete’s foot to your partner.
Athlete's Foot Treatments in Fort Myers, FL
Treatment for athlete’s foot normally depends on the severity of your condition. Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream or powder to apply to your foot. If this fails to provide results, a prescription strength version of the anti-fungal cream or powder may be necessary. In the most severe cases, your doctor will recommend oral anti-fungal medication.
For more information on athlete’s foot or its treatment, please contact Dr. Doerr at his practice in Fort Myers, FL. Call (239) 931-3668 to schedule your appointment for a foot examination with Dr. Doerr today!
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