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!
Your feet put in a lot of work, so it's understandable that they might show signs of the wear and tear they endure on a daily basis. One of the common ways your feet respond to constant walking and standing is by developing corns. Of course, we're not talking about the grain that comprises many of your meals and snacks. If you're unsure what a corn is and how it's related to your foot health, read below and contact Dr. Brian Doerr, your foot doctor in Fort Myers, Florida, for any additional answers.
What are corns?
A corn is a dome-shaped, thickened area of dead skin on the feet. Like calluses, corns develop as the body's way of protecting the skin from injury. They usually form on areas that are subject to repeated pressure and friction, the most common spots being the tops and sides of the toes. Not all corns are symptomatic, but some will cause inflammation of the skin beneath them, leading to pain and swelling. People with diabetes or other conditions that cause nerve damage or circulation problems are at particular risk for developing complications from corns.
How are corns treated?
If you have a corn that is bothering you, an examination from your Fort Myers foot doctor can determine the best way to treat it. Soaking your foot in warm water and then buffing the corn with a pumice stone may be all that is necessary. Application of over-the-counter products, including patches, lotions, or other topical medications that contain salicylic acid can dissolve the dead skin over time. Cushions and pads can also be worn to reduce pressure on the corn. If the corn fails to respond to at-home treatments, Dr. Doerr can remove it using a scalpel, although antibiotics may be needed to treat or prevent an infection.
If you have a bothersome corn, callus, or other foot condition, Dr. Brian Doerr is the foot doctor to trust in Fort Myers, Florida! Contact our office today at (239) 931-3668 for an appointment.
Diabetes doesn't just change your diet; it is a systemic disorder that requires careful monitoring to keep your body functioning properly. One of the most important aspects of maintaining diabetes is caring for your feet, and Dr. Brian Doerr, your podiatrist in Fort Myers, Florida, has provided the information his diabetic patients need to make good decisions about their health.
How diabetes affects the feet
Since diabetes starts in the pancreas, it may surprise you to learn that it can have a dire effect on your lower extremities. But as your Fort Myers podiatrist mentioned above, diabetes is a disease that affects your entire body. It can lessen the signals that your nerves send to your brain, as well as decrease blood flow. This means that if you have any kind of foot injury that breaks the skin, even something minor like a blister, your wound may not heal properly due to the lack of circulation, leaving it open to infection. You may not even realize that there's a problem due to the lack of feeling in your feet. In advanced cases where the infection cannot be controlled, amputation may be necessary.
Diabetic foot care tips
If you're diabetic, you may be worried that there's nothing you can do to prevent foot wounds. However, caring for your feet is fairly easy, but does require adhering to a strict routine. Dr. Doerr, your Fort Myers podiatrist, suggests the following tips to his diabetic patients:
- Wash the feet daily using a mild soap, and dry them carefully afterwards to prevent any fungal growth on the toes or nails.
- After drying the feet, inspect them in a well-lit room using a mirror for the heels and any other hard-to-see places. Report any cuts, splinters, blisters or any evidence of broken skin to your podiatrist immediately.
- Wear foot protection at all times, including indoors. Shoes and slippers should have closed toes and a proper fit.
Regular checkups with your Fort Myers podiatrist, Dr. Brian Doerr, is essential to the maintenance of your diabetes. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.