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.
What are orthotics?
These specialized shoe inserts are a little different from the ones you can find at your local drugstore. Orthotics are special, custom-made shoe inserts designed and fabricated by your podiatrist to specifically fit your foot and its unique needs. There are many reasons why a podiatrist may recommend orthotics.
Sometimes orthotics are used to alleviate symptoms and improve common foot, leg, or even back problems, while other times your podiatrist may recommend them to improve the support and health of your feet to prevent problems in the first place.
Do I need orthotics?
Orthotics is just one way to treat foot and leg problems and your doctor may recommend orthotics if you are dealing with,
- Leg, hip, or back pain
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Plantar fasciitis
- Certain injuries to the foot or ankle
Orthotics can help people of all ages and backgrounds, from athletic kids and adults to those who are overweight and seniors. Feet continue to change as we get older, and as aches and pains set in, custom orthotics could be what you need to help make getting around as easy as it once was.
Types of Orthotics
There are many different kinds of materials that can be used to create orthotics. The type of condition you are dealing with will most likely help your podiatrist determine which material to use.
Orthotics range from soft and flexible to hard and rigid. Those with plantar fasciitis or diabetic feet are more likely to benefit from the cushioning and additional support of soft orthotics while athletes and those who often wear dress shoes are more likely to benefit from rigid orthotics.
If you are interested in orthotics and how they could help you, talk with your podiatrist to learn more.
Here are some possible reasons why you may be dealing with foot and ankle swelling,
It’s normal for there to be a little bit of swelling in the ankles and feet due to extra fluid and pressure placed on the body from the developing uterus. This is more common for women in their third trimester, especially the weeks leading up to delivery, or during hotter months. However, it’s important to keep an eye on your swelling to make sure it’s not severe or appearing suddenly. If you notice significant swelling of the feet and ankles along with stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or headaches, call your doctor right away, as this could be a sign of high blood pressure (known as preeclampsia).
You have a foot or ankle injury
This is a common reason why people often turn to a podiatrist. Everything from strains to sprained ankles and fractured bones in the foot can lead to sudden swelling after an injury. It’s a good idea to ice the injury to help reduce swelling. If your swelling is accompanied by severe pain or trouble walking on the foot then you should see a podiatrist immediately.
You could have a blood clot
A blood clot in the leg, often known as deep vein thrombosis, can stop blood from flowing through the legs back to the heart. As a result of the blockage, this can lead to swelling in the ankles and the affected leg. Since a blood clot can be particularly dangerous it is important that you seek immediate medical attention if your swelling is accompanied by leg pain, fever, and any color changes in your leg.
You may have heart or kidney disease
It is possible that swelling in your feet or ankles could be warning us of problems with your kidneys, liver, or heart. If you find that your ankles start to swell at night, your body could be retaining both salt and water (a possible sign of heart failure). When kidneys don’t function properly excess fluid can accumulate within the body and lead to swelling. If you notice swelling along with weight gain, loss of appetite, and fatigue then you should talk with your doctor.
These are only some of the reasons why you may be dealing with foot and ankle swelling. Other causes could be,
- Consuming too much salt
- Sitting or standing for too long
- Side effects from certain medications
- An infection (more common in those with diabetic neuropathy)
- Weak or damaged veins in the legs
Wear Appropriate Footwear
Consider Shoe Inserts
Apply Protective Padding
Practice Pain Management
Do I need surgery for a hammertoe?
If you are dealing with hammertoes or other foot problems, you must have a podiatrist that you can turn to for regular and immediate care.
Simple daily activities, such as walking or standing for extended periods, can be challenging when you are dealing with heel pain. Without treatment, the pain may only worsen with time. The good news is many effective treatments are available that can provide relief from heel pain. The experienced podiatrists at Family Foot & Ankle Care in Chandler AZ can help with your heel pain by recommending specific treatment options.
Common Causes of Heel Pain
Several factors can lead to the development of heel pain. Regularly performing repetitive motions that put stress on the feet is one cause of heel pain. Sustaining a foot injury can also result in heel pain. Other potential causes include stress fractures, tendonitis, arthritis, and heel spurs. These are all common causes of heel pain, but one of the most common is a foot condition known as plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the band of tissues along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. These tissues are known as the plantar fascia and connect the heel bone to the toes. When these tissues are irritated, the pain is felt at the bottom of the heel. For many people with plantar fasciitis, the pain worsens over time without treatment.
People with either extremely high arches or flat feet tend to be at risk for development plantar fasciitis. Activities that put a lot of stress on the heels, such as long-distance running or certain types of dancing, can also lead to the development of plantar fasciitis. Obesity is another risk factor for developing plantar fasciitis and heel pain. If you're worried you have this condition, talk to your heel pain Chandler specialist today.
Minor heel pain is often treated at home by resting the foot, icing the heel area, and limiting physical activity for a while. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce inflammation of the plantar fascia tissues and alleviate any pain or discomfort. Once the heel pain has subsided, wearing shoes that provide enough support and cushioning can help prevent the pain from returning.
If your heel pain is chronic or severe, it is best to seek medical treatment from your heel pain Chandler provider. At our podiatry office, heel pain is treated through several methods. One of our skilled podiatrists can recommend the right treatment option based on the cause and severity of your heel pain. Treatments for heel pain include:
- Padding and Strapping
- Custom Orthotics
- Walking Cast
- Night Splint
- Physical Therapy
Foot surgery is sometimes needed in the most serious cases when other methods cannot resolve the root problem. For instance, structural problems in the foot that are causing heel pain are corrected through surgical intervention. As another example, heel spurs, which are calcium deposits that develop on the bottom of the heel, can be a source of pain. Removing heel spurs through surgery provides long-lasting relief from the pain and discomfort they were causing.
Whatever the cause of your heel pain, there are treatment options that can help. Schedule an appointment with one of our heel pain Chandler podiatrists to discuss the different options for treating your heel pain by calling Family Foot & Ankle Care in Chandler at (480) 732-0033.
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