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Heel pain is one of the leading problems that sends patients to visit their podiatrist, and it’s no wonder. The relentless ache in the bottom of your foot or the sharp pain as you step out of bed in the morning is often enough to persuade even the most stubborn patient to make an appointment with his or her podiatrist.
Because there are many potential causes of heel pain, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, nerve damage or arthritis, it’s important to have your foot examined by a podiatrist with expert training in heel pain. Our practice will examine your foot, determine the underlying source of your heel pain, assess your symptoms, make a proper diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan based on your individual case. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent more serious problems.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, occurring when the thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that connects the heel to the toes becomes irritated and inflamed. When the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension, tissues of the fascia may tear or stretch, which leads to pain.
Faulty foot structures, such as flat feet or high arches, are common causes of plantar fasciitis. Non-supportive shoes and increased weight or strain may aggravate the condition as well.
Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Bottom of the heel pain
- Pain that intensifies after sitting for extended periods of time and subsides after a few minutes of walking
- Pain that worsens over a period of months
Most types of heel pain, once properly diagnosed, can be successfully treated with conservative measures, such as use of anti-inflammatory medications and ice, rest, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, footwear modifications and physical therapy. The longer heel pain is allowed to progress, the longer treatment can take. When plantar fasciitis doesn’t respond to conservative care, your podiatrist may recommend surgery as a last resort. Always seek care from our office for heel pain in its earliest stages for proper treatment.
Welcome to the Blog of Family Foot & Ankle Care
Whether you are an existing patient or searching for a podiatrist in the Sparta, NJ area, we’re excited you are here. With the podiatric industry advancing, we recognize the importance of keeping our patients and visitors up to date with all of the new and exciting things taking place in our practice.
As we move forward with our blog, we hope to promote good foot health as a vital part of your healthy lifestyle. Here you will find a variety of articles and topics including podiatry news, advancements in podiatric treatments, practical foot and ankle health advice and updates from our practice.
We hope you find our blog to be helpful, engaging and informational to ensure your best foot and ankle health
As always, feel free to contact Family Foot & Ankle Care with any questions or concerns.
-- The Podiatry Team at Family Foot & Ankle Care
We have used shockwave therapy as a treatment for chronic heel pain in the practice for over four years now. We have found it to be a very successful treatment for those who suffer from heel pain that is unrelieved from traditional forms of conservative treatment such as steroid injections, functional orthotics, physical therapy, change in shoewear, etc.
Before shockwave therapy if patients weren't responding to conservative treatment a surgical plantar fasciotomy was considered which has a significant recovery period of six to eight weeks and possibly signficant time off from work. At Family Foot & Ankle Care since we have been offering shockwave therapy a plantar fasciotomy has only had to be performed twice and this was because the insurance company did not cover shockwave therapy at the time.
Shockwave therapy has multiple benefits:
* Convenient as it is performed in the office
* Patient friendly as there is a minimum recovery time
* Successful with a greater than 85% success rate in alleviating symptoms
HOW IT WORKS:
*Through the process of cavitation, it stimulates fibroblast and tenocyte production. Fibroblasts and tenocytes make up the body's connective tissue and help to repair chronically damaged tissue such as occurs with chronic plantar fasciitis. Shockwave therapy therefore helps to "kickstart" the body's process of healing thereby repairing the damaged plantar fascia ligament.
*Shockwave therapy diminishes pain by over-stimulating the nerves that send pain sensations to the brain.
*Shockwave therapy can breakdown pathological calcium deposits (bone spur).
The patients being treated for chronic heel pain with shockwave therapy usually describe a pain level of 7 to 10 out of 10 on the pain scale with 10 being the most painful. Within four to five months the large majority of these patients can legitimately state they have experience significant pain relief. We had one recent patient who was able to run in the Boston marathon three months after the procedure!! Another weekend warrior was finally able to return back to playing softball again without limping or hobbling to first base.
Many people suffering from heel pain resign themselves to living with heel pain even if they've received some forms of conservative treatment that have proven unsuccessful. They don't have to live with this heel pain. Shockwave therapy has proven very successful in this practice and will continue for years to come. It helps to relieve people of their heel pain enabling them to re-engage with life's activities which they were previously apprehensive about participating in as the heel pain signficantly has hindered their enjoyment of these activities.
We have seen first hand how it improves people's quality of life. They no longer limp but ambulate pain free and return back to their activities without having to think about their heel pain!
At Family Foot & Ankle Care, I see a range of different foot and ankle pathology. Some of these conditions could certainly be avoided if the proper shoewear was worn to protect and support the feet better and avoid having the feet "beaten up" by the hard, unforgiving surfaces we stand on all day while at work and even at play.
However, in interviewing patient's as to how they go about looking for a shoe there are usually one of two responses which is purchasing based on purely price alone or style of the shoe. Truly, the best way to find a shoe is knowing what shoe or sneaker will fit your particular foot type the best in order to maximize comfort.
There are three particular foot types which is a flat foot, a neutral or medium arched foot, and a high arch foot. Shoes and particularly sneakers are made in order to accommodate these particular foot types. A Motion Control type shoe/sneaker is best for a low arched foot type that is very flexible. A Stability type shoe/sneaker is best for a medium arched foot type and a Neutral shoe/sneaker is best for a high arched foot.
In our office, a thorough examination of the foot will reveal the patient's foot type, flexibility of the foot, whether or not the patient is a supinating or hyperpronating foot type. With this information, you will then be able to select the particular type of shoe that will best protect your feet based on your foot type. We provide a list of sneakers at the office for you based on this information. We can also scan your feet and lead you towards shoes/sneakers that best fit your fit based on this digital scan.
It will then become easier to select the shoe that best fits your fit. And yes, you can find a shoe/sneaker that is reasonable in price, quite stylish, and most importantly make your feet feel like you're walking on air. It will be the best money you ever spent!!
Heel pain or heel spur syndrome is one of the more common conditions we see at Family Foot & Ankle Care. It is a very common condition that plagues people's heel.
There are many causes to heel pain including a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, neuritis (irritation of a nerve), or possibly a cyst. It is important given the various causes of heel pain to have the condition properly diagnosed as treatment for these condition will vary and it is important to determine the underlying source of the pain.
However, the most common condition associated with heel pain is known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is an irritation of the band of soft tissue that connects from the heel to the base of the toes. The point of insertion of the plantar fascia ligament into the heel becomes irritated and inflammed causing heel pain. The usual pattern of pain tends to be severe pain in the heel in the morning and after periods of rest. Patient's will also relate having pain in the heel after standing on the feet for long periods of time.
Plantar fasciitis is often caused by faulty structure of the feet whether it be a flat or high arched foot type or possibly faulty biomechanics of the feet with a hyperpronated foot type. This places undue stress on the ligament which reacts with inflammation and irritation of the ligament that is overstrained and overloaded. Many times standing on hard, unforgiving surfaces with unsupportive shoewear may eventually lead to overloading the plantar fascia ligament inducing heel pain.
Once the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis