At Palm Beach Podiatry, we treat many patients who come into our office suffering from heel pain. There are a variety of reasons someone may be experiencing this problem, but two of the most common are plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
Understanding Plantar Fasciitis
On the underside of your foot, running from the heel bone to your toes, is a thick band of fibrous tissue known as your plantar fascia. This tissue provides valuable services for your foot when everything is functioning well, but too much tension on this tissue can lead to small tears in the fascia. Due to repetitive tearing and stretching, it can then become inflamed and irritated in a condition known as plantar fasciitis.
A prevailing symptom of this condition is sharp, intense pain experienced first thing in the morning or after long periods of sitting or standing in the same place. By ignoring this ailment, you risk developing chronic heel pain that can impair your ability to perform daily activities. Modifying your gait to reduce the pain might also lead to problems in other areas of your body, including your foot, knee, hip, or even back.
Given that the pain typically goes away once you start moving around, it is easy to think that the problem is resolved, but this reprieve is only temporary. You will still require treatment to avoid those aforementioned risks. As is often the case, it is better to get help sooner rather than later, so make an appointment with Palm Beach Podiatry today if you are experiencing any symptoms of this condition.
Heel Spurs: Excess Bone Tissue
Your body has a variety of defensive and protective tools that it can employ to tackle various threats, either real or perceived. One protective measure that your body sometimes takes is to develop extra bone tissue to help instances of pressure or strain. These boney growths are known as spurs and you can develop them without even being aware, unless they crop up in a location where they can lead to pain or irritation, such as your heel.
When you develop such a calcium deposit on the underside of your heel bone, we refer to it as a heel spur. This bone spur can be quite painful and lead to discomfort due to its location in regard to your normal gait cycle. Given the nature of this condition, your pain will not likely be relieved by rest, so it is important to get help from David Feder, DPM, and Richard Schorr, DPM at the onset of symptoms.
Preventing Heel Pain
The best treatment for any condition is stopping it from happening in the first place and pain in your heel is no exception. Some tips that will help decrease your risk for injury include:
Choice in Footwear – Shoes make a big difference when it comes to foot and ankle issues. When you wear ill-fitting shoes, you run the risk of developing a variety of conditions. Fortunately, most are treated with conservative methods, but you can lower the risk by selecting footwear that is comfortable, has good arch support and heel counters, and provides shock absorption.
Warming Up – Before you begin your workout or athletic event, spend time warming up and stretching to prepare your body for the physical activity. Doing so will make it less likely for you to sustain an injury that will keep you off the court, field, or track.
Weight Maintenance – The more weight you carry on your body, the more stress and pressure you put on your feet. You can help them out by starting a program to ensure that you are maintaining or heading towards a healthy weight.
When you experience heel pain, whether from plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, or any other possible condition, Palm Beach Podiatry has expert foot specialists who will help you find relief. We have offices conveniently located in Boynton Beach, Fort Pierce, and Loxahatchee, FL and are ready to provide you with the exceptional care and treatment you need. Call us at (561) 734-3100 for our Boynton Beach office, (561) 791-7773 for Loxahatchee, or (772) 468-0089 for Fort Pierce. You can also use our online form to request an appointment.