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Among the many bones in the foot is the calcaneus, or heel bone, which forms the foundation for the back of the foot. Though the heel bone is hard to the touch, the inside is soft and spongy. When the outer portion is broken, like the shell of an egg, the bone tends to collapse and be fragmented. Injuries to the heel bone can be extremely severe, sometimes leading to arthritis and chronic pain. The most common cause of a heel bone fracture is a traumatic event, such as a fall from a ladder or a traffic accident. It also can occur as part of an ankle sprain, or less often as a stress fracture from running or other repetitive activity. Symptoms include pain in the heel, inability to bear weight on the heel, bruising and swelling. If you think you may have fractured your heel bone, avoid putting weight on it. Apply ice, wrap it, and elevate it while sitting or lying down. A call to your podiatrist is wise to get an immediate diagnosis and plan for treatment.
Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact David A. Edmonds, DPM of Advanced Podiatry Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Causes of Heel Pain
Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.
Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.
Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.
Why Might Heel Pain Occur?
Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.
Orthotics are inserts that you can place in your shoes. They are designed to provide more comfort and support for your feet, as well as to treat various foot and ankle conditions. Orthotic inserts can be bought over-the-counter at most drug stores, or they can be prescribed by your podiatrist and custom-made to fit your feet. There are two types of orthotics, rigid and soft. Rigid orthotics are usually made of carbon fiber or plastic. They can treat foot pain, muscle strain, as well as standing- and walking-related pain in your legs, thighs, and lower back. Soft orthotics are usually made from soft, flexible, compression materials, such as foam. These orthotics cushion your feet and can be used to prevent and treat diabetic foot ulcers, plantar fasciitis, and more. One type of orthotic is not “better” than the other. The type of orthotic that is best for you depends on the unique needs of your feet. To learn more, it's suggested that you consult with a podiatrist near you.
If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact David A. Edmonds, DPM from Advanced Podiatry Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Are Orthotics?
Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.
Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.
If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.
If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.
Neuropathy occurs when the nerves in the hands and feet get damaged. This usually causes the extremities affected to lose their sensation and feeling, thus their ability to feel pain and temperature. Numbness, tingling, a burning/stabbing pain, and weakness are all also common signs of neuropathy. Neuropathy can have a variety of causes including inflammatory diseases, kidney problems, and vitamin deficiencies, but the most common cause is diabetes. Because of this, diabetic patients should also have regular checkups with a podiatrist to monitor the potential development of neuropathy. If you are noticing the symptoms of neuropathy in your feet, please consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment method.
Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with David A. Edmonds, DPM from Advanced Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.
Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:
Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.
To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.
Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.
Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.
Cuboid syndrome occurs when the cuboid bone in the midfoot becomes partially dislocated (subluxes). This can occur during an acute injury such as an inversion sprain of the ankle, or over time from jumping, running, etc., which can place repetitive strain on the muscle which attaches to the lateral (outer) side of the foot. When the cuboid bone subluxes, this can prevent surrounding bones from moving properly. It is believed that having flat feet, or a gait where your foot rolls inward when you walk may put you at higher risk of developing cuboid syndrome. Symptoms of cuboid syndrome can include lateral foot pain which worsens in the morning or during activity, swelling and tenderness in the area, an overall feeling of weakness or difficulty when walking, running or jumping. If you believe you may have cuboid syndrome, make an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible. They will use a variety of imaging and physical tests to assess your condition and create a comprehensive treatment plan to guide the cuboid bone back into position and relieve pain and swelling.
Cuboid syndrome, also known as cuboid subluxation, occurs when the joints and ligaments near the cuboid bone in the foot become torn. If you have cuboid syndrome, consult with David A. Edmonds, DPM from Advanced Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
Cuboid syndrome is a common cause of lateral foot pain, which is pain on the outside of the foot. The condition may happen suddenly due to an ankle sprain, or it may develop slowly overtime from repetitive tension through the bone and surrounding structures.
The most common causes of cuboid syndrome include:
A common symptom of cuboid syndrome is pain along the outside of the foot which can be felt in the ankle and toes. This pain may create walking difficulties and may cause those with the condition to walk with a limp.
Diagnosis of cuboid syndrome is often difficult, and it is often misdiagnosed. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans often fail to properly show the cuboid subluxation. Although there isn’t a specific test used to diagnose cuboid syndrome, your podiatrist will usually check if pain is felt while pressing firmly on the cuboid bone of your foot.
Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are ice therapy, rest, exercise, taping, and orthotics.
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