Follow these simple yet helpful tips to help you better manage your heel pain.
Heel pain is a common foot problem that is most often caused by plantar fasciitis. The good news is that with some rest and proper at-home care you can be back up and on your feet again in no time. From the office of our Houston, TX, podiatrists, here are some simple strategies to speed up the healing process and to get rid of your heel pain,
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can provide you with temporary relief when heel pain flares up. While this isn’t a cure-all it can be a simple solution to alleviate nasty bouts of pain and inflammation.
While exercising may be out of the question right now, there are still different stretches and flexing exercises that you can perform throughout the day. These exercises can help keep the inflamed plantar fascia limber while also strengthening the ligaments and muscles of the feet to prevent future problems.
While our Houston podiatrist would be happy to show you a variety of exercises to alleviate heel pain, here are some stretches that you can start incorporating into your daily routine right now.
Use Shoe Inserts
If you find yourself dealing with occasional bouts of heel pain then it may be worth it to talk with our foot doctor about getting custom orthotics. Prescription shoe inserts can lift the heel, providing additional cushioning, comfort and shock absorption when standing or walking.
From heel pain to diabetic foot problems, the team at Podiatry Associates of Houston can provide you with the foot and ankle care you are looking for. For Chimney Rock, TX, phone 713-666-0287. Call our Memorial City location at 713-467-1299. In Katy, contact us at 281-579-0186. Your friends in Willowbrook can be reached at 832-912-7792. In Woodlands, call 281-849-9891.
Is the inner part of your foot experiencing pain? Do you see a bump at the base of your big toe? If so, your foot doctor at Podiatry Associates of Houston may diagnose it as a bunion, an acquired deformity of the metatarsophalangeal joint. Left untreated, bunions worsen, causing limited mobility, especially in older women. Fortunately, the team of podiatrists at Podiatry Associates of Houston is ready to help.
How Bunions Form
Many factors contribute to bunions. One is genetics—foot structure can be inherited, and if your mom has bunions, you may develop them, as well. Other factors include:
- Being female
- Age over 40
- Wearing tight, high-heel shoes (Harvard Health says women develop more bunions than men by a ratio of 10 to 1 because of footwear choice)
- A job which requires prolonged standing
- Sports involving jumping, bouncing and running
Add time and neglect, and the big toe begins to turn toward the second and even third toes of the foot. Podiatrists call this condition Hallux valgus. It causes additional pain and thick callus formation on the ball of the foot. Arthritis and bursitis may set in.
What to Do About a Bunion
Don't ignore the discomfort—see one of the wonderful foot doctors at Podiatry Associates of Houston. They examine bunions on a regular basis, and often treat the issue with care plans that combine conservative interventions, although in severe cases, surgery does become necessary.
Some of these conservative interventions include:
- Over-the-counter analgesics
- Cortisone injections to reduce inflammation
- A change in footwear to low-heels and wide toe boxes
- Rest, and avoiding standing
- Shoe padding, such as moleskin, to reduce friction and formation of calluses and sores
- Gait correction (how you put your feet on the ground when you walk) with custom-made shoe inserts (i.e. orthotics)
- Ice and elevation
- Night-time splints to re-align the toe
Find out More
At Podiatry Associates of Houston, our foot doctors are experts in their field. They will help you manage your bunion so you walk pain-free and stay mobile. For an appointment, call one of our five Houston area offices. For Chimney Rock, TX, phone 713-666-0287. Call our Memorial City location at 713-467-1299. In Katy, contact us at 281-579-0186. Your friends in Willowbrook can be reached at 832-912-7792. In Woodlands, call 281-849-9891.
Are you a sports enthusiast--runner, tennis player or martial arts expert? If you are, you must protect your feet and ankles from sports injuries. At Podiatry Associates of Houston, our team of four podiatrists can show you how to keep your lower extremities healthy, functional and pain-free. Stay in the game with podiatric care from the experts.
Common sports injuries
One-quarter of sports injuries involve the lower extremities--that is, your feet and ankles. Running, jumping, bouncing and twisting make people more prone to:
- Ankle sprains, painful stretching of the ligaments, particularly on the outer aspect of the ankle
- Shin splints, painful tearing and overstretching of the muscles along the tibia
- Achilles tendinitis, stress on or even rupture of the tendon between the heel and calf muscle
- Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue in the arch of the foot
- Stress fractures in the feet
- Tinea pedis, or Athlete's foot
- Metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot)
- Ingrown toenails
- Bunions, acquired deformities, or bumps, at the base of the big toes
At the first sign of discomfort or deformity (such as a noticeable bump, redness or swelling), call your foot doctor at Podiatry Associates of Houston. Sports injuries cannot be ignored as they can progress, limiting not only your athletic activities but your daily function as well.
Protecting yourself from sports injuries
Keeping your feet and ankles healthy and mobile really is a matter of common sense. The team at Podiatry Associates of Houston recommend the following practices to avoid sports injuries:
- Warm-up and stretch before you go for a run, play tennis or engage in your favorite exercise class.
- Keep in good physical condition, including maintaining a healthy weight.
- Wear proper, quality footwear that fits and gives your feet adequate support.
- If you experience pain, stop whatever you are doing. Pain is never normal.
- If you have an acute injury, such as a suspected ankle sprain, rest, apply ice, put on an elastic bandage, and elevate the limb. This first-aid is called the RICE protocol.
- Make sure you have the proper equipment for your sport, keep it in good condition and wear it!
- See your foot doctor about custom-made shoe inserts, or orthotics. Semi-rigid orthotics correct gait imbalances which put undue stress on your feet and ankles, leading to acute or repetitive motion injuries.
Happy, healthy feet
Podiatric health and function definitely impact your mobility and overall well-being. So, be wise when you play sports or exercise, and stay injury-free. If you have questions or concerns about your active feet, please contact Podiatry Associates of Houston for an appointment. We'll be glad to check them out.
We have five Houston area offices to serve you: in Chimney Rock, phone (281) 845-2039. In Memorial City, reach us at (281) 369-4396. For the Katy office, call (281) 694-4224. In Willowbrook, phone (832) 548-9893. For the Woodlands location, call (281) 849-9891.
Heel pain is one of those things that sound minor but can completely disrupt your life. Walking across the parking lot to the office or grocery store can be such a painful experience that you soon find inventive ways to decrease the amount of time you spend on your feet. Eventually, you may stop exercising or enjoying activities with friends or family because of the pain. Heel pain treatment offered by your podiatrists at Podiatry Associates of Houston in Houston (Chimney Rock), Memorial City, Katy, Willowbrook and Woodlands, TX, can relieve your symptoms.
When to visit the podiatrist
Heel pain may get better on its own if you stay off your feet as much as possible and treat pain swelling with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. If your pain is severe, increases or lasts more than a week or two, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with one of our foot doctors. Ignoring your symptoms may lead to chronic pain or other issues.
What causes heel pain?
Even minor injuries can trigger heel pain. Stepping on a small toy or rock can cause a bruise on the bottom of your heel, as can exercising in shoes that are worn out or don't offer enough support. Fortunately, these "stone" bruises usually improve after a week or two. If your pain lingers, your podiatrist may recommend a heel cup, pain medication or physical therapy.
Plantar fasciitis is a particularly common cause of heel pain. If your pain worsens after sitting or standing and is particularly noticeable first thing in the morning, you may have the condition. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia under the bottom of your foot becomes irritated or inflamed. Your podiatrist can offer several treatments, including custom-made orthotics, splints worn at night that stretch the fascia, physical therapy, steroid injections or shockwave therapy.
Retrocalcaneal bursitis or Achilles tendonitis may also be responsible for heel pain. Achilles tendonitis occurs when the thin tendon at the back of your heel becomes inflamed. Inflammation in the retrocalcaneal bursa, a small, fluid-filled sac that helps the tendon glide over the bone easily, can also cause pain.
Your foot doctor may recommend several treatments that may ease your pain if you have one of these conditions, including heel cups, pain medication, physical therapy, ultrasound treatment or shockwave therapy.
End your heel pain with a visit to the podiatrists at Podiatry Associates of Houston! Schedule an appointment by calling (713) 666-0287 for the Houston, TX, office in Chimney Rock, (713) 467-1299 for the Memorial City office, (281) 579-0186 for the Katy office, (832) 912-7792 for the Willowbrook office, or (281) 849-9891 for the Woodlands office.
If you play sports, injuries can be a common problem, especially with high-impact sports. Your feet are especially vulnerable because they absorb a lot of the impact.
The podiatrists at Podiatry Associates of Houston in Houston, Texas offer a wide range of sports injury treatment to help you feel better. They have several convenient office locations in Houston, Katy, Willowbrook, Woodlands, Chimney Rock, and Memorial City, Texas to help you.
The first line of defense against sports injuries is to wear the appropriate footwear for the sport you are doing. You should also make certain you do heel, arch, and ankle stretches to maintain your flexibility and circulation.
Even with the best precautions, your feet are still at risk for sports injuries. These are some of the most common:
Plantar fasciitis, which develops when the thick band of tissue running across your heel, called the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed. It is a common condition for runners, joggers, and people on their feet a lot. Your podiatrist may recommend icing your heel, taking over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatories, rest, and physical therapy. For severe cases of heel pain, your podiatrist may also recommend extracorporeal shock wave treatment, also called ESWT.
Shin splints, which develop because of inflammation around the tibia, the large bone in the front of your leg. Your podiatrist may recommend icing your leg, taking over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medications, and resting and taking the weight off of your legs.
Fractures or dislocations, which occur due to sudden trauma or unexpected movement, or inadequate protection for your feet and ankles. For these type of injuries, they are best treated by your podiatrist. Some common ways to treat these injuries include wearing a cast or other device to immobilize your injured foot, ankle, or leg, taking prescription anti-inflammatory or pain medication, physical therapy, and surgical treatment to realign your bones, tendons, or ligaments.
You don’t have to suffer from a sports injury. Your podiatrist can help you get back on your feet fast! For more information about common sports injuries and treatment, call the podiatrists at Podiatry Associates of Houston, with offices in Houston, Katy, Willowbrook, Woodlands, Chimney Rock, and Memorial City, Texas. Call now and help your feet.
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