Heel pain doesn't only occur after you've fallen or been in an accident. Sometimes, pain can seem to occur for no obvious reason. The foot doctors at Family Foot & Ankle Associates of Maryland in Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton and Kensington, MD, discuss common heel pain causes and share treatment options.
A stone bruise
Metatarsalgia, commonly known as a stone bruise, can affect the ball of your foot or your heel. The pain occurs when the fat pad that cushions your heel becomes bruised because you stepped on a hard object or put too much pressure on your heel due to worn out or poorly fitting running or walking shoes.
Overuse injuries are a common cause of heel pain. Pain develops when you decide it's time to get healthy and jump right into an ambitious work out schedule or increase the intensity or duration of your usual workout. Because these conditions don't occur as result of a dramatic injury, you may be unaware of the cause. Overuse injuries can cause a variety of conditions, including:
- Retrocalcaneal Bursitis: The back of your heel is cushioned by a small, fluid-filled sac. Thanks to this sac, your Achilles tendon can glide over your heel bone easily. An overuse injury can cause the bursa to become inflamed, resulting in pain when you walk, run or move your foot up and down.
- Achilles Tendinitis: Achilles tendinitis occurs when your Achilles tendon becomes inflamed. Although an overuse injury may be to blame for the condition, your risk of developing Achilles tendinitis rises with age. Tight calf muscles and flat feet may also increase your risk. In some cases, you may have both Achilles tendinitis and retrocalcaneal bursitis.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis can be caused by an overuse injury, but has other risk factors. You're more likely to develop it if you're over 40, stand for long periods of time or have diabetes. The condition occurs when the plantar fascia, a tough band of tissue that joins your heel to your toes, becomes inflamed.
Easing the pain
Ice, rest and over-the-counter pain medications are often all you need to relieve heel pain. If your pain continues for more than a week or two or is severe, schedule an appointment in our Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton or Kensington office. Although your treatment plan will depend on your condition, you may benefit from physical therapy, orthotics, corticosteroid injections, or shockwave therapy or other treatments.
Stop your heel pain with a visit to the foot doctor. Schedule an appointment with the foot doctors at Family Foot & Ankle by calling (301) 924-5044 for the Olney office; (301) 439-0300 for the Silver Spring office; (301) 868-7670 for the Clinton office; or (301) 942-8110 for the Kensington office.
Custom orthotics in Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton and Kensington, MD can help patients of all ages. These inserts help correct irregular or abnormal walking patterns. Arch supports allow people to run, walk and stand more comfortably. The podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland can evaluate each patient to determine if custom orthotics will help remedy their foot issues.
More About Custom Orthotics
Prescription orthotics in Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton and Kensington fit a patient’s unique foot structure, making them more effective than over-the-counter varieties. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and are made from a variety of materials. They can change the foot function and protect the entire structure.
Rigid orthotics are designed to help those with walking or dress shoes. They are made of a firm material that is made from a mold from a podiatrist. It helps to control motion in two major foot joints that lie above the ankle joint. They also help eliminate aches, pains in the legs or thighs or strains. Soft orthotics absorb shock and increase balance in those wearing them. They are great for arthritic and diabetic feet. They are made of soft, cushion material that is worn in the sole. They are also made from a mold taken from a podiatrist.
Semi-rigid orthotics offer balance for walking and athletes playing sports. It is made of a series of layers of soft material that is reinforced with rigid materials. It is often prescribed for those with in-toe or out-toe disorders or flat feet. This type helps athletes with pain while they train or compete.
The type of custom foot orthotics that work best for you will be determined during a full exam and discussion of one’s pain and discomfort. For more information about orthotics in Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton and Kensington, MD, call today. Call 301-924-5044 for Olney, 301-439-0300 for Silver Spring, 301-868-7670 for Clinton, and 301-942-8110 for Kensington.
Special foot care is required for diabetic patients. Our Olney, Silver Spring, Kensington and Clinton, MD podiatrist, Dr. Marc Goldberg, specializes in treating various foot problems for diabetes patients. Diabetes reduces circulation, which hinders healing. This makes the importance of seeing a podiatrist for minor cuts and wound care that much more important.
About Special Foot Care for Diabetics
A serious cut or wound can go undetected on a diabetic’s foot because of damage to the nerves. A lot of patients won’t even notice their foot is injured until an infection starts. Most diabetic foot issues can be prevented with improved blood sugar control, which leads to a stronger immune system. Regular foot examinations by Olney, Silver Spring, Kensington and Clinton podiatrist can help prevent serious infections or the need for amputations.
If you’re one of the millions affected by diabetes, it’s important to maintain healthy feet and a strong body. It’s important to keep the feet dry and away from heat. Avoid sitting cross-legged as it reduces blood flow to the feet. Also, never use antiseptic solutions or over the counter treatments for corns or calluses. Wash the feet daily with soap and warm water and dry them completely before putting them in loose, cotton socks.
Always wear proper-fitting shoes with support and plenty of room for the toes. Wear clean, dry socks every day. Never wear open-toed shoes outdoors. Be sure to file the toes straight across to eliminate the risk of an ingrown nail, which can lead to infection too. If you experience an injury to your foot, it’s imperative you seek professional help as soon as possible. This can be an emergency for a diabetic patient. For more information on diabetic foot care contact Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland by calling 301-924-5044 for Olney, 301-439-0300 for Silver Spring, 301-868-7670 for Clinton, and 301-942-8110 for Kensington.
Preventive foot care may not exactly be at the top of the list of many people's healthcare priorities, but like the rest of the body, feet are susceptible to injury and ailments as we age and can act as a kind of barometer for other health issues that can affect your general well-being. Even if you are healthy and not experiencing symptoms of a specific foot or ankle injury or condition, the podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland recommend adding preventive foot care as part of your overall health and wellness routine in order to catch potential problems before they have a chance to progress.
Foot and Ankle Care and Treatment in Silver Spring, Olney, Clinton and Kensington, MD
Many age related illnesses are actually preventable and treatable when diagnosed early, but many people wait to go to the doctor until symptoms like pain and difficulty walking or moving begin to disrupt their quality of life. This can be especially true with orthopedic and podiatry problems. Foot pain can be easy to dismiss or attribute to common factors like walking too much or wearing uncomfortable shoes, but there are other signs and symptoms to look out for. Podiatrists recommend that adults, especially with diabetes, regularly check feet for signs of infection and other problems like poor circulation.
Everything from toenails to the bones and joints in our feet and ankles can become brittle and less stable (and therefore more susceptible to injury) with age. Get to know your feet and what they look (and feel) like when they're healthy so that you can more easily spot a problem if it develops. Look for cuts, bruises, pain, or wounds that are slow or resistant to healing on their own. Keep your feet clean and dry at all times, with well trimmed toenails to avoid fungal and bacterial infections and ingrown toenails. If you have difficulty caring for your feet on your own or are a diabetic, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist at regular intervals to help keep your feet healthy.
Find a podiatrist in Silver Spring, Olney, Clinton and Kensington, MD
Don't wait for a health condition like diabetes or arthritis to slow you down and interfere with your health and quality of life. For more information about preventive foot care, contact Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland by calling 301-924-5044 for Olney, 301-439-0300 for Silver Spring, 301-868-7670 for Clinton, and 301-942-8110 for Kensington to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist today.
Ankle sprains are a very common injury that can affect anyone at any time. Unlike other podiatric injuries, which can be more likely in athletes or highly active people, even a sedentary person can sprain an ankle by simply walking down the street. A mild sprain can typically be treated at home with conservative methods like rest and icing. Moderate to severe ankle sprains can affect mobility and damage to the ligaments in the ankle and may increase the risk of ankle instability and arthritis in the future. The podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland offer diagnosis and treatment for a range of foot and ankle injuries and conditions like ankle sprains and sports injuries.
Foot and Ankle Injury Treatment in Olney, Clinton, Kensington and Silver Spring, MD
Any motion that causes a sudden forceful twisting motion of the ankle can lead to a sprain. The most common causes of ankle sprains include:
- Walking or working out on uneven surfaces
- Participating in sports like soccer, tennis, basketball, trail running, or football
The most common symptoms of an ankle sprain are:
- Bruising and swelling
- Pain and tenderness
- Limited range of motion/inability to move the ankle
- Difficulty putting weight on the ankle
- Ankle instability
Depending on the nature and severity of the sprain, symptoms can clear up within a week or two with conservative treatments like icing and rest. Moderate to severe strains that do not respond to conservative treatments can be treated by a podiatrist with medication, physical therapy, or an assistive device to support the ankle while it heals. In very rare cases, surgery may be recommended to repair damage to the ligaments or other soft tissue.
Find a Podiatrist in Olney, Clinton, Kensington and Silver Spring, MD
If you are suffering from an ankle sprain or other foot or ankle injury, contact Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland by calling 301-924-5044 for Olney, 301-439-0300 for Silver Spring, 301-868-7670 for Clinton, and 301-942-8110 for Kensington to schedule an appointment today.
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