Leave Your Heel Pain in 2018
The months always seem to have flown by when we reach the end of a year. You blink and suddenly realize just how much time you have spent on things (work projects) or notspent on things (gym membership).
But here’s a question for you: How many days this year did you spend with heel pain?
How many mornings did you dread getting out of bed and setting your feet on the floor?
How many workouts or even nice days out did you cut short due to your aching heels?
How many evenings did you hobble home after a long work shift on your feet and not want to move at all?
One day of heel pain isn’t good, but days that stretch out over your calendar are a sign that something must be done. There is no reason why anyone must endure heel pain on a regular basis!
Perhaps you have tried a couple remedies in the past. Maybe you bought some insoles from the pharmacy, or even some medications. You might have even brought it up to your general practitioner, who likely gave good advice, but your heel pain still didn’t improve.
Many resign themselves to living with painful heels, but this does not need to be the case. There is always something that can be done to improve heel pain, and Advanced Foot and Ankle Center of Joliet has the experience and tools to make a difference as we head into a new year.
Getting to the Root of the Problem
Heel pain in itself might seem like a simple symptom, but it can stem from many different causes. The essential key to treating heel pain effectively is to properly identify that cause and address it directly.
The most common form of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, when the thick band of tissue that runs beneath your foot becomes overstrained and inflamed. Another common form of heel pain is Achilles tendinitis.
Knowing what you have is one thing, but without addressing the cause of it, the problem is likely to keep coming back. Is your heel pain due to pushing your feet too hard when you work out, or could it be due to an abnormal foot structure placing extra stress on that area? Whether you have plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis, both causes can be a contributing factor to your condition!
This is why some “one size fits all” methods such as store-bought inserts don’t often provide the relief you are looking for. First, inserts might not be addressing the real underlying problem at all! And second, even if they are, they are very likely not doing so in an exact manner.
Additionally, an examination of your problem should not only focus on the condition itself, but your lifestyle and goals, as well. There is no good in recommending a solution that isn’t going to fit in with your life!
What Kinds of Heel Pain Treatment Are There?
The best recommendations for heel pain treatment will differ on a case by case basis, but they may involve a mixture of direct treatments and lifestyle changes.
First, let’s go over the lifestyle changes. Making different choices in certain aspects of your life can have a big effect on relieving your heel pain and keeping problems from returning.
What sort of changes might be recommended? Footwear can be a huge factor. Switching to shoes that are more accommodating to your foot needs can relieve a lot of pressure off problem areas. In some cases, making sure shoes don’t have rigid backs against your heel can help conditions such as Haglund’s deformity.
Day-to-day activities might also need some adjustment. If you work a job that involves you being on your feet all day, having a mat to stand on can help relieve pressure. If you’re active and regularly exercise, warming up and stretching properly can be a big help if certain factors such as shortened calf muscles are placing strain on your heels.
The best changes are the ones that you can easily work into your everyday life and turn into good habits. These are the measures that will help strengthen and protect your heels against current and future causes of pain.
Now, what about more direct forms of treatment? Here are several we may recommend:
- Custom orthotics.Inserts that are specifically molded to your foot shape and prescribed to address problems of misalignment and imbalance can have much greater effects than those bought from a store. Our offices will scan your feet in 3D to ensure your orthotics are made exactly as needed.
- MLS Laser Therapy.Laser therapy is designed to stimulate the metabolism of cells and increase blood flow to the area of a soft tissue injury. The effect is accelerated healing, reduced swelling, and pain relief.
- Aquaroll Aquatic Foot Therapy.Having been touted as an effective tool in professional sports, Aquaroll is a relatively new technology that utilizes glass beads and water motion to reduce pain and accelerate the rehabilitation of foot injuries.
- Night splints.In cases where strain is being placed on the plantar fascia or Achilles tendon, night splints can help keep tissues stretched overnight and prevent that hobbling pain first thing in the morning.
- Medications and injections.In certain cases, when pain is having a significant impact on daily activity, pain medications or steroid injections may be prescribed. It is important to use stronger medications and injections sparingly, as they can sometimes have adverse side effects.
If changes and treatments are not working, or it is clear from the start that they wouldn’t, then and only then would surgery be offered for consideration.If it is, we will be sure to discuss all the pros and cons of such a procedure with you before a final decision is made. We want you to have everything you need to know to decide in confidence.
A New Year with No Pain
No form of pain is normal! Whether you are old or young, and no matter how long you have experienced heel pain, there are ways to eliminate or manage your discomfort.
Our offices in Chicago, Joliet, Palatine, Schaumburg, Orland Park, Kenosha, and Waukegan are ready to serve your foot and ankle needs. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to get in touch and take the first steps toward comfort today.