There is a great amount of physical forces that your feet endure daily. It is not uncommon for our patients to experience pain or injury to their feet. Some of the most common reasons that cause people to come to one of our offices is heel and arch pain. There is good news, though – we can help you overcome these conditions. Even better is the fact that our podiatrists can often prescribe a conservative treatment plan to address your pain making surgery unnecessary in many cases. You can even take steps at home to treat your heel pain.
Common Causes of Heel Pain
There are various reasons a patient might be experiencing heel pain, but some of the more common ones include:
- Plantar fasciitis – The most common source of heel pain, this condition develops when the tissue running along the bottom of the foot (the plantar fascia) sustains minor tears and becomes inflamed.
- Heel spurs – There are many interesting processes that take place within the human body. One example is the development of bone spurs. For an assortment of reasons, the body makes calcium deposits that build up on bone tissue, including on the underside of the heel.
- Sever’s disease – The name is deceptive—it is not a “disease”—but Sever’s is the most common source of heel pain for adolescents, especially those who are physically active. This condition stems from a variance of growth processes between the heel bone and its connective tissues.
Causes of Arch Pain
Different factors might be at work when pain is experienced in a foot arch, including structural imbalance, injury, or even plantar fasciitis. Injuries that result in arch pain are often related to the arch’s ligaments, tendons, and bones that have become weakened from overuse. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), in particular, is an injury that can result in a painful condition. When we discuss structural imbalance as the primary cause of arch pain, it is usually foot arches that are either too high (cavus foot) or too low (flatfoot).
Treating Heel and Arch Pain
The specific treatment we use to address a patient’s heel pain depends greatly on the specific issue causing pain. Our approach is to use conservative care when possible, which consists of basics such as:
- Rest. The body is remarkably skilled at healing injured areas. When healing is taking place, it is important to rest so as to prevent further damage, while also allowing the affected body part to heal completely.
- Ice. Icing is used to reduce both pain and swelling in the injured area. When using ice, be sure to wrap the ice or ice pack in a thin towel to prevent damaging the skin.
- Stretches. Heel pain can be the result of tight tissues, so stretches are an effective way to improve this situation. The Achilles tendon, connective tissues, and calf muscle all benefit from a proper stretching routine (which your podiatrist at Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida can provide).
- Footwear. There are many cases where a patient has developed foot or ankle pain because of ill-fitting or worn out footwear. Replacing these shoes with ones that are supportive and fit well can help reduce heel pain and the risk of further injury.
- Custom orthotics. We may prescribe custom orthotics, crafted to work with your unique feet and biomechanical processes to correct conditions that cause heel pain.
Treating foot arch pain also depends on the root cause of the problem. As is the case with treating heel pain, this can often be done through the use of conservative methods. These include rest, ice, orthotic devices, stretches, medications (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and injections. In rare cases, a surgical procedure might be needed to relieve a severe cases of plantar fasciitis, but we explore all possible treatment options with you.
Florida Heel and Arch Pain Treatment
No matter if you are suffering from heel or arch pain, our professionals at Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida are ready to assist you. Your road to recovery and pain relief begins when you request your appointment at any of our five Florida offices – Altamonte Springs, Kissimmee, Tavares, Lake Mary, and Orlando. Contact us today by calling 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if you are calling in Lake County). We look forward to providing the effective care you need!