5 Ways Podiatrists Treat Heel Pain

Treatment for Heel Pain & Plantar FasciitisHeel pain may be brought on by a multitude of conditions. Heel spurs are one of them. They often result from an extended bout of plantar fasciitis. The spurs are actually calcium deposits that form at or near the inflamed fascia. Although quite painful, our Boston podiatrists are able to treat them in the following ways:

Heel Pain Treatment #1: Rest & Ice

Sometimes spur related heel pain may be reduced with a combination of rest and cold compresses. As such, your Boston podiatrist may recommend the use of store bought compresses or homemade ones on a daily or weekly basis.

Heel Pain Treatment #2: Cortisone Injections

If ice and rest doesn’t alleviate the pain, our Boston foot doctors may recommend that heel pain sufferers receive a series of cortisone injections. The injections are designed to reduce the swelling around the heel spur. Once the swelling gets under control, the pain is apt to subside at least somewhat.

Heel Pain Treatment #3: Exercises

In addition to the first two heel pain treatments, our Boston foot specialists will typically prescribe an exercise routine as well. The exercises usually involve mild stretching of the fascia and calf muscle. However, the routine may also include strengthening exercises like towel curls.

Heel Pain Treatment #4: Night Splints & Orthotics

Night splints, orthotic devices, custom footwear, padding and other similar items may be incorporated into a heel spur sufferer’s treatment too. They are designed to alleviate pressure on the spur, which should help to reduce inflammation and heel pain.

Heel Pain Treatment #5: Surgery

If all else fails, Matthew Butler, DPM may decide to remove the heel spur surgically. The surgery generally involves removing the calcium deposit and cutting the surrounding ligaments. Therefore, there may be a substantial amount of recovery time involved. It is also not uncommon for the patient to experience post-surgical pain. The post-surgical pain is sometimes treated with medication, physical therapy and orthotics.

To learn more about these heel spur treatments and others, please contact our Boston foot clinic.

Boston Marathon 2014

I anticipated this day for a while and was not sure how I would feel. The organization and planning that went into this event was remarkable. The day was beautiful, inspiring, BUSY, but most of all fun! I am so proud to be part of such an amazing event and an incredible medical community!

Here are some photos I took that I wanted to share…click any to enlarge

Importance of Effectively Treating Athlete’s Foot

Treatment for Athlete's FootIrritating, bothersome, completely of no use, and even painful at times… no, I’m not talking about the United States House of Congress, I’m talking about the itching and burning medical condition known as tinea pedis, or more commonly, Athlete’s Foot.

Athlete’s foot usually begins with some form of perspiration happening between the toes while a person is wearing especially tight fitting shoes and socks. It is highly contagious and can be spread through contact with contaminated flooring, towels, and even clothing. It is indeed a fairly common foot problem, but it can range in its form of severity, from mild to quite problematic when skin between the toes may actually peel and crack. Therefore, it’s important enough if you have the condition, to know some of the most effective forms of athlete’s foot treatment as follows:

  • Prevention – You can in fact, take steps to prevent athlete’s foot infection from ever happening in the first place. A good place to start is by making sure that you are wearing appropriately sized shoes that leave plenty of room for your toes to breathe. Wearing sandals in publicly shared shower areas will help to prevent contamination. Lastly, using some brand of talcum powder to keep your feet dry will prevent that moisture between the toes from starting an infection.
  • Over-the-Counter – Various lotions, creams, and sprays can do a solid job of minimizing itching and burning, while effectively treating athlete’s foot as well. A healthy assortment of these can be found in most pharmacies.
  • Prescription – If your case of athlete’s foot ranges more towards the severe end of the problematic scale, then your Marlborough podiatrist would be well advised to give you a prescription medication to alleviate symptoms and remove the infection. As with most medications of this type, you should stay on the medication until your foot doctor tells you to stop. Prematurely stopping the treatment could result in not completely ridding yourself of the infection and experiencing a more extended case of the condition.

Unfortunately, athlete’s foot is one of those conditions that has a high likelihood of returning. You can minimize the risk of this happening by using all the previously mentioned preventative measures throughout your life and following your podiatrist’s orders carefully.

Foot Corns & Calluses Can Cramp Your Lifestyle

Treatment for Foot Corns and CallusesThere is a rumor that calluses actually got the name from the famous ancient Roman scientist and medical writer Aulus Cornelius Celsus. Whether this is true or not, it is a fact that during your lifetime you will have walked enough to travel around the Earth at least three times. It is also true that when walking each time your heel lifts off the ground it forces the toes to carry one half of your body weight. Which means your feet are probably bound for a corn or callus or two.

Corns and calluses share the same pathology. They are both hardened areas of skin, or hyperkeratosis, caused by pressure. While a callus is thick, flat and diffuse, a corn will be more local, conical and possibly surrounded by inflammation. Typically a corn will be located on a toe and a callus on the ball of the foot.

Both corns and calluses are considered a defense mechanism of the body. That particular area of skin hardens because it is constantly being irritated. It may be from an abnormal gait, ill fitting shoes or repetitive type occupations.

Many people find corns and calluses to be no big deal. However, for some they are a cosmetic concern, and if it is painful or if blood develops under the callus it is time for a visit to a Boston foot doctor. It means the deeper layers of tissue and nerves are being irritated and this could cause further issues.

Typically treatment consists of using salicylic acid to soften the area and then hygienic trimming. A Boston podiatrist will talk with you to determine what the underlying issue is that formed the corn or callus and take steps to prevent it in the future. If this step isn’t done, and the pressure isn’t taken off the area the corn or callus is always going to return.

If you find yourself troubled by a corn or callus, call our Boston foot clinic today.

A Look At 4 Modern Day Bunion Treatments

Treatment for BunionsBunions are one of the many things that can go wrong with our feet. They are most often caused by a handful of things. Among them are arthritis and wearing ill-fitting shoes. The good news is that our Boston podiatrists offer patients access to bunion treatments that may provide relief. With that said, here is a rundown on four common bunion treatments:

Bunion Treatment #1: Shoe Inserts/Orthotics

Custom shoe inserts and orthotic devices are just two bunion treatments that a podiatrist may recommend. In the majority of those instances, the patient attends a scheduled fitting first. Once all of the necessary measurements are taken, the inserts or orthotics are created to those exact specifications. Afterward, the patient returns to the podiatrist’s office for a final fitting. If no further adjustments are needed, the patient is able to leave the office with the shoe inserts or orthotics in hand.

Bunion Treatment #2: Taping/Padding

In some situations, our podiatrists may recommend that the patient try taping and padding the bunion first. There are several companies in operation today that manufacture products designed for such applications. So the patient may need to try out a few different combinations before finding the right one.

Bunion Treatment #3: Exercises and Lifestyle Changes

Depending on the condition of the bunion, the podiatrists’ list of suggestions may also include making lifestyle changes. Those lifestyle changes may include taking over-the-counter pain relievers and engaging in foot exercises. Examples of exercises that the podiatrist may order are toe extensors and toe adductors.

Bunion Treatment #4: Surgery

Lastly, in severe cases, podiatrists may suggest that patients undergo a surgical procedure to have the bunion removed called a bunionectomy. The surgical option, however, may not be best for everyone. It typically involves a lengthy recovery period, and during the recovery period, the patient may need assistance completing routine tasks. For more information about these Boston bunion treatment options and others, please contact our Boston foot & ankle clinic.

Plantar Fasciitis: The Foot Pain With A Strange Name

Treatment for Heel Pain & Plantar FasciitisEven if you can spell it, you probably can’t pronounce it.

Whether you have the name down or not, plantar fasciitis is a real pain in the foot.

It is estimated that over 2 million people are treated yearly for plantar fasciitis. One of the most common causes of heel pain, it is caused by inflammation, strains and small tears in the long band of tissue running across the bottom of the foot. Called the plantar fascia, this tissue connects the heel bone to the toes and supports the arch of the foot.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain near the heel of the foot, often feeling like a stabbing pain. Typically it is noticed when first beginning activity after a period of rest. The pain usually comes about gradually over time as the injury worsens, and is most often limited to one foot. Although heel spurs are often blamed as the culprit, they aren’t necessarily the cause of the pain.

Those most often plagued by plantar fasciitis include people who are overweight, have high arches, have tight calf muscles, have faulty foot mechanics, or those who do repetitive activities. It is most common in women and those between 40 and 60 years of age. Those that have engaged in a new activity that they aren’t used to such as running can also find themselves with a case of fasciitis.

Physical tests such as balance, coordination, and reflexes are often performed during your visit to a Boston podiatrist to check for plantar fasciitis. Imaging tests such as MRI’s and X-rays are usually ordered for definitive diagnosis, and to rule out other issues such as nerve impairment.

With podiatric treatment, 90 percent fully recover in about ten months. Normal treatment consists of rest, ice, corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Other options may include massage, physical therapy, orthotics or splints. Surgery to detach the fascia is usually contraindicated unless all other treatment fails and pain is severe.

If you are plagued by plantar fasciitis and want to seek treatment, call our office today to schedule an appointment.

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Boston, MA 02130
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