Shockwave Therapy for Heel Pain Relief

What are the treatments for Heel Pain?When you’re having heel pain, you’ll try anything to get rid of the pain. One technique that is rapidly gaining popularity today is shockwave therapy for heel pain.

This therapy works on the proven theory that creating micro-trauma on a cellular level causes the blood vessels and bone cells within your body to regenerate so that they heal faster. As such, it is a safe, non-invasive way to treat many chronic conditions.

What some people find funny is the paradox here that when you damage your foot, you actually heal it. The technique used here involves a series of movements that place tension on the area of your heel that’s causing the pain. Your technician then uses a shockwave hand piece transmitting shock waves to this area for four or five minutes.

These shocks feel like a small baseball bat that’s hitting your heel’s tissue causing the microbleeding and bruising that aren’t too painful and thus don’t require any anti-inflammatory drugs or icing. The bruising is actually a necessary part of the repair process that takes place over the next few months.

So, while the process is uncomfortable, it isn’t painful. Even the minimal amount of discomfort you feel diminishes as the treatment goes on. Therefore, there’s no reason you wouldn’t want to undergo the treatment again in the future. In fact, considering that you’ll experience between a 70% and 90% reduction in your pain, you’ll want to have at least three or four more treatments so that you can walk on your heels once again.

Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)

What are the treatments for Heel Pain?Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or, rarely, a cyst.

Because there are several potential causes, it is important to have heel pain properly diagnosed. A foot and ankle surgeon is able to distinguish between all the possibilities and determine the underlying source of your heel pain.

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If you are experiencing foot pain call us today.

Foot Care For Wearing Heels

Foot Care For Wearing HeelsFor many women, shunning high heels and sticking to comfortable, podiatrist-approved footwear is not an option. Heels have become part of what is considered a polished and finished look.

If you’re attending an event, networking, interviewing for a job, or getting married, heels, event modestly high ones, are not only the norm, they are expected. It makes appropriate foot care challenging, but not impossible.

If you are the type who has to wear heels more than two days out of the week, below are a few tips to wear your shoes safely, and for the most part, comfortably.

Know Your Foot

Knowing the size and shape of your foot is very important. Some people go their entire lives wearing shoes in the same size without considering that their feet may have grown as they’ve aged (hint: they do). Some people even have different-sized feet.

Whether you have high arches, uneven or flat feet, knowing the way your foot is shaped is very important. It will help you identify the right shoes for your feet, and what type of heels to go for. Visit a podiatrist to know your foot shape, and what kind of shoes are recommended for your feet.

Know Your Heel

The amount of pressure heels will add to your foot is completely dependent on how the heel is made. A heel with less surface area like a stiletto with a thin sole will be more uncomfortable than a thicker heel with a platform sole.

If you can, go for the heel that gives you more surface area, including area that covers the top of your foot, as it will help keep you from wobbling on your feet. If you can’t, then:

Know Your Limits

Take breaks, stretch your ankles and feet. Numbness is a surefire cue that your feet need a break. Don’t grin and break through the pain. Instead, bring a cute pair of flats along with you, and the moment the coast is clear, put them on and enjoy being on your feet.

Understanding Plantar Fasciitis and Finding Remedies for the Pain

What are the treatments for Heel Pain?If you’re a runner, you might already be familiar with plantar fasciitis, either from the pain of experiencing the medical condition or from simple awareness of the pain risks associated with running.

First things first, the plantar fascia is the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. This connective tissue also supports the arch of the foot. Stress on the plantar fascia from repeated activity, such as running, can strain the ligament, even causing tiny tears.

The ligament takes a pounding during a run so it’s no surprise that plantar fasciitis is a common runner’s injury. It’s sometimes called “runner’s heel” but it doesn’t just affect runners.

Broadly speaking, people who are on their feet a lot can put themselves at risk of developing plantar fasciitis. While this includes athletes, people whose jobs involve extended periods of walking and being on their feet could develop plantar fasciitis. People who are overweight can develop the condition, as the weight puts additional strain on the feet. Older people also face greater risk of developing the condition, the result of a loss of elasticity in the connective tissue.

The Mayo Clinic offers some tips for people to do themselves if they suffer pain from plantar fasciitis:

  • Weight — A healthy weight reduces the stress on your plantar fascia.
  • Shoes — High heels are a no-no. Shoes that support the arch and provide some shock absorption are preferred. And don’t walk or run barefoot, particularly on hard surfaces.
  • Shoes, part 2 — Worn out running shoes the cushioning and support that protect your plantar fascia from the pounding of running. Replace those shoes after about 500 miles of running.
  • Mix Sports — Mixing up your athletic activity can keep you active while sparing your feet from repeated pounding.
  • Ice — An ice pack applied for 15-20 minutes three or four times a day, or after athletic activity, can offer some pain relief and reduce inflammation.
  • Stretch — Exercises can stretch your muscles and tendons, providing relief.
  • If pain persists or worsens, it’s time to seek professional medical help. To learn more, please contact us.

    4 Tips for Coping With Plantar Fasciitis

    Treatment for Heel Pain & Plantar FasciitisDealing with plantar fasciitis sometimes be a bit of a trial. Fortunately, we have come up with a few clever tips for coping with plantar fasciitis pain.

    Stretch Before You Step

    There is nothing more painful than those first waking steps. To ease the pain of getting out of bed, stretch your calf before even putting your foot on the floor. This can easily be done with a towel or even your pillowcase. With your leg straight and the towel around your foot, gently stretch. Once you can feel the muscles begin to pull in the lower leg, do not stretch any further. Hold the stretch for half of minute and repeat a few times. This will help to loosen the muscles and make that first step out of bed a less painful experience.

    Tennis Anyone?

    If you do not have anyone that is willing to sit around and massage the bottom of your foot, a tennis ball is a good alternative. By rolling a tennis ball underneath your foot, it will cause the plantar fascia to loosen. This should be done for only a few minutes at a time. You want to apply enough pressure to the ball that you get the sensation of a deep massage, but not so hard that it is causing pain. The ligament is less likely to get irritated when it is loose.

    More Calf Stretches

    Keeping the lower leg muscles stretched out is the key to recovery. There are many calf stretches that will help aid you in the process. One such stretch is the downward dog position in yoga. Try to hold the position for a few minutes to allow the stretch to work. If yoga is not for you, try placing your toes on a step and allow the heels to drop below the height of the step. Remember the point is to stretch out the muscles…not to cause yourself more heel pain.

    Ice It

    At the end of the day, icing your foot maybe just what is needed. Freeze a bottle of water and roll it with your foot. Rolling the frozen bottle of water for ten minutes will be enough to keep the inflammation in check. If the ice is too cold for your foot, consider wearing a sock.

    *Remember that these are just tips. Always consult with a Boston podiatrist before taking this medical matter into your own hands. After all, they ARE the foot & ankle experts!

    Shockwave Therapy for Heel Pain Can Provide Welcome Relief to Many

    Treatment for Heel Pain & Plantar FasciitisAre you one of the estimated 2 million people that frequently suffer from unbearable heel pain? Is your heel pain believed to be caused by plantar fasciitis or bone spurs? If so, it’s worth learning about shockwave therapy for heel pain.

    Shockwave therapy has been used for decades by health care professionals from around the world for many different things. American podiatrists started using extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) to treat their patients in the early 2000s. It was around that time that the FDA approved the technology for the treatment of heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.

    Since that time, Boston podiatrists have used ESWT to treat Achilles tendonitis, tenosynovitis, hammertoes and posterior tibial tendonitis too. Its effectiveness has also been studied by the health care community. The results of those studies were positive and published in various medical journals. The list of publications includes, but is not limited to, The American Journal of Sports Medicine and The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery.

    Shockwave treatments tend to take place in a podiatry office setting. However, some podiatrists may opt to perform the shockwave treatment in an outpatient facility where he or she has ready access to local anesthetics.

    How Shockwave Therapy for Heel Pain Works

    In the majority of instances, a podiatrist uses a special piece of equipment to complete the procedure in less than 30 minutes. The equipment generates high intensity sound waves which are aimed at the patient’s heel or other problematic area. The high intensity sound waves, in turn, help to break up the heel spurs that may be present and coax the body into repairing itself. The coaxing is achieved by stimulating the soft tissues, muscles and blood vessels in the impacted areas.

    Because the treatment is non-invasive and doesn’t require general anesthesia, the amount of recovery time involved is very minimal. In most cases, the patient is able to resume all of his or her activities of daily living within 24 hours of receiving care.

    To ask questions and learn more about shockwave therapy for heel pain, please contact our podiatry office today.

    Causes and Treatment of Heel Pain

    Treatment for Heel Pain & Plantar FasciitisNothing is more frustrating than beginning an activity only to find yourself afflicted with heel pain. Heel pain can have many causes. A visit to your local Boston podiatrist is a sure way to discover the cause of your heel pain and begin a successful treatment plan. The podiatrist will need to know exactly where the pain is and how long you’ve had it, so make note of your symptoms.

    If you are having pain beneath the heel, there are several possible causes.

    Stone Bruise – Sometimes we injure the fat pad of our heel when we step on some hard object. Although the pain is irritating, it will dissipate after several days. In the meantime, a mild pain medicine should do the trick.

    Plantar Fasciitis – This pain may seem mild at first, but flares up after lying down overnight or sitting for a time. The plantar fascia is the ligament that connects your toes to your heel bone. When this ligament is weakened or irritated, it swells and causes pain upon standing or walking. This is one of the more common causes of heel pain.

    Treatments for plantar fasciitis include resting the foot and allowing inflammation to decrease particularly by using anti-inflammation medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. New shoes with better arch support or padded shoe inserts can help, as can stretches for the calf and toes.

    Heel Spurs–Calcium deposits can develop when plantar fasciitis is left untreated over time. Often an x-ray is needed to determine if this is the problem. Treatments for heel spurs are much the same as those for plantar fasciitis.

    If you have pain behind the heel, there is one main cause.

    Insertional Achilles Tendonitis–You may have irritated the Achilles tendon where it inserts into the heel bone. This can happen by wearing shoes that rub along that area or by running or walking too much. The skin can become thicker and red with overuse leading to a bump that becomes painful and hot to the touch on the back of the heel. Treatments include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, resting, and ice packs. Furthermore, your Boston foot doctor may recommend a 3/8″ or 1/2″ heel insert. They may also order an x-ray to determine if there is a bone spur present.

    To start your journey on the road to recovery, you can try some of the simpler remedies at home. However, if your heel pain persists, a podiatrist can help you overcome your heel problems and return to full activity.

    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.

    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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