Posts for category: Foot Health
Heel pain can prevent you from participating in your favorite activities, such as working out or playing sports, and even make simple activities like walking or standing difficult. Fortunately, heel pain can be treated. Here at Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD, Dr. John Murphy can explain which treatments are appropriate based on the cause and type of heel pain that you have. Read on to learn more!
Causes of Heel Pain
Heel pain can be the result of several factors or conditions. The stress and strain caused by performing repetitive movements, such as jogging or running daily, can lead to heel pain. Another common cause of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis, which can develop when the plantar fascia tissues along the bottom of the foot become irritated and inflamed. People who overpronate when stepping are especially likely to develop plantar fasciitis. Some other common causes of heel pain include:
- Foot injuries
- Stress fractures
- Heel spurs
Treatments for Heel Pain
There are several ways to treat heel pain. For minor heel pain caused, resting the foot, applying ice, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers is sometimes all that is needed to alleviate the pain and allow the foot and heel to recover from any minor tension or strain. Wearing supportive footwear with sufficient cushioning for the foot and heel can also reduce heel pain, as well as prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Chronic or more severe heel pain should be treated by a podiatrist. Depending on the specific cause of your heel pain, your Ellicott City podiatrist might recommend one or more of the following methods for managing and treating your heel pain:
- Custom orthotics—Devices placed inside the shoes to provide cushioning and stability, as well as support for the arches.
- Physical therapy—Helps improve flexibility in the feet and ankles, as well as strengthen the muscles in the feet.
- Night splint—Helps keep the plantar fascia tissues in the foot in a stretched position for an extended time, which can reduce pain.
- Walking cast—A removable cast worn for several weeks that immobilizes the foot so that it can rest and heal from injury.
- Corticosteroids—A medication injected into the foot to reduce inflammation and alleviate heel pain.
- Surgery—Surgery is sometimes needed to remove painful heel spurs/heel calluses or to correct structural problems in the foot that are causing heel pain.
Need Relief? Give Us a Call
It is possible to experience relief from heel pain. A podiatrist can help by determining the cause of your heel pain and developing a suitable treatment approach. For the treatment of your heel pain, schedule an appointment with Dr. Murphy, your Ellicott City podiatrist, by calling Maryland Podiatry Center at (410) 992-8504.
The pain in your feet is unending. It centers on your heel and arch, and it is most acute when you rise in the morning or after you have been sitting for a long time. What's the source of this discomfort? At Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, Dr. John Murphy treats all kinds of foot pain. Read about some of the common causes and interventions here!
Causes of foot pain
The most common one is plantar fasciitis. An aching discomfort, plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of the connective tissue on the arch of the foot. The plantar fascia connects the heel to the base of the toes, and it's prone to develop this condition when people:
- Are on their feet for long intervals
- Pronate their feet excessively toward the midline
- Engage in sports such as running, tennis, and dancing
- Have very tight calf muscles
- Don't stretch before gym workouts
Rest and ice help relieve this foot pain, says your podiatrist in Ellicott City. So do over the counter anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, orthotics (especially heel cups) and shoes with sturdy arch support.
Dr. Murphy sometimes advises in-office EPAT, or Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology. This minimally-invasive, FDA-approved therapy sends acoustic pressure waves into the bottom of the foot, reducing scar tissue and speeding healing through increased circulation.
People with plantar fasciitis often have accompanying bone spurs on the heel, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. If the problem with the plantar fascia is corrected, the pain from the spur usually resolves without any need for surgery.
Another common podiatric ailment is onychocryptosis, or an ingrown toenail. Caused by nail irritation, fungus, and incorrect nail trimming, this painful problem leads to substantial discomfort, particularly if the toe becomes reddened, swollen, or infected.
Partial nail avulsion, or removal, solves the problem. Dr. Murphy also advises shoes with wide toe boxes and straight-across trimming of all toenails.
Finally, bunions are an arthritic deformity involving the base joint of the big toe. Age, tight shoes, and heredity all contribute to the pain, rigidity, and resulting immobility of bunions.
Some bunions require surgery to remove the bump on the foot and to re-align the big toe. However, many bunions also respond well to:
- Low-heeled shoes with firm support in the arch
- Customized shoe inserts
- Shoe padding
- Callus and corn removal at the podiatrist's office
- Stretching exercises
Are you in pain?
Why not see what Dr. John Murphy at Maryland Podiatry Center can do for you? He offers the best in diagnostics and treatment options for a wide variety of podiatric conditions, including foot pain. Call the office today for an appointment:(410) 992-8504.
Don’t let heel pain keep you from your daily routine. We can help!
It can be startling to get up in the morning and notice a stabbing pain in your heel. What could it be? While heel pain is a very common issue with many different causes, it’s important to understand what’s going on and when you should turn to our Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist, Dr. John Murphy, for care.
The Causes of Heel Pain
The two most common causes of heel pain are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. These conditions lead to inflammation of and around the heel. If you experience pain under the heel this is most likely due to plantar fasciitis, whereas pain located above the heel bone is often caused by Achilles tendonitis.
Of course, there are other problems that can also lead to heel pain including,
- Stress fractures
- Sprains and strains
- Ruptured Achilles tendon
- Heel spur
- Osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone)
- Haglund’s deformity (a bony protrusion that develops on the back of the heel)
Visiting a Podiatrist
When you come into our Ellicott City office for an evaluation, our foot doctor will ask you a series of questions that pertain to the symptoms you are experiencing. Some questions include,
Q. Where is the pain located?
Q. How would you describe the pain you are experiencing (e.g. burning; stabbing)
Q. When did the pain begin?
We will also physically examine your foot to check for anything that may be affecting the ligaments, bones, nerves, or soft tissue. While some cases of heel pain can be diagnosed through a simple physical exam and by discussing your symptoms, we may need to run imaging tests such as X-rays to confirm your diagnosis. By determining the cause of your heel pain, we can provide you with the right treatment plan to suit your needs.
If you are managing your heel pain with simple at-home measures like icing, resting, compression, and pain relievers but aren’t experiencing any relief from your symptoms, you should also schedule an appointment with our podiatrist so that we can create a more effective course of action for treating your condition.
Seeking Relief? Give Us a Call!
Maryland Podiatry Center located in Ellicott City, MD, is dedicated to providing a wide range of foot and ankle treatment options. Don’t let heel pain affect your quality of life—call our office today at (410) 992-8504 to find out what’s going on and learn how we can help you!
“Orthotic“ means “to straighten or align” in Greek, but when it comes to your feet, these devices can do so much more. Dr. John Murphy, your podiatrist in Ellicott City, MD, has the experience and training necessary to determine if you need an orthosis to help with your foot or ankle issue. The right orthotic device can make a big difference and your mobility and your comfort, so read on to learn more about orthotics and their benefits here!
What are orthotics?
Orthotics deals with using devices like braces or shoe inserts to correct problems with the feet and ankles; orthoses are the devices themselves. These can be purchased over the counter or can be custom-made for you; the severity and nature of your specific problem will determine if you need a prescription from your Ellicott City podiatrist. Custom-fitted orthotics typically last several years before needing repair or replacement.
Why do I need orthotics?
There are many reasons why a person would need to wear an orthotic device. Some medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or spina bifida, can affect mobility in such a way that moving around is very difficult without the help of a brace or other type of supportive orthosis. Some people naturally have anatomy, such as fallen arches, a shorter leg, or club foot, that needs correction; orthotics can help with this too.
Working with your Ellicott City podiatrist is the key to finding the correct and properly fitting orthosis for you, so if you’re having mobility issues, contact Maryland Podiatry Center today to set up a consultation. We want to help you get on your feet in the new year and for many years to come!
Don’t let athlete’s foot affect your foot health. Find out how to protect yourself.
If you’ve ever had athlete’s foot before, you remember the unpleasant itching, redness and burning of the skin. Chances are pretty good that you would like to avoid experiencing that again at all costs. Our Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist Dr. John Murphy completely understands, which is why we are here to provide some advice on how to keep your feet athlete’s foot-free.
Fungus is all around us, but there are certainly places where it loves to thrive. These areas tend to be damp, dark and cool. Common environments for fungus to breed include public restrooms, school locker rooms and even your local gym’s locker and shower area.
It’s also possible to get athlete’s foot from a nail salon if they don’t sterilize their tools as often or as effectively as they should. The best thing you can do is wear shoes at all times, even when using a public shower. Carry those shower shoes with you or wear sandals in these areas to reduce your risk of athlete’s foot.
While going barefoot puts you at risk for a fungal infection, most people assume that if they just wear socks and shoes all the time they will be fine. Of course, there are some misconceptions regarding this. As our Ellicott City, MD, foot doctor will tell you, you shouldn’t wear the same socks and shoes everyday, as this can easily become a damp, dark breeding ground for fungus.
When you are in the comfort of your own home, this is the perfect time to kick off those shoes and let your feet breathe a bit. If your feet are prone to becoming sweaty, apply an antifungal powder to your feet and shoes before putting them on. Never wear your socks more than once and don’t wear shoes twice in a row (give them time to air out completely).
Do you have questions about athlete’s foot? Having issues treating the problem yourself? Then call Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD, today to get the problem figured out.