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.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort anywhere from the bottom of your calf muscle down to your heel, you could have Achilles tendonitis, a condition that occurs when the Achilles tendon has become strained or injured. Fortunately, if you do have Achilles tendonitis, a podiatrist could develop a treatment plan to heal the injury and alleviate the pain. Here at Maryland Podiatry Center, Dr. John Murphy is your podiatrist for the treatment of Achilles tendonitis and other types of foot pain in Ellicott City. Read on to learn what he can do for you!
What is Achilles Tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis is an injury to the Achilles tendon that occurs when the tendon is pulled, strained, or torn. The Achilles tendon runs from the heel bone to the calf muscle along the back of the leg and is the largest tendon in the body. It can become irritated and inflamed from regularly performing repetitive movements, such as jumping or sprinting. Standing for long periods can also strain the Achilles tendon, as can having low arches or flat feet.
Several measures can be taken to reduce strain on the Achilles tendon and prevent Achilles tendonitis. One way to prevent it is to minimize the amount of time spent engaging in repetitive movements. Achilles tendonitis can also be prevented by regularly resting the feet and legs. Resting is particularly important for individuals who spend a lot of time on their feet throughout the day. Wearing orthotics shoe inserts is also helpful for those with flat feet. Orthotics that provide arch support help minimize strain on the Achilles tendon.
Several treatment options are also available for individuals who do develop Achilles tendonitis. Dr. Murphy, your Ellicott City foot pain doctor, can develop a suitable treatment plan for you. Methods for treating Achilles tendonitis include resting the feet and legs, applying ice to the injured area, and taking anti-inflammatory medications. Other treatment options include wearing a walking boot, wearing orthotic heel cups or pads, physical therapy, ultrasound treatment, laser therapy, stem cell injections, and surgery.
If you have Achilles tendonitis, a podiatrist can recommend the right treatment for you. For the treatment of Achilles tendonitis or other foot pain in Ellicott City, schedule an appointment with Dr. Murphy by contacting 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.
Tired of those bunions? A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the inside of the foot at the big toe joint. Bunions occur mostly in women, as they are more likely to wear tight footwear. Some diseases, such as arthritis, can cause bunions. A tendency to get bunions can also run in families. Led by Dr. John Murphy, Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD offers treatments for bunions. Read on to find out how we can treat your bunions.
Padding and Taping. Padding and taping is usually one of the first steps in bunion treatment. Padding and taping can help alleviate your pain by realigning the joint and take pressure off the bunion. Padding and taping also increases blood flow to the areas for increased anti-inflammatory effect and pain relief.
Medications. Bunion pain may respond to treatment with over-the-counter medications such as naproxen (Aleve), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Advil). If you have severe pain, your podiatrist may recommend a prescription medication. Your doctor may also recommend a medication to relieve inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce inflammation, as well as pain.
Injection Therapy. Cortisone shots, also called steroid shots, are often used for treating bunions. Cortisone shots include a corticosteroid medication to relieve pain and inflammation over time and an anesthetic to provide immediate pain relief. You can get cortisone shots from your podiatric surgeon.
Custom Orthotics. Custom foot orthotics can be helpful in treating bunions. Custom foot orthotics are specially-made devices designed to cushion and support your feet. They can help take pressure off your bunions and ease your discomfort. Custom foot orthotics have been proven to be highly successful when used under the treatment of a medical professional.
Surgical Treatments. If nonsurgical treatments don't relieve your pain, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. The goal of surgery is to correct the deformity, improve function and eliminate pain. Various types of surgical procedures are available to correct bunions. In selecting the procedure, your podiatrist will take into consideration the extent of your bunion deformity, your age, and other factors.
Say goodbye to bunion pain. It's time to get your life back. Call Maryland Podiatry Center at 410-992-8504 right now to schedule an appointment in Ellicott City, MD. You will experience exemplary service and state-of-the-art care at Maryland Podiatry Center!
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!
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