Do you have questions about foot care? We have answers.
Do you have questions about foot injuries or the causes of foot pain? Tanglewood Foot Specialists provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about foot injuries and foot care. If you would like to schedule an appointment to talk to a doctor about your foot pain, call Tanglewood Foot Specialists at (713) 785-7881.
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Can physical therapy help heel pain?
Physical therapy is an often overlooked treatment to help alleviate heel pain. Physical therapists are experts in mobilizing, stretching, and strengthening the body to help cure musculoskeletal injury and recover from surgery. Therapy is helpful in reducing inflammation and restoring mobility.
Because plantar fasciitis is an inflammation that causes heel pain, therapy can help to resolve it. Aside from massage, stretching, and strengthening, modalities such as ultrasound can be used to penetrate and heal the injury. While physical therapy is not a first-line treatment for heel pain, it is helpful in persistent or chronic cases.
In fact, we have recently found resistant cases of heel pain that has been significantly helped with the use of physical therapy. We partner with physical therapists whose philosophy involves direct care with the patient as a whole. This has been an important step to getting people suffering with heel pain to being pain-free.
If you are frustrated by heel pain that just doesn't seem to get better, contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists. Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider will perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine the advanced treatments to get you out of pain as quickly as possible.
When is surgery needed for heel pain?
Surgery should always be considered a last resort and surgery for heel pain is no different. In fact, surgery is needed to treat heel pain less than 5% of the time. Surgery can provide a definitive solution for your heel pain but is not without drawbacks.
When the heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis, and all conservative measures have failed, surgery can be considered if pain does not resolve. The surgery involves releasing the plantar fascia ligament from its attachment to the heel bone.
When the pain is directly due to a heel spur, and cannot be reduced or controlled with conservative measures, surgery should be considered. The surgery involves the removal of the heel spur, which eliminates the mechanical pressure beneath the heel. Because the plantar fascia ligament attaches to the heel spur and tension from the ligament causes it to form, it is released as well.
If you are frustrated by chronic heel pain and would like to discuss your treatment options, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate appointment. You don't have to be in pain! Relief is closer than you think!
How does a heel spur form?
Heel pain is caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament or Achilles tendon where they attach to your heel bone. The inflammation occurs because of excessive tension at the attachment. The tension can also cause a heel spur to form.
A heel spur can form on the bottom of the heel bone because of tension applied by the plantar fascia ligament when standing and walking. Similarly, tension by the Achilles tendon can lead to a heel spur forming on the back of the heel. These tensions can cause an injury beneath the surface of the bone and stimulates the creation of new bone to be produced in the direction of the tension. This growth of bone on the heel is the spur.
The growth of a heel spur can be limited by reducing the amount of tension on the plantar fascia ligament. This is accomplished by stabilizing the mechanics of the lower extremity with a custom orthotic device. The reduced pull of the ligament will also limit the inflammation that commonly results in plantar fasciitis.
If you are suffering with heel pain and are concerned that you may have developed a heel spur, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprehensive evaluation.
Is there any new treatment for heel pain?
While the traditional conservative treatment for heel pain manages the vast majority of cases, if the condition remains unresolved there are other more advanced options. While more aggressive, these are still less invasive than surgery. The most common and available is extracorporeal shockwave therapy.
Shockwave therapy is a treatment for inflammation, including plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. It involves sending thousands of shocks to the inflamed area, resulting in an increase in blood flow to that area. This helps to heal the site of injury and resolve the pain. There are different types of shockwave therapy units. High energy units require anesthesia to allow the one treatment with comfort. Mid-energy units don't usually require any anesthesia, but need multiple treatments to be effective.
If you feel that your heel pain is not progressing, ask if newer treatments could work for you. Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprehensive evaluation to see what your best options are to eliminate your heel pain once and for all.
Do I need a cortisone shot to cure my heel pain?
In order to control the heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis, it is essential that the inflammation is controlled. This can be done in a variety of ways. Oral anti-inflammatory medication, known as NSAIDs, are a common way to eliminate inflammation. Using topical anti-inflammatories, such as ice or Biofreeze, is another important way to control inflammation.
It is common to hear about cortisone injections to treat the inflammation of plantar fasciitis. The benefits to having a cortisone injection is that it allows the medication is placed locally where the inflammation is focused. Cortisone is a very effective way to eliminate the inflammation of plantar fasciitis, however it is not the only way. Don't be afraid of a Cortisone injection and don't let it stop you from coming in to get your heel pain checked out. It's likely that you won't get one on your first visit...and possibly not at all!
If you are frustrated by continuing heel pain, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider to evaluate what else can be done to get you out of pain as quickly as possible.
How do custom orthotics keep my heel pain away?
Treating the inflammation associated with heel pain is only one part of the puzzle. It is also very important to treat the mechanical causes of heel pain. It is the unstable mechanics that prevents the inflammation from resolving on it's own. A custom orthotic is the best way to stabilize the foot function and address the biomechanical instability.
A custom orthotic is a shoe insert that is made specifically for a patient to allow the foot to work as efficiently as possible. By performing a comprehensive lower extremity biomechanical exam, your Houston podiatrist will be able to identify mechanical instability and will take a neutral mold of your foot. That mold will be modified with a unique prescription based on the examination to have the perfect orthotic made for you.
Identifying the contributing biomechanical factors associated with heel pain will enable the orthotics to prevent a recurrence of plantar fasciitis in the future. Contact Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists for a comprehensive evaluation. It is time for your heel pain to stay away once and for all.
Why does my heel pain keep coming back?
Heel pain, commonly due to plantar fasciitis, is caused by two factors. First is the inflammation of the plantar fascia as it attaches to the heel bone. This is best handles by anti-inflammatory medication, whether oral, injected, or topical. The other contributing factor is mechanics, meaning the way the foot functions.
Once we successfully eliminate your pain with effective treatment of the inflammation, many people feel that their treatment has ended successfully. However, without the necessary treatment and control of the mechanical causes of heel pain, the inflammation often returns over time. Whether a matter of weeks or months, a recurrence of heel pain is not only frustrating, but increasingly difficult to treat. It is why your Houston podiatrist will likely recommend a custom orthotic to maintain the mechanical balance once the pain and inflammation has resolved.
If you are frustrated with heel pain that continually returns, contact Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists for a comprehensive evaluation. It is time to get you out of pain once and for all.
Will I need special shoes to solve my heel pain?
There are many reasons why people hesitate to come to my Houston podiatry office when they are suffering from heel pain. One of those concerns is that I will stop you from wearing your favorite shoes. You may even fear hearing that you have to wear orthopedic shoes. While shoe choice does play a role in treating heel pain, it is rarely, if ever, as extreme as that.
Because heel pain is commonly due to the tension of the plantar fascia ligament on the heel bone, an important part of treatment is providing support to the ligament. Because of this, I recommend shoes that have support or can have support added to them. If you are accustomed to wearing flip-flops or Keds much of the time, you will likely be asked to change your footwear. Most shoes that are enclosed can accommodate an orthotic device and will not require a change in shoe gear.
A custom foot orthotic will help to control the forces in your feet that cause the extra tension on the tendon's or ligaments causing the inflammation. This is the best long term treatment to ensure your heel pain does not return in the future. If you are feeling pain on the bottom or the back of your heel, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider to eliminate your pain quickly and easily.
Can a bone spur go away without surgery?
Once formed, a bone spur does not typically go away on its own. That doesn't mean that it has to stay painful, however.
A bone spur is formed in areas of tension, pressure, or trauma. They are often present in various areas of the foot, such as the heel, top of the foot, and toes. They are often not painful, but have the potential to become so as time goes on. If painful, they can be treated with different shoe selection, padding, and custom orthotics.
Even if a bone spur that was once painful stops being so with treatment, it does not mean that the bone spur has gone away. In fact, it was the inflammation surrounding the spur that caused the pain in the first place and had been controlled. The body is capable of resorbing a spur, however it does not happen since the tension and pressure that caused it to form may be controlled, but it is not gone completely. The only way for a spur to be completely removed is with surgery.
If you are worried that you may be dealing with a bone spur on your foot, be sure to get it checked out. Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists will be able to work with you to determine the best course of action to take.
Does a bonespur always require surgery?
Even if it is painful, a bone spur does not always require surgery. If you catch a bone spur formation early, you may be able to stop it from progressing. Removing or limiting the stress that is causing the spur to form will slow or stop it's progression. This can be done by changing shoegear or using a custom orthotic.
If the spur is already painful, using pads to cushion or support the bone spur is helpful in eliminating the pain. A painful heel spur is dealt with with a gel heel cushion. A bone spur on top of the foot can be offloaded by using a different lacing pattern or a pad that keeps the pressure off of the spur. Bone spurs between the toes are often well managed using toe separators pads.
These conservative measures are useful in managing the pain from a bone spur. If however the pain remains, surgery to remove the bone spur may be your best option.