Do you have questions about Heel Pain? We have answers.

Do you have questions about the causes of heel pain? Tanglewood Foot Specialists provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to heel pain. If you would like to schedule an appointment to talk to Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider about your foot pain, call us at (713) 785-7881.

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  • Will a night splint help relieve my heel pain?

    Best night splint for houston heel painIf you feel severe pain in your heel when you step out of bed in the morning, you are suffering from one of two serious foot conditions: Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles Tendonitis. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament where it attaches to the bottom of the heel bone. Similarly, Achilles tendonitis is when the Achilles tendon is inflamed at its attachment on the back of the heel bone.

    While there are many treatments for both types of heel pain, one that works well for both types is the use of a night splint. While there are many types of night splints for heel pain, I have found the most effective and comfortable type to be when the support is in the front of the foot and ankle. This type of night splint is light and the most comfortable to wear and sleep in.

    Night splints work by providing a constant stretch to the plantar fascia ligament and Achilles tendon overnight. This has been proven to be an effective way to treat heel pain. You will especially notice the relief of pain that you feel when you first step out of bed in the morning. This relief will carry over throughout your day and you will notice a progressive relief of heel pain as you continue to wear the night splint each night.

    At Tanglewood Foot Specialists, we stock this type of night splint. The good news is that this night splint is covered by health insurance in most cases. Regardless, if you have heel pain it is important to visit your Houston podiatrist to have your heel pain evaluated and treated to get you out of pain as efficiently as possible.

  • How do i know if a heel spur is causing my pain?

    Houston podiatrist treats heel spur painA byproduct of tension of the plantar fascia on the heel bone is the development of a heel spur. While it appears dramatic on x-ray, a heel spur is not the source of the heel pain in most cases. The pain is usually derived from the inflammation where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel.

    There are times when it is the heel spur itself is responsible for heel pain. In these cases people arise from bed and feel little or no pain. As the day progresses, the heel becomes progressively more painful. Walking in a hard sole shoe, or barefoot on a hard floor, is also particularly painful. The pain is often due to an enlarged spur on the heel bone. Just because you have a painful heel spur does not mean you have to suffer. There are effective treatments that can eliminate the pain. Sometimes a simple gel heel cup is enough to entire control the pain in your heel. In more resistant cases, surgery can be done to remove the spur.

    Your heel pain will not go away ln its own! Take the first step to eliminating your pain by visiting Tanglewood Foot Specialists. Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider to schedule an appointment. Pain relief is closer than you think!

  • What is the best kind of doctor to see for my heel pain?

    Houston podiatrist treats heel spur painHeel pain is a sophisticated injury that requires a specialized understanding of the inflammatory process and the biomechanics that prevents it from resolving on it's own. A podiatrist in Houston is uniquely qualified to provide this care.

    After graduating from college a podiatrist undergoes four years in a podiatric medical program and is awarded a DPM degree. The new doctor then completes a hospital-based residency program, now at least three years in duration, where he receives advanced medical and surgical training.

    Podiatrists also have a keen understanding of how the foot functions, understands the mechanics, and are able to correct them by using custom foot orthotics or specialized ankle-foot orthotics. In rare cases where surgery is required to resolve heel pain, a podiatrist is well-qualified to provide that care and ensure the heel pain does not return in the future.

    If you are suffering with heel pain, or any other pain in your foot or ankle, contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists. Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider and his team will provide a comprehensive evaluation and a detailed explanation of what is causing your pain and

  • Why does my heel pain jump from foot to foot?

    Houston podiatrist treats heel spur painWhen one foot is injured with heel pain, your discomfort can be intense. Your body will naturally try to offload the painful heel and shift more weight to your foot that is healthy. As the pressure is shifted, inflammation can begin on your other foot because it is now being overused. You may even see a reduction of pain in the originally painful heel!


    If left untreated, the pain will continue to jump from foot to foot until, ultimately, both feet will be simultaneously painful, which can be debilitating. For that reason, do not let your heel pain go untreated. In most cases, plantar fasciitis does not resolve in its own. Your podiatrist in Houston is able to assess your pain and offer treatment options to resolve it before it becomes a greater problem.


    If you are suffering with heel pain, whether it has been for one week, one month or one year, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider to learn how to relieve your pain as quickly as possible. It's time to stop suffering with heel pain!

  • Can shockwave therapy cure my heel pain?

    Houston shockwave therapy to treat heel painShockwave therapy, short for Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy or Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Therapy, has been used in Europe for many years prior to emerging in the US as a treatment for musculoskeletal inflammation such as heel pain. The treatment comes in a number of different wavelengths and intensities, which determine the number of treatments and whether anesthesia is necessary.


    Shockwave therapy works by sending thousands of shockwaves into the area of injury over a short period of time. This physically breaks up inflammation and increases the blood flow to the injured area. This provides resources to the heel and allows for recovery, usually in a 6 week timeframe.


    In the past, these treatments had to be done under anesthesia in the operating room. Newer technology has reduced the treatment time and intensity. the therapy is now performed in a Houston podiatry office and no anesthesia is needed. While some patients report their heel pain, caused by both plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis, is relieved after the first treatment, most require three treatments and don't see full results for 4-6 weeks.


    If you are currently experiencing a sharp pain in your heels, it is time to end your frustration. Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate appointment to assess your condition and work together to get you out of pain as quickly as possible.

  • Are any of those funny looking shoes good for heel pain?

    MBT shoes in Houston for heel painThere are a number of shoes that look....different...and boast being able to resolve pain in the lower extremity, including heel pain. One such shoe is MBT, Masei Barefoot Technology, which has been available for years. These shoes feature a soft heel and rocker sole, forcing the foot to function more on the mid foot. Some patients have indeed found relief with these shoes and I recommend them on occasion, but many also find that the drastic change in gait causes new issues to arise. These should not be confused with the "toning shoes" such as Sketchers Shape-Ups which offer no therapeutic value.


    z-coil shoes for Houston heel painAnother shoe is the Z-coil shoe. This shoe has an elevated heel with a visible heavy gauge coil attaching it. It looks like you're walking on a pogo stick! While some report relief of pain, it is usually due to the elevation of the heel, which takes pressure off of the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, and not the unique construct.


    The best results from these shoes come with commitment. Because they cause a significant change in gait, switching between these shoes and conventional shoes will cause continual muscle confusion that will limit the efficacy of any of them.


    If you are suffering from heel pain, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprehensive evaluation. Dr. Schneider will work with you to eliminate your heel pain and keep it gone. End your pain and frustration and call Tanglewood Foot Specialists for an immediate appointment.

  • Is ice or heat better for heel pain?

    Ice is best for Houston heel painOne of the most common questions that I get, and most common thing that people get wrong, is the choice between using ice or heat on heel pain and other injuries. Many people default to putting heat on the injury. On the surface it makes sense, warmth is soothing to injuries. The only problem is that it can make inflammation worse.


    Ice is a natural anti-inflammatory. When it is applied to an injury, such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis, it aids in reducing the inflammation. Ice can be applied throughout the day, however it shouldn't be applied for more than 20 minutes at a time and should stay for the balance of the hour.


    Unfortunately ice is not very portable, especially in the heat of Houston. Topical analgesics, such as Biofreeze, can be used in the place of ice. Unlike other topicals, there is no heat component to Biofreeze and only have an icing effect. This reduces the inflammation and also provides an immediate analgesic effect.


    If you are suffering from heel pain, start icing right away. Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider to schedule an appointment. Together we will identify the source of your heel pain and develop a strategy to get the pain gone and keep it away.

  • 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?

    Houston podiatrist treats heel spur painSurgery 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?

    Houston podiatrist treats heel spur painHeel 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.