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.
IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION
Our office continues to be open to all new and existing patients. We use hospital-grade sanitizers and are taking measures to ensure patients maintain social distancing by not having anyone wait in our reception room with others. If you prefer to wait in your car, just give us a call and we will call or text you when we are ready to bring you straight into a treatment room. Our entire staff is wearing masks and we encourage you to do the same.
For those patients who cannot or still wish not to visit the office, we are offering private video telemedicine visits. Simply call the office at 713-785-7881 and ask for an e-visit and we will be happy to get you set up for an immediate appointment. You can also request an appointment through our website.
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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.
Does a heel spur need to be removed?
I always tell my patients that surgery is a last resort and surgery to remove heel spurs is no different. In the experience of this foot doctor in Houston, surgery is necessary in less than 5% of heel pain cases. There are many ways to solve heel pain outside of an operation.
Some non-surgical methods for resolving heel pain include anti-inflammatory medication, insoles, custom orthotics, stretching, strapping, cortisone injections, and physical therapy. More advanced modalities, such as shockwave therapy are available to further reduce the need for surgery.
If the heel spur continues to cause pain, surgery may be recommended by your Houston podiatrist. The surgery to remove a heel spur is done on an outpatient basis and the procedure lasts less than one hour. In most cases, you'll be able to bear weight on the foot immediately after surgery. Contact the Houston heel spur surgeons to see what treatment would be the most effective to alleviate your heel pain.
Why do heel cups not help my heel pain?
Heel cups, pads, or cushions are commonly used by patients in my Houston podiatry practice prior to seeing me for the first time. You know they are popular when you take a look at the choices at any pharmacy foot care aisle! They often don't solve the pain, however.
Most heel pain is caused by an inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament or the Achilles tendon where it attaches to the heel bone. The cushioning provided by the heel cup does nothing to address the inflammation or the mechanics of the foot that prevents the inflammation from resolving on it's own. Heel cups are much more useful when the pain is directly due to a heel spur.
The best heel cups made out of a thick gel, such as the one pictured. This provides extra cushioning beneath the heel to minimize the pressure on a heel spur. This is also particularly useful when the natural padding has worn away with time. If you are concerned that you are not using the right heel cup for your condition, or if your foot continues to hurt while wearing heel cups, contact your Houston podiatrist to put you on the right path.
Is exercise making my heel pain worse?
Many people who actively exercise find themselves affected by heel pain at some point. As a podiatrist in Houston who focuses on sports medicine and running injuries, I understand that there is nothing worse than having to take time away from an exercise program, especially if you are training to reach a particular goal. When you come to my practice with heel pain, I do not automatically stop you from exercising.
We also have to be smart about when to continue exercising and when to rest. We no longer believe in the "No Pain No Gain" philosophy. Pain is your body's way of letting you know that something isn't right. If you step out of bed and take 7 steps, your pain should be gone. If it isn't, you should not run or exercise. Exercise puts a greater load on your foot than walking alone does. Sometimes taking a short time off will allow you to get back to your program much more quickly.
Let's get you out of pain and back to exercising without restrictions! Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate appointment and comprehensive evaluation. Working together, we will make your heel pain history.
What Is Causing The Pain In My Heel?
Heel pain, whether beneath or behind the heel, is most commonly caused by an inflammation of the tendon or ligament that is attaching to the heel bone. Pain beneath the heel is an inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament, known as plantar fasciitis. Pain behind the heel is typically an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, known as Achilles tendinitis.
There is typically some cause of the inflammation, such as running, a stumble or fall, or exercise, but the pain will typically linger and remain. This lingering is cussed by the mechanics of your foot and ankle. Any inefficiency will overwork the legs and feet, preventing the inflammation from resolving. Controlling the mechanics with an insole or custom orthotic will help to prevent the pain and inflammation from returning long term.
The longer it takes you to treat your heel pain, the longer it will be before the pain is completely resolved. Contact your Houston foot specialists to evaluate the cause of your pain and to put you on the road to recovery.
Is A Heel Spur Causing My Heel Pain?
Most heel pain is caused by an inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament or the Achilles tendon. The inflammation is caused by tension on the heel bone by the ligament on the tendon. This tension can also cause new bone to be formed, which is known as a heel spur.
If a heel spur is present, don't worry too much about it. The spur, in most cases, is not the cause of the pain. When a heel spur is the cause of heel pain, the pain usually worsens as the day progresses. This pain is often helped by using pads to provide cushioning beneath the heel.
There are times where pain from a heel spur cannot be treated with padding and surgery is necessary to relieve the pain. The only way to find out if this is the case is to visit your Houston heel pain specialists. Contact your Houston podiatrist for an immediate appointment to evaluate your heel pain and get you out of pain as quickly as possible.