Posts for category: Heel Pain
Heel pain is one of the most common and debilitating conditions affecting Americans today. Yes, it is that big of a problem.
We all have a tendon in our legs known as the Achilles tendon which attaches the calf muscles the heel bone; it allows you to walk, jump and run as well as making it possible to stand on the balls of your feet. But when you have a continuous and intense physical activity like the ones mentioned above then it can result in a painful inflammation of that tendon a problem known as Achilles tendonitis. However, sometimes there are other unrelated factors to the physical exercises which can also contribute to Achilles Tendonitis. Such include Rheumatoid arthritis and an infection.
Some of the causes of Achilles Tendonitis are as follows
• Wearing poorly fitted shoes
• Some sports such as tennis which require quick stops and change of direction
• Exercising without doing a proper warm up
• Strain on the calf muscles during exercises
• Prolonged wearing of heels
How Is Achilles Tendonitis Diagnosed?
Your doctor will perform some physical observations along with asking you a few questions concerning your pain and swelling in the heel. The doctor will ask you to stand on the balls of your feet, and he will feel the area around where you feel most painful, and the swelling is severe. Although you will not need them, using imaging tests can also help to confirm it when necessary. These tests include X-rays, MRI scans, and ultrasounds which provide images, detect rupture or tissue degeneration and show related damage to tendon movement.
Treating Achilles Tendonitis
In regards to the severity of your problem, the doctor might suggest any of the treatments ranging from resting and using ibuprofen to steroid injections and surgery. The first treatment will be to reduce your physical activity. Aside from that, your doctor will most probably suggest that you do the following
• Go to physical therapy
• Use a walking boot or wear a brace to restrict heel movement
• Foot elevation to reduce swelling
• Opt for a less strenuous sport
Using the RICE Method
It is usually useful for the treatment of Achilles Tendonitis just after having the injury. It entails rest, ice, compression and elevation and works in the following way
Rest- you will not put pressure or weight on the tendon for at least two days until the time that you can walk without feeling any pain. It heals faster if there is no additional strain.
Ice- using a bag of ice wrapped in a clothing material and then placing the bag against your skin. You will hold it against the tendon for about 20 minutes. The ice serves to help your inflammation go down faster.
Compression- you can use a bandage, clothing or athletic tape to tie it around the tendon so as to compress the injury. It will help keep the tendon from swelling too much but remember not to tie too tightly.
Elevation- raise your foot above the level of your chest. It works to maintain the swelling down because blood will be returning to the heart as a result of your foot being higher than your heart. It is easier when you use a pillow.
If you seek treatment earlier and follow the instructions of your doctor, then you will be more likely to recover quickly.
Not only is it a condition which affects old people but also the young as well. For those of us who have had the displeasure of experiencing heel pain, we can attest to the fact that it is a nagging problem which often causes pain and discomfort. Heel pain has been one of the many common complaints of patients in health facilities even up to date. With that said, there are excellent home remedies and lifestyle changes which you can put into practice so as to comfortably ease your symptoms. The following are some of the top natural methods of heel pain treatment to reduce the pain and discomforts:
Using cold compress ice on your heel can help you to reduce pain and prevent it from escalating and becoming long-lasting. The ice will have a numbing effect on your heel which works to prevent inflammation and control pain. There are various ways which you can apply the ice compress on your heel. For instance, you can wrap some crushed ice in a plastic bag and then use it on the sensitive area. You can also freeze water in a bottle and then roll it over the affected area. You only require at least 15 minutes each day for desired outcomes.
In most cases, stretching exercise will go a long way to help you reduce pain and promote quick recovery. The right foot stretches will mostly help you to strengthen some of the vital ligaments and prevent any further injuries as well. I will recommend the “standing wall stretch” which from time to time has been found to effective. It is a simple exercise where you face a wall while standing barefoot. You will press into the wall using both your hands and then place one foot forward where you will slowly lean and feel the stretch at the back of the leg and heel. Most people have reported feeling some amazing kind of relief after doing it several times each day.
Salt soaks and packs
You can be sure to receive amazing results from using these remedies to reduce all kinds of aches and pains. An Epsom salt has been known to be the best option if you are looking to bring instant relief from heel pain. The salt constitutes of magnesium sulfate crystals which are responsible for reducing the pain and swelling. Your heels will also feel relaxed from soaking them in warm water.
You have to try ginger if your heel pain is as a result of any muscle strain. A pain journal recently published a study which found out that ginger can ease any muscle pains mostly caused by eccentric exercises. It has anti-inflammatory properties which play a role in combating inflammation and pain in your heels. Aside from that, it improves blood circulation which is even the more reason you should consider this remedy. So how can you use ginger to reduce pain? You can drink ginger tea, use ginger supplements or even massage the affected area with ginger oil daily.
Balanced alkaline diet
You will surely need to incorporate a well balanced alkaline diet if you want to improve your overall health and reduce pain. Alkaline foods are necessary for maintaining a normal pH level and as a result reducing inflammation. On top of that, it is the best way to prevent calcium build up which has been known to be one of the leading causes of heel spurs.
Aside from the above remedies, you should always wear shoes which fit properly, check your weight, and see your local Huntington podiatrist. It is also advisable that you rest your heels as much as you can each time that you experience the pains.
Heel pain is a very common finding in both children and adults. While there are many external factors that can be linked to the cause of the pain,(flat feet and fancy shoes being two of the common culprits), it is important to remember that damage to the underlying bones, tendons and ligaments can occur.
If you or a loved one has been experiencing pain, it is always a good idea to have a podiatrist evaluate you to determine the source of the pain. This is especially true in children who have not yet reached skeletal maturity. Sever's disease, damage to the heel bone growth plate is often the cause of heel pain in a young athlete.
If caught early, the treatment for this type of injury is generally straightforward and tolerated well, however, an undiagnosed injury to a growth plate can have very serious ramifications. The best way to prevent injury is to be evaluated by a podiatrist so that a custom orthotic can be made. Orthotics can restore function and help alleviate your pain. Stretching splints and physical therapy can also be very helpful. Call today for an appointment!