Overuse, overweight, overpronation. These three factors and more contribute to a problem your podiatrist, Dr. Ketan Patel, sees at Ankle & Foot Centers of Georgia. It's heel pain. Fortunately, Marietta, GA, patients find relief through his expert diagnostic skill and state of the art treatments. Do you wish to feel better and stay active?
Heel pain is no joke
It can impact your daily routine, family life and athletic pursuits. Harvard Health says that systemic health issues, such as gout, may cause heel pain, but more likely, the problem is local--in the heel bone and surrounding connective tissue.
Typically, heel pain is sharp and stabbing. Redness, swelling and tenderness may accompany it, and in many cases, it's worse in the morning, improves during the day and returns when you're inactive at your desk or watching an evening TV show.
Also, gait problems, such as the twisting action of overpronation, place stress on the plantar fascia on the arch of the foot. An over-stretched Achilles tendon and tight calf muscles cause almost debilitating heel pain, and something as simple as a plantar wart, bone spur, stone bruise or poorly fitting high-heeled shoes can make your heels hurt.
Finally, when you're on your feet a lot for your job or pound your heels with running or volleyball, they'll get very sore. Add the pressure of too much bodyweight and these conditions result:
- Plantar fasciitis, chronic irritation of the connective tissue bridging the arches between the toes and heels
- Achilles tendonitis, swelling and limited range of motion where this large tendon attaches to the heel bone
- Bursitis, inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs which cushion foot and ankle joints
- Heel spur, a small bony growth on the front of the heel bone
Diagnosis and treatment
To understand heel pain causes, your podiatrist will do a complete foot and ankle exam in his Marietta office. He takes X-rays or other kinds of imaging and watches you walk. He'll ask you about your symptoms and what may start or relieve them; so be as specific as you can. Then, Dr. Patel can arrive at an accurate diagnosis and create a care plan specific to your needs.
Conservative treatments often work extremely well, reports Harvard Health. Rest, ice and elevation may relieve swelling and discomfort, along with over the counter analgesics, such as ibuprofen.
Sometimes, just a change of shoes or the addition of customized inserts, or orthotics, reduce pressure on the feet and correct gait problems. Also, Dr. Patel offers in-office Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, or ESWT, in which sound waves reduce inflammation, improve circulation and speed healing.
You can feel better
Heel pain is very common and highly treatable when you consult the helpful team at Ankle & Foot Centers of Georgia. Why not give your podiatrist, Dr. Ketan Patel, a call to arrange a consultation in his Marietta, GA, office? Phone us at (770) 952-5300.