The holidays can be a very hectic time. From running errands to buying presents to preparing for gatherings, you might not have had much opportunity to get off your feet!
If heel pain is a consistent problem for you, then all this holiday hustle might have been a blaring reminder of how that discomfort can affect your life. As if seasonal stresses weren’t bad enough, you have your own body fighting with you as soon as you plant your feet out of bed!
Now that the rush is finally starting to die down and a brand new year is on the horizon, don’t you owe it to yourself to take care of your heel pain in a lasting, substantial way?
The sad truth is that too many people simply accept heel pain as a part of their life. They might have tried one or two store-bought ways to treat it, but gave up when they didn’t work.
In the clear majority of cases, though, something can be done to manage or eliminate your heel pain. If nothing has worked so far, you likely just haven’t found the right solution yet! At Total Foot and Ankle, we find answers to heel pain by fully understanding the source of the problem, then addressing it based on the lifestyles and needs of our patients.
So, what is it you might need to make your 2019 a lot more comfortable?
Making New Choices
There is plenty that can be prescribed to help treat many causes of heel pain, including Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis. However, some treatments can only promote healing and management of symptoms—they don’t always address what caused the problem in the first place.
That’s where you come in.
A significant part of many heel pain treatment plans consists of changes to your lifestyle and habits. Once a problem is identified, specific changes can be recommended to further your comfort and prevent a problem from recurring.
Now, this isn’t a blame game. It’s not often that someone is doing something incorrectly as much as that different choices can lead to better outcomes. Here are a few examples:
- Changes to footwear. Certain types of shoes may not be best suited for certain types of feet. If you have certain abnormalities in your foot structure, switching to shoes that are more accommodating to them can provide the support and cushioning you need to reduce or avoid pain.
Choosing better footwear may mean getting rid of or reducing time spent in shoes that create imbalances of force in the feet. Yes, this includes high heels, but it’s also worth looking at what you wear for work and when you spend long periods of time on your feet. If your shoes can’t change, then maybe the environment you stand on can.
- Changes to activity. Many causes of heel pain stem from overuse injuries, when people push the capabilities of their feet too hard or too quickly. Runners who push themselves too intensely can suffer stress fractures, for example. However, those with more sedentary lifestyles who decide to bolt out for a sudden run or a basketball game can find themselves injured, too.
Avoiding heel pain through your workouts and games is a matter of having a good plan. You want to set realistic personal goals over time to avoid overuse injuries, wear the right shoes for what you’re doing, and be sure to warm up and cool down properly.
Receiving Effective Treatments
If your heel pain is persistent (in other words, if it has lasted longer than one week), then it is absolutely time to receive professional treatment.
We will first conduct a full evaluation of your heel pain and medical history to pinpoint which of the many causes of heel pain is at play. Knowing this, we can move forward with ideal treatments and recommendations that match your individual needs.
Forms of treatment may include:
- Custom orthotics. When specialized attention is needed to address matters of abnormal gait or foot structure, orthotic inserts can be specially prescribed to work with the exact shape of your foot. As part of a plan, custom orthotics can provide exact cushioning and correction where it is needed. This will offload excess stress and quell sources of heel pain.
- Laser therapy. For heel pain that is a result of soft tissue injuries, such as plantar fasciitis or damage to tendons and muscles, laser therapy can be an effective tool at accelerating healing. Using light to stimulate the body’s natural recovery properties, laser therapy has been effective even in chronic cases of heel pain.
Other forms of treatment are also available depending on the cause of your pain. We will be sure to discuss all options fully with you before proceeding forward.
While most heel pain can be treated via conservative means, there is always a small possibility that surgery may be the only effective means of relief. We will discuss that possibility with you too, but only if it is deemed absolutely necessary to consider it.
Make it Your Last Holiday with Heel Pain
No pain is normal; not even in your heels! No matter how old you are or how long your pain has lasted, there are ways we can help.
Total Foot and Ankle has two offices that are happy to see you. Call us in Oklahoma City at (405) 947-8041 or in Enid at (580) 237-3338. If you would rather contact us online, just fill out our online contact form and a member of our staff will get back to you.