Is heel pain interfering with your ability to do even the simplest things? Fortunately, help is available. Woodstock, GA, podiatrist Dr. Bret Hintze of Foot & Ankle Reconstruction of North Georgia explains what you can do to decrease your pain.
Stay off your feet
Rest seems like the obvious thing to do if you have heel pain, yet, too often, people try to continue their usual activities despite the pain. Trying to power through your symptoms will only extend the pain and may even lead to chronic pain. If your heel hurts, do your best to rest it as much as possible for the next week or two.
Control the pain
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication and ice packs can be very helpful in reducing heel pain. Be sure to follow the 20-on, 20-off rule when you use ice packs. Apply the ice for 20 minutes, then remove it for at least 20 minutes before reapplying.
Check your shoes
Your shoes may be causing or contributing to your pain. The cushioning material in the soles of your shoes compresses over time. When this happens, the shoes no longer provide adequate support for your heels, which can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis or other conditions. If you can't remember the last time you replaced your shoes, it's time for a trip to the store. Do you run or walk daily for exercise? You may need to replace your shoes as frequently as every three months.
Ask the foot doctor for help
A visit to the podiatrist is the next step if your heel pain doesn't ease or worsens. When you visit our Woodstock, GA, we'll ask you to describe your symptoms, perform a thorough examination and order diagnostic tests, if necessary. Based on your diagnosis and the severity of your symptoms, you may benefit from one or more of these treatments or devices:
- Corticosteroid injections to decrease pain or swelling
- A cast or boot to take the pressure off your heel while it heals
- Orthotics or heel cups to reposition and cushion your feet when you wear shoes
- Physical therapy to stretch and strengthen lower leg muscles
- Ultrasound or soundwave therapy to reduce pain, improve circulation and promote healing
- Surgery to treat conditions or injuries that don't respond to conservative measures
Put an end to heel pain with a visit to the foot doctor! Call Woodstock, GA, podiatrist Dr. Bret Hintze of Foot & Ankle Reconstruction of North Georgia at (770) 999-0804 to schedule an appointment.