If you’re dealing with regular bouts of heel pain, then you may want to read this.
It’s normal for most of us to deal with heel pain at some point during our lifetime. After all, we’re on our feet most of the day, putting them through the abuse of high heels, long pavement-pounding runs, and worn-out, unsupportive shoes. So, if you find yourself prone to plantar fasciitis, our St. Louis MO and Fenton MO podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock can offer up some useful tips to help you prevent heel pain in the future. Here’s how.
Shed Excess Weight
Being overweight or obese can put a lot of added pressure on your feet when standing, walking, or running. Over time, this can lead to issues like chronic plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and bunions. This is why it’s a good idea to maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). Even just losing 10-15 pounds can significantly improve how your feet function.
Choose the Footwear
If you work out regularly, it’s important that you are not only wearing the appropriate shoes for the activities you perform but that you also replace your tennis shoes regularly. It takes about 45-60 hours before the soles of the shoes start to wear, so based on the level of activity you participate in each week this could equate to replacing tennis shoes as often as every 3-4 months or at least once a year. When you are choosing footwear have a shoe specialist measure your feet first to make sure you get shoes that fit perfectly from the get-go.
Consider Custom Orthotics
Another way that our St. Louis MO podiatrist can help you prevent plantar fasciitis in the future is by providing you with custom-made shoe inserts. These inserts can provide your feet with additional support and cushioning when playing sports or even when standing on your feet for long periods. Orthotics can cushion the heels and arches of your feet and even redistribute weight evenly throughout your feet.
Add in Low-Impact Exercises
While a longer run may boost endorphins and make you feel happy, doing runs every day can put quite a toll on your body. If you find yourself dealing with heel pain regularly then you may want to cut back on the intensity or duration of your runs and add in other low-impact activities such as swimming or biking. You can still get a great workout in, but the exercises will be kinder to your feet and joints.
Dealing with recurring or severe heel pain? Since plantar fasciitis can turn chronic, you must have a podiatrist here in St. Louis and Fenton MO that can provide you with immediate and effective care. Call Ankle and Foot Institute at (636) 717-1100 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Richard Wittock.
At Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Richard Wittock provides podiatric care which addresses heel pain. Customized orthotics are one of his most effective interventions. Learn more about these simple devices.
What causes heel pain?
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause, states the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. There are other potential causes--a heel spur, plantar wart, arthritis or even fracture from overuse. Obesity and standing in one place for too long can irritate any one of these problems, but podiatrists such as Dr. Richard Wittock agree that biomechanical issues mostly are to blame.
What are the biomechanics of foot and ankle structure? They relate to how you put your feet on the ground. Is your gait unbalanced, placing too much pressure on the forefoot or heel, or do you pronate, or twist, your foot toward the midline as you walk or run? Repeated enough, this biomechanical defect leads to plantar fasciitis and its discomfort.
What can you do about heel pain
When you come into Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, your foot doctor will examine your feet, including how you walk. He'll take x-rays or other types of imaging as needed. With a definite diagnosis in hand, he can plan your treatment.
Typically, heel pain responds well to rest, ice, and elevation--the simplest of first aid interventions. Losing weight helps, too, as does wearing low-heeled, well-supportive foot wear. Over the counter medications relieve pain and swelling.
Additionally, Dr. Wittock may advise wearing customized shoe orthotics. Orthotics fit right inside your everyday shoes, providing support, cushioning and protection.
In the case of heel pain, Dr. Wittock may cast your feet for functional orthotics. The semi-rigid materials in these inserts correct gait problems, provide balance for your muscles, and support the arch of the foot. Functional orthotics work well for athletes as they control foot and ankle movement and cushion your feet to remove undue stresses on the heel.
Heel pain can be managed
If you're in pain, don't delay! Contact St. Louis's expert on heel pain and orthotics, Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute. Phone the office team for a personal consultation: (636) 717-1100.
Long days of standing can do a number on your feet, and if you are suffering from foot problems such as bunions or hammertoes, the pain can be even greater.
If foot discomfort has you reaching for the nearest chair and putting off walks or exercise, it's time to consider custom orthotics from Dr. Richard Wittock of the Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton/St. Louis.
Unlike the cookie-cutter insoles or liners that you find at the drugstore, orthotics from our Fenton/St. Louis office are tailored to meet your specific needs, giving you long-lasting comfort so that you can go through your day pain-free.
How do I know if orthotics can help me?
If foot pain has become a constant issue and you aren't finding relief from over-the-counter remedies, orthotics can likely work for you. Orthotics from our Fenton/St. Louis office can be especially helpful if you have foot deformities, plantar fasciitis, bunions, bursitis, shin splints, back pain, high arches, flat feet, arthritis, diabetes, or hammertoes.
How are orthotics different from store-bought shoe liners?
Orthotics work by keeping your feet properly aligned so that they don't become irritated or sore. Whereas pre-made shoe inserts or liners are often flimsy and need to be hand-cut to size, orthotics from our Fenton/St. Louis office are designed for your specific feet, with customized materials and sizing.
At our Fenton/St. Louis office, we create only the best orthotics, made to be durable, comfortable, and effective. Our orthotics provide cushioning and support so you can exercise, walk or even just stand without your feet feeling restricted.
We offer orthotics in three styles: rigid, soft, and semi-rigid, each designed with a specific purpose, from absorbing shock to providing balance, in mind.
If you could use a little spring in your step, call the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis at 636-717-1100 to see what orthotics can do for you!
Flat feet can cause pain, limited mobility and more. At Ankle and Foot Institute serving the St. Louis and Fenton, MO, areas, Dr. Richard Wittock helps many people overcome this hereditary problem.
What makes flat feet flat?
You have bones and muscles in your feet and ankles. Connective tissue called ligaments and tendons helps them operate with every step you take.
Typically, when these connective tissues do not tighten sufficiently to form distinct arches on the bottom of your feet, you have pes planus, or flat feet. Also called fallen arches, this common podiatric condition results from developmental immaturity (babies and toddlers have flat feet until they reach the age of three or four), tight Achilles tendons and posterior tendon dysfunction. This acquired deformity happens when the tendon between the calf and the inside of your ankle becomes overstretched (even to the point of tearing).
What's so bad about flat feet?
The Institute for Preventive Foot Health has found that a full eight percent of American adults have flat feet. Diabetics, people with body weight issues and those with hypertension may suffer from pes planus. Sprains and fractures in the lower extremities may lead to flat feet as well.
Sadly, flat feet impact mobility and quality of life with:
- Limited range of motion
Plus, symptoms can be progressive. That's why an exam and symptom management with your Fenton and St. Louis, MO podiatrist are so significant.
What your foot doctor can do
Dr. Wittock is a published podiatric expert on flat feet. When you come to Ankle and Foot Institute, he'll ask you about your symptoms and what may worsen or alleviate them. He'll do a complete podiatric exam and X-rays as needed. He may ask you to walk and to stand on your toes.
With a confirmed diagnosis, Dr. Wittock may advise:
- Good quality footwear with adequate support in the arches
- Custom-crafted shoe orthotics, or inserts, to lift the arches
- Stretching and light exercise
Some people require foot surgery on the arches, or occasionally, a procedure to lengthen the Achilles tendon.
Get the relief you need
Flat feet can be managed with help from your podiatrist serving Fenton and St. Louis, MO, Dr. Richard Wittock. For an in-office consultation, please call Foot and Ankle Institute at (636) 717-1100.
Find out when you should turn to a podiatrist to treat your heel pain.
If you’ve suddenly developed heel pain, especially after running long distances or being on your feet all day, then you may have a condition known as plantar fasciitis. While this is a very common condition it’s also important not to ignore it or brush it off as something benign. Heel pain can become chronic if not properly cared for. Find out more about plantar fasciitis and how our Fenton and St. Louis, MO podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock can help you.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
There are many factors that could increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis. Some of these factors include,
- Wearing worn or improperly fitted shoes that do not provide cushioning and even support for your feet
- Being on your feet all day for work
- Having faulty foot mechanics such as flat feet or high arches
- Being an athlete or long-distance runner
How can you treat your heel pain?
It can take weeks or even months for plantar fasciitis to go away. It’s important to rest as much as possible and to avoid any exercises such as running that could exacerbate symptoms. Besides rest, there are a variety of self-care and lifestyle changes that you can implement to speed up the healing process. These include,
- Performing calf and foot stretches every day
- Wearing properly fitted shoes that provide arch support
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen
How can a podiatrist help?
If you don’t notice any change in your symptoms after a week of home care then it’s time to turn to our Fenton and St. Louis, MO foot doctor to figure out better strategies for treating your heel pain. One way in which Dr. Wittock can help improve your symptoms is with custom orthotics.
These shoe inserts are custom-fitted to your feet and are designed to provide you with the specific support you need to address certain foot problems (e.g. flat feet) that could be causing your heel pain.
Physical therapy may also be a good option for getting symptoms under control and for preventing future foot problems. Your podiatrist can guide you through a variety of non-weight bearing stretches and exercises that can also improve range of motion. Other options for more persistent or severe forms of plantar fasciitis include shockwave therapy, steroid injections, splinting and surgery
If you are dealing with plantar fasciitis or heel pain in the St. Louis and Fenton, MO, areas then you’ve come to the right place. The medical team at Ankle and Foot Institute can help you manage any type of heel pain, no matter how serious. To schedule an evaluation call us at (636) 717-1100.
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