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.