Your job requires you to be on your feet almost constantly throughout the day. Over the past few months, you've noticed increased pain in your heel and across the arch of your foot. What could be happening? Well, many adults with heel pain suffer from an inflammatory condition called plantar fasciitis. Your foot doctor at the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Richard Wittock, sees it frequently in adults of all ages, and he successfully treats in many ways for maximum comfort and foot function.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Affecting the wide band of tissue which connects the base of the toes to the calcaneus, or heel bone, plantar fasciitis in St. Louis may come on suddenly. However, Dr. Wittock says this painful condition rarely results from trauma. Rather, overuse typically causes it-- for instance, simply standing for hours on hard surfaces or playing sports such as tennis and running.
Other contributing factors are:
- Age (the fat pad on the bottom of the foot thins as we get older)
- Wearing poorly supporting shoes or high heels
- Overpronation, or excessive flattening of the arch of the foot when walking, running or jumping
In addition. while some people with heel spurs, small bony projections off the heel bone, have plantar fasciitis, not all people with plantar fasciitis have heel spurs.
How your foot doctor can help
If you're having pain in the heel and/or arch of your foot, please contact your foot doctor so he can perform a complete podiatric examination, including a visual inspection of how you place your feet when you walk. Also, Dr. Wittock may take X-rays to visualize your heel structure.
If Dr. Wittock diagnoses plantar fasciitis, there are several options available which supply substantial relief to most patients. Typical interventions include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Shoes with good arch support
- Custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts
- Cortisone injections
- Stretching exercises and physical therapy
If a patient does not improve significantly over the course of several months, Dr. Wittock may recommend innovative Extracorporal Shock Wave Therapy. Performed right at the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, ESWT treats plantar fasciitis with short, painless waves of energy. These mini-shock waves reduce inflammation and speed healing.
The Food and Drug Administration reports that 92 percent of patients treated with ESWT experience significant pain relief, and there's no down time. Patients are in and out of the office quickly after their treatments and enjoy better foot and ankle function.
And, feel better. See Dr. Richard Wittock of the Ankle and Foot Institute of St. Louis, MO, about your heel pain. It could be plantar fasciitis, and it's totally treatable. Contact the office today for an appointment, won't you? Call (636) 717-1100.