Podiatry Blog

Posts for tag: Heel Pain

By Ankle and Foot Institute
August 07, 2020
Category: Foot Care

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.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
May 22, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Orthotics   Heel Pain  

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.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
November 08, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Don’t let heel pain disrupt your daily life. Find out how we can help you!

You are getting up and getting ready to face the day but your feet have other plans. The first thing you’ve noticed is that your foot hurts. heel painThe pain is originating from the heel but it’s pretty unbearable and it’s making it difficult to even get around the house let alone go for your daily run. If this scenario sounds familiar, our St. Louis, MO podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock is here to provide some useful advice for treating your heel pain.

The good news is that heel pain can sometimes go away on its own, but you’ll need to take some precautions in your daily life to promote faster healing. Some things you can do to speed up the process include:


For people who are physically active most days of the week this rule can be a major challenge, but if you want to get back on that running trail right away then you’ll need to let your foot heal fully. High-impact activities will just prolong the pain. If you must exercise talk to our St. Louis, MO foot doctor about safe activities you can do while your foot heals. Popular low-impact exercises include swimming and riding a stationary bicycle.

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy can be used to temporarily reduce the symptoms of heel pain. You can use a heat pad, or a towel dipped in hot water or simply soak your foot in hot water. If your pain continues or if your symptoms get worse, it's important to visit us so that we can provide additional treatment options.

Stretching Exercises

It’s important to stretch and strengthen the muscles and ligaments in your feet to reduce inflammation and improve mobility. Plantar fasciitis is certainly a condition that benefits the most from these stretches. It can even improve biomechanical issues, which could be to blame for your heel pain in the first place. We are always happy to provide you with a list of exercises that you can perform each day at home.

If your heel pain doesn’t respond to these treatments we may also recommend orthotics, corticosteroid injections, ultrasonic therapy and other treatment options for easing your symptoms and boosting your recovery time.

Don’t let heel pain ruin your activities and put a damper on your quality of life. Turn to Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO if you are noticing that your heel pain isn’t getting better with at-home care.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
March 01, 2016
Category: Foot Care

Find out if shockwave therapy could be a good option for your heel pain.

Are you dealing with chronic heel pain? Not sure how to handle this issue or are you finding that self-care measures just aren’t enough? foot painThen it’s time to talk to our St. Louis podiatrist, Dr. Richard Wittock, about whether shockwave treatment could finally give you the relief you need.

What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)?

This non-invasive procedure performed right here in our office is designed to eliminate chronic heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis and tendonitis. By applying high-intensity sound waves to the foot we can reduce both pain and inflammation in the tendon at the bottom of the foot. The shockwaves help to stimulate a natural healing respond in the affected tendon.

Who could benefit from ESWT?

This is a great option for someone dealing with severe, chronic or debilitating heel pain that hasn’t responded to other conservative treatments. Pain caused by plantar fasciitis and heel spurs respond best to ESWT.

Plantar fascia

ESWT can be a great treatment option because it boasts little to no side effects and can provide almost instant relief. However, some patients won’t actually experience the full results until a month or more later. But ESWT results can last forever.

Heel spur

Those patients with a variety of tendonitis conditions can also successfully treat their symptoms with this shockwave technology.

If your pain has lasted several months without responding to therapies like massage, splints, bracing, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or stretching, it might be time to talk to your foot doctor in St. Louis about whether ESWT is right for you.

If you want to find out if shockwave treatment will give you the results you’ve been looking for then it’s time you scheduled an appointment with our foot experts in St. Louis, MO. Call Ankle and Foot Institute today!