Daniel L. Reminga, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.
Foot Doctor Houghton, MI
801 Memorial Rd.
Houghton, MI 49931 US
906-482-9950
 

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By Daniel Reminga
March 23, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
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Time Wounds All Heels

Have you ever heard the phrase…”Time heals all wounds?”  Give it time, time, time. This ancient proverb may or may not be true. However, one thing that can be said with certainty is… “Time wounds all heels”!  Heel pain is one of the most common conditions that can affect the foot.  Weight bearing on the heel can cause extreme discomfort for many people.

The heel bone is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. The foot also has 33 joints and a network of over 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments.

Heal pain has many causes. Simply stated, heal pain is caused by using the foot too much, this over-use causes repetitive stress resulting in soreness from too much impact on this area of the foot.  “Heel pain syndrome”, can be caused by a sudden increase in activity, shoes that have a low heel, or a thinning of the fat pad in the heel that often comes with age. Heel pain may also result from injury,  or a bruise incurred while walking, running or jumping on hard surfaces;  wearing poorly constructed footwear; or being overweight.

Common Causes of Heel Pain

Plantar Fasciitisis a very common cause of heel pain. Plantar Fasciitis is a biomechanical problem, such as over-pronation or flat feet. The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom surface of the foot from the heel all the way to the forefoot.  Over-pronation can cause an “over stretching” of this band causing the soft tissue fibers to tear or stretch at points along its length resulting in inflammation and pain in the heel and arch of the foot. The pain is often most severe first thing in the morning or after prolonged periods of rest. The pain can gradually subside as the day progresses but returns once again the next morning.

Heel Spurs are another common cause of heel pain. People often confuse heel spurs and plantar fasciitis by thinking they are one and the same.  They are not the same. Plantar Fasciitis refers to the inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue that forms the arc of the foot. Heel spurs are a bony growth on the underside of the heel bone that is often associated with plantar fasciitis. About 70% of patients that have plantar fasciitis also have a heel spur that can be seen on an x-ray. The spur appears on x-ray as a protrusion that can extend as much as a half an inch. Most people think of something sharp when they think of a “spur”. In reality, a bone spur is just extra bone. Its smooth most often however, it can cause pain if it presses or rubs on the other bone or soft tissues such as tendons, ligaments, or nerves in the foot. Other common places in the body where bone spurs form include the shoulders, spine, hands, hips, knees, and certainly the feet.  A bone spur forms as the body tries to repair itself by building extra bone. This bone forms in response to pressure, rubbing, or stress that continues over a long period of time.

Treatment and Prevention

Dr. Reminga’s treatment for heel pain varies depending on the individual patient’s heel pain “story”. It is important to get a full and through evaluation by Dr. Reminga so he can prescribe the best treatment for the patient’s particular heel problem.As part of treating heel pain properly, shock to the heel must be absorbed. Providing cushioning and transferring pressure away from that area is also important. This can be accomplished with custom orthotics that are specifically prescribed by Dr. Reminga to accommodate the patient’s individual needs. These prescribed orthotic devices are engineered to absorb shock and shear forces to the heel area. Orthotics can be very effective if prescribed by an experienced foot specialist like Dr. Reminga at Northern Foot Care Center. Orthotics are one of the treatment options that a foot specialist can offer to patients. If the patient is diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis, an orthotic can control the pronation and prevent inflammation of the plantar fascia. In doing so, the patient experiences great relief from pain and discomfort. Footwear selection is another important criterion in treating heel pain. Shoes with a firm heel counter, good arch support, and an appropriate heel height are ideal choices. Dr. Reminga’s treatment for heel pain varies depending on the individual patient. It is important to get a full and through evaluation by Dr. Reminga so he can prescribe the best treatment for your particular heel problem. Pain is not normal; you don’t have to live with discomfort. If you are experiencing heel pain, call Dr. Reminga at Northern Foot Care Center. We are here to help. Call us today for a consultation.

 

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