If you are plagued with resistant heel pain and already tried many things over-the-counter like icing it, taking anti-inflammatories, and store bought foot supports and your pain is still there, your heel pain needs special attention.
What Are the Factors Causing Your Resistant Heel Pain?
Clearly there's a tug of war going on in your foot between the heel, ball of the foot, a tight calf and Achilles tendon, and your plantar fascia.
- First, your foot type (flat, neutral, or high arches) must be identified to determine the best route of treatment.
- Second, tight calf muscles can't be overlooked. In some circles, if you don't treat that, you don't get rid of heel pain.
- Three, is the inflammation. Yes, you have to address those things I just mentioned, but there's inflammation inside. Just treating those other causes may not resolve the inflammation itself.
- Four, partly increased during Covid, the issue of shoes--no shoes, wrong shoes, poor shoes.
So what do we do? Each of these things can be quite different and they're all quite important.
How do we treat resistant heel pain in flat feet and high arches?
The four factors below must be addressed to solve resistant heel pain.
Identify the Foot Type
First it's interesting to note that the flat foot collapses the arch and the high arched foot tends to roll out. If you have a high arched foot, you may even have a history of sprained ankles. With flat feet we're looking to support the arch and bring the foot outward and with high arches we want to stop the foot from rolling out over the side of your shoes and instead get your foot back over your great toe joint.
If you already have orthotics, you may need to see a podiatrist to determine whether or not these are working correctly for your foot type.
Treat the Tight Calf Muscle
Next, as I said, in some circles the quote goes amongst foot specialists, "If you don't eliminate the tight calf, "you don't eliminate heel pain." And at least for me, I believe in this wholeheartedly. Addressing the tight calf can take physical therapy, stretching exercises and it takes time. Temporarily, you may even have to wear a slight heel lift to relax the calf muscle. Evaluation of that will help us determine what's the best approach.
Resolve the Inflammation
Number three, the inflammation is its own animal. Once it starts, you must put the fire out. This can be accomplished in many different ways. Sometimes oral anti-inflammatories work, but more often than not, once it's resistant, we have to get something that directs attention inside that heel at the point of origin of the problem. Often this is a cortisone shot or a round of MLS laser therapy.
Wear Supportive Shoes
Lastly, and this is really not least, you must be careful of the types of shoes you wear as these can contribute to your problem.
- High heels, either spiked or squared (shoes of greater than 1 inch)
- Flat slip-ons
- Shoes that easily bend in half. This occurs in old and new shoes. It's important to test your shoes before buying them. Also, be aware of what you're doing and what you're wearing and how many hours a day you're doing it because even if you're home, you may be on those feet a lot.
If you're someone who has a case of resistant heel pain and hasn't solved the problem on your own, come on in. Let's evaluate you and decide which of these factors are most important, contributing to it, address it and get you back on your feet.
Need Relief from Resistant Heel Pain in Seattle, Washington? Request an Appointment Now
Don't let foot pain cause you to miss out on the activities you enjoy. Complete the contact form on this page or call our office, the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, at 206-368-7000 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rion Berg.
Most new patients are seen within 1-2 week's time. During your initial visit, Dr. Berg will spend up to 30 minutes getting to know you, your podiatry complaints, and your goals so that he can recommend the treatment best meets your needs. Don’t wait—contact us today.
North Seattle Foot & Ankle Specialist Dr. Rion Berg offers compassionate podiatry care for all foot and ankle problems to those living in Seattle Washington and the surrounding areas. Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an immediate appointment or request an appointment online.