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Posts for category: Heel Pain

The kind of shoes you wear can really affect your foot health. Someone who typically wears tight, high-heeled shoes is going to experience more foot pain than someone who wears cushioned, supportive walking shoes most days. That might explain part of the reason why women tend to experience more foot problems than men do.

In fact, women who wear pumps (high heels with a low cut front and no fastening strap) are likely to develop a “pump bump.” If you’re not familiar with it, you’ll know it because it’s a small bony bump that can develop at the back of the heel bone. That growth, in combination with the constant friction against the back of the shoe, can also cause inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs (bursa) around the bones. This condition is called Haglund’s Deformity.

You’ll know if you have Haglund’s Deformity if you:

  • Feel pain at the bump.
  • See redness, swelling, and a pronounced bump at the back of the heel bone.
  • Get blisters, also from rubbing the bony part against the back part of your shoes (especially rigid backs, like with high heels)

If you start to experience symptoms, you’ll want to try your best to mitigate your pain. Try some of these at-home treatments:

  • Ice and Elevate – After a day of experiencing back of the heel pain, rest your feet, ice the bump, and elevate your feet if there is swelling.
  • Use heel pads if you have to keep wearing specific shoes for work or if you are very fashion conscious.
  • Try changing out of uncomfortable or tight shoes as soon as your workday or event is over.
  • If you can, change the types of shoes you wear. You’ll want to wear comfortable, supportive shoes that do not have a rigid back. This will reduce the rubbing against the heel bone.

If symptoms keep getting worse, you’ll want to come to see our podiatrist. He might suggest:

  • Custom orthotic shoes – especially while you get your symptoms under control.
  • Medication – anti-inflammatory meds, which could be steroidal or non-steroidal.
  • Surgery – if the condition gets to the point of becoming untreatable, and it interferes severely with your day to day, you may need to have surgery to reduce the bony spur. This would be a last measure after trying to treat with more mild methods.

If you have feel that you may be developing a bony spur at the back of your heel(s), make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. He will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments to get you comfortable in your own shoes. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
January 30, 2019
Category: Heel Pain
Tags: running   Plantar Fasciitis   Football   soccer   sneakers  

Once you begin to experience pain along the bottoms of the feet, due to plantar fasciitis, it can become a chronic problem. The pain on the soles of the feet occurs because of inflammation from overstrained ligaments. Each day that the feet have overwork or strain to stabilize the feet in unsupportive shoes, the plantar fascia can become aggravated.

If you have chronic plantar fasciitis that causes you nightly pain, you may want to limit the following activities:

  • Running – The repeated impact on the bottoms of the feet, as well as the strain of running or jogging for long distances, can cause chronic pain. To prevent getting chronic pain from running, make sure you use supportive running shoes with ample cushioning and support. Replace sneakers as soon as they seem to be wearing down. Folks with plantar fasciitis can continue to run as the symptoms usually present at rest. That puts injured runners at risk of worsening symptoms. Instead, at the first sign of symptoms, be sure to treat the condition.
  • Plyometrics – These are activities that incorporate cardiovascular exercise, as well as strength building. It reinforces the fast-twitch muscles in the legs. These exercises include jumping and can aggravate plantar fasciitis each time you land hard on the feet. Box jumps, jump squats, and long jumps are all exercises that can aggravate chronic plantar fasciitis pain.
  • High-impact sports or activities – Like running and plyometrics, any exercise involving high impact on the feet can cause aggravated plantar fasciitis pain. Constant pounding of the grass or pavement, like in football or soccer can cause inflammation of the plantar fascia.

Stretching, icing, massage, and rest are helpful in relieving symptoms related to chronic plantar fasciitis. Wear shoes with lots of cushioning and support to minimize the development of symptoms throughout the day. If you have to, include the use of over-the-counter or custom-made orthotics.

If you feel that your plantar fasciitis pain is becoming worse, make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. He will help you find treatment for your foot pain. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
January 10, 2018
Category: Heel Pain

When it comes to foot problems, the balls of the feet and the heels tend to incur many of the most common issues. The heels in particular are prone to pain from heel spurs and discomfort from the surrounding soft tissues (Achilles tendon, plantar fascia). It’s important to pay attention to these problems so that they don’t lead to chronic issues or get worse.

And speaking of problems that can get worse, don’t forget about the skin that covers the heels. The skin is subject to a lot of wear and tear and can incur damage and irritation as well. The following are heel skin problems and what might cause them:

  • Blisters: Those who wear high heels may be all too familiar with blisters that form on the back of their heels. Actually, many shoes with closed heel cups that do not have padding can cause painful blisters. And don’t forget about shoes with thin straps in the back – they can cause blisters, but also dig into the skin if they are too tight.
  • Heel callus: When the heel endures friction or irritation, the skin around the area can thicken and harden. Ill-fitting shoes, repetitive motions, or standing for a long period of time can put extra pressure on the bottom of the heels, leading to thickened skin. However, the thicker it gets, the drier and more uncomfortable it can become. Those with diabetes with peripheral neuropathy are prone to developing calluses, as they lose sensation in their feet and do not make adjustments to reduce friction on their heels.
  • Heel fissures (dry, cracked heels): Friction and continuous rubbing of the skin around the heels can also cause heel fissures. This is common when wearing open-backed shoes, such as sandals, which can leave the skin on the feet to become dry. When the heels are dry and friction is present, the skin can crack and bleed. This uncomfortable and painful condition should be treated promptly to prevent worse symptoms, like ulcers. Those with skin disorders like psoriasis or eczema should be more attentive to the skin on their feet as they are more likely to have problems with dry, cracked heels that take a long time to heal.

The cold, dry winter air can make heel skin problems worse. Moisturize your feet nightly with foot creams to relieve discomfort and nourish the skin. Additionally, use padding and orthotic inserts to relieve pressure on the parts of the heels that may be affected. Orthotics can help keep the feet in place, reducing the friction that is caused when your feet slide around in the back of the shoe. 

Having recurring skin problems on your heels this winter? Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry to get the right treatment. Make an appointment at our Crofton, MD by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
July 27, 2017
Category: Heel Pain

It’s not uncommon for people to experience heel pain. Because of the many stresses that the feet endure (including carrying us everywhere), they are prone to acute and overuse injuries.  Also, because your heels are part of a joint, they can experience problems like arthritis and bone diseases (like bone tumors and fractures). 

Possible reasons for painful heels include:

  • Bruising – from stepping on something hard.
  • Plantar Fasciitis – an overuse problem, the tissues along the bottom of the feet can become tight and pull on the heel, causing pain on the bottom of the heel where the tissues connect to the bone.
  • Achilles Tendonitis – an overuse injury that develops when the Achilles tendon has repetitive stress on it, which can begin to cause tightness and inflammation. The irritation at the back of the heel where the tendon and heel bone connect can cause pain.
  • Heel Spur – a bony growth can develop on the heel as a deformity or from long-term irritation (like from plantar fasciitis). This growth can cause discomfort and pain when pressure is applied onto it.
  • Arthritis – The heel joint can be affected from this painful inflammatory problem in joints throughout the body.
  • Stress Fracture – When there has been repetitive use or an injury that receives constant impact, a stress fracture can occur or become bigger. The crack or break in the bone can cause immense pain and requires a lot of rest to properly heal.
  • Bursitis – an inflammation of the fluid sacs between your joints can cause pain in the heel joint.
  • Bone Diseases – which include issues like bone tumors and osteomyelitis are conditions of the bone that can cause pain as well.

When you’ve got heel pain, it’s not always easy to determine why the problem is occurring. It’s best to get properly assessed so that you can find the proper treatment for your pain. Otherwise, the problem can continue, or an underlying issue can be overlooked.

If you or someone in your family has heel pain, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you and your family at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

President Obama has found himself a new nagging pain, and this time it isn’t coming from politicians or pundits. At his latest physical health examination, Mr. Obama was reportedly diagnosed with ‘recurrent plantar fasciitis’ something, he has apparently been dealing with for quite some time. 

President Obama now joins the barrage of high-visibility celebrities who have experienced foot injuries this month. Earlier this month Cher had to be rushed to a hospital for foot pain experienced during rehearsals for her ongoing tour. Harrison Ford was also forced to undergo foot surgery following an accident near his character’s long-beloved Millennium Falcon on the set of the new Star Wars movie. 

However, while Cher and Harrison Fords’ injuries may have been more serious than the President’s, that doesn’t make them any less painful. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain I see in my clinic outside of Annapolis, Maryland. It is a result of inflammation and micro-tearing of the protective ligaments that stretch across the bottom of our feet.

Normally, this problem is particularly common in basketball players, runners, and patients that don’t participate in regular exercise. Additionally, many shoes that are currently in vogue (like flats or flip flops) offer very little arch support, exacerbating existing conditions during long periods of walking or standing.

If pain on the bottom of your feet is bringing you down and making work absolutely miserable, there are steps you can take. Visit your local foot care specialist for the most up-to-date answers to your questions and if you’re in Crofton, Bowie or Greenbelt come check us out at Crofton Podiatry. In the meantime, try my best tips below:

Putting your foot down on plantar pain:

  • See your local foot care specialist for tailored Achilles tendon and plantar fascia stretching exercises.
  • Wear shoes that are supportive and well-cushioned.
  • While seated, cross your affected foot on the opposite thigh, grasp your toes to stretch the arch area and give the arch a good massage to ease the severity of the pain.
  • Try to drop some pounds if you’re overweight, to relieve pressure on your feet.
  • Take pain relievers such as ibuprofen (which the president takes) or naproxen as suggested by a podiatric physician consult.

By Brad Toll.




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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
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