First For Heel Pain
Heel pain is very common in adults and most people experience heel pain at some point in their lives. Treatment is very effective, provided the right combination of therapies is used. Many people choose to be treated by their general practitioner first rather than going directly to a foot specialist (podiatrist in Hixson TN). This article discusses the benefits of initial treatment with a podiatrist in Hixson tn as well as the barriers to initial treatment with a podiatrist in Hixson TN.
Heel pain is almost always caused by an injury to a ligament called the plantar fascia. This thick, rubbery band of tissue begins in the heel and extends inside the arch to the ball of the foot, and is divided into three bands. Many situations can result in damage to this fascia, but by far the most common cause is chronic tissue damage due to abnormal foot structure. Most people have flat or flexibly flattened feet, which stretch and strain the fascia with each step.
Over time and under the right conditions
the fascia insertion at or near the calcaneus can become inflamed and thickened, with microscopic tears when getting out of bed or sitting down, or after long periods of standing or moving. The famous heel spur is related to this strain. Although heel spurs rarely cause pain (contrary to the common myth that they cause heel pain), they are benignly formed as a result of pressure on the outer layer of the calcaneus, which is connected to the fascia.
A high arch causes plantar fasciitis and heel pain because the foot does not absorb shock well due to the lack of flattening. The fascia becomes inflamed as a result of these permanent shocks. High arches are less common than flat arches, so plantar pain related to high arches is also less common. People with “normal” arches can still develop plantar fasciitis due to load injuries. This can occur from excessive use of ladders or stairs, stepping on a blunt object, or from exercise such as running.
There are a number of other less common causes of heel pain that is not related to the plantar fascia. These include nerve pain due to a pinched nerve in the ankle or lower back, stress fractures of the calcaneus, rare bone tumors, pain due to body-wide arthritic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, nerve damage due to diseases such as diabetes, and simple hematomas in the heel area.
The reasons why a podiatrist in Hixson is the best doctor to treat heel pain are primarily related to the nature of the causes of most heel pain. Since most heel pain is caused by the structure of the foot, a thorough understanding of the structural mechanics of the foot and how it changes is necessary for effective and long-lasting treatment.
Simply put, if a physician does not modify the structure of the foot by supporting a flat foot or cushioning a high arched foot, the condition will simply continue to progress, even if medical treatment provides temporary relief. Many (if not most) cases of plantar fasciitis can be improved with anti-inflammatory medications, stretching, icing, and steroid injections.
These measures often result in pain relief by reducing tissue inflammation.
However, if the arch structure is not supported, plantar fasciitis returns after it “heals” because the underlying cause is not treated. General practitioners may prescribe prescription medications and stretching exercises to their patients, some may also give injections.
Many may also recommend a purchased insole (many of which are not sufficient to treat plantar fasciitis). Unfortunately, most general practitioners have little or no training in foot biomechanics and cannot properly assess the structure of the foot. Podiatrist in Hixson TN specialize in this area. The use of better quality temporary prefabricated orthopedic inserts, as well as the long-term use of custom-made, prescription functional corrective inserts, are part of a podiatrist in Hixson tn treatment and expertise.