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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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Posts for category: Heel pain

Our last blog post was about how problems regarding inflammation of the Achilles tendon, called Achilles Tendonitis, come about. For those who experience symptoms of pain from Achilles tendonitis, we’ve got your back (of the heel)!  Read on for options for treatment, as well as means of prevention.

Ways to treat symptoms of pain and inflammation:

  • A foot and ankle massage can relieve tightness and painful symptoms. You can use a bottle or foam roller for massaging the lower calf.
  • Apply a cold compress or ice to the area for very painful moments.
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as Ibuprofen or naproxen can mitigate pain and swelling.
  • Physical Therapy, including stretching and strengthening exercises, can help to prevent worsening issues, such as small tears or ruptures.
  • Over-the-counter or custom orthotics can provide support to weakened ankles. It can also prevent worsening symptoms due to excessive strain.
  • Wear a boot to restrict further movement and therefore, irritation to the tendon.
  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive therapy for Achilles tendonitis.

However, the best way to deal with Achilles tendonitis is to prevent symptoms in the first place. Here are some ways to prevent symptoms:

  • Stretch the calf muscles in the morning and evening, and before and after a workout.
  • Strengthen the calf muscles to reduce strain on the back of the heels.
  • Use cushioned shoes when participating in high impact sports and activities. When weightlifting, use shoes with a small raised heel and heel cups to stabilize the feet.
  • Take it easy when increasing your intensity or volume of your workout because going too fast too hard can cause an Achilles injury.

If home treatments have not helped and there are no other options, surgery may be required. To figure out your best treatment option is to make an appointment to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy at Clark Podiatry Center. He can assess your feet and give them the treatment or orthotic support they need. Come see him at our Clark, NJ office.

By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
October 15, 2014
Category: Heel pain

Heel pain.  Miserable when you first stand up getting out of bed in the morning or when getting out of the car after driving home at the end of the work day.  Or even after you’ve been sitting down for a few minutes and stand up.  This symptom is known as post static dyskinesia, a very common symptom of a condition known as plantar fasciitis.  There’s an association with heel spurs or heel spur syndrome, but let me explain the connection between the two.

Each of our bodies is a complex “walking machine” that functions according to how it was built –by our parents.  The basic structure of our skeleton is akin to the structural framework of a building or a machine.   Faulty “engineering” leads to faulty function.  We may see it as feet that are unstable—they pronate or the arch flattens out excessively or in very rigid feet [Note that I don’t refer to a high or a low arched foot—it is the stability of the arch that matters].  When this happens, there’s an excessive amount of tension placed on the plantar fascia, a tough band of ligaments under the arch of the foot. 

Over a great deal of time, this extra tension on the plantar fascia may result in calcification of its attachment to the heel on the bottom of the foot.  This is what becomes known as a heel spur.   This can also happen on the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches.

 Small heel spurs on the bottom and back of the heel. 

The good news is that heel spurs rarely cause pain directly.  They’re not under the weight bearing surface of the heel.  When the area is painful, it is most typically caused by a strain of the plantar fascia itself—plantar fasciitis.  In fact, I’ve seen countless patients in a great deal of pain but have no spur on x-ray examination.  I’ve also seen many large spurs on x-ray where there’s never been a day’s worth of heel pain.

How do we treat heel spurs?  As no more than about 1% of heel spurs are the direct cause of pain, it is rare that a spur needs to be removed surgically.  Symptomatic plantar fasciitis does need to be treated, starting with prescription orthotics which can reduce the biomechanical strain on the plantar fascia, along with any number of other modalities done to reduce the pain and inflammation including corticosteroid injections and laser treatment.  Advanced techniques such as shockwave therapy and amniotic tissue injections can be of help in the long-term, stubborn cases.

For more information about heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, orthotics or if you have other questions about foot problems you’d like answered, visit our website at www.clarkpodiatry.com.  You can also call for an appointment at 732-382-3470.

 

#heelpain #plantar fasciitis #heelspur #ClarkPodiatry

By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
November 11, 2013
Category: Heel pain
Tags: heel pain   foot pain   Thanksgiving   Christmas   Hanukkah  

It's that time of year again.  Already.  The heat of summer is gone and the memories of warm sunshine and outdoor activities are fading into the fall colors, chilly air and thoughts of Thanksgiving dinners. This yeah, Hanukkah is beginning during the Thanksgiving holiday with December holiday parties and Christmas right after.

What comes with holiday preparations are the delicious aromas of home cooking.  Whether hosting dinners, making someting to 'bring with', or baking holiday cookies, there's nothing quite like walking into a house with the warmth and smells of your favorite foods.  To me, it isn't Thanksgiving without the aroma. There has to be something in the air.

What does this have to do with foot care other than putting on extra weight from all the good food or dressing up in tight shoes for some of those holliday parties?  It starts with all the preparation.  I see plenty of patients with heel pain starts up, or a flareup of heel pain that has previously been resolved at this time of year.  Why?  Because the food preparation people tend to do wo while barefoot, in slippers or in stocking feet, spending a great deal of time standing pretty much in one place.  

Humans were meant to walk, not stand.  The standing in one place, for such a period of time, with little or no protection for the feet is what can trigger the pain.  Add on the house cleaning and decoration in preparing for company or even just for the decorating process and you have a recipe for pain at a time when you don't have time to deal with the pain.  Did I also mention the hours spent shopping in the malls and other stores? Ouch.

Let's leave you with a few helpful hints to deal with the stress that the holiday season can place on your feet.

1. If you're on your feet, protect them.  Socks or slippers are NOT enough when you are spending so much time on the hard floors of the kitchen.  Wear supportive shoes, sneakers, Crocs, anything that will substantially protect your feet.

2. As possible, do as much of the preparation while sitting on a chair or kitchen stool.  Even propping one foot up onthe rung of a stoll can be of help.

3. The same goes for while you're decorating the house.

4. You know the malls are crowded, lots of waiting on line, many hours of being on your feet.  Dress for comfort, not show.  It's cold out in most areas of the country.  Leave the flip flops and junk shoes at home.

5. Uggs are warm and toasty but have absolutely no support.  But if you absolutely can't live without them, let us provide you with our Powerstep OTC orthotics for immediate comfort and support.  For what it's worth, the orthotics you get from the pharmacies, shoe stores and displays with the computerized images aren't worth the packaging. Right idea, but inferior quality.  Really inferior. And a waste of your hard-earned money.  Depending on your particular situation, we may recommend custom orthotics for long-term relief.

6. If you do develop some arch pain or heel pain, contact us for an appointment.  We'll schedule an appointment quickly, we have a tremendous 'on-time' record, so you won't have to worry about fitting an appointment into your tight holiday schedule.  More importantly, we'll do our best to relieve your pain quickly so you can enjoy the holidays with your family and friends, comfortably.  

 

I hope you can enjoy the preparations, meals, and company of family and friends over the holiday season in perfect comfort.

 

 

 

 

 



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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470