Two Painful Foot Problems That Will Keep You Off Your Feet


Few things restrict your activity like foot pain. Two problems can be so painful that you can't even place weight on your foot. Here is what you need to know about plantar fasciitis and Achilles' tendonitis and how to prevent them from keeping you off your feet.

Plantar Fasciitis

A small band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, runs along the bottom of your foot. At one end, it is attached to your heel bone and the other to the base of the toes. This tissue helps to support the arch in your foot and provides stability as you flex your foot up and down.

When this band of tissue becomes irritated, you can experience:

  • burning along the bottom on your foot
  • sharp pain at the heel and base of the toes where the tissue band is anchored
  • collapse of the foot when you put weight on it

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Some of the reasons that this tissue can become irritated include:

  • poor warm-up of the foot before exercising or doing other physical activities
  • overworking the foot without giving it a sufficient chance to rest
  • poorly fitting shoes and socks that rub against the bottom of the foot
  • weak muscles in the foot from an injury

Treating This Foot Pain

Your podiatrist will determine the cause of the tissue irritation and recommend one or more of the following options:

  • Custom shoe inserts - Orthotics will even the pressure along the bottom of your foot and support your arch.
  • Physical therapy - Strengthening exercises will help the foot muscles support the foot and take the stress off the plantar fascia.
  • Surgery - When this condition occurs frequently, surgery can be done to move the attachment of the plantar fascia on the heel or toes to reduce its risk of becoming irritated.

Achilles' Tendonitis

This painful foot condition is caused by the irritation of the large tendon that connects your calf muscle to the heel of your foot. When this tendon becomes inflamed, you may experience:

  • severe pain when flexing your ankle up and down
  • pain that radiates from your foot up into your calf muscle
  • collapse of your foot when putting weight on it

Causes of Achilles' Tendonitis

Some of the causes of this foot pain are similar to that of plantar fasciitis:

  • poor warm-up of the foot muscles
  • overworking the foot during physical activity
  • shoes that rub against the heel or Achilles' tendon

Treating This Foot Pain

Your foot doctor may suggest one of the following treatment options:

  • Orthotics and braces - Shoe inserts and ankle braces will support your foot and take the stress off of the tendon.
  • Physical therapy - The tendon is slowly stretch back out to its normal length, increasing the circulation and reducing inflammation.

Contact a podiatrist like one from High Desert Foot & Ankle Clinic - Wonsik Y Bollmann DPM for more info.


4 May 2016

mapping out health care during travels

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