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Posts for tag: Heel Pain

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
June 14, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Are you dealing with heel pain? If so, you aren’t alone. Foot pain, particularly heel pain, is one of the most common complaints and most people will deal with pain at some point during their lifetime. Whether you are on your feet all day for work or you are a runner, there are many risk factors that can play into your likelihood to deal with heel pain. If heel pain is happening to you, you may be wondering what’s causing it and how you can get rid of the pain quickly.

Causes of Heel Pain

As you might imagine, there are many reasons why you might be experiencing heel pain. The root cause will also determine the best course of action for getting your symptoms under control while providing the optimal healing environment for a speedy recovery.

The most common cause of heel pain is an acute inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis, in which the thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel (known as the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. Of course, there are other reasons people experience heel pain. Other causes include:

  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fracture
  • Arthritis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Heel spur
  • Bursitis
  • Osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone)
  • Page’s disease of bone
  • Peripheral neuropathy

Heel Pain Treatment Options

For more mild-to-moderate cases of heel pain, your podiatrist may recommend simple conservative treatment options that you can incorporate into your daily routine from the comfort of home. This is usually the first course of action, unless the condition is more serious. Only once we’ve exhausted at-home care and pain is still present do we decide on more aggressive tactics for handling your symptoms.

Common at-home heel pain treatment options include:

  • OTC pain relievers (e.g. ibuprofen)
  • Icing the heel several times a day
  • Bracing or splinting the foot
  • Wearing custom orthotics (shoe inserts)
  • Wearing protective and supportive shoes
  • Resting and avoiding certain activities or high-impact exercises

If you’ve tried these treatment options for weeks and still don’t notice any change in your symptoms—or if symptoms get worse—then it’s time to visit your foot doctor again to determine the next step. If pain and swelling are severe we may recommend steroid injections, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) or ultrasound therapy. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the imbalance, deformity, or problem that’s causing your chronic or severe heel pain.

Don’t let heel pain affect your day-to-day life when there are simple and easy solutions to manage your symptoms and promote faster healing. Turn to a podiatrist who will be able to handle your heel pain and get your foot health back on track.

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
April 08, 2014
Category: Sports Injuries

Baseball batThe bat cracks and the crowd goes wild. The crowd’s roar can be heard from high school ball diamonds all the way to Safeco Field. Spring is here. Whether you warm the bleachers at your kids’ games or take in a Mariners game this weekend, one thing you hate to see is a player down on the field with an injury. Baseball injuries may be an inevitable part of the game, but proper treatment can lead to full healing and help players avoid future complications.

Ankle sprains are so common that we sometimes underestimate their damage. Running the bases, dashing sideways to field a ball, or sliding into second can all cause the ligaments in your ankle to stretch too far. Pain may keep you off your feet for a while, but many players don’t take the proper time to heal properly from a sprain. The end result is weak ankles, future sprains, and chronic problems throughout their lives.

Overtraining can lead to Achilles tendinopathy and heel pain from plantar fasciitis, further limiting you from playing your best game. These conditions will get worse if you try to tough it out and play through the pain. You need to rest and seek proper treatment to avoid permanent damage to your lower limbs.

Wearing cleats can aggravate forefoot problems like neuromas and sesamoid injuries. Many cleats fit too tightly in the toe and bother bunions and hammertoes, too. Make sure your cleats are fitted snugly but contain enough room for your toes.

Finally, there are always those odd injuries, like getting hit with a bat or a ball or being stomped on by somebody’s cleats. Whatever form your baseball injuries take, Dr. Howard Schaengold at The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic in Sammamish is the place to go for expert diagnosis and treatment. In Sammamish, Bellevue, Issaquah, and Redmond, we’re only a phone call away at (425) 868-3338. We specialize in sports medicine and will help you heal completely so you can get back in the game without pain.

Photo credit: Now and Zen Photography via freedigitalphotos.net

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
October 15, 2012
Category: Footwear


Flip Flop FeetAs the temperatures rise and the weather begins to heat up, many will stay cool by slipping on a pair of their favorite flip-flops.   Whether you are hitting the beach, or simply walking around town, flip-flops are often our selected footwear of choice for those hot, summer months.  Unfortunately, wearing flip-flops can lead to painful foot ailments including cuts and abrasions, broken toes, and painful sprains.  Flip-flops that are widely purchased today can be extremely unsafe for your feet. 

Some flip-flops can be cushioned, which lead people to believe that they are good for your feet, but most offer little to no arch support.  Flip-flops can also be very flimsy, which causes them to breakdown quickly.  Shoes that do not offer proper arch support can lead to biomechanical abnormalities starting when the heel strikes the ground.  This, in turn, can lead to pain felt in the joints of your foot and ankle, as well as in the knees, hips, lower back, shoulders and neck.  If you are to wear flip-flops, wear them with caution and in moderation.  It is important to assess how long you can wear flip-flops on an individual basis and to be aware of the effects they can have on your body.

Tension for Your Toes

Wearing flip-flops may feel like the next-best thing to going barefoot, but your feet are working a lot harder than you may realize.  By wearing flip-flops, you are forcing a change in your walking stride.  With each step you take, your toes pull down on the shoe to stabilize the foot against the ground because your foot has to work harder to keep the flip-flop on. Forcing your toes to act in this unnatural manner can cause toe pain and even stubbed toes.

ProblematicHeel Pain

It is estimated by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, that about 15 percent of all adult foot injuries involve plantar fasciitis, which is an awful pain that is caused by the tissue over stretching from your heel through the arch to the toes.  By wearing flip-flops, you are increasing your risk of developing heel pain.  While many people don’t want to give up flip-flips, it is important to understand that if you are going to the beach, then wear your flip-flops.  However, if you are going to the mall or even an amusement park don’t wear them. 

Wear the Right Shoes for Your Activity

When choosing footwear for summer, or vacation, it is important to follow these guidelines for healthy feet:

  • Shoes should be lightweight and ventilated.
  • Have an extra pair of shoes and alternate between them daily so that each pair has a chance to dry out completely.
  • Wear socks that are made of an acrylic fiber, not cotton, as acrylic draws moisture away from the feet.
  • Change your socks at least once a day.

Flip-flops should not be worn as everyday shoes—they are meant for the beach and the pool, not for everyday walking, as they do not give you any arch support, which makes your feet more prone to injuries.  Wearing flip-flops for an occasional stroll may be fine, but you should never overdo it.

If you feel pain in your foot or ankle, visit Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic in Sammamish for further diagnosis and treatment.  You can prevent painful foot conditions and injuries by wearing appropriate footwear and avoiding flip-flips. 

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
September 04, 2012
Category: Children's Feet

Children's FeetLike adults, children and adolescents can experience a variety of foot and ankle problems. Many foot problems, such as flat foot are congenital, while other problems including heel pain or ingrown toenails are usually the result of an injury.  

Because of a child’s rapidly growing bones and tendons, however, many confusing symptoms associated with their foot and ankle problems go unnoticed. For this reason, it is important that parents pay attention to subtle symptoms. A thorough examination of your child's feet by a Sammamish podiatrist periodically may detect an underlying defect or condition and help minimize problems later in life.

Common Foot Problems

Children can experience a variety of foot problems, many of which go away as the child’s feet become more developed, such as pigeon toes, flat feet and knock knees.  In most cases these congenital foot and leg problems do not require any medical intervention. Other common issues that may warrant a visit to the podiatrist include:

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are common in children, especially during warm months when kids are more likely to walk barefoot.  Forming on the bottom of the feet, these warts are caused by a virus that enters the skin, most often in public areas such as pools or locker rooms.  The condition can be very uncomfortable — like walking on a small pebble or stone—but also highly preventable and treatable.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are very common foot injuries for active kids, especially those who participate in sports. Sprains occur when the ligaments supporting the ankle are stretched or torn.  Mild ankle sprains heal with little treatment, while severe tearing may require more extensive care including extended immobilization followed by physical therapy. As a general rule, rest, ice, compress and elevate the child’s ankle immediately following the injury.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when one or both sides of the nail begin to break through and grow into the soft skin of the toe. This can lead to painful irritation and infection. Common causes of ingrown toenails include poor fitting footwear, toe injuries or poor nail trimming.  Caught early, a child’s ingrown can be treated at home, but if pain persists or the condition worsens, treatment by a podiatrist is necessary to eliminate the infection.

Choose Proper Footwear

Many pre-existing foot conditions can be relieved and new problems prevented by simply ensuring your child is wearing proper shoes. Shoes that are too tight can cause blisters, calluses and corns on the toes and heels. Ingrown toenails can also develop and become infected. A child’s feet are constantly growing and developing, so it may be necessary to change shoe size every few months. Additionally, with time shoes have a tendency to lose proper cushioning and arch support. Footwear that shows a lack of shock absorption or wear and tear should also be replaced to reduce the risk for injuries.  

If you notice your child limping, constantly rubbing their feet, tripping frequently or consistently complaining of foot pain, then have them examined by your Sammamish podiatrist or physician. Many problems can be easily identified and treated, and early intervention is the key.

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
August 01, 2012
Category: Foot Care

Foot PainWhether you suffer from chronic heel pain, are embarrassed by toenail fungus or were recently diagnosed with diabetes, you can benefit from visiting a professional podiatrist.

Podiatrists provide medical and surgical care for people suffering foot, ankle and lower leg problems, such as corns, warts, bunions and sprains. Common conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, which can damage the feet, can also be diagnosed and treated by a podiatrist. Even back pain can be traced to your feet and relieved through proper evaluation and treatment by a skilled foot specialist.

Not all foot and ankle problems warrant an appointment with a podiatrist. In some cases, rest, ice or even a change in footwear is enough to reduce the pain and get you back on your feet. But when foot pain and discomfort cannot be resolved by home treatment, you need a professional’s care—someone who specializes in foot-related injuries and disorders.

When to Call Howard Schaengold, DPM

Feet are invariably the most ignored parts of the body. Too many people dismiss foot health until there is a serious, painful problem.Whenever a foot or ankle problem lasts for several days, contact a Sammamish podiatrist. Other signs that indicate a worsening condition and warrant medical attention, include:

  • Foot discoloration
  • Pain and swelling in one foot
  • A foot sore or wound that doesn’t heal

How often you should visit a podiatrist depends on the individual. Regular appointments can help you better understand the stresses and strains put on your feet and lower legs on a daily basis. Long-term care and prevention is also extremely important for individuals with diabetes, as podiatrists help prevent ulcerations and loss of limb with early diagnosis and care.

Remember, foot pain should never be taken lightly. Always consult Howard Schaengold, DPM for proper diagnosis of foot disorders.