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Posts for: May, 2017

By Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
May 24, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Have you been dealing with heel pain for weeks or months? Dr. Robert Linn in Ocala, FL, explains why it's not a good idea to ignore the heel painpain and shares information on common causes.

Time doesn't always heal all wounds

In many cases, heel pain gets better fairly quickly if you stay off your feet, apply ice to your heel and take over-the-counter medication. If your pain continues after a week or two, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with Dr. Linn. If you ignore the pain, it might just become a chronic problem or worsen.

Overuse injuries are a common cause of heel pain

Did you recently decide that daily four-mile runs on the Cross Florida Greenway Trail in Ocala were the way to get back in shape? Although dedication to good health is admirable, many people take on too much too soon when they begin exercising, which can cause an overuse injury. Overuse injuries also occur when you suddenly increase the intensity or duration of your usual exercise routine. Overuse injuries can cause these conditions:

  • Stress Fractures: When your muscles can no longer handle the strain of an activity, the burden is transferred to your bones, which causes small cracks. Overuse injuries aren't the only cause of stress fractures. They can also happen if you wear unsupportive shoes or use poor form when you run.
  • Bursitis and Tendinitis: Retrocalcaneal bursitis and Achilles tendinitis are often diagnosed in people who run or walk for exercise or work in jobs that require standing. Inflammation is the cause of the pain in both of these conditions.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: Runners, particularly those who don't wear supportive shoes, are at risk for developing plantar fasciitis, a condition that causes inflammation in the tough band of connective tissue that runs under your foot. Arch problems, obesity, tight Achilles tendons and standing for long periods are other risk factors.

Other causes of heel pain

Fractures, although not very common, can occur if you've fallen, jumped or been in a vehicular accident. A less serious, but still painful, cause of heel pain is a stone bruise. The condition occurs when you step on a hard object or don't wear shoes that support or cushion your heel.

How can a podiatrist help me?

Podiatrists offer many treatments that help reduce pain. Although treatments vary depending on the cause of your condition, you may benefit from physical therapy, orthotics, casts or boots, shock wave therapy, and in severe cases surgery.

Find relief from your heel pain with a visit to Dr. Linn in Ocala, FL. Call him at (352) 861-1055 to schedule an appointment.

By Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
May 17, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Metatarsalgia  

Heel PainMetatarsalgia denotes a common foot condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the joints and bones of the ball of the foot - the area just before the toes, also called the metatarsal region.

Symptoms of metatarsalgia can develop suddenly, especially after an increase in exercise or high-impact activities, but normally the problems develop over time. Common symptoms of metatarsalgia include:

  • Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot - the part of the sole just behind the toes
  • Pain that intensifies when you stand, walk or run
  • Pain that radiates from the balls of the feet into the toes
  • Numbness or tingling in the toes
  • A feeling in your feet as if you are walking with a pebble in your shoe
  • Pain that increases when walking barefoot

Sometimes a single factor can trigger metatarsalgia. More often, multiple factors contribute to the pain, including:

  • Over-training or Over-activity. Extensive training and high-impact sports, especially running, places an abnormal amount of stress on the balls of the feet, causing irritation, inflammation and pain.
  • Other foot disorders. High arches, hammertoes, bunions, stress fractures and Morton's neuroma can all trigger metatarsalgia symptoms.
  • Poor-fitting footwear. High heels, narrow-toed shoes and shoes without adequate padding can all contribute to metatarsal problems.
  • Excess weight. Extra weight places excess pressure on your metatarsals.
  • Aging. The fat pads on the metatarsals thin out as a person ages, diminishing the ability of the metatarsal bones to protect themselves.

Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can disrupt your day to day activities, and when left untreated can lead to additional pain in your unaffected foot, back or hips. Treatment to eliminate metatarsalgia symptoms can be as simple as resting, icing the affected area and wearing proper-fitting shoes to significantly reduce swelling and ease pain.

When conservative treatments aren't effective and pain persists, visit our practice for a full exam and a proper diagnosis. In most cases, metatarsalgia can be treated non-surgically. An experienced podiatrist may prescribe specially-designed orthotics or shock-absorbing insoles and arch supports to prevent and minimize future problems with metatarsalgia.