How We Keep the Seattle Region Moving without Heel Pain
If you’re sleepless in Seattle, we’re afraid we don’t have much specialization in helping you catch some extra Z’s.
But if you’re one of the many folks in the Seattle region who get up each morning and receive a jolt of heel pain when your feet hit the floor, that is something we are well equipped to help you with!
Of course, maybe your heel pain doesn’t occur in the morning. Maybe you feel it during or after exercise, or near the end of a long day of being on your feet at work.
Heel pain is one of the most common problems we see come through our doors. Fortunately, we also have an outstanding record of providing patients the relief they need, and almost always through conservative forms of treatment, too. Most cases of heel pain can be effectively treated within several months without the need for surgery.
How do we provide expert relief to Seattle’s heels from our Enumclaw office? It starts by understanding one big fact.
There is Not Just One Cause of Heel Pain
“Heel pain” itself is not so much a condition of its own as much as it tends to be a symptom of another problem. That means there is, unfortunately, no one universal treatment that will get rid of all heel pain.
To best address heel pain, we need to identify not only the problem at its source but also what is causing that problem in the first place.
Many specific conditions can cause heel pain, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and stress fractures. But for each of these conditions, there can be one or more different underlying reasons. We must identify and address them all to treat any case of heel pain most effectively.
Broadly speaking, some of the general causes for conditions resulting in heel pain include:
- Abnormalities in Foot Structure – Under standard circumstances, the foot is structured in a way that evenly and properly distributes weight across the feet as we stand and move. Abnormalities such as flat feet or high arches can cause weight to become focused in specific areas, leading to strain that results in heel pain.
- Unsupportive Footwear – Much like how an abnormal foot structure can cause stress to build in specific areas, so can shoes that fail to provide proper balance and support to your feet.
- Environment – Having to stand and move on hard surfaces all day can result in excess stress on the feet and heels. This is especially true if you’re on these hard surfaces barefoot, as more people may be doing as they work from home.
- Overuse – Physical activity is great, but sudden increases in intensity or spending too much time in repetitive motions can stress the bones and soft tissues of the body more than it is currently conditioned to endure. This can lead to certain injuries resulting in heel pain.
There are more potential causes for heel pain, and conditions may have more than one underlying factor at play! We must identify and address them all to achieve the best results.
The Ways We Treat Heel Pain
Once we have fully evaluated the sources of your heel pain and better understand the ways it is affecting your life, we can then (and only then) recommend a course of treatment to best suit your needs.
As there are many causes of heel pain, so too there are many forms of treatment. A plan might focus on one particular method or incorporate several. It all depends on exactly what we need to address and the best ways to go about it.
Parts of a heel pain treatment plan might include:
- Changes to Footwear, Environment, and/or Lifestyle – Simple switches to more supportive footwear, mitigations to hard surfaces (such as wearing shoes or using anti-fatigue mats), and alterations to the intensities of your workout plans can all make big differences should they be factors in your heel pain.
- Custom Orthotics – For heel pain caused by structural foot abnormalities, the use of custom orthotic inserts can provide the exact support and cushioning needed to properly redistribute weight across the feet and away areas causing heel pain.
- Stretches and Exercises – Specific stretching and workout regimens can target and condition-specific areas that may be contributing to heel pain. Conditioning tight calf muscles, for example, can help them place less stress on the Achilles tendon, heel bone, and plantar fascia – all areas that can be responsible for heel pain.
- Advanced Treatments – Treatments such as MLS laser therapy, EPAT, and amniotic tissue injections can be effective at relieving pain and aiding the recovery of soft tissue injuries, such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.
Again, conservative measures such as those above are effective in the vast majority of cases. If they do fail to provide the results we are looking for, then other options, including surgery, might be considered. We will always fully discuss all your options with you and answer any questions you may have before you ever need to make a decision on how to move forward with your care.
Be Heel Painless in Seattle
(This is why we aren’t movie directors.)
Although heel pain can come from a variety of sources, one thing always rings true: heel pain should never be treated as a normal part of life, and persistent heel pain should receive professional treatment!
We have helped multitudes of patients not only overcome the sources of their heel pain but greatly reduce their chances of developing further painful problems in the future. We’ll be more than happy to help you or any of your loved ones in need, too.
Call us to schedule an appointment at our Enumclaw office, or fill out our online contact form if you prefer to reach out to us electronically.