Two Painful Problems That Will Keep You Off Of Your Feet

12 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Whether you're a runner or just like to walk for exercise, you rely on your feet to keep you going. There are a couple of painful foot problems that can keep you from even stepping out of bed. Here is what you need to know about these foot conditions and how to keep them from interrupting your daily routine.

Plantar Fasciitis

A band of tissue called the plantar fascia runs along the bottom of your feet connecting the base of your toes to your heel. It helps to maintain your arch and adds stability to your foot as it flexes. Should this band of tissue become irritated, you'll have swelling and pain in the bottom of the foot. The pain can be so severe that you can't put weight on that foot.

This irritation can be caused by a number of things such as:

  • tense, overworked foot muscles
  • weakened foot muscles
  • lack of a muscle warm up before exercising
  • improperly fitting shoes

The pain comes on quickly and often in the morning when you first get up. Some of the symptoms include:

  • a sharp, burning sensation in the bottom of your foot
  • pain in a single spot or radiating along your foot
  • weakness in your foot when you put weight on it

This pain can go away after a few minutes, or it may stay around for several hours. The pain does eventually go away until another occurrence.

Treating Plantar Fasciitis

A few ways to relieve the pain yourself include:

  • ice packs to reduce the pain and swelling
  • rolling your foot on a ball to slowly stretch out the tense muscle band
  • anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen

Your podiatrist will recommend other treatment to prevent future foot pain such as:

  • shoe inserts to support the foot
  • physical therapy to strengthen the foot muscles
  • steroid injections to relieve the pain and swelling

Achilles Tendinitis

This large tendon runs from the calf muscle to your heel and helps when you move your foot up and down. It also helps maintain your arch. When this tendon becomes irritated, you can have severe pain in your heel which keeps you off of that foot.

Similar to plantar fasciitis, this tendon can be irritated a number of ways such as:

  • overuse
  • poor warm-up techniques
  • ill-fitting shoes that rub on the area over the tendon

This pain can come on anytime the tendon has become irritated enough to become red and swollen. Some of the other symptoms include:

  • dull ache or stabbing heel pain
  • redness and warmth over the tendon
  • pain radiating up into your calf

The pain may go away on its own, but if the irritation is due to a partially torn Achilles tendon, the pain will persist.

Treating Achilles Tendinitis

Once the pain begins, you can try:

  • ice packs to reduce the pain and swelling
  • anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen

If there is a tear in the tendon, you may need to rest the foot to allow the tissue to heal. Your foot doctor may recommend:

  • physical therapy to stretch out the calf muscle and Achilles tendon
  • shoe inserts to support your heel