Arch & Heel
Information on Heel Pain
Heel pain can occur for a variety of reasons and can present with different symptoms. Most people complain of pain when they first get out of bed and start to walk. Heel pain can be present either on the bottom of the foot or on the back of the heel. Often times, there is a bone spur present in the area but the spur may not be the cause of the heel pain.
Heel pain can be secondary to abnormal shoe pressure, a biomechanical abnormality, injury, arthritis or other conditions. Left untreated, heel pain can become debilitating. People who suffer from severe heel pain often find themselves adjusting their whole lifestyle to prevent their heels from hurting.
Treatment of the majority of heel pain is available through conservative means. Often times, the patient will be able to experience at least some level of relief before leaving the office. Our office utilizes medications, strappings, custom made orthotics and other conservative treatment modalities to attempt to provide relief.
If you or anyone you know suffers from this or any foot or ankle problem, please contact Dr. Michael Wood, your foot and ankle specialist, at the Foot Health Institute.
Information on “Pump Bump”
A “pump bump” is a hypertrophy or swelling of the back of the heel bone. It is a bone growth that occurs from a combination of foot type and shoe gear selection.
At times the “pump bump” is simply noticeable with no pain or symptoms associated with it. The “pump bump” typically becomes larger with time, age, and mileage that we put on the foot. In most cases the growth is slow and may take years to decades for there to be a noticeable increase in size.
In certain instances the “pump bump” can be quite painful. Patient often times will present in shoes without backs on them to the office because they can not stand to have pressure put on the back of the heel.
Conservative treatment may involve prescriptive orthotics, physical therapy, heel lifts, and oral medications. At times, if the “pump bump” does not respond to conservative treatment consideration for surgical intervention may be appropriate. An individually tailored surgical plan would be discussed with patient as part of the pre-operative planning.
If any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Information on Achilles Pain
The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in our body. One of the muscles it arises from begins above the back of the knee at the thigh bone (femur). It extends towards its insertion and passes across three joints (the knee, the ankle and the subtalar joint). The Achilles tendon is made up of two distinct calf muscles (the Soleus and the Gastrocnemius) which join prior to inserting into the middle ⅓ of the heel bone.
Tremendous stresses go thru the Achilles tendon during normal gait and especially with exercise. Due to these constant stresses, it is possible to injure the Achilles tendon. The number of different ways to injure the Achilles tendon is limited only by your imagination (unlucky step in a hole, parachute accident, climbing ladder, etc.).
Pain from an injury to the Achilles tendon can vary significantly based on where the tendon has been injured (at the level of the heel bone, middle of the tendon, as the tendon joins the muscle). One may have burning, cramping, weakness, acute pain, etc.
An acute complete rupture of the Achilles tendon may feel at the time of the injury as if one has thrown a tennis ball very hard at the back of the ankle. Fairly mild symptoms for a very serious problem.
An injury to the Achilles tendon may be mild and respond to exercises and icing one may do at home or it may be more significant and require physical therapy, immobilization and at times even surgery.
It is very important to make sure that an Achilles tendon injury is appropriately assessed by a specialist as this tendon/muscle complex is so powerful that should a tear arise and go undiagnosed and untreated, the Achilles can literally rip itself apart.
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