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All Posts in Category: Heel Pain

Stop Heel and Arch Pain with Orthotics

After a long day on your feet, how do your heels and arches feel? If they ache, swell, sting, stab, or burn, you’re not alone. Foot pain, especially in the heels and arches, is exceedingly common, and unfortunately keeps millions of Americans from being truly able to enjoy their work, hobbies, and daily activities.

Using Orthotics for Foot PainBut it shouldn’t be this way! Our bodies are meant to be upright and active for most of the day. So why do so many people struggle with constant heel and arch pain?

A lot of the time, the answer is “biomechanics.” In the best-case scenario, your feet will perfectly distribute the weight of each step evenly, so nothing gets to overstressed. But most people don’t have “perfect” feet, and walking all day on hard floors and pavement (a relatively recent innovation when you consider how long humans have been around) leads to painful wear and tear. In this scenario, custom orthotics are often the best way to achieve lasting pain relief.

Custom orthotics are special devices you wear in your shoes. Unlike flimsy insoles you can buy at the corner drugstore, custom orthotics are individually fashioned from molds or scans of your feet, so you get a perfect fit made just for you. They can be made in a variety of shapes and from many different materials, too, so that you get exactly what you need—more arch support, more cushioning, better stability for the heel or ankle, etc.

In other words, if your heels and arches aren’t working as well as they should, the orthotics provide the extra assistance they need to be effective again. You can make a direct comparison with eyeglasses here: just as glasses provide the extra help that your cornea and lenses need to see clearly, orthotics provide the extra help your heels and arches need to keep you active without pain.

At our podiatry office in Garfield Ridge, Chicago, we are passionate about eliminating your pain and getting you back on the move, so you can do what you need (and want!) to do. From custom orthotics to physical therapy to surgery, we provide a comprehensive set of treatment options to meet your needs, so you can feel confident and comfortable. To schedule an appointment with us, please complete our handy online contact form, or call (773) 586-0050. Best times to call are Monday 10:45 to 4:45, or Tuesday and Thursday 10:45 to 1:15 and 4:30 to 7.

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5 Stretches for Heel Pain

IStretches for Heel Painn a big, blue collar city like Chicago—where standing, walking, and working on your feet is the norm—heel pain is a common complaint. Fortunately, most cases are temporary and can be dealt with conservatively. If you’re currently struggling with a bit of pain in and around your heels, stretching can help. Here are a few to try:

  • Calf stretch. Often, tight calves contribute to heel pain conditions such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis. Stand in front of a wall, about an arm’s length away. Slowly bend one leg forward, keeping the back leg straight and the trailing foot flat on the ground. You can place your hands on the wall for support if necessary.
  • Arch massage. Sit on a chair, then grab a round object. This could be a foam roller, cold water bottle, tennis ball, etc. With gentle pressure, roll the object back and forth under your foot for about a minute, then switch.
  • Pick up objects with your toes. You can try tasks like grasping a small towel with your toes and dragging it back and forth, or placing a number of small marbles underfoot, picking them up with your toes, and placing them in a cup or bowl.
  • Resistance stretches. Grab a seat, either on a chair or the ground. Then, take a resistance band, towel, scarf, or folded piece of cloth and wrap it around your arch. Gently pull on the ends of the band with your hands, bring your toes back toward your body while providing resistance with your foot.
  • Big toe stretch. From a chair, cross one leg over the other. With the same sided hand as the crossed leg, reach out and grab your big toe and pull it gently toward yourself.

If your heel pain doesn’t subside after a few days, even with rest and stretching, make an appointment with our office for further help. Chronic heel pain can put a serious cramp on your lifestyle, and it doesn’t have to be that way! Our team offers comprehensive care solutions, such as physical therapy, custom orthotics, and other techniques.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Walters in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood of Chicago, give us a call at (773) 586-0050. The best times to reach us are Mondays from 10:45 to 4:45, or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:45 to 1:15 or 4:30 to 7 p.m.

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Person holding heel as if in pain.

Treatment Options for Heel Pain

When your heels hurt, simply going about your daily routine can be a struggle. For most people, there’s really no way to opt-out of using your feet—at least not if you want to do your job, take care of household tasks, or enjoy many of your favorite hobbies and activities.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative to struggling and hobbling through life. Our office provides effective treatment for a wide range of heel pain conditions. The great news is that the vast majority of cases will not require any surgery and will not require you to set foot in a hospital (those are for sick people, after all).

Physical therapy is one treatment option for heel pain that we’ve found to be particularly effective, with a success rate of about 90%. In addition to stretches and strengthening exercises you can perform in your own home, our physical therapist, Michael, is on staff and available to provide massage services, muscle stimulation, therapeutic ultrasound, and other physical therapy procedures that can relieve pain today and prevent it in the future.

Another option? Custom orthotics. These are similar to the insoles you can buy at any pharmacy, but they take it a step further. By taking precise measurements of your feet beforehand, a custom orthotic can be built to fit your feet precisely. Custom orthotics offer exactly the right support and cushioning your feet need to relieve the excess stress on your heel.

Every foot is different, so what works for you might not work for somebody else. We take the time to talk with you, understand your situation, and then offer you the best possible solution quickly and with as little fuss as possible. That way, you can get back to doing what you really want to do as soon as possible!

To see Dr. Daniel Walters and the team at our Garfield Ridge office and start to get the relief you need for your heel pain, give us a call at (773) 586-0050.

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