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Bill Larson
Treatment Of Foot Pain

Podiatrists can treat foot pain with conservative treatments and/or surgery.

The most common foot problem that a podiatrist treats is heel pain. Heel pain can be caused by a variety of different conditions, such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis. Treatment for heel pain often includes things like stretching exercises, orthotic devices, or cortisone injections. Surgery is sometimes necessary if other treatments are not effective.

A podiatrist will usually be able to diagnose the cause of your foot pain and offer a treatment plan. Podiatrists have specialist knowledge with managing pain related to musculoskeletal problems, where abnormal mechanics in the foot lead to tissue damage and pain.

Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of your joints, which causes pain and stiffness. Podiatrists can relieve the discomfort and pain associated with foot arthritis through non-surgical treatments such as avoiding or limiting activities that aggravate the foot arthritis like impact sports. (i.e. substituting running or tennis with swimming, which is much easier on the joints) Losing weight and physical therapy are some of the other common options. If none of the non-surgical treatments help, then foot arthritis surgery is the alternative. Our podiatrists can help you minimize discomfort and pain caused by foot arthritis and prevent further regeneration through appropriate and timely care.

The number of patients whose heel pain is caused by systemic arthritic diseases is small in comparison to those with pain from other causes, but these arthritic diseases must be ruled out through appropriate physical examination and laboratory studies before the heel pain is treated.

Heel pain may occur in patients with various systemic inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, Reiter's syndrome, gout, Behçet's syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus.10–18 Gonorrhea and tuberculosis have also been implicated as causes of heel pain, but such an association is rare.19

Less common causes of heel pain should be considered before a treatment regimen for plantar fasciitis is undertaken. These include sciatica, tarsal tunnel syndrome, entrapment of the lateral plantar nerve, rupture of the plantar fascia, calcaneal stress fracture and calcaneal apophysitis (Sever's disease). Rarely, systemic disorders can cause heel pain.

Bill Larson
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