Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle is here to help you with any foot and ankle problems you experience. We see a variety of conditions from our patients, but many involve heel and arch pain. When you are experiencing pain and discomfort in either of these areas of your feet, we know how to accurately diagnose and effectively treat the condition for you. It is important for you to understand, also, what is wrong and how it can be addressed.
Bone spurs are extra bone tissue that form on an existing bone when the body attempts to repair itself. They often will form in response to stress, pressure, or rubbing that takes place over a long period of time. Contrary to the common association with the term “spur,” these growths are rarely sharp.
A bone spur in and of itself is not painful, but it can lead to discomfort, pain, or wear and tear on soft tissue or other bones when it presses upon them. When they occur in the heel, especially under the heel bone, they are referred to as “heel spurs.” Conservative treatment methods for the condition include stretching, physical therapy, or customized orthotics.
Achilles tendinitis causes pain above your heel and along the back of your foot, especially when you stretch your ankle or stand on your toes. The pain may start out as mild and worsen progressively when left untreated. Stiffness, swelling, and tenderness will accompany the pain and discomfort.
This condition typically happens as a result of overuse or quickly increasing your level of physical activity, but can also be attributed to wearing high heels or having flat feet. High-heeled shoes create extra stress on the tendon, which can lead to tears or a rupture.
Treating Achilles tendinitis starts with following the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and can be helped with anti-inflammatory medications, as approved by your doctor. Strengthening exercises, especially for your calves, and stretching activities can not only help treat the condition, but also decrease the risk of it happening in the first place.
If you wake up in the morning with a sharp pain in your heel, it is likely that you have developed plantar fasciitis. This common condition happens when your plantar fascia, the fibrous band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, becomes irritated and then inflamed. Causes for plantar fasciitis include both high and low arches, shoes that do not offer sufficient arch support, and even carrying extra weight on your body. Ice, orthotics, stretches, and medications are nonsurgical treatment options that can help.
Sever’s disease is a common heel injury that may be experienced by children ages 8-15. This painful condition comes from inflammation of the heel’s growth plate when the heel bone grows at a faster rate than the leg muscles and tendons. It is often exacerbated by sports and physical activities that involve jumping and running, and especially when performed on hard surfaces.
There are a variety of injuries that can result in heel and arch pain. One of the most common is a stress fracture. These tiny breaks in the bone are often caused by the repetitive stress that comes from activities like running. Although painful, stress fractures heal themselves when activity is limited and rest provided.
Without taking other factors into consideration, such as how they affect pronation, having flat feet is not actually a painful condition. The reason they can be an issue, though, is because flat feet alter the optimal alignment of your legs and this impacts your gait, often resulting in ankle, knee, hip, or back pain. Custom orthotics can help with this issue.
We hope that you don’t experience any of these conditions in the first place, but you can trust that we will be here for you if you do. Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle offers first-class care and treatment methods for your foot or ankle problems. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Evan Merrill or Dr. Adam Gerber by calling (541) 776-3338 or using our online form. Come in to our Medford, OR office and put an end to your foot pain today.