Foot problems can disrupt your everyday life and prevent you from performing work-related tasks. It doesn’t matter if it’s just your heels or toes that hurt. After all, your feet bear your entire body weight, and any foot pain you experience can make things difficult. Fortunately, podiatrists are able to treat most patients with conservative treatments if their symptoms aren’t severe. Sometimes, all it takes is rest, icing the affected area, or switching to the right footwear.
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation and irritation of the plantar fascia, which is the thick fibrous band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. The condition is one of the most common causes of heel pain, and it’s characterized by a stabbing sensation. Plantar fasciitis can be caused by old age, obesity, and activities that put constant and repeated stress on the feet. It can also result from high foot arches, flat feet, or an unusual gait.
Your podiatrist will suggest a treatment plan depending on what’s causing your plantar fasciitis. For some, it’s physical therapy, switching to the right footwear, or using custom orthotics. For others, splints or other assistive devices may be required.
A fracture refers to a bone breaking into two or more pieces. Fractures can be minor, meaning there is a hairline break that doesn’t result in separate pieces. Severe fractures are ones that cause a bone to break into two or more separate pieces. Sometimes, a bone can shatter, resulting in many small pieces. The most common type of fracture in the foot is a stress fracture, which develops over time due to continued pressure.
Many minor cases of foot fractures heal with rest. Severe fractures may need surgery to realign the bones. Your treatment will depend on which part of your foot is affected and how severe of a fracture occurred. If multiple bones are broken or they pierce your skin, you will need surgery and a cast during recovery.
Ankle sprains refer to the overstretching or tearing of a ligament in the lower leg. It’s the fibrous band of tissue that connects the bones around your ankle joint. Often, the stretch is caused by a bad fall, a sudden pivot, or twisting of the ankle. Ankle sprains are categorized into three levels according to severity:
- Grade 1 (mild sprain) – the ligament is only slightly stretched
- Grade 2 (moderate sprain) – the ligament is stretched and has some tearing
- Grade 3 (severe sprain) – the ligament is completely torn
Most cases of ankle sprains can be treated with the R.I.C.E method. This involves resting your injury, applying ice, wrapping it with a bandage, and elevating it above heart level. Your podiatrist can help you administer proper first aid, know the extent of your injury, and select the best treatment.
Heel spurs refer to bony protrusions that develop just under the heel and toward the inside of the foot. They can cause heel pain, but in many cases, they don’t come with symptoms. The risk factors for heel spurs are similar to those of plantar fasciitis, which are:
- Excess weight
- Footgear that provides inadequate support
- Unusual walking style
- Activities that put too much stress on the heels
Podiatrists commonly recommend resting, using ice, and taking pain relievers as treatment for heel spurs. They may also suggest wearing insoles and shoes that help distribute your weight and provide ample support for your arches. Some rare cases involve the removal of heel spurs through surgery. However, these are usually done as part of a procedure to treat plantar fasciitis.
Bunions are bony enlargements on your foot, specifically at the base of your big toe. This condition develops over time and is characterized by the toe leaning inward. The base of the big toe’s joint, in turn, leans outward, causing the bump to appear. Bunions can cause pain, especially since the joint of your big toe often supports some of your weight.
Common treatment options for bunions include:
- Footwear that distributes your weight across your feet and relieves pressure from the big toe joint
- Taking medication to relieve pain and reduce swelling
- Using splints or braces to guide the big toe back in place
If these conservative treatment methods don’t work, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to address the deformity.
Podiatrist In Naples, FL
Foot problems, even if mild or moderate, can be disruptive to your life. The pain they cause can make it difficult for your feet to bear your body weight. Some common conditions that cause foot pain include plantar fasciitis, fractures, ankle sprains, heel spurs, and bunions. A podiatrist, or a foot and ankle doctor, can help treat the pain you experience. You should consider visiting one to get a diagnosis and adequate treatment.
If you’re looking for a podiatrist in Naples, FL, look no further than the Joint Replacement Institute. We have a team of board-certified and fellowship-trained surgeons and providers who can give you the comprehensive care you deserve. If you want to know more about our services, you may call our friendly staff at (239) 261-2663. If you want to schedule a consultation, you may use our secure online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!