Early treatment will make a difference in your recovery and in the quality of life you can maintain when dealing with heel pain and all forms of foot pain. We recommend multiple treatment scenarios and have a protocol that is specific to your condition and lifestyle. There are many different options for your heel pain treatments. Corrective devises are used to help you speed the healing process. Here are just a few of the devices we use:
Ankle and Foot Strapping
Ankle and foot strapping can be used to change the way a patient walks, reducing the amount of stretching that is done to the fascia or tendon. This will reduce the inflammation associated with the plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendon. In order to reduce the stress, the fascia or tendon is held in a relaxed position. This technique is an alternative to orthoses and is commonly used in physical therapy and sports therapy.
For patients suffering from Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis, a night splint can be utilized to alleviate the pain. Many of us tend to sleep in different positions throughout the night. This often puts our feet in a pointed position and our arches tend to go flat. For plantar fasciitis, this stretches the fascia in the foot, causing it to become even more irritated. For Achilles tendinitis, this lengthens the tendon, putting a constant stretch on it throughout the night. By using a night splint, your foot will be forced to stay in a position where the plantar fascia is not being stretched and the Achilles tendon is held in a shortened position. This will allow for healing throughout the night and put less strain on the injured tissue.
Bracing can be used to hold your foot in a particular position relieving the strain placed on your fascia or tendon. There are two types of bracing available: removable and non-removable plaster or fiberglass. Depending on the severity of your injury will determine which cast choice is best for you. Since the removable cast allows a greater amount of flexibility in your foot, if the injury is more severe, then a non-removable cast is the best option because it will immobilize your foot. This will allow the tendon or fascia to be held in a stationary position allowing it to heal.
There are two types of orthotics: over-the-counter orthotics designed for certain foot types and custom orthotics made from a mold of your foot. The over-the-counter orthotics are less expensive and can be purchased at our office. However, because they are not made for your specific foot, they are often less effective than custom orthotics. Custom orthotics are molded to accommodate your foot specifically. They can be made from a variety of materials that can be used for individuals ranging from runners to diabetics.
If you are suffering from persistent heel pain and think it’s time to seek professional help, schedule an appointment with Dr. Mitchell Wachtel, podiatrist North Andover. He has three convenient locations in North Andover, Haverhill, and Lowell, MA. Visit the contact page on our website, or call our office at (978) 794-8406.