Foot Care For Wearing Heels

Woman with gout painFor many women, shunning high heels and sticking to comfortable, podiatrist-approved footwear is not an option. Heels have become part of what is considered a polished and finished look.

If you’re attending an event, networking, interviewing for a job, or getting married, heels, event modestly high ones, are not only the norm, they are expected. It makes appropriate foot care challenging, but not impossible.

If you are the type who has to wear heels more than two days out of the week, below are a few tips to wear your shoes safely, and for the most part, comfortably.

Know Your Foot

Knowing the size and shape of your foot is very important. Some people go their entire lives wearing shoes in the same size without considering that their feet may have grown as they’ve aged (hint: they do). Some people even have different-sized feet.

Whether you have high arches, uneven or flat feet, knowing the way your foot is shaped is very important. It will help you identify the right shoes for your feet, and what type of heels to go for. Visit a podiatrist to know your foot shape, and what kind of shoes are recommended for your feet.

Know Your Heel

The amount of pressure heels will add to your foot is completely dependent on how the heel is made. A heel with less surface area like a stiletto with a thin sole will be more uncomfortable than a thicker heel with a platform sole.

If you can, go for the heel that gives you more surface area, including area that covers the top of your foot, as it will help keep you from wobbling on your feet. If you can’t, then:

Know Your Limits

Take breaks, stretch your ankles and feet. Numbness is a surefire cue that your feet need a break. Don’t grin and break through the pain. Instead, bring a cute pair of flats along with you, and the moment the coast is clear, put them on and enjoy being on your feet.

Image courtesy of Marin/

Understanding Plantar Fasciitis and Finding Remedies for the Pain

Podiatrists Provide Ball of Foot Pain ReliefIf you’re a runner, you might already be familiar with plantar fasciitis, either from the pain of experiencing the medical condition or from simple awareness of the pain risks associated with running.

First things first, the plantar fascia is the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. This connective tissue also supports the arch of the foot. Stress on the plantar fascia from repeated activity, such as running, can strain the ligament, even causing tiny tears.

The ligament takes a pounding during a run so it’s no surprise that plantar fasciitis is a common runner’s injury. It’s sometimes called “runner’s heel” but it doesn’t just affect runners.

Broadly speaking, people who are on their feet a lot can put themselves at risk of developing plantar fasciitis. While this includes athletes, people whose jobs involve extended periods of walking and being on their feet could develop plantar fasciitis. People who are overweight can develop the condition, as the weight puts additional strain on the feet. Older people also face greater risk of developing the condition, the result of a loss of elasticity in the connective tissue.

The Mayo Clinic offers some tips for people to do themselves if they suffer pain from plantar fasciitis:

  • Weight — A healthy weight reduces the stress on your plantar fascia.
  • Shoes — High heels are a no-no. Shoes that support the arch and provide some shock absorption are preferred. And don’t walk or run barefoot, particularly on hard surfaces.
  • Shoes, part 2 — Worn out running shoes the cushioning and support that protect your plantar fascia from the pounding of running. Replace those shoes after about 500 miles of running.
  • Mix Sports — Mixing up your athletic activity can keep you active while sparing your feet from repeated pounding.
  • Ice — An ice pack applied for 15-20 minutes three or four times a day, or after athletic activity, can offer some pain relief and reduce inflammation.
  • Stretch — Exercises can stretch your muscles and tendons, providing relief.
  • If pain persists or worsens, it’s time to seek professional medical help. To learn more, please contact us.

    Five Tips to Help Avoid Pain in the Arch of Your Foot

    Foot-Pain-PraisaengOh, the wondrous and blissful side effects that come along with getting older. Remember when you used to stay up to watch Letterman every night or how you could eat nothing but pizza and chicken mcnuggets seven days a week? What about the days when you could run a half marathon after a full day of work? Now, if you’re like middle-aged Americans, you can barely make it up to see primetime television, you’re on a strict low-fat, low-sodium, and even lower taste diet, and every time you so much as walk to the car in the morning, there is a nagging and downright debilitating pain in the arch of your foot.

    Well, other than increasing your caffeine intake, which has its own set of problems, there’s not a lot we can do about staying up later at night. As far as pizza and chicken mcnuggets goes, maybe it’s not such a bad thing that you can’t gorge yourself on that stuff anymore. There are, however, a few things you can do to avoid that nasty pain in your feet, which is probably caused by fallen arches and plantar fasciitis.

    • Warm Up and Cool Down – Follow the guidelines for a healthy stretching routine. If you don’t know how to properly go about this, ask your Creve Coeur podiatrist. Heck, even a simple Google search will give you some results. Alright, we will make it easy for you, click here for a couple ideas.
    • Wear Supportive Footwear – Spend the money it takes to get proper fitting and quality footwear with good arch supports. Most sufferers of fallen arches and plantar fasciitis are born with high arches that sag as they get older. Good footwear can prevent this from becoming a problem. Flat feet, however, can become just as problematic. So, really we should all be wearing good footwear to avoid this potentially painful condition.
    • Take It Easy – If your heel starts to hurt, take a rest. If the pain doesn’t go away after several days of resting, it may be time to see a podiatrist.
    • Orthotics – Special insoles to support the arch of the foot can provide some much needed help. You can buy these at your local drugstore (not recommended), or you can have them specially made and custom fit for your feet. It can take awhile to get just the right one for your foot, but sometimes it can be just what you needed.
    • Weight Control – Yes, maintaining a sensible diet with your ideal weight can be beneficial in many ways. It makes sense to think that the more weight your arches are supporting, the more easily they will fall and become painful.

    If you are able to successfully recover from the pain of fallen arches with these five tidbits or any other methods, go ahead and treat yourself to an evening of Letterman and pizza. Stay away from the mcnuggets though. After all, let’s be reasonable about it.

    Image courtesy of Praisaeng/

    Causes and Treatment of Heel Pain

    Treatment for Heel PainNothing is more frustrating than beginning an activity only to find yourself afflicted with heel pain. Heel pain can have many causes. A visit to your local Missouri podiatrist is a sure way to discover the cause of your heel pain and begin a successful treatment plan. The podiatrist will need to know exactly where the pain is and how long you’ve had it, so make note of your symptoms.

    If you are having pain beneath the heel, there are several possible causes.

    Stone Bruise – Sometimes we injure the fat pad of our heel when we step on some hard object. Although the pain is irritating, it will dissipate after several days. In the meantime, a mild pain medicine should do the trick.

    Plantar Fasciitis – This pain may seem mild at first, but flares up after lying down overnight or sitting for a time. The plantar fascia is the ligament that connects your toes to your heel bone. When this ligament is weakened or irritated, it swells and causes pain upon standing or walking. This is one of the more common causes of heel pain.

    Treatments for plantar fasciitis include resting the foot and allowing inflammation to decrease particularly by using anti-inflammation medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. New shoes with better arch support or padded shoe inserts can help, as can stretches for the calf and toes.

    Heel Spurs – Calcium deposits can develop when plantar fasciitis is left untreated over time. Often an x-ray is needed to determine if this is the problem. Treatments for heel spurs are much the same as those for plantar fasciitis.

    If you have pain behind the heel, there is one main cause.

    Insertional Achilles Tendonitis – You may have irritated the Achilles tendon where it inserts into the heel bone. This can happen by wearing shoes that rub along that area or by running or walking too much. The skin can become thicker and red with overuse leading to a bump that becomes painful and hot to the touch on the back of the heel. Treatments include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, resting, and ice packs. Furthermore, your Missouri foot doctor may recommend a 3/8″ or 1/2″ heel insert. They may also order an x-ray to determine if there is a bone spur present.

    To start your journey on the road to recovery, you can try some of the simpler remedies at home. However, if your heel pain persists, a podiatrist can help you overcome your heel problems and return to full activity.

    Plantar Fasciitis: The Foot Pain With A Strange Name

    Treatment for Heel PainEven if you can spell it, you probably can’t pronounce it.

    Whether you have the name down or not, plantar fasciitis is a real pain in the foot.

    It is estimated that over 2 million people are treated yearly for plantar fasciitis. One of the most common causes of heel pain, it is caused by inflammation, strains and small tears in the long band of tissue running across the bottom of the foot. Called the plantar fascia, this tissue connects the heel bone to the toes and supports the arch of the foot.

    Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain near the heel of the foot, often feeling like a stabbing pain. Typically it is noticed when first beginning activity after a period of rest. The pain usually comes about gradually over time as the injury worsens, and is most often limited to one foot. Although heel spurs are often blamed as the culprit, they aren’t necessarily the cause of the pain.

    Those most often plagued by plantar fasciitis include people who are overweight, have high arches, have tight calf muscles, have faulty foot mechanics, or those who do repetitive activities. It is most common in women and those between 40 and 60 years of age. Those that have engaged in a new activity that they aren’t used to such as running can also find themselves with a case of fasciitis.

    Physical tests such as balance, coordination, and reflexes are often performed during your visit to a Missouri podiatrist to check for plantar fasciitis. Imaging tests such as MRI’s and X-rays are usually ordered for definitive diagnosis, and to rule out other issues such as nerve impairment.

    With podiatric treatment, 90 percent fully recover in about ten months. Normal treatment consists of rest, ice, corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Other options may include massage, physical therapy, orthotics or splints. Surgery to detach the fascia is usually contraindicated unless all other treatment fails and pain is severe.

    If you are plagued by plantar fasciitis and want to seek treatment, call our office today to schedule an appointment.

    5 Ways Podiatrists Treat Heel Pain

    Treatment for Heel PainHeel pain may be brought on by a multitude of conditions. Heel spurs are one of them. They often result from an extended bout of plantar fasciitis. The spurs are actually calcium deposits that form at or near the inflamed fascia. Although quite painful, our Missouri podiatrists are able to treat them in the following ways:

    Heel Pain Treatment #1: Rest & Ice

    Sometimes spur related heel pain may be reduced with a combination of rest and cold compresses. As such, your Missouri podiatrist may recommend the use of store bought compresses or homemade ones on a daily or weekly basis.

    Heel Pain Treatment #2: Cortisone Injections

    If ice and rest doesn’t alleviate the pain, our Missouri foot doctors may recommend that heel pain sufferers receive a series of cortisone injections. The injections are designed to reduce the swelling around the heel spur. Once the swelling gets under control, the pain is apt to subside at least somewhat.

    Heel Pain Treatment #3: Exercises

    In addition to the first two heel pain treatments, our Missouri foot specialists will typically prescribe an exercise routine as well. The exercises usually involve mild stretching of the fascia and calf muscle. However, the routine may also include strengthening exercises like towel curls.

    Heel Pain Treatment #4: Night Splints & Orthotics

    Night splints, orthotic devices, custom footwear, padding and other similar items may be incorporated into a heel spur sufferer’s treatment too. They are designed to alleviate pressure on the spur, which should help to reduce inflammation and heel pain.

    Heel Pain Treatment #5: Surgery

    If all else fails, your podiatrist may decide to remove the heel spur surgically. The surgery generally involves removing the calcium deposit and cutting the surrounding ligaments. Therefore, there may be a substantial amount of recovery time involved. It is also not uncommon for the patient to experience post-surgical pain. The post-surgical pain is sometimes treated with medication, physical therapy and orthotics.

    To learn more about these heel spur treatments and others, please contact our Missouri foot clinics.