Eliminating Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)
Heel pain, or plantar fasciitis, is an inflammatory condition caused either by excessive wear on the plantar fascia at the bottom of the foot or by biomechanical faults that cause abnormal pronation of the foot. Heel pain is also commonly associated with weight gain, jobs that require a lot of walking on hard surfaces, shoes with little or no arch support and inactivity. The pain is most intense with the first steps of the day or after standing for long periods of time.
Treatment focuses on:
- Stretching the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia
- Resting, discontinuing aggravating activity as much as possible
- Night splints to keep the foot in a pronated position
- Cold compression therapy
- Weight loss, arch support and heel lifts
- Taping and manipulation
For chronic cases or patients seeking faster results, we are the first to offer Radialspec™, the latest in extracorporeal wave therapy. “Extracorporeal” means “outside the body.” We focus radial or pressure waves onto targeted tissue to relieve pain and trigger your body’s repair mechanisms to promote normal healing. The best part about this therapy is:
- No shots
- Zero downtime
- You can walk right away
Cure Ankle Sprains & Strains
A sprain is an injury to a ligament, the tough, fibrous tissue that connects bone to other bone. Ligament injuries involve a stretching or a tearing of this tissue.
A strain is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon, the tissue that connects muscles to bones. Depending on the severity of the injury, a strain may be a simple overstretch of the muscle or tendon, or it can result in a partial or complete tear.
The usual signs and symptoms of a muscle sprain include:
- Pain, swelling, bruising
- Loss of functional ability (the ability to move and use the joint)
- Sometimes people feel a pop or tear when the injury happens
However, these signs and symptoms can vary in intensity, depending on the severity of the sprain.
Treatment for ankle sprain and strain usually involves RICE—rest, ice, compression, and elevation:
- Rest involves keeping off the injured ankle as much as possible. An air cast or splint may be used to support the ankle and severe sprains may require a hard cast.
- Ice is used to reduce swelling. Ice packs are usually applied for 20 minutes at a time every hour as long as swelling persists.
- Compression involves supporting the ankle and foot with a firmly (not tightly) wrapped elastic bandage, compression stocking or gel wrap. If swelling causes the bandage to become tight, it should be loosened immediately.
- Elevation helps to minimize bruising and swelling. The foot should be kept above heart level as often as possible during the first 48 hours.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may help to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation.
In some cases, prolonged swelling caused by the formation of excessive scar tissue occurs and Dr. Prant may use x-rays to check for small, previously undetected bone fragments or damage to the joints. Dr. G. Prant is one of the few doctors in the Austin area to have a Fluorscan video x-ray system in his office. With the video x-ray technology, your foot and ankle can be seen from any angle and fractures missed on regular x-rays are often seen.
Patients who experience an ankle injury are at risk for recurrent injury during and following recovery due to a loss of something called proprioception. Proprioception is the body feeling the position of a joint or body part – without looking at it. Often this is impaired after an ankle sprain. At Arbor Foot Health Center, we go into great detail as to rehabilitation following ankle sprain. Shoes that provide stability and support are a prudent investment, and supplemental bracing with a specially fitted elastic wrap may be recommended. Dr. Gary Prant demonstrates how to tape your foot and ankle yourself. In some cases, custom orthotics (shoe inserts) are prescribed to help provide ankle stability after an injury.
Gout treatment is nearly painless and instant. An acute gout attack often will wake you up with pain in your great toe joint (your big toe). Gout can occur in any joint, but it is most common in the great toe joint. Some foods and drinks can bring on a gout attack. Dr. Prant will refer gout patients back to their medical doctors for evaluation of the cause and long-range treatment of the root problem. Causes of a gout attack can be:
- Excess uric acid in the body
- Body making too much uric acid or not being able to get rid of it
- Genetics, alcohol use, diseases and other factors can trigger a gout attack
Dr. Prant performs a specific nerve block with a long-lasting local anesthetic. As a board-certified foot surgeon and podiatrist, he is an experienced hand at finding the precise location for this block, decreasing any pain from this procedure. He prescribes a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and can provide you a list of foods that can exacerbate gout.
By the time you leave the office, you will have significant relief of your pain. By the time the affected area “wakes up,” usually 80 to 100 percent of the pain is gone.
In Dr. G. Prant’s experience treating thousands of heel pain patients over a period of more than 20 years, 95 percent of our patients find relief without surgery.
Don’t live with an uncomfortable foot or ankle condition. Get experienced, expert help from Austin’s most trusted podiatrist, Dr. Gary Prant. For more information or to make your appointment, please call us at 512.335.1800. We serve the communities of Austin, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Westlake and Jollyville.