Oh, my aching feet! That familiar refrain can stem from a multitude of foot problems, and at American Foot & Leg Specialists we deal with all of them, from diagnosis to treatment. If you live in the South Atlanta metro area, we’re here to help when you feel that bad twinge or ongoing pain so you can keep walking (or jogging!) in comfort.
These are three familiar foot problems we treat:
The Achilles Tendon connects the two large calf muscles to the heel bone, and when this fibrous tendon becomes inflamed – from changing running routines, from walking or running uphill or sudden-impact moves in sports – the inflammation it causes is painful and disruptive to regular activities.
When you go for a diagnosis, x-rays and ultrasound may be used to assess the damage. Treatment for this includes resting and icing the area and taking OTC anti-inflammatory medications. Along with stretching and strengthening exercises, this treatment will usually be effective in relieving the pain and healing the injury, which can be a slow process. Severe tendonitis may need 6 to 8 weeks in a cast or surgery to repair the tendon.
This is the most common cause of heel pain, and it occurs when the plantar fascia – the ligament connecting your toes to your heel bone – becomes weakened, irritated and swollen. The entire foot is impacted and repeated strain can cause small tears in the ligament. While middle aged people most commonly get plantar fasciitis, it also occurs in younger people who use their legs and feet a lot, like soldiers or athletes.
Some of the common causes are:
- High arches or flat feet
- Long periods of standing or walking
- Excessive ankle pronation (feet roll inward when you walk)
- Poorly fitted shoes
Treatments include resting, icing, physical therapy or custom-made orthotics. If the pain continues, you may need steroid shots directly in the heel or have to wear splints at night. Surgery is only considered for people who have tried all these treatments for up to 12 months without any relief.
People joke about being flat-footed, but it’s no joke to those who actually have this condition in which the entire bottom of the foot touches the floor when you stand up. Flat feet can develop in childhood or as an adult from injury or regular aging stress on the body. It’s not always painful, but it does change your body alignment, and that can cause ankle and knee problems.
Many people don’t experience any symptoms of flat feet, but some have swelling on the inside of the ankles or pain in the heel or arch of the foot. Your doctor may order x-rays, a CT scan, ultrasound or MRI in order to see where the damage is. Treatment may include stretching exercises and physical therapy, arch supports or supportive shoes.
At American Foot & Leg Specialists, we see and treat these common foot problems and many others with the most up to date diagnostics and treatments. With locations in Fayetteville, Forest Park, Locust Grove and Stockbridge, our practice serves the entire South Atlanta Metro area. We are experienced, caring and successful at helping you get back on your feet comfortably and stay there.