A neuroma is a growth or tumor of nerve tissue. The term is also used commonly to refer to swelling of any nerve in the ball of the foot.
Morton's Neuroma is a painful condition affecting the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between the third and fourth toes. It may feel as if you are standing on a pebble, or a fold in your sock. Morton's Neuroma involves a thickening of the tissue around the nerves leading to your toes causing a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. This may cause your toes to burn, sting or feel numb.
High-heeled shoes have been linked to the development of this condition, and many people experience relief when switching to lower heeled shoes with wider toe boxes. Sometimes corticosteroid injections or surgery may be needed.
Achilles Tendonitis is a common condition that causes pain in the back of the leg, near the heel. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body, connecting your calf muscles to your heel bone and is used when running, walking or jumping. Although the Achilles Tendon can withstand a great amount of stress it is also prone to tendonitis, a condition associated with overuse and degeneration.
Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon, and a response to injury or disease. It can often cause swelling, pain and irritation, and there are two types which can affect the Achilles Tendon depending on the area inflamed.
Noninsertional Achilles Tendonitis affects fibers in the middle portion of the tendon that have begun to break down with small tears, causing them to swell and thicken. This form of tendonitis is more often found in younger, active people.
Insertional Achilles Tendonitis involves the lower portion of the heel, where the tendon attaches to the heel bone. In both insertional and noninsertional Achilles Tendonitis, damaged fibers may also calcify (harden). Bone spurs are often found with insertional tendonitis. Unlike noninsertional tendonitis, this may occur at any time and in patients who are not active.
Heel spurs and pain are both often associated with plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the fibrous connective tissue (fascia) found along the bottom (plantar surface) of the foot, from the heel to the ball of the foot. Athletes who run and jump often can commonly develop this.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia is strained beyond its normal extension, causing the fibers of the fascia to tear or stretch. This causes inflammation, pain, and at times the growth of a bone spur where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone. Inflammation can be aggravated by shoes lacking appropriate support (especially in the arch area), and by the chronic irritation that can accompany an athletic lifestyle.
How can I prevent heel pain?
The following steps can be taken to accompany heel pain and the conditions mentioned above:
- Wear well-fitting shoes, and have shock-absorbent soles, rigid shanks, and supportive heel counters.
- Wear proper shoes for each activity.
- Do not wear shoes with heavy wear on the heels or soles.
- Prepare properly before exercising; Warm up and do stretching exercises before and after exercising.
- Pace yourself when participating in athletic activities.
- Rest and maintain good nutrition.
How do we treat heel pain?
Our approach is to offer both surgical and non-surgical treatment options for our patients with a heavy emphasis on the conservative approach. We offer laser therapy for these types of foot pain. Laser therapy is FDA approved and most patients describe it as very soothing.