Isn’t it time you figured out what was causing your heel pain?
Are you currently dealing with heel pain? If so, you may want to know what’s going on so that you know how to best treat it. While most causes of heel pain will resolve on their own with the proper TLC and care, it’s always important to understand what’s going on when issues arise so that you know whether this is something you can handle on your own or whether you need to turn to our Scarborough, ME, podiatrist Dr. Peter Ocampo for help.
What can cause heel pain?
Even though there are many conditions and injuries that can lead to heel pain the two most common causes are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. Both of these inflammatory conditions are the result of overuse. If you suddenly increased the intensity or duration of your workout too quickly this can result in either of these problems.
Other causes of heel pain include:
- Heel spur
- Sprains and strains
In most cases, the heel pain will go away on its own with rest and at-home care; however, it’s important to visit your Scarborough, ME, foot doctor if your heel pain is severe, if it gets worse or isn’t relieved with at-home care or if your heel pain is accompanied by weakness, tingling or numbness in the foot.
How do you treat heel pain?
Of course, to be able to determine the best course of action when it comes to treating your heel pain we will need to examine your foot, discuss your symptoms with you and, in some cases, run imaging tests to find out what’s going on. Once we determine the root cause then we can create an immediate and effective treatment plan.
Luckily, plantar fasciitis, or Achilles tendonitis will go away on its own as long as you rest and do not perform any high-impact activities, which could exacerbate your condition. Other ways to ease symptoms include:
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers
- Icing the heel 2-3 times a day
- Wearing a splint or supportive brace
- Stretching and exercising the foot
When these conditions do not respond to at-home care then it is time to consider other treatment options such as ultrasound or shockwave therapy, or corticosteroid injections. This is something you will discuss extensively with your podiatrist beforehand.
Don’t let heel pain keep you from doing what you love most. Southern Maine Foot & Ankle is proud to serve the Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick, ME, areas. Call us today and let us know what’s going on. We want to help!
You want to make sure a sprained ankle heals properly. Here’s what you should do.
As you might imagine, ankles are pretty delicate and prone to injury. In fact, ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries to happen in both children and adults. Whether you stepped off the sidewalk awkwardly or you were involved in a sports-related accident, our Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick, ME, podiatrist Dr. Peter Ocampo is here to tell you the warning signs of a sprained ankle and how to best treat the symptoms.
Is it a sprained ankle?
It isn’t always easy to tell whether you are dealing with a strain, sprain or a fracture. Often times the symptoms are very much the same just more intense depending on the severity of the injury. So, how do you know if what you’re faced with is a sprained ankle? If you have a sprained ankle, you may be experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Ankle pain, particularly when you put weight on the foot
- Tenderness to the touch
- Instability or weakness in the ankle
- Limited range of motion
- A snapping or popping sound at the time of injury
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then you could be dealing with an ankle sprain, but it could also be something more severe. This is why it’s important to see your foot doctor in Scarborough, ME, if you are dealing with an ankle injury. Any kind of pain or swelling should be evaluated by a doctor to make sure there isn’t serious damage to the ligament.
What is a sprain anyway?
Your ankle, just like the rest of your body, is made up of ligaments that help to support and stabilize the joints. These ligaments are also there to prevent the joints from going beyond their normal range of motion; however, when your roll or twist an ankle this can cause the ligaments to stretch outside their range of motion or even tear.
How is a sprained ankle treated?
For minor sprains, your podiatrist may tell you to keep off the ankle as much as possible and to follow the RICE method for treating your symptoms while the ankle heals itself. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation and here’s what you should know.
- Rest: Take time to let your ankle heal, which means avoiding physical activities that could make symptoms worse.
- Ice: To ease inflammation and pain, apply an ice pack to your ankle for up to 20 minutes at a time every 2-3 hour during the day.
- Compression: Applying a compression stocking or brace on the ankle can help keep swelling down.
- Elevation: Prop your foot up above your heart to reduce swelling. Placing your ankle above your heart will help drain the excess fluid in your ankle.
Sometimes you’ll need to turn to over-the-counter or prescription painkillers to help temporarily alleviate the pain. Those with more moderate-to-severe ankle sprains may require a brace or a walking boot to protect the ankle as it heals. It’s also common to go through physical therapy to help restore the ankle’s range of motion and to help restrengthen it. Only in rare cases when the ligament is severely damaged is surgery required to repair the ligament.
Southern Maine Foot & Ankle provides comprehensive foot and ankle care to the Scarborough, Windham and Brunswick, ME, areas, making it easy to get the care your feet need. From sprains and fractures to bunions and flat feet, our medical team can handle it all. Call us today to find out if your ankle sprain requires medical attention.
Approximately 33 percent of people in Western countries develop bunions. This, however, isn't due to the problem being hereditary, although certain families have the tendency to form them. If you're one of those people suffering from bunions, Dr. Peter Ocampo of Southern Maine Foot & Ankle in Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick, ME, can offer you some advice.
If you start to notice the joint of your big toe becoming larger, then you may be forming a bunion. The protrusion of the bunions can be very painful and other issues such as flat feet, foot injuries and neuromuscular problems may contribute to their formation.
Here are some things bunions can have an effect on:
- Walking can be an obstacle because it rubs against your shoes causing friction, pressure, redness, and eventually pain.
- The bunion can also cause the toe to overlap the third toe, which is something referred to as Hallux Valgus.
- If the bunion moves towards the second toe and starts to rotate, this is called Hallus Abducto Valgus.
- The enlargement moves the toe at an angle where it starts bending in towards the rest of the toes.
The problem with bunions is that they can cause the formation of other toe deformities, such as hammertoes, bursitis, arthritis, and corns and calluses
How to Deal with Bunions
- Make sure to wear shoes that have extra padding. The felt material in the padding creates a protective cushion that reduces friction. This will help reduce the amount of friction and inflammation to your skin.
- Your Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick doctor may recommend an orthotic device designed to keep your toe in the proper position.
- To improve and maintain healthy joint mobility and reduce stiffness, your podiatrist may prescribe exercises.
- Removing corns and calluses, if they've formed any, can help alleviate some of the issues experienced due to bunions.
Bunions are painful to deal with. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, just call your Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick, ME.
Don’t let heel pain dictate what you can and can’t do.
From standing all day on the job to pounding the pavement every morning, there are a variety of everyday habits that can take a toll on your feet and lead to heel pain if you aren’t careful. While there are many problems, disorders and injuries that can lead to heel pain, the most common cause is an inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis. Our Windham, Brunswick, and Scarborough, ME, podiatrist Dr. Peter Ocampo is here to tell you the best ways to tackle your plantar fasciitis-related heel pain.
First and foremost, it’s important to know whether or not your heel pain is the result of plantar fasciitis. This means coming into our office to visit with our foot doctor for a proper evaluation and diagnosis. After all, you want to make sure that the care and treatment you receive will actually help you heal, right? Once we determine that your heel pain is due to plantar fasciitis here are some of the most common heel pain treatment options.
Conservative Treatment Options
The first course of action when it comes to treating your heel pain is to offer up simple, less aggressive approaches. Since this inflammatory condition will go away on its own, often times the only thing that is needed is for our Scarborough, ME, foot doctor to provide ways to manage your symptoms until the problem clears up. Common at-home conservative treatment options include:
- Elevating the foot above your heart whenever you are sitting down to alleviate swelling
- If pain is bad, try an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can temporarily reduce pain and inflammation
- Avoiding high-impact activities or exercises that could put stress on the plantar fascia, the tissue that runs along the soles of your feet (it’s important to rest as much as possible)
- Wearing shoes that provide ample arch and sole support. We can also create orthotics to place into your shoes to provide additional support and stability.
Other Treatment Options
With the proper care you should notice your heel pain dissipating; however, if your symptoms are getting worse or aren’t responding to at-home care within two weeks then you need to call us. In some situations heel pain may require more aggressive treatment options like corticosteroid injections, shockwave therapy or surgery.
Southern Maine Foot & Ankle offers a full range of podiatric services to the Scarborough, Windham and Brunswick, ME, areas. If you are dealing with heel pain don’t deal with the problem on your own. Turn to our expert foot team for help.
Flat feet is when a person's entire sole touches the floor when standing. This can be problematic for many individuals, which is why your Windham, Brunswick, and Scarborough, ME, podiatrist, Dr. Peter Ocampo, is here to help.
What are the symptoms of flat feet?
Flat feet aren't usually painful unless someone is playing sports or doing any sort of walking activity. If shoes wear unevenly, people may experience mild discomfort. Older individuals may develop flat feet; "they had normal or slight-flat feet that suddenly collapse into severe flat feet," according to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society.
Symptoms of flat feet manifest during late childhood. If a toddler or young child experience foot pain, you may need to visit your Windham, Brunswick, and Scarborough podiatrist.
What causes flat feet?
Flat feet may be a result of many things:
- Acquired flat feet in adults is usually due to tissue breaking down
- Tendons, ligaments, and worn out joints may contribute to the problem
- Tarsal coalition, which is a separation of the foot bones
How are flat feet diagnosed?
Podiatrists use several tools and tests to assess feet, including:
- A physical examination
What are treatment options?
There are several treatment options, some invasive and others less invasive.
- In-shoe orthotics
- Physical therapy
- Custom-molded arches in orthotics, usually made to relieve pain and provide support.
- Shoe inserts to walk comfortably.
- Braces, if simple measures fail to provide relief.
- Painful flat feet that don't respond to non-operative measures may require surgery.
Flat feet develop many problems you'll need to tell your doctor about. They can be painful and lead to serious foot problems. If you have any questions or concerns about flat feet, you should contact your Windham, Brunswick, and Scarborough, ME, podiatrist, Dr. Ocampo. He has the expertise to help figure out and treat your foot issue.
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