You might be able to tackle your heel pain from the comfort of your own home.
Don’t let heel pain keep you from what you love doing most, whether that’s going for your daily run each morning or just walking to your favorite coffee shop every day before work. If you are dealing with heel pain the most obvious question would be, “What’s going on?” Our Oxnard and Ventura, CA, podiatrist, Dr. Steven Vines, has the answers.
The most common cause of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. While this condition is usually minor, the goal of treatment is to reduce your symptoms and give your feet the care they need to heal properly.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects the thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel. When this tissue has been overused or abused, microtears develop within the fascia, leading to swelling and pain when standing or walking.
How does plantar fasciitis happen?
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is if you suddenly change up your workout routine without building up to a longer or more intense workout over time. For example, if you find yourself going from a 2-mile run and then suddenly increasing your run to 4 miles or more all at once, then you may end up dealing with a nasty bout of plantar fasciitis. This condition is most commonly found in runners.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain. The pain is usually concentrated on the bottom of the heel and the pain can radiate to the arches (this is because the plantar fascia are responsible for supporting the arches of the feet). Pain may be worse first thing in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time. You may also experience stiffness and difficulty walking or putting weight on the foot.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
Luckily, it’s not that difficult to treat your symptoms and provide your feet with the TLC they need to heal quickly. The best approach you can take is to just rest. We know that’s challenging for someone with an active lifestyle but if you don’t avoid certain exercises and activities this could just make your foot pain worse or last longer. Here are some of the best ways to ease symptoms until the plantar fascia heal:
- Rest your feet as much as possible (avoid high-impact activities)
- Ice the heel and the arches of your feet up to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever when necessary
- Splint or brace the foot to provide the arches and heel with support
- Wear supportive, properly cushioned footwear
- Consider getting custom orthotics (ask our Oxnard and Ventura foot doctor)
- Perform stretching and strengthening foot exercises
- Consider corticosteroid injections (for severe pain)
- Receive shockwave therapy (for persistent or severe plantar fasciitis)
If you are dealing with heel pain or other foot problems in Oxnard and Ventura, CA, and at-home care isn’t giving you the relief you need, then it’s time to turn to the foot care specialists. Call our office today to schedule a visit with Dr. Vines.
Your second toe is bent at the middle joint so much that it rubs against the inside of your shoe. You have a callus, and frankly, your foot hurts with the simple activities of daily living. Should you seek treatment for what likely is a hammertoe? The answer is yes. Your Ventura and Oxnard, CA, podiatrist, Dr. Steven Vines, expertly treats hammertoes, a common podiatric deformity which affects thousands of Americans just like you. Learn the details here.
What is a hammertoe?
Medically termed Hallux abductovalgus, a hammertoe is a deformed middle joint on the second or even third toe of either foot. Often resulting from pressure from a bunion, or bony bump, at the base of the big toe, a hammertoe actually resembles a hammer or mallet. Muscular imbalance accompanies and drives the problem, says the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, and typical symptoms include:
- Immobility of the joint
People who wear tight shoes and high heels (women are at risk) develop bunions as do individuals with arthritis or diabetes. Advancing age and hereditary play roles, and individuals with second toes which are longer than their big toes easily develop hammertoes, too.
How Dr. Vines can help
Dr. Vines will inspect your foot and confirm the diagnosis of hammertoe with digital X-ray imaging in his Ventura and Oxnard office. Then, he'll formulate a treatment plan based on your physical health, lifestyle, and level of discomfort. While surgery is an option for correction of hammertoe, most people respond well to conservative measures such as:
- Relief of pain with over-the-counter ibuprofen or in-office cortisone injections
- Shoe padding
- Removal of corns and calluses
- Stretching exercises
- Change of footwear to something with a wider toe box and lower heel
- Customized orthotics, or shoe inserts, to correct gait and relieve pressure
Find relief for hammertoes
You can with treatment from Dr. Vines. This deformity will become progressively worse if ignored. So, if you're in pain and see something happening to the shape and size of your toe, call our office right away for a consultation. We have two offices for your convenience. In Oxnard, call (805) 485-3151, or for the Ventura location, phone (805) 648-3222.
Dealing with heel pain? It could be Achilles tendonitis.
Achilles was one of the most well-known warriors in Greek mythology who was taken down by—you guessed it—his Achilles tendon; however, even if you aren’t a warrior you can still deal with heel pain caused by Achilles tendonitis. Our Oxnard and Ventura, CA, podiatrist, Dr. Steven Vines, is here to tell you more about this surprisingly common inflammatory condition and what you can do to treat it.
What is Achilles Tendonitis?
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, running from the calf muscles to the heel bone. It’s always working hard for you whenever you walk, jump or even stand on your tiptoes to reach for something. Even though this tendon is pretty strong and durable it can become overworked. In fact, Achilles tendonitis is one of the most common foot-related overuse injuries.
What are the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis?
If you have Achilles tendonitis then you may feel pain along the outside of the heel (near the heel bone) that’s worse in the morning when you first wake up. The pain may be exacerbated by certain physical activities. Along with pain there may also be swelling that comes and goes, as well as decreased flexibility in the ankle.
How is Achilles tendonitis treated?
First and foremost, our Oxnard and Ventura foot doctor will examine the foot and run imaging tests to properly diagnose whether your symptoms are due to Achilles tendonitis or another condition. Once we determine that it’s Achilles tendonitis we will provide you with simple ways to manage your symptoms to allow your foot the proper amount of time it needs to heal. It’s common for symptoms to last up to 3 months or longer, even with proper care.
Here are some nonsurgical options for treating your Achilles tendonitis:
Rest: It’s important to avoid any activities that could exacerbate your symptoms. Take time off and give your feet a little reprieve.
Ice: Icing the heel when it’s swollen or painful is a great way to reduce both symptoms without having to rely on medication.
Pain relievers: If you are dealing with pain and swelling one of the easiest temporarily solutions that can offer relief is an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen.
Exercise/Physical therapy: While this doesn’t mean going back to your workout regimen, this does mean that you can do some stretching and strengthening exercises for the calf muscles. Our Oxnard and Ventura foot expert would be happy to show you some exercises you can do to improve the muscles.
Other treatment options include steroid injections (for severe pain and swelling), custom orthotics (shoe inserts) and shockwave therapy. If symptoms don’t improve after 6 months then you may want to consider surgical options.
If you are dealing with heel pain in Oxnard or Ventura, CA, and you can’t find the relief you need from your symptoms then call Dr. Vines today to schedule a consultation and find out what’s going on.
Do you have a wart on your foot that just won't go away? Our Ventura and Oxnard, CA, foot doctor, Dr. Steven Vines, discusses these annoying growths and shares treatment options.
Why do I have a wart?
Warts are rough, bumpy growths that appear on your skin if you've been exposed to the human papilloma virus (HPV). The virus finds its way into your skin through small breaks caused by minor scratches, cuts or even dry skin.
You may have developed a wart because you accidentally touched a friend's wart, stepped on a surface that contained the virus, or shared socks, shoes or towels with an infected person. Wearing shoes in areas where people tend to be barefoot, such as public pools and locker rooms, can help you avoid developing a wart on your foot.
Will my warts get better on its own?
Most warts will go away without treatment after a year or two, but some are stubborn and linger much longer.
The growth on the bottom of my foot isn't bumpy. Could it really be a wart?
Although warts generally look bumpy, they'll probably appear round and flat when they're on your bottom of your foot. These warts, called plantar warts, can be very painful. Because they're located on your sole, you may feel pain every time you take a step or put pressure on your foot.
Not sure if you have a wart or callus? Try pressing on the growth. Warts hurt if you push on them, while calluses don't.
How can I get rid of my wart?
If you've tried over-the-counter wart preparations without success, you may be worried that your wart will be with you forever. When drugstore wart preparations aren't effective or walking is painful due to a plantar wart, it's a good idea to visit our Ventura and Oxnard office. We can recommend several effective wart removal treatments, including topical medications and ointments that gradually dissolve the wart or immunotherapy that targets the virus. Warts can also be eliminated by freezing them, removing them with electrodessication and curretage or destroying the growth with laser surgery.
Tired of living with your wart? Call our Ventura and Oxnard, CA, foot doctor, Dr. Vines, to schedule an appointment.
It’s not fun living with bunions. They affect the way you walk, how your feet look, and how you fit your shoes. They are embarrassing and difficult to deal with (especially if you’re required to spend a lot of time on your feet), but luckily treatments are available to get rid of them. Find out what causes bunions and how Dr. Steven Vines, a podiatrist in Ventura and Oxnard, CA, can help get your feet back to normal.
If you have a bunion, you will know it. It looks like there is a huge bump is on the inside of your foot; meanwhile, the toes are pointed outward and crowded together. The bone at the inside of the foot is being pushed out of position causing the protrusion. Putting a normal shoe on, especially a pair of high heels, is almost impossible when you have a bunion. Sometimes the toes twist or turn out of position. It is a very painful problem, but it can be resolved by your Ventura or Oxnard podiatrist.
What Causes Them?
In most cases, a bunion develops over a long period of time from wearing poorly made shoes. If identical bunions form on both feet, your shoes are most likely the cause. Too much pressure on the joint located beneath the big toe causes the bone to move out of place. Bunions can also develop due to complications related to arthritis and often runs in families.
How a Podiatrist Can Help Your Feet
Orthotic devices and padding are used to relieve the pressure causing the bunions and encourage the foot to sit in the right position. The foot may be splinted or wrapped at night to aid the healing process. Exercises and physical therapy will help relieve pain and make the joints more flexible. A bunionectomy (a surgery to remove the protrusion) is the go-to treatment if a bunion is firmly set in place and won’t respond to non-invasive solutions.
No More Bunions
Bunions don’t have to become a lifelong problem. Have them treated by Dr. Vines, a podiatrist practicing in Ventura and Oxnard, CA. Call (805) 485-3151 or (805) 648-3222 today to schedule an appointment.
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