Not many people look forward to seeing a doctor. Even those suffering from significant foot pain or discomfort may put off seeing a medical professional despite how they feel or how limited their mobility becomes.
But we are here to help. The number one goal of the podiatrists at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists is to restore patients’ lives, stop their pain, and give them healthy feet for life. And we can’t do that if you don’t come in for help. We recommend that you schedule a consultation if you have any concerns about your feet, ankles, heels, arches, toes, or toenails—especially if your symptoms are interfering with your daily life or causing you chronic pain or discomfort.
When to See Our Texas Foot and Ankle Surgeons for Pain
There are many reasons to consult with a podiatrist. If you experience foot pain that doesn’t get better or resolve with rest, or your foot pain affects your mobility or quality of life, you should make an appointment to discuss your specific situation. Other reasons to see a podiatrist include the following:
You experience foot discoloration that does not go away over time.
You suffer an acute foot injury that is not improving over time.
You are experiencing numbness or tingling.
You are experiencing a bunion or bony protrusion that is causing pain or discomfort.
You are suffering from chronic issues with your toenails, such as ingrown toenails, painful toenails, or toenail fungus.
You are suffering from chronic athlete’s foot.
You have been diagnosed with diabetes and are concerned about how to maintain foot health.
Your feet and/or ankles are swelling without apparent cause.
Your primary care doctor recommends seeing a podiatrist.
It’s important to remember that even if your foot, ankle, or heel pain goes away for a short time with rest, or if it feels a little better “once you get moving,” healthy feet shouldn’t hurt on a daily basis. When in doubt, see a podiatrist to get the answers you need.
Our Podiatrists Help Treat Foot and Heel Pain Caused by Common Medical Conditions
There are a variety of medical conditions that can cause pain in the foot and heel, as well as foot and heel pain deformities, and we work hard to provide adequate pain relief. Here are some of the most common conditions and foot deformities we see and treat at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists:
Pain in the Achilles Tendon
Pain at the back of the heel could be caused by Achilles tendinitis, an inflammation of the Achilles tendon that stretches from the heel bone to the calf. If caught early, Achilles tendinitis pain may be eased by rest, icing, and footwear changes. However, repeated trauma may partially or completely tear the tendon, requiring surgery.
If you have stiffness, swelling, pain, or decreased mobility in your joints, you may be one of the 53 million adults in the United States who suffers from arthritis. Depending on the type and extent of the condition, you may need custom orthotics, heel pads, shoe fittings, physical therapy to restore balance, or prescriptions to prevent permanent joint damage.
Wearing tight or pointed shoes can force your big toe out of alignment and cause bunions. These bony bumps form on the joint at the base of the big toe and can be very painful. Lifestyle changes, such as wearing wider shoes, using orthotics to straighten the toe, and splinting the big toe, may be enough to correct the problem. In extreme cases, our team may suggest foot surgery to realign the toes and remove the growth.
Gout is an inflammation caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body. If your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys don’t process it, the acid collects into sharp, painful crystals that become lodged in your joints. Joints with gout may be warm or tender to the touch, can appear red and swollen, and cause debilitating pain. Treatment may include a removable boot to take pressure off the foot, dietary changes, and prescription medications that lower uric acid levels.
Hammer toes—toes that curve downward or are permanently bent and appear like claw toes—is a common foot deformity that can lead to a number of problems even if it does not cause pain. At first, a hammer toe may be an inconvenience, rubbing against the tops of your shoes and causing blisters. As the tendon on the bottom of the toe tightens, you may be completely unable to straighten the toe, causing calluses, tripping, or balance problems. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may need orthotics to reshape the toe or surgery to release the tendon.
Bone spurs, trauma, stress fractures, and foot deformities can all cause painful swelling in the toes and ankle joints. Once we determine the cause of the pain, we can get to work relieving the symptoms and restoring your mobility. This may include conservative, nonsurgical treatments such as orthotics and icing the foot or regenerative stem cell injections to promote healing.
One of the most common causes of heel pain, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from your toes to your heel (plantar fascia). The condition can make it difficult or impossible for a patient to walk. Our treatment plan concentrates on relieving pain while allowing the plantar fascia to stretch. This may include corticosteroid injections into the heel or using shockwave therapy to boost circulation and stimulate the body’s natural healing process.
Frequently Asked Questions About Foot and Heel Pain
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we get from new patients who are experiencing foot and heel pain. It’s possible that your question is listed here.
Will my foot pain go away if I just rest for a while?
This answer depends directly on the nature and cause of your foot pain. In some cases, such as minor strain, foot pain can go away simply with time and rest. With a minor injury or overuse, you may follow the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation to help reduce inflammation and pain. But if your foot pain persists, or if your foot pain is causing mobility issues, it’s imperative to see a podiatrist for further help.
How will a Texas podiatrist heal my foot pain?
The treatment for your foot or heel pain depends on the root cause of the pain. However, the podiatrists at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists will start with the least invasive treatment options and go from there. Many of the causes of foot and ankle pain may be treated with rest, an assistive device such as a brace or custom orthotic, anti-inflammatory medication, lifestyle changes, physical therapy, or non-invasive procedures. More serious issues may be corrected with surgery.
Will seeing a podiatrist completely relieve my foot pain?
Our goal is to stop your foot pain, and many of the most common foot and heel pain conditions have medical solutions that resolve foot pain completely. Some chronic conditions require ongoing treatment and management, but our overall goal for all of our patients is for them to live a full life with healthy, pain-free feet.
What can I expect from a visit to my podiatrist?
Making an appointment is as easy as calling our office. We can schedule a time that works for you and go over any initial questions about your concerns. At the office, you will fill out a small amount of paperwork regarding your insurance and medical history before seeing the doctor. In the exam room, one of our two podiatrists will review your medical history, ask you some questions about your current pain, and conduct a physical examination. From there, we can better understand what other tests may be needed to help diagnose and resolve your issue.
Is my foot pain treatment covered by health insurance?
Whether or not your treatment is covered depends on the specific coverage parameters of your health insurance policy, as well as whether or not your insurer is within our network. Generally, most insurance plans do not cover cosmetic services or over-the-counter convenience items (for example, Biofreeze, Coban, Lyncos, and Mycomist). We can help you determine coverage before any visits or treatments.