Answers to Questions About Getting Foot and Ankle Care
Want fast answers to your top questions about foot and ankle problems? Farmingdale podiatrist Dr. Gasparini gives you the answers you need to get back on your feet again.
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How might a heel lift help with foot and heel pain?
Just to clarify, we are referring here to an insert placed within a shoe to raise the heel. We are not talking about heel lift exercises, although those certainly have their uses, too.
The use of heel lifts can be especially helpful for patients whose heel pain is the result of excess strain caused by tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons. The lower the heel, the more these tissues may be forced to stretch and strain against the heel. This, in turn, can contribute to painful problems such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.
Heel lifts help accommodate this condition by lessening stress caused by the pull of the Achilles and calves. When used individually or in conjunction with additional conditioning measures such as stretching, heel lifts can significantly lessen discomfort and reduce injury risk.If you are seeking help for persistent heel or foot pain, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us.
How does Stopain relief gel work? What can it be used for?
Stopain gel is a widely trusted form of pain relief that is often used in clinical and athletic capacities. This product is available for purchase at our practice.
Stopain has menthol as an active ingredient, which causes an intense cooling sensation against the skin when applied. This sensation activates a “cold” response in local nerves, which causes the body to respond by blocking pain signals, reducing inflammation, and increasing circulation to the area. Compared to Biofreeze, another popular menthol-based pain-relieving gel, Stopain has a much stronger concentration of menthol and can often provide more dramatic pain relief for a longer period of time.
Typical usage of Stopain requires rubbing a thin layer of the gel over a painful area several times per day – with a recommended maximum of four times. The effects of the gel penetrate deep into the tissue without having to massage it in (but you’re more than welcome to do so if you wish).
We might recommend Stopain for conditions including Achilles tendinitis, bursitis, neuromas, gout, and other causes of foot and ankle pain. Sometimes we may recommend it as part of a full plan that includes other methods of treatment. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about this product.
Can prefabricated shoe inserts help with Achilles tendon pain?
Prefabricated inserts have considerable potential to address certain causes of Achilles tendinopathy, and in some cases may provide comparable results to custom orthotics.
However, that does not mean simply going to the nearest store and picking your best guess off the shelf will have a good chance of providing the results you need! Even premade orthotic inserts must be chosen wisely to accommodate your specific mechanical needs. Not only that, but certain adjustments can make an enormous difference in their overall effectiveness.
That is why our practice carries a wide range of high-quality, medical-grade inserts that we may recommend for patients with certain treatment needs. We trust these inserts to provide optimal results compared to general store-bought brands, plus you have our expertise at hand when it comes to obtaining the best options for your lifestyle, activity level, and other factors.
And if your prefabricated inserts need to be adjusted or augmented to better help your Achilles-related heel pain (such as by adding a heel lift to further reduce strain), we are able to do so with the devices we carry. You almost never receive such options at the local pharmacy!
What can I do to prevent Achilles tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis tends to happen when you increase your activity level too quickly or intensely, have flat feet that excessively overpronate, wear ill-fitting shoes during activity, and having tight calf muscles. To prevent this injury, make sure you ease into exercise if you are just starting out. Always warm up properly, and if you are a runner, limit hill running which puts excessive stress on the Achilles. Wear well-fitting shoes with good cushioning and a firm arch support. Stretch your Achilles tendon and calf muscles every day so they stay flexible, and focus on strengthening them to help reduce the tension on your heel. Tendonitis stems from repeated stress, so mix up your exercise routine to include some low-impact days, or try swimming and cycling instead.
Finally, let us know right away if you have returning pain in your Achilles. We can put a stop to the progression of the injury and make sure you avoid even worse problems like a torn tendon. Contact Mark Gasparini, D.P.M in Bethpage, NY with any questions by calling (516) 804-9038.