My Heel Pain Isn’t Getting Better. Now What?
Truth be told, most cases of heel pain out there tend to be relatively minor, and thankfully temporary. You notice some discomfort, so you take a few days to put your feet up and rest. Maybe you find yourself a pair of more comfortable shoes. Within a week, maybe two, you feel a lot better.
If that describes your situation, congratulations! This blog, however, is not for you.
Because, while most cases of heel pain are minor and easy to resolve, some just plain aren’t. They stick around. They keep coming back. They hurt a lot—as in, enough to keep you away from the things you love to do.
What do you do when you’ve tried resting, you’ve tried stretching, you’ve tried new shoes or gel insoles, maybe you’ve even been to your doctor, and nothing seems to work—at least not for long?
Our suggestion: Give Canyon Foot & Ankle a call. We know how you feel, and we’ve worked hard to provide our patients with advanced treatments and a solution-focused approach. Even if you feel very discouraged, or you’ve had bad pain for a long time, there is a great chance we can help you.
First, a Thorough Evaluation
If your current attempts at treatment aren’t working, it’s possible that your initial diagnosis (whether this was informally made, or perhaps even made by a prior physician) was not correct. And if the diagnosis was wrong, it’s likely that attempts to treat it will not be fully effective.
So regardless of how sure you think you are about your condition—or what you’ve previously been told—we’ll always perform a very careful and thorough review of your situation. That involves talking with you about your symptoms and history—and actually listening to what you tell us. It will also involve a physical examination, and possibly additional diagnostic testing as needed.
Once we’re confident we have the right diagnosis and all the information we need, we can then begin to tailor a customized treatment plan just for you.
What Advanced Treatments Can Canyon Foot & Ankle Offer?
This is a natural question to ask, of course—especially if previous treatments have already failed. The last thing you want is for a new doctor to try the same old treatments that already failed the last time.
Fortunately, we’ve stepped up our game and work hard to offer our patients advanced therapies and treatments that you aren’t going to find in most podiatric clinics. You don’t need to drive to Boise or Salt Lake City to get state-of-the-art care—you can find it right here.
Some of the options we offer include:
MLS Laser Therapy
Cold lasers have been used to help ease pain and inflammation for a couple of decades, but there was always a trade-off between safety and effectiveness. Not anymore.
The MLS laser we use in our office is a huge step forward from these older technologies. A pair of synchronized therapeutic lasers are used not just to ease pain and inflammation, but to kickstart and accelerate the natural healing processes (cellular metabolism, blood vessel formation, oxygenation, etc.) already going on in your body.
The laser can penetrate deep into injured tissues (even bone), but doesn’t hurt and won’t damage healthy tissue in any way. Time and time again, we have seen this treatment bring incredible relief to people who have been suffering from chronic pain for months or even years.
Multiple laser treatment sessions will be scheduled, probably once or twice per week for at least a few weeks. The sessions are short (usually less than 30 minutes) and the effects are cumulative. Although the pace of results vary from person to person, it’s not uncommon to start noticing a big difference as early as the second or third session, with things just getting better and better from there.
Earlier in 2019 we wrote a handy FAQ answering some of our most frequent questions about the MLS laser; feel free to check that out for more information.
Truly Modern Custom Orthotics
Almost any podiatrist can fit you for custom orthotics, of course. But here’s the unfortunate truth: not all custom orthotics are created equal. Many are based on out-of-date research and feature bulky or suboptimal materials. They may not provide the functional biomechanical correction you truly need.
Now, having said that, not all cases of heel pain require custom orthotics. In fact, a high-quality set of prefabricated orthotics (which we also carry and provide in-office) will do the trick for the majority of patients.
But then again, this blog isn’t for “the majority of patients.” It’s for those who aren’t getting the relief they need from the basic approaches. And if your prefabs aren’t cutting it—and you truly need a custom option—you definitely want to make sure you’re getting the best.
Most podiatrists use a standing foam box method to fit orthotics, which can produce less-than-optimal results. By contrast, we use a non-weightbearing 3D scanning system. This allows us to get extremely precise measurements of your feet while they are perfectly positioned in a biomechanically optimal alignment.
Furthermore, most of the orthotics we prescribe are made from high-quality graphite. This offers numerous advantages over alternatives made from plastic or other materials:
- Rigid enough for optimal arch support, yet flexible and soft enough to conform and move comfortably with your feet.
- Extremely thin and lightweight, and compatible with almost any pair of shoes.
- Highly durable, with a very long lifespan for a custom orthotic (often around 10 years). They also tend not to require adjustments as frequently.
As we said, not every case will require an advanced solution like MLS laser therapy or sophisticated custom orthotics. For some people, rest, physical therapy, prefabricated inserts, a few new pairs of shoes, and other simpler and more traditional techniques will be more than enough.
And yes, even if you’ve been suffering for a long time, we’ll consider these options instead of or in addition to more advanced therapies; especially if you haven’t attempted them yet. Ultimately what we want is for you to get rid of your heel pain one way or another, and the simpler we can make that process for you, the better.
But we do want you to know that, even if you have one of the toughest and most stubborn cases of heel pain out there, nobody in the Magic Valley is better equipped to make sure you get the relief you need—whatever it takes
If you’re at your wit’s end with heel pain you just can’t shake, please reach out to us online or give one of our offices a call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pilling.
- Twin Falls: (208) 733-0436
- Burley: (208) 678-2727