Foot Pain Making You Take a Step Back?

Diagram of the foot showing plantar fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Foot pain targeted in your heel could be plantar fasciitis, caused by inflammation of the thick band of tissues connecting the heel bone to the toes.

Nicholas Wischmeier, MD, a CHI Health Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in foot and ankle surgery says he typically sees the the pain start in one foot, but can eventually lead to problems in both, and is usually worse in the morning or after someone has been off their feet for a while.

“One of the most common causes is tight muscles in the lower leg - especially the calf,” Dr. Wischmeier said. “Also injuries, obesity and inappropriate shoe wear.”

Plantar fasciitis can be managed at home or through a primary care physician, but surgery is an option if those attempts are unsuccessful.

Diagram of a foot showing a bunion.


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A bunion is a deformity of the big toe and can look almost as if you’ve grown a protruding bone.

“Contrary to popular belief, you actually haven’t grown anything,” Dr. Wischmeier said. “It’s the joints in your foot starting to become deformed, which causes the muscles of your foot to pull or realign the toe.”

About 70 percent of patients with bunions have some sort of family history. Other factors, like rheumatoid arthritis, can also play a role.

While bunions may not be pretty, Dr. Wischmeier only advises surgical repair if they’re causing you pain and at-home efforts aren’t helping. Best advice? Stay away from shoes that are tight around the toes.

A diagram showing a foot with a fallen arch.

Flat Feet & Fallen Arches

If the soles of your shoes are wearing down unevenly, or you have pain and swelling along the inside arch of your foot, you could have flat feet or fallen arches.

Michael Zimmerman, DPM, a CHI Health Podiatrist says early detection is key to slowing the progression.

“More than 75-80 percent of patients do well with conservative management,” Dr. Zimmerman said.

Flat feet or fallen arches typically happen in a person’s 40s or 50s when the tendon that helps hold up the foot stops working.

“This can change the way your joints are aligned and put more stress on your tendons and ligaments and cause arthritis to develop,” Dr. Zimmerman said.

In severe cases, surgical intervention can re-establish the arch or fuse the bones.

Nicholas K. Wischmeier, MD

Orthopedic Surgery - Foot and Ankle

Michael Zimmerman, DPM

Podiatry/Foot Surgery