The Foot And Ankle Center Blog

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When the snow starts to melt, birds begin to chirp, and flowers finally grow again, that can only mean one thing – goodbye, winter and hello, spring! Now’s the time to get out and be more active, but don’t run out the door just yet. Spring is the time of the year when plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, is most common. Want to protect your feet? Check out 4 ways to help avoid heel pain in the spring.

Walk Before You Run

It’s understandable to want to get out and be active as soon as the weather warms up in the Midwest. However, this can cause strain in your feet. According to Foot Health Facts, “sudden increased activity following several months of low or no activity can result in heel pain.” Start out slow when you get back to exercising by running shorter distances in less time. Build your way back up into a routine and continue from there without pain in your heels.

Stretch Ahead of Time

If you’ve been feeling a tightness in your calves already, a bit of heel pain may come next. That’s because muscles like the ones in your calves are working hard each time you walk, run, or exercise. James Dunne of Kinetic Revolution shows three stretches to fix your heel pain. Try to stretch your feet and legs twice a day to ensure flexibility.

Avoid Trading Support for Comfort

With the warmer months ahead, you can ditch the winter boots and thick socks to let your feet breathe a little. In order to avoid heel pain here, don’t ditch support for comfort too often. During this time of year, people are more likely to wear flip-flops or even go barefoot. By making sure there is support underneath your sole, there will be less risk for pain.

Running Shoes Over Tennis Shoes

The main difference between running shoes and tennis shoes is that running shoes are designed for forward movement and have padding to protect the ankles. Tennis shoes don’t protect your ankles, as they were designed for side-to-side movement. Make an investment in the type of shoe that was designed for the activity you’re planning to participate in. This will have a positive effect on your feet’s health overall.

Feet are coming out whether you like it or not – like daisies! But if you’re having difficulty enjoying the spring because of heel pain, don’t wait for it to get worse. Stop by the Foot & Ankle Center today and speak with one of our friendly doctors.


When you experience heel pain, it can easily put your whole life on hold. Exercising or engaging in fun activities can come to a standstill, and workdays can become unbearable. That’s why we take great pride in helping our patients overcome their pain!

We recently had the pleasure of helping one of our customers, Reverend John Bush, with his heel pain, which was caused by plantar fasciitis. As the Executive Director of Seminary Support at Concordia Seminary, John is on his feet all the time, especially since he works at a standing desk.

John BushJohn began noticing heel pain when he was walking on a concrete track at the YMCA in South County. At the time, he had no idea that it was the beginnings of plantar fasciitis. When the pain persisted for a few more days, his wife, who was a happy patient of ours, urged him to make an appointment with us. As soon as we saw John, we pinpointed the problem. We took x-rays of his foot and recommended orthotics, a temporary boot, cortisone shots, and exercises to help stretch the tendon.

“I didn’t wait long because I was in pain, and didn’t want to fool around with pain,” John said. “Their diagnosis and treatment plan were spot-on. They told me what to do to get better; I followed their instructions, and I got better in about a month.”

While John experiences mild pain every now and then, he self-treats it by using the exercises to stretch the tendon out, whether at work or at home. “I do know that if I get severe pain again, I would call and go back. They would fix me right up,” he added.

When it comes to heel pain, John said that it’s something you should tackle quickly and without hesitation. “I guess when you’re younger, you think you can tough it out, but it’s nothing to fool around with,” he said. “I would not hesitate to make an appointment with Foot and Ankle Center. They always treated me as a person and with respect, and I would recommend them to anyone.”

If you’re experiencing heel pain, take John’s advice (and ours) – don’t wait. Call us today at (314) 487-9300 or request an appointment with us online!

Orthotics refer to padding placed within a shoe to improve an improper walking pattern. These assist people when it comes to standing, walking, and running with minimal to no discomfort in their feet. Foot & Ankle Center orthotics can remedy a wide range of symptoms that other versions cannot. Here’s why you should choose digital orthotics instead of over-the-counter orthotics.

A Google Diagnosis

It’s easy to be an educated consumer in the world today with search engines like Google giving us every opportunity to find the answers to our questions. At the same time, there also is a paradox of choice with so many varying opinions out there. If our feet are hurting, we can type in “feet pain” and self-diagnose ourselves. The issue is that you put yourself at risk for causing further harm by not seeing a podiatrist to recommend digital or over-the-counter orthotics.

Digital Orthotics

Digital orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts. These are produced by scanning all aspects of a foot, which helps create a computerized 3D model. This model is then sent for design. Podiatrists have the ability to work with individuals and make sure that no two feet are treated the same for their digital orthotics.

Over-the-Counter Orthotics

Over-the-counter orthotics are pre-made shoe inserts that can be found almost any place that shoes are sold. These are produced by taking common foot patterns and estimating which people will need which version. This type of orthotics is a cheap and short-term solution when it comes to foot pain.

Three Categories of Digital Orthotics

The Foot and Ankle Center offers three different categories of digital orthotics that will help you determine what’s right for you:

  • Rigid Orthotics control function utilizing a plastic or carbon fiber body. These improve or eliminate strains, aches, and pains in the legs, thighs, and lower back.
  • Soft Orthotics absorb shock and increase balance while removing pressure from your feet. Made up of cushioned materials, these are powerful for diabetic and arthritic feet.
  • Semi-Rigid Orthotics provide balance from layers of soft and rigid materials. These help athletes and children with foot pain.

Quality Over Quantity

According to OrthoInfo (from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons), “Although custom orthoses are considerably more expensive than off-the-shelf devices, they last much longer and provide more support or correction.” While it is true that the cost of digital orthotics is higher than most over-the-counter products, you will always get what you pay for. Ask yourself if it’s worth it to continuously go to the store and purchase a product you’re not entirely sure will even work.

Stop by the Foot & Ankle Center today and speak with one of our friendly doctors to find out if digital orthotics are right for you!