Heel Pain

Heel Pain Answers

Heel pain can stop people from doing the things they love. Even simple movements such as walking can prove to be a challenge when the heel hurts. Plantar fasciitis has often diagnosed the condition for those suffering from heel discomfort.

Plantar Fasciitis

There is a flat band of tissues called the plantar fascia that runs from the toe area to the heel. If it becomes inflamed or irritated, the heel pays the price. This tissue acts as a support for the arch and can be strained or torn, causing plantar fasciitis.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

A strained plantar fascia can damage the tissue causing pain. There are certain stresses that can be attributed to this condition such as:

  • High arches
  • Flat feet
  • Being overweight
  • Excessive pronation
  • Tight calf and Achilles tendons
  • Worn out shoes
  • Running or standing for long periods on a hard surface


The first symptom is the obvious pain that is located at the heel with a connection to the arch. The discomfort often increases over time and is more apparent when first standing. Swelling around the heel is a common occurrence.

The Next Step

A visit to the doctor is advised for a definitive diagnosis. Go prepared with a complete medical history and expect an extensive foot exam. They often use x-rays imaging modalities to diagnose the problem.

Beginning Treatments

Once a diagnosis has been made treatments can begin. The first line of defense should involve at home therapy that includes:

  • Stretching the calf muscles
  • Wearing shoes when walking
  • Icing the heel
  • Heel rest
  • Modification to shoes

Continued pain

The physician may recommend wearing pads, orthotics, therapy, a walking cast, or a night splint. Physical therapy, when combined with specific exercises, is used to help relieve pain. Injection therapy helps reduce inflammation and promotes healing.


Many people respond well to nonsurgical treatments but for those that do not, surgery is an option. The surgeon will go over possible options with the patient if the need arises.

Carolina Hand and Sports Medicine has a team of experts who get people back on track. They want each of their patients to experience a pain free lifestyle. Check out their website at http://www.carolinahand.com/ to discover a world where compassionate care and a love of life is the goal.

Trochanteric Bursitis

Trochanteric bursitis is the inflammation of the fluid sac, or bursa, that cushions the trochanter, or the outer part of the hip. It can cause mobility issues, and it is one of the most common causes of hip pain.


There are many causes of trochanteric bursitis. Some people develop the condition after a hip injury or surgery. Over time, overusing the joints in the hip with activities like climbing or running up flights of stairs can cause the bursa to become irritated or inflamed.

Incorrect posture is a common cause of trochanteric bursitis. Other conditions like scoliosis and arthritis can affect posture, so individuals with these conditions are at a greater risk of developing hip problems.

Sometimes, the condition occurs as a result of abnormal joint or bone positions in the legs or hips. For example, individuals with two different leg lengths may put more stress or pressure on the area around the bursa, causing it to become inflamed.


Most of the symptoms of trochanteric bursitis are pain-related. Many people with the condition experience pain when:

  • Walking up stairs
  • Sitting cross-legged
  • Lying on the inflamed side
  • Getting out of a car or up from a chair

It also often feels painful to press on the affected side, and the pain may spread down to the thigh. Other common symptoms include limping, swelling, and redness in the affected area.


Depending on the severity of the pain, trochanteric bursitis can be treated at home or with help from a medical professional. Some effective home treatments include:

  • Ice packs applied to the hip
  • Rest
  • Over-the-counter pain medicines
  • Hip and lower back stretching exercises
  • Using a cane or crutches

If the pain is too severe and cannot be managed at home, doctors can provide corticosteroid injections that decrease pain and inflammation. If the condition causes difficulty walking or moving, physical therapy can help with mobility. In the most severe cases, surgery may be required to treat trochanteric bursitis.

If you want to find out which treatment option is right for you, then you can visit Carolina Hand and Sports Medicine. We will perform a thorough assessment and determine the right treatment for you. More information can be found at www.carolinahand.com

Hamstring Strains

Hamstring strain is one of the most common injuries that faces athletes. It can occur in any sport, but an athlete is most likely to cause strain during activities like jumping, running, and sudden starts and stops.

What are the hamstrings?

The hamstrings are four muscles that run down the back of the thigh and help you bend your knee. A strain occurs when you overwork one or more of these muscles. In some cases, they may even tear.

Symptoms of a Hamstring Strain

Symptoms of a hamstring strain will depend on the extent of the injury. A mild strain will only cause mild pain or discomfort. A more severe strain, however, can cause the following symptoms:

• Severe pain in the back of the leg
• A snapping sensation (like snapping a rubber band)
• Tenderness
• Bruising

Causes of a Hamstring Strain

Hamstring strains are most commonly caused by not warming up before exercising. Other common causes are weak or tight muscles in the front or back of your legs, which put extra pressure on the hamstrings as it works to make up for the weaker muscles.

Treating Hamstring Strain

Fortunately, most hamstring strains heal on their own given time and proper treatment. This treatment includes:
Rest: Keep your weight off your leg until the pain eases.
Ice: Ice packs can help reduce pain and swelling. The general rule with applying ice to an injury is 20 minutes on the injury every 3 or 4 hours for the first couple of days.
Compression: A compression bandage can combat initial swelling.
Elevation: When sitting or lying down, elevate your leg on a pillow or a chair.
Anti-inflammatory medication: OTC medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) will target swelling and inflammation

Full recovery is when the pain has completely gone and your injured leg has the same level of strength and flexibility as your other leg.

Preventing Hamstring Strain

Since many strains are caused by tightness in the muscles, the most important thing you can do to prevent straining your hamstrings is warm up before exercise. During exercise, listen to your body—if something hurts, don’t continue.

To learn more about common sports injuries or to get treatment, visit Carolina Hand & Sports Medicine at http://www.carolinahand.com/.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is also referred to as adhesive capsulitis. This makes the shoulder stiff and difficult to move. It is estimated that two percent of the population suffers from this condition. Anyone can develop this condition. However, women who are between the ages of 40 and 60 are the most likely to develop this condition.

The Anatomy of the Shoulder

Your shoulder is made up of the humerus, scapula, and clavicle. The shoulder also has synovial fluid, which allows the joint to move.


Frozen shoulder occurs when the capsule thickens and becomes tight. This often occurs because there is not enough synovial fluid in the joint. The first stage of this condition is the freezing stage. It causes a person to experience pain and reduced range of motion. This typically lasts from six weeks to nine months.

The second stage is the frozen stage. The symptoms may begin to improve, but one still has the stiffness. It typically lasts four to six months. One may experience difficulty while performing daily activities.

The final stage is the thawing stage. Most of the stiffness is gone, and the range of motion returns. This stage typically lasts six months to two years.


The cause of frozen shoulder cannot always be identified. However, there are some conditions that can increase the risk of developing frozen shoulder. Diabetes, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism are some of the conditions that have been linked to frozen shoulder. This condition can also develop after the shoulder has been immobilized for a long time.


The doctor will perform an examination, which may include imaging tests. The physician may recommend physical therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. In some cases, surgery is recommended for patients who suffer from frozen shoulder. If you want to find out which treatment option is right for you, then you can visit Carolina Hand and Sports Medicine. We will perform a thorough assessment and determine the right treatment for you. More information can be found at www.carolinahand.com

Knee Injuries

Did you know that there are four main ligaments in your knees that can be at risk for injury? Since the knee joint lacks any interlocking bones, it depends completely on these strong, fibrous connectors to stabilize the knee and facilitate movement. This makes the knees more vulnerable to injury than other joints. As any veteran knee injury survivor can tell you, an insult to any one of these critical pieces of anatomy can make a serious dent in your daily activities. But with prompt and proper care, most knee ligament injuries can be resolved completely.

The four knee ligaments:

1. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL): A short ligament that runs crosswise inside the knee joint from the front of the tibia to the back of the femur. Along with the PCL, it assists in stabilizing forward and backward movements of the two bones.

2. The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL): Runs opposite of the ACL and joins the back of the tibia and the front of the femur.

3. The medial collateral ligament (MCL): Supports the outside of the knee joint on the inside of the leg, between the femur and the tibia. With the LCL, it prevents side to side movements and offers extra stability in case of a sideward blow to the knee.

4. The lateral collateral ligament (LCL): Found outside of the knee on the outer side of the leg, joining the femur and fibula.

For minor injuries, such as bruises or sprains, OTC pain medication, ice packs, a knee brace, and rest should allow the knee to heal. However, if you experience severe pain, swelling, or loss of knee function, seek medical attention immediately.

Soft tissue injuries are generally diagnosed by MRI or ultrasound imaging.

Treatment options include:

– Immobilization
– Physical therapy
– Arthroscopic surgeries for scarring or partial tearing
– Full ligament replacement surgery for complete tears or intractable injuries. These sometimes incorporate transplanted cadaver ligaments.

Prevention outweighs the cure with knee injuries. Be sure to keep the muscles of the upper and lower leg strong and flexible, and address minor injuries before they become more serious.