In most cases, surgery is a last resort to a problem. If non-surgical and surgical interventions will produce similar results, odds are the doctor is going to recommend the non-invasive route. In the end, it comes down to the wishes of the patient, but there’s really no need to open you up if physical therapy or an injection can provide long-term relief.
Recently, the Wall Street Journal ran an excellent profile on non-surgical interventions for common foot disorders. Today, we explain some of those techniques so you can alleviate your foot pain without getting on the operating table.
Non-Surgical Foot Pain Options
Below are a look at some common foot conditions, and how to treat them non-surgically.
Bunions – As noted in the Wall Street Journal piece, bunions can be caused by improper footwear and other foot deformities, like high arches or flat feet. Before going in for bunion surgery, some options to consider include:
Ultrasound guided injections
Shock wave therapy
Custom foot insoles
Switching to a wider shoe
Plantar Fasciitis – Plantar fasciitis is caused by the thickening of a band of tissues that connect the heel bone to the toes. Before going in for surgery, ask your doctor for specific physical therapy exercises you can perform to strengthen the tissue. Other remedies include shock wave therapy, custom insoles and anti-inflammatory medications.
Shin Splints – Shin splints are generally caused by overuse. For example, a runner can suffer from shin splints if they try to increase their distance to quickly in a short period of time, or if they run too many days in a row. One of the best ways to treat shin splints is to rest your legs if they start to hurt, and slowly increase your distance over time. Also, physical therapy and strength training exercises can help strengthen your legs.
Arthritic Big Toes – Although there is no cure for arthritis, patients can achieve some level of relief through a combination of physical therapy, range of motion exercises, injections and anti-inflammatory medications.
Heel Pain – Heel bruises are a painful condition that may be a sign of a more serious injury, but simple heel bruises are best handled with rest, heel-padded insoles and over-the-counter pain relievers.