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Treating Heel Pain Caused By Baxter’s Nerve Entrapment

A skilled foot and ankle specialist can work to pinpoint the source of your heel discomfort with the help of a physical exam. Dr. McDonald will begin by reviewing your medical history, asking you questions about your symptoms and onset of discomfort, and having you perform some simple movements and exercises. He may be able to provide a specific diagnosis at this point, or he may confirm his suspicions with the help of an imaging test. The most common imaging test to spot the presence of an issue with the Baxter’s nerve is an MRI or an ultrasound to get a closer look at the soft tissues in the area.

Your doctor will also work to understand the underlying cause of the nerve entrapment, because it’s imperative that the correct underlying treatment is pursued. Some common treatments based on your underlying cause include:

  • Footwear Changes/Custom Orthotics – If the nerve issue is being caused by a biomechanical problem in your foot, transitioning to a more supportive shoe or a custom orthotic built to your specific foot shape can greatly reduce nerve compression.
  • Physical Therapy – PT can help to strengthen and stabilize nearby areas that could be overstressed and contributing to inflammation onset.
  • Activity Modification – Resting your heel or staying away from high-impact activities can help swelling and inflammation resolve if an injury has led to nerve compression in the heel.
  • Ice/NSAIDs – Ice and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help inflammation resolve that is causing compression or irritation of the Baxter’s nerve.
  • Weight Loss – Losing weight can take pressure off your feet, your heels and the Baxter’s nerve, which can lead to symptom relief.

In rare instances where conservative treatment fails to provide relief, your doctor may be able to provide more hands-on care in the form of a corticosteroid injection or a minimally invasive surgical procedure. If surgery is needed, the doctor will typically either work to free the compressed nerve or use ablation techniques to permanently stop the nerve from relaying painful signals to the brain. Both techniques have a high rate of success, but surgery is usually only necessary in the most severe cases.

For more information about putting an end to heel pain that you’re experiencing, or to talk to a specialist about a different foot or ankle issue, reach out to Dr. McDonald and his team today at (860 244-8889.

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