Posts for category: Foot Health
Whether you suffer from chronic heel pain, are embarrassed by toenail fungus or were recently diagnosed with diabetes, you can benefit from visiting a professional podiatrist.
Podiatrists provide medical and surgical care for people suffering foot, ankle and lower leg problems such as corns, warts, bunions and sprains. Conditions which damage the feet, such as arthritis, diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, can also be diagnosed and treated by a podiatrist. Even back pain can be traced to your feet and relieved through proper evaluation and treatment by a skilled foot specialist.
Not all foot and ankle problems warrant an appointment with a podiatrist. In some cases, rest, ice or even a change in footwear is enough to reduce the pain and get you back on your feet. But when foot pain and discomfort cannot be resolved by home treatment, you need a professional’s care—someone who specializes in foot-related injuries and disorders.
When to Call Our Office
Feet are invariably the most ignored parts of the body. Too many people dismiss foot health until there is a serious, painful problem. Whenever a foot or ankle problem lasts for several days, contact your podiatrist. Other signs that indicate a worsening condition and warrant medical attention include:
- Foot discoloration
- Pain and swelling in one foot
- A foot sore or wound that doesn’t heal
How often you should visit a podiatrist depends on the individual. Regular appointments can help you better understand the stresses and strains put on your feet and lower legs on a daily basis. Long-term care and prevention are also extremely important for individuals with diabetes, as podiatrists help prevent ulcerations and loss of limb with early diagnosis and care.
Remember, foot pain should never be taken lightly. Always consult your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis of foot disorders.
Heel pain is one of the leading problems that sends patients to visit their podiatrist, and it’s no wonder. The relentless ache in the bottom of your foot or the sharp pain as you step out of bed in the morning is often enough to persuade even the most stubborn patient to make an appointment with his or her podiatrist.
Because there are many potential causes of heel pain, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, nerve damage or arthritis, it’s important to have your foot examined by a podiatrist with expert training in heel pain. Our practice will examine your foot, determine the underlying source of your heel pain, assess your symptoms, make a proper diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan based on your individual case. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent more serious problems.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, occurring when the thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that connects the heel to the toes becomes irritated and inflamed. When the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension, tissues of the fascia may tear or stretch, which leads to pain.
Faulty foot structures, such as flat feet or high arches, are common causes of plantar fasciitis. Non-supportive shoes and increased weight or strain may aggravate the condition as well.
Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Bottom of the heel pain
- Pain that intensifies after sitting for extended periods of time and subsides after a few minutes of walking
- Pain that worsens over a period of months
Most types of heel pain, once properly diagnosed, can be successfully treated with conservative measures, such as use of anti-inflammatory medications and ice, rest, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, footwear modifications and physical therapy. The longer heel pain is allowed to progress, the longer treatment can take. When plantar fasciitis doesn’t respond to conservative care, your podiatrist may recommend surgery as a last resort. Always seek care from our office for heel pain in its earliest stages for proper treatment.
When foot problems don’t respond to conservative treatments, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to relieve pain, correct a foot deformity or restore function in your foot and/or ankle.
Podiatric surgery is performed by board certified foot surgeons who specialize in surgery of the feet and ankles. An expert podiatrist can diagnose the cause of your foot pain and determine whether surgical intervention may be helpful for you based on factors such as type of procedure being performed, your age and medical history.
Our practice offers a variety of surgical procedures aimed at solving your lower extremity pains and deformities. Foot surgery is performed to treat many foot problems including:
- Heel pain
- Nail problems
Surgical treatment for foot and ankle problems can help you return to your active lifestyle while relieving pain and discomfort. Benefits of surgery include:
- Resolution of painful, chronic foot problems
- Increased mobility and ability to perform and participate in everyday activities
- Improved foot appearance
- Ability to wear a broader range of footwear and walk more comfortably
Following surgery, your podiatrist will provide you with detailed instructions on caring for your foot/feet during recovery. Your podiatrist will work with you to ensure the foot heals normally and without complications for the best possible outcome.
When your feet hurt, your entire body hurts. At our practice, we do everything possible to get you back on your feet with the latest conservative treatments to resolve your problem without surgical intervention. And when conservative methods aren’t responsive, we can provide the highest quality of expert care for all foot and ankle conditions using the most current surgical techniques for shorter recovery times and an enhanced outcome.
Your feet are made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments and a vast network of tendons, nerves and blood vessels. Each of these parts works in harmony, enabling you to walk, run and jump normally and without pain.
But before jumping into a rigorous workout or fitness program that involves running, you may want to give your feet some extra attention, starting with a trip to your podiatrist. A professional podiatrist can properly examine your feet, detect potential problems, and provide tips for injury-free training and shoe selection.
Beginning runners are not the only ones who should see a podiatrist. Frequent runners should also pay their podiatrist a visit from time to time to check for any stress on the lower extremities brought on by repetitive force.
Common injuries experienced by runners include plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, Achilles tendonitis and stress fractures.
Helpful Tips for Preventing Injury
In addition to visiting our office, you can also prevent injuries that commonly occur during training and running by stretching properly, choosing appropriate footwear, and paying attention to pain or signs of an injury.
To prevent injury to your lower extremities, it’s important to stretch carefully before beginning any workout regimen. When muscles are properly warmed up and stretched, the risk for injury is greatly reduced. Appropriate stretches include stretching of the hamstring and wall push-ups.
Choose Proper Footwear
The type of shoe you should wear also plays an important role in your ability to run without pain and with optimal performance. The shoe that your foot requires will depend on your foot structure and function, your body type, and the type of running or workout regimen you are interested in. Your podiatrist may also prescribe an orthotic, or shoe insert, to alleviate any foot pain or anomalies.
Be Mindful of Injuries
Even with proper footwear and stretching, not all foot problems can be prevented. Whenever you experience pain, stop whatever workout you are doing and rest. As pain subsides, gradually increase exercise with caution. When pain persists, visit our office for a proper evaluation.
New joggers and seasoned runners alike should take the necessary steps to avoid injury to the lower limbs. Consult with your podiatrist before starting any new workout, and always seek professional care when pain or injury occurs.
When your feet aren’t working correctly, you may experience injuries and pain in other areas of the body, such as the knees, hips and back. Even the slightest changes from the norm, such as leg length discrepancies or fallen arches, can have a huge impact on your entire body’s ability to function properly without pain or injury.
If you’re an athlete, many sports-related injuries develop from poor biomechanics of the foot. Athletes with poor foot mechanics are more prone to sustaining lower extremity injuries. As your body tries to compensate for any anomalies, your muscles, joints and tendons are placed under excessive stress.
It’s important that athletes visit their podiatrist for a thorough assessment of their biomechanics at the first sign of a problem or pain, including foot discomfort, poor balance or unexplained corns and calluses. An assessment of your low limbs will help identify what happens in your legs and feet when you walk, stand and run. A professional evaluation is critical for successful prevention and treatment of any injury or condition.
Many sports injuries can be traced back to biomechanical problems, including:
Calluses and corns
Once our practice has identified the problem and cause of your pain, a tailor made treatment plan can be created to restore your lower extremities and feet to their normal function, thus improving your game. Treatment may involve one or more of the following:
Exercises and therapy to stretch or strengthen muscles
Orthotic devices are worn inside the shoe to control, realign or cushion the abnormalities, thus reducing discomfort
Don’t let poor foot biomechanics compromise your game. Whether you are a full-time athlete or a weekend warrior, your podiatrist can help you return to your favorite sporting activity. Not only will your performance improve, but you’ll significantly reduce your chance of injuring yourself again. So do the right thing for your body and contact your podiatrist today!