Foot And Ankle News

What are Orthotics?

Corrective inserts that are designed to be used in shoes are often referred to as orthotics. There are several benefits to using orthotics, including providing comfort, stability, and additional support that the foot may need. They are typically used to correct certain foot abnormalities, including high arches, flat feet, or foot structures that may originate from a predisposed inherited gene. They are generally constructed of materials designed for the specific foot issue, which may be a high arch or specific heel injuries. If you have foot pain, there is a chance that orthotics may work for you. A podiatrist will be able to ascertain if orthotics are needed for your foot condition.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain, but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Marrero, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Why Are Foot Stretches Important?

The importance of properly stretching the feet aids in the body’s ability to maintain balance. Additional benefits include developing flexibility and limber muscles, which can possibly help one avoid Achilles tendon injuries and heel pain. As the feet become stronger, the likelihood of pain in the arches and tears in the tendons will diminish. Pointing and flexing the feet is a simple yet effective stretch for the entire foot, which allows the ankles to strengthen. When pointing your toes, it’s suggested to strive for a feeling of the top of the arch becoming longer, which results in toe movement from the muscles that are stretched under the arch. If you would like additional information about the importance of proper foot stretches and techniques, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with one of our podiatrists  from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Marrero, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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What Causes Hammertoe?

The foot may appear deformed if a condition known as hammertoe occurs. When the toes bend at the joint and the top of the toe bends down, a claw-like or hammer formation is apparent. This is possibly caused by a predisposed inherited gene originating from having little or no arch in the foot, or if the second toe exceeds the length of the first toe. Additional causes of this condition may be attributed to shoes that fit poorly, often crowding the toes into a space that is extremely small. There are symptoms that are easily noticed that are associated with hammertoes, such as observing if your toe is curling, in addition to experiencing discomfort and pain when the toes are stretched. Possible prevention of this aliment may include choosing to wear the correct shoes that provide adequate room for the toes, and avoiding shoes that are too short or tight. Treatment is necessary to lessen the discomfort, which may typically consist of exercises being performed that can aid in strengthening the tendons in the toes, or stabilizing the toe by applying a splint. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised if you would like additional information and treatment options for hammertoe.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Marrero, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Are the Feet Affected by Obesity?

Recent research has suggested there’s a strong connection between obesity and medical concerns involving the feet and ankles. Typically, the additional weight may alter the structure of the foot, allowing ailments such as plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, and fallen arches to occur. These conditions affect the feet, which can hinder the daily routine and activities. Additional consequences may include the onset of type 2 diabetes, which affects the ability to heal properly. Neuropathy may develop, which is the inability to feel pain due to nerve damage occurring, and any cuts in the skin may take longer to heal. If you are suffering from any of these ailments please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for any foot conditions that need to be addressed.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Marrero, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

The tarsal tunnel is a canal that exists between the ligaments that spans across the foot and a portion of the ankle bone. The nerves and tendons that are inside this tunnel allow mobility and enable the foot to easily point and flex. If a specific nerve called the tibial nerve inside this canal should become compressed, typically resulting from an injury, this condition is referred to as tarsal tunnel syndrome. Having flat feet is a possible reason for this condition, causing the tibial nerve to become strained. Certain health issues, such as arthritis and diabetes, may also cause the nerve to endure swelling and increased pressure. The nerve must be allowed to heal properly, and this may be accomplished by wearing a brace or supportive shoes. The discomfort that is experienced may be indicative of other foot-related conditions, so it’s advised to consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
– Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
– Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
– At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
– Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
– The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
– If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Marrero, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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A Common Injury Among Tennis Players

A common ailment that many tennis players are affected by are ankle sprains. The ligaments on the outside of the foot are weaker than those on the inside and may have difficulty in protecting the ankle if it should turn inward. You may have trouble differentiating between a sprain and a break, and it often becomes necessary to have an X-ray performed. Common symptoms may include severe pain and swelling, in addition to discoloration of the skin. Resting the foot is an important first step in healing from this injury, in addition to ceasing all activities including walking. The swelling will subside when the the foot is elevated and will generally feel better. After the recovery period begins, performing certain exercises will help the ankle to become stronger, and the tennis games can resume.  One way to possibly prevent this injury is to wear proper footwear while playing tennis.  Specifically, tennis shoes are designed in a way to prevent injuries.  It would be advised to purchase a pair before partaking in the sport.  If you think you may have sprained your ankle during a game of tennis or have any questions or concerns, scheduling an appointment with a podiatrist is advised.

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Marrero, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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A Common Injury Among Tennis Players

A common ailment that many tennis players are affected by are ankle sprains. The ligaments on the outside of the foot are weaker than those on the inside and may have difficulty in protecting the ankle if it should turn inward. You may have trouble differentiating between a sprain and a break, and it often becomes necessary to have an X-ray performed. Common symptoms may include severe pain and swelling, in addition to discoloration of the skin. Resting the foot is an important first step in healing from this injury, in addition to ceasing all activities including walking. The swelling will subside when the the foot is elevated and will generally feel better. After the recovery period begins, performing certain exercises will help the ankle to become stronger, and the tennis games can resume.  One way to possibly prevent this injury is to wear proper footwear while playing tennis.  Specifically, tennis shoes are designed in a way to prevent injuries.  It would be advised to purchase a pair before partaking in the sport.  If you think you may have sprained your ankle during a game of tennis or have any questions or concerns, scheduling an appointment with a podiatrist is advised.     

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Marrero, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Causes and Symptoms of Gout

If the joint in the big toe becomes red, inflamed, and painful, you may be suffering from a condition referred to as gout. It typically affects men over the age of 40 and can lead to serious health issues, such as kidney disease, if left untreated. There are numerous factors for people to suffer from gout, which may include a predisposed inherited gene, extreme amounts of alcohol being ingested on a regular basis, or taking certain medications. Gout is not easily overlooked, because the symptoms develop rapidly and may be severe. The joint will be tender and swollen, and the skin may feel hot and inflamed. Treatment options will include taking medicine to reduce the inflammation. Additionally, it may be beneficial to consider certain lifestyle changes to prevent further attacks from occurring. Please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for a proper evaluation and the treatment options for you.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from the Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Marrero, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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The Right Shoes For Sports

Shoes for Sports

Avoid Pain & Raise Your Game

Sport-specific shoes can really affect the way you play. Make sure to have your feet professionally measured by today’s podiatrist to find a correctly sized shoe. If you participate in a certain sport at least two to three times a week, you should wear a sport-specific shoe.

Avoid some serious pain and raise your game by checking out the best shoes for several sports below:

Basketball

Common foot injuries: sprains, tendinitis, stress fractures

The perfect basketball shoe should:
• Have a thick, stiff sole that gives support while running and landing jumps.
• Have high ankle construction that supports the ankle during quick changes in direction.

Soccer

Common foot injuries: ankle sprains, turf toe, ingrown toenails

The perfect soccer cleat should:
• Not have more than a half inch of space between the big toe and the end of the shoe.
• Feature the stud type for the ground that will be played on most often: soft, hard, or firm.

Football & Lacrosse

Common foot injuries: turf toe, Achilles tendinitis

The perfect football cleat should:
• Have a good amount of high ankle support. This is especially important for linemen and other players who make frequent sideways movements during play.
• Allow for proper traction on a grassy field, in both wet and dry conditions. This will largely help to prevent injury.

Running

Common foot injuries: plantar fasciitis, shin splints, Morton’s neuroma

The perfect running shoe should:
• Provide maximum shock absorption, to help runners avoid ailments.
• Match your foot’s arch type (high, medium, low).

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Man with Diabetes checking his feet

Diabetic Foot Care Tips

12 STEPS TO HEALTHIER, HAPPIER FEET

Foot problems associated with diabetes are a signifcant portion of the health risk and cost. Here are 12 steps to healthier, happier feet!

Take care of your diabetes

Make healthy lifestyle choices to keep your blood glucose (sugar), blood pressure and cholesterol close to normal. Doing so may help prevent or delay diabetes-related foot problems.

Check your feet every day

You may have serious foot problems without feeling pain. Check your feet for cuts, sores, swelling and infected toenails every day.

Wash your feet every day

Wash your feet in warm water. Do not soak your feet because your skin will get dry. When you’re done, dry well, especially between your toes. Use talcum powder or cornstarch to keep the skin between your toes dry.

Keep your skin soft & smooth

Rub a thin coat of skin lotion or cream on the tops and bottoms of your feet. Do not moisturize between your toes, as this could trap moisture and lead to further skin problems.

Smooth corns & calluses gently

If you have corns or calluses, check with your doctor or podiatrist about the best way to care for them. If they tell you to, use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses after bathing. Rub gently in only one direction to avoid tearing the skin.

Trim your toenails each week

Trim your toenails with clippers after you wash and dry your feet. Trim toenails straight across and smooth them with an emery board or nail file. Don’t cut the corners of the toenails. You may ask your podiatrist to trim your toenails.

Wear shoes & socks at all times

Do not walk barefoot, even indoors, because it’s easy to step on something and hurt your feet. Always wear socks, stockings or nylons with your shoes to help avoid blisters and sores. Choose clean, lightly padded socks that fit well.

Protect your feet from hot & cold

Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement, and put sunscreen on the top of your feet to prevent sunburn. Wear socks at night if your feet are cold. Be sure to wear warm shoes or boots in cold weather

Keep the blood flowing to your feet

• Put your feet up when you’re sitting
• Wiggle your toes for five minutes two or three times per day
• Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time
• Don’t smoke. Smoking reduces blood flow to your feet
• Work with your health care team to control your diabetes

Be more active

Ask your doctor to help you plan a daily activity program that’s right for you. Walking, dancing, swimming and bicycling are good forms of exercise that are easy on the feet. Always include a warm-up and cool-down period, and wear athletic shoes that fit well and provide good support.

Be sure to ask your doctor

• Check the sense of feeling and pulses in your feet annually
• Tell you if you’re likely to have foot problems
• Show you how to care for your feet
• Refer you to a good podiatrist
• Decide if special shoes would help your feet stay healthy

Get started now

Begin taking good care of your feet today. Set a time every day to check your feet. Note the date of your next visit to the doctor. Most importantly, stick to your foot care program.

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