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Monday, 25 September 2017 00:00

What to Do About Foot Pain

Foot pain can be a very debilitating condition to experience. First, however, it is important to figure out what is causing it. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Standing for long periods of time and overuse can cause the plantar fascia to become inflamed. Plantar fasciitis can affect anyone. Thankfully there are a number of treatments available for heel pain, with many of them being very easy to do. Keeping pressure off the feet, resting, and avoiding overuse can improve the condition of many who suffer from plantar fasciitis. Another method for treating heel pain includes buying a new pair of well-fitted shoes. Look for a pair that is not too tight or loose for your feet. Shoes should also have enough space in the toe box for your toes to wiggle around. Finally, look for a pair that is comfortable and that would be fine to wear for long periods of time. If you have heel or general foot pain that will not go away, see a podiatrist for a diagnosis and proper treatment.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Gary Prant of Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

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

Read more about Heel Pain
Monday, 18 September 2017 00:00

Everything to Know About Plantar Fasciitis

Many people who suffer from foot pain are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, but what is it? Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament in the heel. Symptoms consist of a stabbing or burning pain in the heel, which tends to worsen from overuse. Thankfully, it is a condition that can be treated. Typical causes of plantar fasciitis include repetitive movements from athletic activities, flat feet, obesity, age, and poor footwear. If you think you suffer from plantar fasciitis, see a podiatrist for a diagnosis. Treatment can include a simple change in footwear, orthotics, keeping pressure off the foot, and corticosteroids. Plantar fasciitis can be painful, but it is treatable with proper care.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Gary Prant  from Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Thursday, 07 September 2017 19:34

Heel Pain Needs More Than a Shot!

heel pain01Podiatry is a rapidly changing profession. The way things are treated now is sometimes very different than the way they were treated 20 or 30 years ago. And that’s part of the problem.

Sometimes it seems that in our zeal to embrace the latest innovations we have forgotten the basics of treatment that solved most things and served as the foundation of further extensive treatment. What am I talking about?

Lately I have had patients suffering from heel pain who have been to practitioners whose entire treatment consisted of  injections and oral anti-inflammatories. Occasionally a nightsplint or stretching would be recommended. These patients had never been taped and their shoes had not been evaluated. A few of them had rigid orthotics made which they all hated. One had an expensive injection of PRP which was not covered by insurance and had no effect.

Expecting these treatments to work is like asking a toddler to run a marathon! You have to go through the basics of learning to walk and run before you can run a marathon. I believe in using simple, basic treatments that address the underlying mechanical problem of heel pain before trying anything exotic.

We measure the tightness in the Achilles tendon. If the Achilles tendon is tight we emphasize stretching and a nightsplint.  We even ask if a person sleeps on their stomach because, believe it or not, that has an effect on the Achilles tendon. (I know from personal experience.) The structure of your foot and how you walk also has a major effect. Taping of the foot and shoe modification with soft orthotics as well as stretching of the Achilles tendon are some of the most basic and effective treatments for this problem. I believe that heel pain is primarily a (bio)mechanical problem and the mechanical problem must be addressed. There is no need to do more than simple mechanical treatments if those things work and the fact is that they work a high percentage of the time! If the simple things are not enough to cure the heel pain we have had tremendous success using low energy shock wave therapy. It is a noninvasive and inexpensive treatment with a high success rate.

It is important to embrace the new yet not forget the simple, effective, tried-and-true treatments!

Thursday, 07 September 2017 00:00

What are Bunions?

Hallux valgus, better known as bunions, is an enlargement of the inner portion of the joint at the base of the big toe. This can cause pain, tenderness, and redness near the big toe. Movement can worsen the pain, and overtime, the misalignment can become worse. Several conditions have been linked to bunions, with genetics playing a role as well. These include flat feet, obesity, abnormal bone structures, and overly flexible ligaments. Those of European descent are more likely to suffer from bunions. Shoes that aren’t wide enough and high heels can exacerbate bunions. While not all bunions require surgery, it is important to see a podiatrist first who can observe the severity of the deformation and provide treatment.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Gary Prant of Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

Read more about Bunions
Thursday, 07 September 2017 00:00

Giants Cornerback Eli Apple Sustains Ankle Injury

New York Giants Cornerback Eli Apple recently suffered an ankle injury. He sustained the injury during a very close-scoring Giants vs Jets preseason game. While the Giants came out on top, the second year player was left with an injury. Apple had previously injured his other ankle, which comes on top of a number of other afflictions and conditions that have left him on the sidelines for awhile. Giants coach Ben McAdoo is concerned with his condition and how long he’ll be out for. It is currently unknown how severe the injury is.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Dr. Gary Prant of Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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

Read more about Sports Related Foot And Ankle Injuries
Thursday, 07 September 2017 00:00

Picking the Right Footwear for Children

When it comes to picking the right shoes, children are much more different than adults. Children’s feet are still growing and developing compared to adult feet. With this in mind, it is important for parents to make sure that their children’s shoes properly fit them. If your child is having a growth spurt, they can quickly outgrow the shoes they wear even if they are relatively new. Children’s shoes should be flexible and have enough space for their toes to move around. They also need to provide good foot support and cushion for comfort. Shoes should be comfortable even after wearing them for hours. Finally, knowing when to wear the right shoe is vital. Sandals or flip-flops are fine for the beach but not for wearing all day. If your child plays sports, they need high performance shoes that can handle the stress. Parents should routinely check their children’s shoes to make sure they properly fit.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Gary Prant of Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
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