Your 10 Biggest Walking Pains, Solved

We all know that walking is the safest, easiest form of exercise, so why should you bother reading up on the risks?

Because left ignored, an innocent foot pain or leg pain can become a chronic problem. Each year, nearly 250,000 walkers are hobbled as a result of a walking-induced pain or a nagging old exercise injury that walking has aggravated. As bothersome as the initial problem can be, the real damage is what happens next. You stop exercising, misplace your motivation, and soon gain weight and lose muscle tone. To make sure a debilitating walking injury doesn’t prevent you from reaching your fitness and weight loss goals, we asked leading experts for advice on how to avoid aches and treat the 10 most common walking pains.

1. Plantar fasciitis
Feels like: Tenderness on your heel or bottom of foot

What it is: The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that runs from your heel bone to the ball of your foot. When this dual-purpose shock absorber and arch support is strained, small tears develop and the tissue stiffens as a protective response, causing foot pain. “Walkers can overwork the area when pounding the pavement, especially when you wear hard shoes on concrete, because there’s very little give as the foot lands,” says Teresa Schuemann, a physical therapist in Fort Collins, CO, and a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. Inflammation can also result from any abrupt change or increase in your normal walking routine. People with high arches or who walk on the insides of their feet (known as pronating) are particularly susceptible. You know you have plantar fasciitis if you feel pain in your heel or arch first thing in the morning, because the fascia stiffens during the night. If the problem is left untreated, it can cause a buildup of calcium, which may create a painful, bony growth around the heel known as a heel spur.

What to do about it: At the first sign of stiffness in the bottom of your foot, loosen up the tissue by doing this stretch: Sit with ankle of injured foot across opposite thigh. Pull toes toward shin with hand until you feel a stretch in arch. Run your opposite hand along sole of foot; you should feel a taut band of tissue. Do 10 stretches, holding each for 10 seconds. Then stand and massage your foot by rolling it on a golf ball or full water bottle.

To reduce pain, wear supportive shoes or sandals with a contoured footbed at all times. Choose walking shoes that are not too flexible in the middle. “They should be bendable at the ball but provide stiffness and support at the arch,” says Melinda Reiner, DPM, a podiatrist in Eugene, OR and former vice president of the American Association for Women Podiatrists. Off-the-shelf orthotic inserts (by Dr. Scholl’s or Vionic, for example) or a custom-made pair can help absorb some of the impact ofwalking, especially on hard surfaces. Until you can walk pain-free, stick to flat, stable, giving paths (such as a level dirt road) and avoid pavement, sand, and uneven ground that might cause too much flexing at the arch, says Phillip Ward, DPM, a podiatrist in Pinehurst, NC. If your plantar fasciitis worsens, ask a podiatrist to prescribe a night splint to stabilize your foot in a slightly flexed position, which will counteract tightening while you sleep.

To read about the other nine solutions click here.

If you are suffering from foot pain contact us today.

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes. Morton’s neuroma may feel as if you are standing on a pebble in your shoe or on a fold in your sock.

Morton’s neuroma involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes. This can cause a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. Your toes also may sting, burn or feel numb.

To read more click here.

If you are suffering from foot pain call us today.

Simple Steps That Help Diabetics Keep Their Feet Healthy

Diabetic Foot Care TipsA diabetes diagnosis can be daunting, but a simple attitude adjustment can make a world of difference in how well you fare while living with the disease. When people with diabetes take proactive steps to monitor key health indicators, experts agree that it’s possible to prevent some of the most severe risks of diabetes, including lower limb amputation.

People ages 20 and older who are living with diabetes account for about 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report.

“The CDC says the occurrence of diabetes-related foot and lower-leg amputation has decreased by 65 percent since 1996,” says Dr. Eric Steen, DPM, a podiatrist at Pro Active Podiatry and member of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “Working together, podiatrists and their patients with diabetes can reduce the number of amputations even more.”

To read more click here.

If you are suffering from foot pain call us today.

Image courtesy of  Tiverylucky /Freedigitalphotos.net

Get Rid of Foot Corns and Calluses Before Warm Weather Arrives

Warm weather is coming and your tootsies need to be in excellent condition to pull off the hottest looks. Unfortunately right now, they’re literally a train wreck waiting to happen. You’ve got foot corns and calluses, not to mention ratty cuticles and discolored nails.

What to do, what to do? We know, try these great podiatrist approved tips and get rid of those problems before the sun shines:

Soak your feet for 30 minutes then rub those softened calluses away with a sanitized pumice stone. Skip the callus shaver, metal rasp and acidic pads, especially if you have peripheral neuropathy. In the wrong hands, they have a tendency to be harsh on the skin and can cause nasty cuts as well as serious foot infections.

Before going to bed each night, treat your feet to a moisturizer. Slather one on and then cover your tootsies with clean, cotton socks. Otherwise, the moisturizer is apt to end up all over the bed sheets and your bedroom slippers not to mention the bathroom floor. Good choices are creams that contain vitamin E or non-acidic, prescription corn medications.

Reduce the amount of pressure on your feet as often as possible, even if it means buying some new things. After all, having healthy feet and feeling comfort are well worth the investment. Put gel floor pads down at work and change your footwear. Ask your podiatrist about shoes with built-in dells as well as moleskin, felt pads and orthotics.

Check yourself in the mirror and watch how you walk. Take steps to improve your posture and keep the weight placed onto your feet during everyday activities on an even keel. If necessary, see a specialist and ask about therapy that may improve your body’s mechanics overall.

Finally, consider having a licensed podiatrist remove the remaining foot corns and calluses for you. In 99.9% of the cases, this type of work is performed in podiatry offices and won’t keep people from resuming their normal activities. For information about making an appointment, please click here.

Don’t Let Foot Cramps and Charley Horses Slow You Down

You’re sound asleep, and then, without warning, you wake up with a paralyzing stiffness in your calf or foot.

Whether you call it a foot or leg cramp (aka “charley horse”), it’s a common, somewhat mysterious pain that happens when a muscle gets involuntarily stiff and can’t relax.

“They tend to happen more frequently as we age,” says sports and exercise medicine physician Kim Gladden, MD. “While they can be uncomfortable, they are rarely harmful.”

Here’s what causes these cramps, as well as tips to help prevent them.

To read more click here.

If you are suffering from foot pain please contact us today.

What Do You Want to Know About Sprains and Strains?

Sprains and strains are injuries to the body, often resulting from physical activity. These injuries are common and can range from minor to severe, depending on the incident. Most sprains and strains are minor and don’t require medical attention.

Sprains occur at joints and affect ligaments, which connect bone to bone. Strains affect muscles or tendons, which connect muscle to bone. They most often occur at the calf, thigh, or groin.

To read more click here.

If you are suffering from foot and ankle pain, contact us today.

Your feet support you, so support your feet

Diabetic Foot Care TipsEveryone has probably heard that stiletto heels are not good for your feet. High heels push the body’s weight to the front of the foot, causing unnatural stress on bones. But did you know that flip-flops and flimsy flats can also cause harm?

Too-flat shoes can exacterbate problems with low-arch feet, the most common type of foot, says Dr. James Vukonich, a physician and surgeon of the foot and ankle with the Blair Foot Clinic.

There are three types of feet: high arch, normal and low arch. Only about 20 percent of the population has feet classified as “normal.” Some people have high-arch feet. These are prone to supination — that is, rolling outward. Most people have low-arch feet, which are prone to pronation — rolling inward. Flat shoes that don’t offer the foot proper support can make this worse.

To read more click here.

If you are suffering from foot pain please contact us today.

Image courtesy of  Tivery Lucky / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You Walk Wrong

Walking is easy. It’s so easy that no one ever has to teach you how to do it. It’s so easy, in fact, that we often pair it with other easy activities—talking, chewing gum—and suggest that if you can’t do both simultaneously, you’re some sort of insensate clod. So you probably think you’ve got this walking thing pretty much nailed. As you stroll around the city, worrying about the economy, or the environment, or your next month’s rent, you might assume that the one thing you don’t need to worry about is the way in which you’re strolling around the city.

Well, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you: You walk wrong.

Look, it’s not your fault. It’s your shoes. Shoes are bad. I don’t just mean stiletto heels, or cowboy boots, or tottering espadrilles, or any of the other fairly obvious foot-torture devices into which we wincingly jam our feet. I mean all shoes. Shoes hurt your feet. They change how you walk. In fact, your feet—your poor, tender, abused, ignored, maligned, misunderstood feet—are getting trounced in a war that’s been raging for roughly a thousand years: the battle of shoes versus feet.

To read more click here.

If you are suffering from foot pain contact us today.

Ankle Sprain Study Released: Warning Issued to Women Who Love High-Heels

In May 2015, The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery® published a study that confirmed what podiatrists have known for decades. High-heel shoes may potentially cause wearers to experience ankle sprains as well as a cavalcade of other injuries. The study looked at foot and ankle injuries over a span of 10 years, starting with 2002. But one doesn’t have to go back that far to see what kind of damage wearing high-heels can do to the ankle.

In April 2015, high-heel wearing Britney Spears had a very public accident on stage. The video of her injury made its rounds on social media and in the mainstream media. So, many people got to see the unfortunate incident go down. In the end, she had to alter her tour schedule to accommodate what the media reports widely claimed was an ankle sprain.

When a woman sprains her ankle, doctors will assign the injury a grade. The grades run from one to three with three being the most severe. It often involves mid-section ruptures or separation of the ligament from the bone. Once the ligament ruptures or separates from the bone, the person must be immobilized and kept that way for an extended period of time.

If the ankle injury does not look like it will heal properly, scheduling surgical reconstruction or arthroscopy may be the next logical step. Oftentimes, when combined with physical therapy, it will completely reverse the damage. However, in some segments of the population full restoration of ankle movement may not be possible (e.g. elderly). The ultimate outcome of grade three ankle sprains all hinges on numerous factors. A podiatrist will typically review a patient’s case file prior to recommending surgery just in case.

Lower grade ankle sprains are treated differently, although rest and immobilization may be a part of the person’s care plan. Healing time is generally shorter and range-of-motion exercises are typically a central part of the plan. Anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed for painful ankle injuries as well. If you or a loved one experiences a high-heel related ankle sprain, please seek professional podiatry care right away.


Image courtesy of Marin/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What’s Causing Your Ankle Pain? Is It a Sprain, a Fracture– or Something Else?

At its mildest, ankle pain is uncomfortable. In its most severe cases, ankle pain can be debilitating, rendering the sufferer unable to walk. Most often, ankle pain is described as a dull, persistent ache that occurs when the ankles bear weight or when they are in motion. Ankle pain can occur in anyone, regardless of age or gender. However, it’s most common in athletes and men under the age of 24. In women, ankle pain is more prevalent over the age of 30.

What causes ankle pain?

Often, ankle pain occurs after a fall or sports injury. However, there are numerous other causes of ankle pain. A sprain is one of the most common causes. An ankle sprain results from injury to the ligaments that connect the ankle bones. If one of the bones in the ankle is fractured, ankle pain is often severe.

Sprains and fractures due to injury aren’t the only causes of ankle pain. Less common causes include gout, osteoarthritis, and even infection. In runners, a frequent cause of ankle pain is Achilles tendonitis. This occurs when the calf muscles at the back of the leg are overworked.

Diagnosing ankle pain

To determine the cause of your ankle pain, your podiatrist will begin by asking you questions: how long have you been in pain? What were you doing when the pain began? Then, your podiatrist will examine your ankle. Often, an X-ray is ordered to determine if there is a sprain or fracture. Sometimes, fluid is taken from the ankle joint to check for infection.

Treating ankle pain

The treatment plan for ankle pain depends on the underlying cause. Many cases of ankle pain are treated with rest and immobilization. You might be required to use crutches for several weeks. Your podiatrist might also suggest elevating your ankle when you’re at rest. Additionally, your podiatrist might also direct you to apply ice to your ankle a few times each day in an effort to reduce swelling. Compression bandages can also be used to reduce swelling. Anti-inflammatory medications might also be recommended to help with pain and swelling.

If you’re suffering from ankle pain that is not resolving, please contact us today to learn more.

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