If you are experiencing heel pain, you are not alone. It is one of the most common podiatric issues facing patients today, and it can occur as a result of something as mundane as walking around all day in uncomfortable shoes or from something serious enough to be diagnosed, such as arthritis or a bone fracture. Dr. Arthur Kaplan, a podiatrist at NY Sports Podiatry in Port Washington, NY, offers a number of diagnostic and treatment options for heel pain and other common foot and ankle problems.
Heel Pain Diagnosis and Treatment
There are a number of possible causes for heel pain, and sometimes it's as simple as the fact that you have been wearing shoes that are uncomfortable or lack adequate support. However, the most common cause of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis, which is the result of micro-tearing to the large band of tissue that spans the length of the foot from the back of the heel to the base of the toes. Anyone can develop plantar fasciitis, but it is especially common in runners. Being obese or overweight can also put additional pressure on the heels and joints and increase the risk of strain and injuries to the feet and ankles.
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp, stabbing pain in the affected heel usually first thing in the morning during your first steps, or after long periods of sitting or resting. The pain is usually not consistent and can be worse after exercise, even if you don't feel any pain while working out or moving. Other potential causes of heel pain include:
- Bone spurs
Most cases of heel pain can typically be treated with conservative options like rest, supportive inserts, custom shoes, or physical therapy. However, it is important to seek medical attention for persistent and ongoing pain to get adequate treatment and prevent making the problem worse.
Find a Podiatrist in Port Washington, NY
To learn more about your heel pain prevention and treatment options, contact NY Sports Podiatry's Port Washington office by calling (516) 883-8313 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kaplan today!
What is a Crush Injury?
Have a foot crush injury? A crush injury occurs when pressure or force is put on a body part. A foot crush injury may cause pain, swelling, and sometimes bruising. A foot crush injury may take from a few days to a few weeks to heal. If you have a foot crush injury, you should see a podiatrist. Podiatrists diagnose and treat foot and ankle conditions and injuries. Read on to learn more about foot crush injuries.
Overview- A crush injury is an injury that occurs when a body part sustains intense pressure. Minor crush injuries can be caused by dropping a heavy object on a foot. However, major crush injuries, such as those sustained in vehicle accidents, can cause serious problems. Such an injury can cause a number of issues, including pain, swelling, bruising, bleeding, laceration, fracture, and nerve injury. A crush injury can also cause compartment syndrome, which is a dangerous condition caused by pressure buildup from swelling of tissues or internal bleeding.
Causes- The primary causes of foot crush injuries include heavy falling objects, vehicles rolling over the foot, and injuries from industrial manufacturing equipment. Crush injuries are common on farms. The most serious cases occur in agriculture where heavy machinery is used and people become trapped in them or under them. This form of injury is common after some form of trauma from a deliberate attack or following a natural disaster.
Diagnosis- A proper diagnosis is key to treating a foot crush injury. Your podiatrist can accurately assess your situation and help you make the right treatment decisions for the best possible outcome. Your doctor will start with a physical exam, with attention given to the areas of complaint. Your podiatrist may take X-rays and other forms of imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT).
Treatment- Firstly, any wounds that are present will need to be cleaned and bandaged to prevent infection. Treatments for a foot crush injury may also include medication, casting, kinesiology taping, ice and heat, physical therapy, or surgery. Often more than one of these treatments are used. Crush injuries of the foot are very serious. Potentially devastating complications can occur if these injuries are underestimated or mismanaged.
A foot crush injury can affect your day-to-day activities and make your life miserable. Whether your goal is getting back to the work, the gym, hobbies, or just enjoying life, a podiatrist can help. If you want to feel better and live well, find a podiatrist near you and schedule an appointment.
What is Sesamoiditis?
Sesamoids are small bones that are only connected to tendons or surrounded in muscle. This only appears in a few places in the body, one of which is the foot. Two very tiny sesamoids are found in the underside of the foot near the big toe. One is on the outer side of the foot and the other bone is close to the middle of the foot. This structure provides a smooth surface for the tendons to slide over, which helps the tendons move muscles. They help with weight bearing and also help to elevate the bones of the big toe. So now that you know what sesamoids are, you might be wondering what sesamoiditis is and what its symptoms are.
Just like any other bone, sesamoids can unfortunately fracture. The tendons surrounding the sesamoids may also become irritated or inflamed and this is what sesamoiditis is. Sesamoiditis is also a form of tendonitis and is a common condition among ballerinas, runners, and baseball catchers due to the pressure that is constantly placed on their feet.
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis may include:
Pain under the big toe or ball of the foot
Swelling and/or bruising
Difficulty in bending and straightening the big toe
Resting and stopping any activity that could be causing pain and inflammation
Anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and aspirin only after consulting your physician
Icing the sole of the foot
Wearing soft-soled and low-heeled shoes
Cushioning inserts in the shoes
If symptoms persist after treatments, you may need to wear a removable brace for 4-6 weeks to help the bones heal. Call your podiatrist today to ask any questions about sesamoiditis and get on your way to pain-free feet once again!
Treating toenail fungus
Toenail fungus--it's one of the most common podiatric problems children, teens, and adults have. Causing thickened, yellow, brittle nails, onychomycosis (the medical name for toenail fungus) spreads easily and can be stubborn to treat. If you see one or more of your toenails changing shape, color, and texture, see your foot doctor right away. They have the expertise and treatments to give you ten clear toenails once again.
How toenail fungus starts
The micro-organism thrives in dark, moist environments--sweaty socks and sneakers being prime candidates. Additionally, shared towels, nail clippers, shower room floors, and pool decks breed toenail and Athlete's Foot fungus. In fact, if you suffer periodic outbreaks of itchy, uncomfortable Athlete's Foot, you're more prone to onychomycosis, says the American Academy of Dermatology.
Conquering toenail fungus
Your foot doctor sees scores of patients with toenail fungus. Visual inspection is the main diagnostic tool, and for mild cases of onychomycosis, the podiatrist may recommend creams or ointments applied topically. Oral medications are an option as well.
Additionally, modern podiatry offers innovative laser treatments which kill the micro-organism right where it lives. Painless and very effective, laser treatments are applied to all ten toenails to prevent re-infection.
Unfortunately, toenail fungal infections can become quite severe and spread to the nail bed. When infection is severe, the podiatrist may advise complete removal of the toenail to prevent further problems.
Prevention is best
Of course, if you can avoid toenail fungus, your feet and nails will look and feel their best, and you won't be embarrassed to wear open-toed shoes or sandals in the warm weather. However, some people are more prone to this common infection--diabetics, those with poor peripheral circulation and individuals who are immunosuppressed.
Regardless, your podiatrist recommends these preventive measures for healthy, fungus-free nails:
- Wash your feet with soap and water daily, and dry them with a clean towel.
- Clip your toenails straight across with a clean clippers.
- Wear clean socks daily.
- Change your gym shoes after a workout. In fact, alternate pairs if possible, letting your footwear dry out between wearings.
- Wear flip-flops or shower sandals in the locker room and poolside, too.
Figure out What’s Causing Your Foot Problems and Get Back to What Matters.
If you put your foot through daily abuse, as many of us do when we wear high heels or worn out tennis shoes, then it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that at some point you may experience heel pain. No matter if the pain is mild or severe, chances are good that you may need to visit our Port Washington, NY, podiatrist, Dr. Arthur Kaplan, to figure out what’s going on.
What Are the Causes of Heel Pain?
While there are many injuries or conditions that can lead to heel pain, more often than not it’s caused by one of these issues:
- Plantar fasciitis (the number one cause)
- Achilles tendonitis
- Sprains and strains
- Heel spur
Both plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis are the results of overuse and lead to inflammation in different areas of the foot. The location of the pain can give you insight into what’s causing your heel pain, as pain that lies under the heel is often caused by plantar fasciitis, while pain above the heel bone is usually the result of Achilles tendonitis. These conditions are common in runners and other athletes.
How Is Heel Pain Treated?
Heel pain can usually be managed with simple at-home care and rest. The most important thing you can do is to avoid high-impact activities such as running and to rest your feet as much as possible until the pain goes away. Even once the pain goes away, you’ll want to slowly get back into your daily activities and regular workout routine to make sure that you don’t cause another flare-up.
Other ways to manage your symptoms until the inflammation goes away include:
- Taking non-steroidal pain relievers to temporarily get rid of pain and swelling
- Stretching the foot and performing therapeutic foot exercises every day
- Wearing a brace or splint to bed to support the foot
- Wearing custom orthotics and properly fitted, supportive footwear
When Should I See a Doctor?
If your heel pain is severe or if you can’t put weight on the heel, it’s important that you visit our foot doctor in Port Washington, NY, as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
Of course, if you are dealing with heel pain that doesn’t seem to be easing up or responding to at-home care either, then you should visit the experts at NY Sports Podiatry in Port Washington, NY, as well. Call us today at (516) 883-8313 to see how we can help!
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