Items filtered by date: August 2022

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Common Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is thought to be the most common cause of heel pain. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain under the heel that also radiates into the arch and tenderness on the sole of the foot when it is touched. Another symptom is pain that is worse in the morning, wears off as the day progresses, but returns later. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs under the foot from the toes to the heels. Overuse from repetitive activity aggravates the plantar fascia and causes inflammation. It is common to athletes, dancers, runners, but also may be the result of poor foot biomechanics. Overpronation of the feet, when the foot rolls inward, increases pressure on the plantar fascia. High arches also contribute to this condition, because the foot is not able to properly cushion the force caused by an activity. Other causes of plantar fasciitis include shoes that offer little support or cushioning, carrying too much body weight, and tight calf and other leg muscles. If you have heel pain that matches the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, it is a good idea to see a podiatrist for a checkup and treatment options.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctors 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 Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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There are purine compounds that are naturally present in the body. Purines are also in certain foods, such as shellfish, red meat, beer, wine, and salt. When the body breaks down purines, uric acid is generated as a by-product. If the body cannot properly expel this uric acid, it can crystallize and collect in joints. This is known as gout—a form of arthritis. Gout can occur on any joint in the body, but it typically forms first on the joint of the big toe. Gout attacks, or flares, can occur suddenly, with intense symptoms such as extreme pain, redness, warmth, and swelling in the affected joint. Some believe that reducing your consumption of purine rich foods may help keep gout at bay. Gout is also believed to be hereditary. A podiatrist can diagnose gout by analyzing uric acid levels in your joint fluid and blood. Symptoms can be managed with anti-inflammatory medications and other treatments. If the gouty crystals on your joints are excessive, surgery may be an option to repair damage to your joints.


 

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. 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 Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 16 August 2022 00:00

Stretching Your Feet and Ankles

The feet and ankles are the foundation for stability and balance, and keeping them mobile and stable is imperative for proper functioning of the body. If we exercise our feet and ankles, we can help to prevent foot and ankle injuries and conditions. Strengthening and improving flexibility in the feet and ankles can provide a good foundation for stronger muscles and avoidance of pain. If overdone or pushed to discomfort, the opposite can happen. Exercise done wrong or pushed too far can create inflammation and torn tissues, which can restrict joint movement. Pain is an important sign to pay attention to when exercising the feet and ankles. It can let us know when we are doing something wrong or unsafe. One way of exercising the lower extremities is called Active Isolated Stretching, or AIS. This type of stretching focuses on active-assisted movements, where one moves into a stretch until the first sign of tension. With rhythmic, relaxed repetitions, there is increased blood flow and sedation of the nerves. For healthy feet and ankles, it is important to stretch the calves, ankles, and toes. As you practice exercising your feet and ankles, be gentle with yourself and ease into it. Never push so hard that you find you are holding your breath, and simply pay attention to how you feel. If you would like more information about proper exercise for your feet and ankles, consult with a podiatrist who is an expert in this area.

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 Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. 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 Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Having little or no arch in the foot can indicate flat feet. Flat feet can be observed while standing on the floor and checking to see if there is an arch present. People with this condition will see that their foot is lying flat against the floor with little or no space where the arch should be. Most babies are born with flat feet and the arch gradually develops at approximately age 10. Adults who have flat feet may have inherited them or have endured a foot injury. Additionally, there are existing medical conditions that can cause flat feet. These include arthritis, cerebral palsy, and spina bifida. People who are obese may notice they have acquired flat feet as a result of the weight the feet must bear. Some patients feel their weight is not distributed properly and the foot may roll inward. If you have flat feet, please consult with a podiatrist who may suggest wearing orthotics and can also show you how to perform specific exercises that can help with discomfort.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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

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Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

The Link Between Diabetes and Cracked Heels

Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, is a common and unsightly condition that negatively impacts the wellness of your feet. Simply put, this condition occurs when the skin surrounding the heel and bottom of the feet becomes exceedingly dry. This skin can crack, causing fissures. In many cases, this condition is harmless. However, cracked heels can be unattractive and, in severe cases, might lead to infection and swelling. If you are diabetic, you stand at an increased risk of suffering from cracked heels. This is because diabetes can make your feet dry and deprive the skin of necessary nutrients, making cracked heels more likely. Additionally, in some cases, diabetes can damage the nerves present in one’s feet, which can prevent sweat glands in the feet from releasing sweat. The deprivation of sweat can reduce the moisture in the feet, increasing the probability of the onset of cracked heels. Therefore, while cracked heels are not necessarily a sign of diabetes, diabetics can face an increased risk of suffering from this affliction. If you are a diabetic and want to protect yourself from cracked heels, consider contacting a podiatrist.


 

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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

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