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December 2021

Tuesday, 28 December 2021 00:00

Plantar Fasciitis Prevention

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot injuries and the most frequent cause of heel pain. This condition occurs when the plantar fascia, a ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed usually due to repetitive stress and overuse. When the plantar fascia is injured, you may feel a sharp, stabbing pain in your heel and have pain in the arch of the foot. The pain is often at its worst when you take your first few steps in the morning or after a long rest. Fortunately, plantar fasciitis is both treatable and preventable. To prevent plantar fasciitis, it is suggested that you wear comfortable, well-fitted, supportive shoes, rest your feet after a workout or after standing for an extended amount of time, and stretch your feet regularly. If you are suffering from heel pain, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist near you. 

 

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 InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 one of our offices located in Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, King, Greensboro, and Siler City, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Sunday, 26 December 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Morton’s neuroma occurs when the tissue surrounding a nerve in the toes thickens in response to the nerve becoming entrapped, or otherwise irritated. This usually occurs between the third and fourth toes, however, it can also occur between the second and third toes. Morton’s neuroma can cause a burning pain in the ball of the foot. People with this condition sometimes explain the pain they feel as walking on a pebble or having a bunched-up sock in the front of their shoe. The toes may also feel numb or tingling, and there may be difficulty walking. Wearing shoes that are too tight or that compress your toes may sometimes contribute to the formation of Morton’s neuroma. This can include ski boots and ballet slippers too. Other foot dysfunctions that squeeze or put pressure on the toes can be contributing factors, such as flat feet, bunions, hammertoes, and high arches. Certain repetitive sporting activities may also be responsible. If you ever experience any of the symptoms mentioned here, call a podiatrist. They will examine you and run diagnostics to rule out other possible conditions and create a treatment plan to relieve pain and treat the underlying thickened tissue and nerve compression.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, King, Greensboro, and Siler City, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What is Morton's Neuroma?
Tuesday, 14 December 2021 00:00

Scary Consequences of Wearing High Heels

If you often wear high heels, it is suggested that you switch to flatter, wider, and more comfortable shoes. Why? Frequently wearing high heels holds your feet into an unnatural position, forcing the balls of your feet to bear too much weight, squishing your toes together, and sometimes even changing the way that you walk. Some of the foot and ankle issues caused or made worse by wearing high heels include corns, calluses, hammertoes, bunions, Haglund’s deformity, blisters, nail problems, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, metatarsalgia, stress fractures, ankle injuries, and a tight Achilles tendon. If you are afflicted with any of these conditions, it is strongly advised that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, King, Greensboro, and Siler City, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet

When someone engages in regular physical activity, such as running, jumping, or other repetitive movements, this can stress the bones in the feet and lower legs. Over time, these repetitive movements and stress can lead to the development of tiny hairline cracks in the bones. These stress fractures can also develop when the type, duration, intensity, or frequency of physical activity occurs. Unlike more severe breaks due to acute trauma, which can cause immediate and intense pain, the pain from stress fractures can be duller and develop more gradually. Ballet dancers and athletes engaging in high impact sports such as basketball, tennis, track and field, soccer, and hockey are at greater risk of developing these microscopic fissures in their foot or lower leg bones. Along with a dull pain which intensifies during physical activity, there may be swelling, tenderness and bruising in the affected area. A podiatrist should be consulted if there is any pain in the feet or lower legs. They will perform an exam, test sensitivity to pressure in the affected area, and may use X-rays or bone scans to properly diagnose the issue. This professional assessment and care will not only help heal the stress fracture, but also prevent it from becoming a more severe break.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, King, Greensboro, and Siler City, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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