If you are experiencing painful swelling in the back of your foot just above the heel, you may be suffering from Achilles Tendonitis. This troublesome condition affects the Achilles tendon, which is the strongest and largest tendon in the body and connects the leg to the foot as it stretches from the lower leg to the heel bone. This tendon is crucial to normal walking patterns as it allows the foot to rise up on the toes.
This condition typically develops gradually as the tendon inflammation and may include one or more of the following three stages:
- Peritenonitis – this stage is characterized by localized pain during or after activity
- Tendinosis – typically an asymptomatic stage that may result in a nodule, or know to swelling at the back of the leg
- Peritenonitis with tendinosis - this stage may lead to a rupture of the tendon and it is characterized by pain and swelling during and after activity.
As with all health conditions, Achilles tendonitis is best treated early in the development of the condition. If you are experiencing pain and/or swelling in this region, a consultation with our experienced podiatry professionals will give you the best chance for a full recovery.
Most often found on the inner foot near the big toe but sometimes located on the fifth toe, bunions are a painful yet common condition caused by inflammation of the bursa. Bursa resides in the connective tissues of the bodies and is essentially a small fluid filled sac. The inflammation and thickening of these sacs creates a problematic bone formation that forces the toe out of alignment and causes great discomfort.
If you are suffering from bunions, you are most likely familiar with the symptoms. Pain, redness and extreme sensitivity are to be expected as bunion growth progresses and the affected toe is pushed out of alignment. If allowed to progress, bunions can make it difficult to walk and eventually cause severe pain.
Bunions may be passed down from parents to children, which suggests that the shape and action of the foot may cause the condition. When proper alignment is not used while standing, walking and participating in athletics, the integrity of the feet may be compromised and pressure can build throughout the foot.
There are several viable treatment options available for bunions. Contact us today to begin the process of freeing yourself from the pain that comes with bunions.
The human body is amazing in its ability to protect itself from repeated pressure and stress. It is this adaptive tendency that creates calluses on the feet. Calluses are think patches of skin that develop when the foot is subjected to excessive friction and pressure. This skin forms a protective layer over the foot to make it less vulnerable to injury. However, the callus itself may eventually become a problem if not properly managed.
Often calluses are found on those who may spend a lot of time walking barefoot outdoors. Calluses can also form to compensate for improper foot alignment. They can become exceedingly rough and dry and in some cases the callus may start to crack. While smaller calluses may be unsightly, it is the rough and cracked skin that may become painful.
Calluses can be easily managed with a daily routine of exfoliation and moisturizing. There are many products available to make foot care easier, such as foot soaks, pumice stones and files. For those with severe or recurring problems, the occasional pedicure may be in order. Of course prevention is always the most effective form of treatment, so if you are experiencing calluses, take care to protect your feet and adjust your posture so your weight is distributed evenly across the entire foot. Contact us today to learn more about calluses and what you can do to manage them.
Flatfoot (Fallen Arches)
It is rare to find someone who walks with both feet in perfect alignment. Often we walk on the inside or outsides of our feet, or with our toes or heels rotated inward. These typical walking patterns can cause many problems not just with the feet but also for the whole body as the alignment of the feet sets the foundation for the whole body’s alignment. One of the most common effects of improper alignment is known as flatfoot, or fallen arches.
Also known as fallen arches, the condition of flat feet is characterized by a lack of appropriate arch in the inner foot. It can be a genetic condition or the result of improper body mechanics. Often the whole of the foot will contact the ground. Because a healthy foot is structurally able to support the weight of the body thanks to the bone structure that comprises the arch, a flat foot often is unable to properly support this weight and will cause extreme pressure in the joints above, such as the ankles, knees and hips.
If you have flat feet, you may also experience pain throughout the lower body and into the lower back. Orthotics can be prescribed to create a system of support for the body and surgery can also offer a more permanent solution. Contact us today to discuss which treatment option may be right for you.
Typically located on the ankle or top of the foot, but also occasionally formed elsewhere on the foot, ganglions are small fluid-filled swellings of the joint or tendon. They usually grow slowly, but can cause severe irritation when the size becomes too large.
Ganglions are usually caused by repeated irritation that weakens joint or tendon lining. If you wear boots or other restrictive footwear, you may be more susceptible to this condition. Individuals with bone spurs may also find that the pressure of these bony growths can cause ganglions as well.
The symptoms of this condition range from tingling and numbness to pain. These sensations are caused when ganglions come into contact with and put excessive pressure on nerves within the foot.
If you are concerned that you may have ganglions, it is important to seek the opinion of a professional, as the appearance of a ganglion is similar to that of a tumor. Treatment methods range from pads placed around the ganglion to reduce pressure, fluid removal, icing and surgery. Contact our podiatry professionals today to discuss your symptoms, obtain a comprehensive diagnosis and find the treatment option that is right for you.
Sometimes known as “pump bump” because of its prevalence among women who wear pump-style shoes, Haglund's deformity can occur in one or both of the feet. It is caused by a combination of genetic and external factors and can lead to discomfort and even pain in the back of the heel.
If you are suffering from Haglund's deformity you will most likely have noticed a bony enlargement at the back of the heel. This inflammation is caused when the soft tissue around the Achilles tendon becomes irritated. Irritation at this particular spot is often the result of pressure caused by the back of pump-style shoes. Other signs of Haglund's deformity include pain in the back of the heel, where the Achilles tendon and the heel meet, swelling in the back of the heel and redness or inflamed tissue at the site of the swelling.
Although surgery is an option, non-surgical treatment options are plentiful. Utilizing anti-inflammatory medication can reduce swelling and pain at the site of the problem. Ice can also be helpful in this way. Stretching, heel lifts and pads, shoe modification, physical therapy, orthotic devices and immobilization are all recommended for patients suffering from Haglund's deformity. Contact us today to lean which treatment options will work best for your particular foot condition.
Hallux Rigidus is a condition that affects the joint at the base of the big toe. If you suffer from this condition, you will notice pain and stiffness in the big toe. The symptoms often worsen while walking, running or performing other exercises and when the weather is cold or damp. Additionally, individuals with this condition may notice swelling and inflammation around the joint. If the condition worsens, the big toe joint may become painful when at rest and bone spurs may develop. Often to lessen the pain, sufferers will begin to limp or otherwise alter walking mechanics, which can lead to pain in the ankles, knees, hips and lower back.
Technically a form of degenerative arthritis, Hallux Rigidus can wear out the cartilage in the joint that it affects. It can be caused by improper alignment of the feet and genetic abnormalities in the foot structure. Treatments available for this condition include shoe modification, anti-inflammatory medication, orthotics, physical therapy and surgery. As with many foot problems, learning and practicing correct alignment is often helpful. Surgery is recommended as a last resort. Contact us today to determine which treatment option might work best for you.
Characterized by a bending of one or both joints of any but the big toe, hammertoe is a common podiatric issue. This condition causes difficulties wearing shoes, which often exacerbate the problem. If you suffer from hammertoes, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
Corns between toes or on the top, side or end of the toes. Corns are a buildup of skin caused by friction at the contact point between the toe and shoe.
Calluses on the bottom of toes or on the ball of the foot. Calluses are rough, dry patches of dead skin that has built up.
Pain or irritation when the toes come into contact with the shoe.
Hammertoes and their symptoms generally worsen over time, as the friction between the foot and footwear becomes more severe. If left untreated, they can become rigid and open sores may form. If you are suffering from this condition, it is important to seek help sooner rather than later as they will not heal without treatment of some kind. Treatment options include changing footwear, padding the corns and calluses that form, trimming the corns and calluses, custom orthotic footwear or devices, anti-inflammatory medications and splinting the affected toe. Surgery is recommended in some severe cases. Contact us today to discuss your hammertoe problem and we will begin finding a viable treatment option right away.
Heel pain is an extremely common and potentially disruptive affliction that has many possible causes, including stress fractures, arthritis, nerve irritation, cysts, tendonitis and most often, plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the tissue that connects the heel to the toes becomes inflamed. This inflammation causes pain on the bottom of the heel that can continue to grow in intensity over time.
You may be prone to developing this painful condition if the mechanics of your feet aren’t ideal, such as flat feet or excessively high arches, or if you have poor alignment in your feet that causes you to walk on the inner or outer edges of your feet. Overweight individuals may be more likely to develop plantar fasciitis and it can occur from spending hours on the feet in shoes that offer little or no support.
Treatment options for plantar fasciitis included an effective stretching regimen, icing, footwear modifications, anti-inflammatory medications and weigh reduction to lessen the impact on the feet. More severe cases may be treated with additional padding and orthotic devices, the use of a walking cast, night splints and physical therapy. If you are experiencing heel pain, visit with one of our podiatry specialists to learn if you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis.
If you are experiencing pain or inflammation in the ball of your foot, you may have metatarsalgia. This condition is especially prevalent in physically active individuals as it may be caused by repeat impact on the ball of the foot while running and jumping.
Symptoms you may experience from this condition can include:
•Sharp pain or dull ache just behind the toes on the ball of the foot.
•Pain that worsens while walking, running or jumping and improves when at rest.
•Numbness or pain in the toes.
•Pain in the feet that worsens when barefoot.
There is occasionally one singular cause for metatarsalgia, it is typically caused by several factors, including:
•Improper foot alignment
•Improper walking mechanics
•Unusual foot shape
•Intense training and activity
Often pain in the foot can be healed with a day or two of rest, some ice and over the counter pain medication. However, if your pain is severe or ongoing, it may be time to see a podiatrist. Other treatment options include modification of footwear or insoles, use of metatarsal pads and arch supports.
Contact us today to discuss how we can alleviate your foot pain caused by metatarsalgia.
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that can develop in various parts of the body creating nerve damage. Morton’s neuroma is the most common neuroma in the foot. It occurs at the base of the third and fourth toes.
If you have a Morton’s neuroma, you will likely experience the following symptoms:
•A feeling that something is inside the ball of the foot
The symptoms begin gradually and occur only occasionally at first. This generally happens when one is wearing narrow-toed shoes or performing certain aggravating activities. The symptoms may go away temporarily by massaging the foot or by avoiding activities that brought on the pain.
However, over time, the symptoms progressively worsen and may persist for several days or weeks at a time. The symptoms become more intense as the neuroma grows in size and the nerve damage becomes more permanent.
One clearly distinctive risk factor is wearing shoes that have a tapered toe box, or high-heeled shoes that cause the toes to be forced into the toe box. People with certain foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes or flatfeet, are also at high risk for developing a neuroma; as are those who participate in activities that require a repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running or racquet sports.
It’s best to consult your doctor in the early stages of development as early diagnosis greatly lessens the need for invasive treatments and a potential surgery.
When individuals begin to experience intense pain in their heel, many know that they have acquired plantar fasciitis. This ailment occurs when the plantar fascia ligament along the bottom of the foot develops tears in the tissue. This will result in pain and inflammation of the area closest to the heel bone.
The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
•An aching pain in the heel of the foot
The fascia ligament tightens up over night and therefore causes the most pain in the morning. Pain generally decreases as the tissue warms up, but oftentimes returns after long periods of standing or weight bearing and physical activity.
One of the prevalent factors that contribute to plantar fasciitis is wearing incorrect shoes. This includes shoes that either don’t fit properly, or provide inadequate support or cushioning. Weight distribution becomes impaired while wearing shoes that are unsupportive. Therein, adding significantly stress to the plantar fascia ligament.
In most cases, treatment of plantar fasciitis doesn’t require surgery or invasive procedures to stop pain and reverse damage. Traditional treatments are usually all that is required. However, keep in mind that every person's body responds to the treatment differently and recovery times will vary.
Posterior tibial dysfunction
Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) is the inflammation or overstretching of the posterior tibial tendon in the foot. The key function of the posterior tibial tendon is to support the arch in the foot. The tendon serves as a major supporting structure to assist the foot function while walking - however, if PTTD is present than the result is oftentimes an “adult-acquired flatfoot.”
Generally, adult-acquired flat-foot occurs only in one foot, but can be seen in both. This ailment is generally progressive, so if left untreated, the symptoms will continue to get worse. Symptoms generally occur after an activity that requires the use of the tendon such as running, walking, hiking or climbing stairs.
Symptoms of PTTD will change as the condition worsens, but initially include:
•Flattening of the arch
•An inward roll of the ankle
When PTTD initially develops, it begins with a pain on the inside of the foot and ankle. The area may be red, warm, and swollen, as well. As the arch begins to flatten, there may still be pain on the inside of the foot and ankle, however, the foot and toes begin to turn outward and the ankle rolls inward. As it reaches its advanced stages, the arch continues to flatten and the pain often shifts to the outside of the foot, below the ankle. This indicates that the tendon has deteriorated considerably and arthritis is likely developing in the foot.
There are treatment options available. Visit your podiatrist to learn about the best options for you.
There are often pains in the foot that can’t initially be explained. Since they are extremely frustrating, they do need to be identified and properly treated. One such ailment is called sesamoiditis. This generally refers to an inflammation of the sesamoid bones on the ball of the foot just behind the big toe.
Generally, most bones in our body are connected to each other by joints. However, there are a few that are connected only to tendons or are embedded in muscle. These bones are called sesamoids. Because the sesamoids protrude down, underneath the “big toe,” they give these muscles extra leverage and power. This power allows the big toe to “push” us forward with extra force each time we take a step. Without the sesamoids, the big toe loses some of its power and force.
Sesamoiditis can generally be identified form other foot ailments due to its gradual onset of symptoms just beneath the big toe.
The most common symptoms include:
•The area is tender when direct pressure is applied.
•Mild pain occurs when walking barefoot or in thin soled shoes and worsens while running or jumping.
•Pain is alleviated quickly with rest.
•In later stages, constant pain is present under the sesamoids, as well as other aggravating symptoms.
Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the ailment. Visit Dr. Sables
to find out the best treatment for you.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a painful foot condition in which the tibial nerve is compressed as it travels through the tarsal tunnel. This tunnel is found along the inner leg behind the medial malleolus, otherwise known as the bump on the inside of the ankle.
Symptoms of this ailment include:
•Pain and tingling in and around ankles
•Swelling of the feet
•Electric shock sensations
•Pain radiating up into the leg, and down into the arch, heel, and toes
•Hot and cold sensations in the feet
•A feeling as though the feet do not have enough padding
•Burning sensation on the bottom of foot that radiates upward
Because it’s difficult to determine the exact cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, it’s important to determine the source of the problem. Certain items that could cause compression of the nerve include benign tumors or cysts, bone spurs, inflammation of the tendon sheath, nerve ganglions, or swelling from a broken or sprained ankle. Other culprits include varicose veins, as well.
TTS tends to be more common in athletes or individuals who tend to do a lot of standing as these people commonly put an excessive amount of stress on the tarsal tunnel area.
Bunions are abnormal bone formations that are prevalent on the foot. They are also one of the most common types of foot problems. Bunions are typically heredity which suggests that the innate shape of the foot may be the cause for the condition. Typically, bunions worsen over time and cause discomfort, difficulty walking, and skin problems such as corns and lesions.
Taylor’s bunions are a variation of the traditional bunion. This common foot ailment that is typically caused by continued pressure to the outside of the foot. In this case, the bunion is situated on the outside of the 5th toe. It causes the foot to rub against shoes and can create redness, swelling and even require surgery. Sometime, even something as simple as eliminating the wear of shoes that are too small or tight can alleviate the problem.
Treatment of Taylor’s Bunions is fairly simple. Just by using padding and wearing a wider, softer shoes can help the problem. Also, shoes can be spot stretched to make the area of the shoe a bit wider next to where the Taylor’s bunion lies. This is typically done at a podiatrist’s office. Another treatment option requires applying Vaseline along with special wrapping which may be worn for a set amount of time. This treatment may resolve your symptoms and eliminate the need for surgery.
A term we often hear about, especially in circles of athletes and runners is tendonitis. Tendonitis literally means overuse and inflammation of the tendon. The tendon is the area of your body that’s connected to the muscle which causes your body to move. They come in all shapes and sizes.
Tendonitis is what happens when the tendon gets irritated from being moved outside of its regular motion. It becomes inflamed and the movement becomes painful.
There are several reasons for tendonitis:
Overuse of the area: This is especially true for those who have recently begun an exercise routine or
An increased in the level of exercise: The tendon is unfamiliar to the new level of exertion.
An age factor: Tendons lose their elasticity as we age and the ability to move as smoothly as we once did is lost.
Anatomical alignment: If the tendon does not have a smooth channel to glide along, it’s more likely to become irritated and inflamed. In this case, surgery may be necessary.
In the area of the foot, the most common type of tendonitis is Achilles tendonitis. This is a condition of irritation and inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the ankle. Achilles tendonitis is a common injury that more frequently occurs in middle-age recreational athletes. The overuse causes inflammation that can lead to pain and swelling.
If you experience tendonitis, it’s important to visit your podiatrist right away to see what treatment options are available for you.
Xerosis (Dry Skin)
If you’ve typically had normal skin on your feet and have been noticing them becoming increasingly dry. You’re likely dealing with a case of xerosis. The condition medically known as xerosis is also better known as severe dry skin on the feet. There is really no medication needed to treat the condition.
There are several factors that can cause xerosis such as:
•Bathing or showering habitually more than once a day
•Using non-moisturizing soaps
•Not applying lotion to re-moisturize the area
•Using excessively hot water when showering or bathing
By applying a moisture-rich lotion to the area, you should be able to see results fairly quickly.
If you notice the dryness escalating and the skin becomes itchy and scaly, it has progressed to prurtius. Again, this condition is easily treated by re-moisturizing the area with lotion. However, if the condition persists for more than two weeks, this could indicate the presence or a viral or bacterial infection. In this case, you would want to visit your podiatrist to obtain antibiotics to treat the infected area.
Xerosis is a fairly common ailment and shouldn’t create any unnecessary cause for alarm.
When one is an avid runner, there are a variety of injuries they can incur throughout their training. They range from mildly annoying to something requiring physical therapy or even surgery. To ensure that you take proper care of your body, make sure that you stretch properly, wear appropriate footwear and listen to your body telling you to rest.
A few common running injuries include:
Pulled Hamstring: A pulled hamstring is an injury to the hamstring muscle. It causes mild to severe pain in the area.
Hip Stress Fractures: Stress fractures of the hip are most common in long distance runners where there is a constant repetitive motion in the hip.
Shin Splints: Shin splint pain can be due to is generally associated with any pain in the bone between the knee and ankle.
Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles tendonitis is a painful condition of the tendon in the back of the ankle. Left untreated, Achilles tendonitis can lead to an increased risk of Achilles tendon rupture.
Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a pain in the heel caused by inflammation of the thick ligament of the base of the foot. Plantar fasciitis can cause pain when walking or running, and lead to the formation of a heel spur.
Arch Pain: Arch pain, also sometimes called a strain, often causes inflammation and a burning sensation under the arch of the foot.
Again, to ensure that you are immune to many of these injuries, properly prepare your body ahead of time for the impending exertion.
When you experience a pain when working out, you may wonder what kind of injury you have actually incurred. Most often, you’ll have a sprain or a strain of your muscle. How do you know the difference and how do you treat them?
A sprain is a stretch and/or tear of a ligament. A ligament is the fibrous band of connective tissue that joins the ends two bones together. Ligaments stabilize and support the body's joints. For example, ligaments in the knee connect the upper leg with the lower leg, enabling people to walk and run.
A sprain is caused by direct or indirect trauma that knocks a joint out of position, overstretches it or, in severe cases, ruptures the supporting ligaments. Typically, this injury occurs when an individual falls and lands on an outstretched arm, the side of the foot or runs on an uneven surface. Symptoms of a sprain include: pain, bruising, swelling, and inflammation. The individual oftentimes feels a tear or pop in the joint. In severe cases this may make the joint nonfunctional. In other cases, where the sprain partially tears the ligament, some swelling may occur.
A strain is an injury of a muscle or tendon. Tendons are fibrous cords of tissue that attach muscles to bone.
Chronic strains are the result of prolonged, repetitive movements of muscles and tendons. Insufficient breaks during intensive training oftentimes lead to a strain. Symptoms of a strain include pain, muscle spasm, muscle weakness, swelling, inflammation, and cramping. In severe strains, the muscle and/or tendon are partially or completely ruptured, often incapacitating the individual.
There is no way to make yourself immune to sprains and strains, but proper stretching, appropriate footwear and warming up before engaging in physical activity will help alleviate these potential problems.