Posts for category: Foot Conditions
Although heel pain may be due to strain, long periods of standing, or ill-fitting shoes, it is sometimes also caused by an underlying condition. This is why you should not ignore it. Dr. Alan J. Discont is your podiatrist here at Family Foot and Ankle Care in Chandler, AZ, and he can help treat your issue.
Common Causes of Heel Pain
- Achilles Tendonitis: The Achilles tendon connects the heel to the lower calf muscle. This condition causes aching in the heel and pain that runs up the calf when walking or running. If left untreated, it can develop into a severe inflammatory condition.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Common to runners and athletes, plantar fasciitis causes inflammation and soreness of the plantar fascia—the band of tissue connecting the heel to the toes. If you don’t want it to progress, this condition requires immediate treatment.
- Bursitis: The fluid-filled sacs that surround your heel are called bursa. Their role is to lubricate your ankle joint. When they become inflamed, they cause pain and swelling in the heel and ankle. This condition can also cause a swelling on the back of your heel at the level of the upper rim of your shoe.
- Stress Fractures: Runners and athletes are prone to stress fractures due to strenuous training and competition. Fractures most commonly occur in the toes and ankles and can cause heel pain.
Chandler residents who suffer from heel problems can talk to Dr. Discont about their symptoms and he will be able to provide appropriate treatment to alleviate their pain.
How to Avoid Heel Pain
You can reduce your risk of heel pain by:
- Wearing comfortable shoes
- Avoiding high heels
- Not standing for long periods of time
- Stretching your muscles before exercising
- Maintaining a healthy weight
If you live in or around Chandler, AZ, and you are having difficulty standing or walking due to heel pain, call Dr. Discont at 480-732-0033 to schedule a consultation.
The arches of the feet play a role in supporting your body’s weight when standing or in motion. The tarsal and metatarsal bones make up the arches of the feet, also receiving additional support and stability from tendons and ligaments; however, our feet, like the rest of our body, can be affected by infections, disorders, and structural changes that can impact not only the health of our feet but also our mobility. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of arch problems so you know when you need to see a podiatrist.
Arch Pain Causes
If you are dealing with arch pain it is most likely caused by an injury or by structural abnormalities in the foot. For example, those with very high arches as well as those with flat feet may experience arch problems due to these common structural issues.
As a result, there are other factors that could also lead to further arch problems including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Plantar fasciitis
- Cavus foot
- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
It’s important to understand a little bit more about these common foot disorders and how they could affect the arches of your feet.
This condition that causes inflammation and microtears in the plantar fascia is also the most common cause of heel pain. Of course, because the plantar fascia (a ligament that connects the toes to the heel bone) also supports the arches of the feet this can also lead to arch pain. This condition is usually the result of overuse and is seen most often in runners. If you have plantar fasciitis it’s important to avoid physical activities until the fascia has fully healed.
This condition, which affects the structure of the foot, leads to excessively high arches. People who’ve had a stroke, as well as people with certain conditions such as cerebral palsy may be more likely to develop cavus foot. This problem causes arch pain when standing or walking and can increase the risk for ankle injuries. Your podiatrist may choose to treat cavus foot through custom-made orthotics (shoe inserts), bracing, or by recommending specialized and supportive footwear.
Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
The posterior tibial tendon runs from the calf muscles to the inner portion of the foot. This condition leads to changes in the tendon, which in turn affects its ability to support the arches of the foot. Flat feet can be caused by posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, and this is often the cause of flat feet that develop in adulthood. Like the other conditions above, treatment for PTTD usually involves bracing, orthotics, or providing custom devices that provide additional support to the arches of the feet.
If you are experiencing foot pain, swelling or other problems that affect mobility then it’s time that you turned to a podiatrist for care. Conditions and injuries that don’t respond to rest and at-home care may require more advanced treatments and therapies.
Are you dealing with pain, burning, tingling or numbness between your toes or in the ball of the foot? If you said “yes” then you could be dealing with a neuroma, a pinched nerve or benign tumor of the nerve that is often found between the third and fourth toes.
The classic symptom of a neuroma is pain, particularly when walking—a factor that leads many people to liken the condition to feeling like a pebble is in their shoe. You may find that the pain eases up whenever you aren’t walking or when you rub the pained area with your hands. While neuromas can happen to anyone, they are most commonly found in women.
While the causes of a neuroma are still not clear, there are factors that can increase the likelihood of developing one, such as:
- Extremely high arches
- Flat feet
- Trauma that leads to nerve damage in the feet
- Improper footwear (high heels over two-inches tall; pointed toes)
- Repeated stress placed on the foot
Treating a Neuroma
A neuroma will not go away on its own, so it’s important to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of the condition's symptoms. The type of treatment or treatments recommended to you will depend on the severity of the neuroma.
Those with minor neuromas may be able to lessen symptoms by wearing shoes that provide ample room for the toes and offer thick soles that provide more support and cushioning for the toes and balls of the feet. Sometimes a podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to place inside the shoes, as well.
Your podiatrist may also recommend padding or taping the ball of the foot to improve faulty biomechanics and reduce discomfort. While medication will not eliminate the problem, it can temporarily alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can often briefly reduce pain and swelling, but for those dealing with more severe pain, steroid injections may be necessary to ease symptoms.
Surgery for a Neuroma
Surgery only becomes necessary when conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief, or when the neuroma has progressed enough that conservative care won’t be enough. During surgery, the inflamed nerve is removed through a simple outpatient procedure. Afterward, there is a short recovery period of a couple of weeks before patients are able to move about pain-free once again!
Give us a Call!
If you are dealing with new or worsening foot pain it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist that can help give you the answers you need. Schedule an appointment today.
Swelling, reddened flesh, shooting pain, and pus are just some of the incredibly uncomfortable symptoms of having an ingrown toenail. Although this condition can sometimes be successfully treated through home remedies, ingrown toenails often progress to the point of infection, a point that then requires professional treatment. Read on to learn what causes this problem, when it’s right to seek medical help, and how our podiatrists can help get your foot back to a healthy state!
The Causes and Symptoms
Before we cover how to treat ingrown toenails, let’s first review the core causes and symptoms that hallmark this condition…
Ingrown toenails initially develop due to a few different factors, including:
- Cutting the toenail too short
- Rounding the toenail during grooming
- Wearing improperly fitting shoes
- Experiencing toe trauma
If the flesh on the side of the toe has become red, swollen, and tender, you likely have an ingrown toenail. If you have caught this problem while it’s still in its early stages, you can try implementing some of the home remedies listed in the next section. However, if your toe is exhibiting some of the following signs of infection, you should seek professional podiatric help:
- Pervasive shooting or throbbing toe pain
- Regular bleeding
- The presence of a pus-filled blister
- The skin has started growing over the nail
As mentioned above, if an ingrown toenail is caught before infection sets in, there are a few different methods that you can practice at home in order to clear up the issue. Some of these include:
- Around 3 to 4 times a day, submerge your foot into warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Regularly doing this should reduce swelling and provide pain relief.
- Following each soaking, use cotton to separate the ingrown toenail from the flesh that it is starting to grow under. This should allow the nail to grow above the skin again.
- Avoid snug or constraining shoes.
If these actions fail to clear up the problem in 2 to 3 days, you should pursue professional treatment.
In the case of a severe or recurring infection, there are a few different procedures that your podiatrist can perform to make your toe healthy again. Depending on the specifics of your ingrown toenail, one of the following treatments may be recommended:
- Partial Nail Removal: In the case of a severe ingrown toenail, your doctor can numb your toe before physically removing the ingrown portion of the nail.
- Nail and Tissue Removal: If the same toe is repeatedly experiencing the same ingrown toenail problem, this procedure can be performed to prevent future recurrences. It entails your podiatrist removing a portion of the underlying nail bed, thus preventing the nail from become ingrown again.
Concerned About Your Toe? Give Us a Call!
If your ingrown toenail needs medical attention, call our podiatric office today!
Most people regard sprained ankles as minor injuries, yet sprains can keep you off your feet for days or weeks, depending on their severity. The Chandler, AZ, podiatrists at Family Foot & Ankle Center offer treatments that can relieve your pain and improve the stability of your ankle.
What causes sprains?
Sprains happen when the ligaments that hold the bones in your ankle joint together stretch or tear. You may have gotten your sprain stepping in a hole, running, jumping, or walking on an uneven surface. Some people may also develop sprains if their feet turn inward when they walk. Have you sprained your ankle in the past? Unfortunately, once you've had one sprain, it's quite easy to re-injure the ankle.
What should I do if I have a sprain?
Do you believe in the "no pain, no gain" school of thought when it comes to exercise? Unfortunately, walking or running through the pain will only lengthen your healing time. Rest is very important if you've sprained your ankle!
Keep your ankle elevated as much as possible after your injury, and use ice packs and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to decrease pain and swelling. Wrapping the ankle in a compression bandage will also help reduce swelling.
Make an appointment with your Chandler foot doctor if:
- It is difficult or impossible to put any weight on your foot.
- You're in severe pain.
- Your sprain hasn't gotten any better after a week or two of home care.
It can be difficult to heal if you have to walk every day, even if you're only walking from your car to your office. Your podiatrist may recommend that you wear a cast or boot and use crutches to decrease pressure on your ankle and give it a chance to heal.
Physical therapy may also be recommended. During your therapy sessions, you'll concentrate on strengthening the muscles that support your ankle. Keeping your muscles strong will not only help you recover from your sprain but can help you avoid re-injuring your ankle.
Most people don't need surgery for a sprained ankle, but it may be necessary if your ankle has become unstable.
Give us a call!
A visit to the podiatrist can ease your recovery from a sprained ankle. Call your Chandler, AZ, podiatrists at Family Foot & Ankle Center at (480) 732-0033 to schedule an appointment.