Heel pain is one of the most common complaints a podiatrist hears about from patients. If you are dealing with heel pain above the heel bone then you could be dealing with Achilles Tendonitis, a result of overuse. The Achilles tendon is the longest tendon in the body and it serves to connect the muscles of the calf with the lower leg and heel bone.
While Achilles Tendonitis tends to occur most often in runners, this condition can still occur in athletes that play certain sports such as soccer or tennis. Unfortunately, this tendon does weaken as we get older, which makes at an increased risk for developing this overuse injury as we age.
What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?
The most obvious symptom of Achilles Tendonitis is pain above the heel bone. When the pain first appears it’s usually pretty mild and you may only notice it after running; however, over time you may notice that the pain gets worse after certain exercises. Along with pain you may also experience stiffness or tenderness in the heel, especially in the morning or after long periods of sitting.
When should I see a podiatrist?
If this is the first time that you’ve ever experienced heel pain then it’s a good idea to turn to a foot doctor who can determine whether Achilles Tendonitis is causing your symptoms or whether it’s something else. If you’re experiencing chronic heel pain around the Achilles tendon it’s also a good time to see a doctor. If the pain is severe or you are unable to put weight on your foot it’s possible that you might be dealing with a ruptured tendon, which requires immediate attention.
How do you treat Achilles Tendonitis?
In most cases, Achilles Tendonitis can be treated with simple self-care options. Unless symptoms are severe you may be able to treat your heel pain by:
- Taking over-the-counter pain medications
- Avoiding high-impact activities or activities that exacerbate symptoms
- Elevating the foot to reduce swelling
- Performing stretching exercises or undergoing physical therapy
- Icing the heel
- Wearing custom orthotics
- Replacing worn-out shoes, especially running shoes
Surgery is only necessary if your symptoms aren’t responding to any other nonsurgical treatment options after several months or if the tendon is torn.
If you think your heel pain could be the result of Achilles Tendonitis then it’s time to turn to a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist can provide you with a variety of treatment options, from simple lifestyle modifications to custom orthotics.
At Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists in Pennsauken and Turnersville, your podiatrist specializes in everything related to your feet and ankles. Whether you are experiencing problems walking, have skin issues, or need diabetic shoes, we can treat your issues and help you live a better life. Are you experiencing foot pain? Read on to learn how we can uncover the reasons why and make you feel better.
Why do my feet hurt?
There are a number of possibilities. At Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists in Turnersville and Pennsauken, we are experts in foot anatomy and have the skills to discover your source of foot pain and how to treat it. We use visual inspection, gait analysis (how you walk), and sophisticated imaging techniques, such as digital X-rays, CAT scans and MRIs, to see inside your feet and to discover the deformities and conditions which cause pain.
Common sources of foot pain are:
- Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue between the heel and the toes
- Bunions at the base of the big toes
- Hammertoes, a claw-like deformity of the second, third, fourth, and fifth toes
- Arthritis and bursitis
- Heel spurs, which are often associated with plantar fasciitis
- Neuromas, which are benign tumors located between the third and fourth toes
- Flat feet--either congenital or acquired through age, obesity or overuse
- Stress fractures, a common overuse injury suffered by athletes
After examining your feet, your podiatrist will put you on a care plan to resolve your pain. Surgery is not usually the first choice, as simpler interventions often work extremely well. Treatments for your foot pain can include:
- A change in footwear to something which is more supportive
- Rest, ice, and elevation
- Analgesic medications
- Shoe padding to relieve friction
- Shoe inserts, or orthotics, which are custom-made to cushion, support, and provide gait correction
- Cortisone injections to reduce inflammation
- Physical therapy and stretching exercises
- Diabetic foot wear
- Soft casts and crutches
- Corrective and supportive splints
The last thing you should do is suffer foot pain. You can have happy, functional feet with compassionate treatment from your podiatrists at Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists. For an appointment, call the office nearest you. In Turnersville, phone (856) 875-8855, and for the Pennsauken location, call (856) 488-5290.
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!
Thanks to their location, foot and ankle injuries can quickly take a toll on your day-to-day life. However, with help from your podiatrist, you can get to the bottom of your injury and ensure that you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. Find out about some common foot and ankle problems that may require your foot doctor’s care with Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists in Turnersville and Pennsauken, NJ.
Common Foot and Ankle Injuries
Though an in-person meeting with your podiatrist is never a bad idea regardless of your condition, some foot and ankle injuries always require their care:
- Broken bone
- Sprained ankle
- Muscle tear
- Stress fracture
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Diagnosing Foot and Ankle Injuries
Your doctor will use the combination of physical examination and testing to get to the bottom of your injury or condition. While diagnosing a broken bone or sprain is generally straightforward, other issues may require more than a simple x-ray to diagnose. Working with your foot doctor is the best way to investigate your foot and ankle symptoms and take care of your condition.
Approaches to Treatment
Treating a foot or ankle injury depends on the type of problem, its severity, and any underlying conditions which may need to be treated alongside it. In some cases, such as a sprained ankle, at-home care is often enough to alleviate symptoms. However, broken bones or other injuries may require the help of a splint, cast, physical therapy, or other treatments. Consult with your doctor to find the best treatment plan for your injury.
For more information on foot and ankle injuries or their treatments, please contact Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists in Turnersville, NJ, and Pennsauken, NJ. Call (856) 875-8855 to schedule your appointment in Turnersville, or call (856) 488-5290 to schedule your appointment in Pennsauken today!
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