Posts for: February, 2017
Though it might sound severe, Sever's Disease is in fact not a serious illness, but rather an extremely common heel injury. Also known by its scientific name, Calcaneal apophysitis, which means 'heel tendon', the condition is defined as a painful bone disorder resulting from the inflammation or swelling of the growth plate in the heel.
This condition is most common in young adolescents; particularly girls from 8 to 10 years old and boys from 12 to 14 years old. During this time, when children are going through puberty and experiencing rapid growth, bones often grow faster than their supporting tendons and muscles. When coupled with cartilage that hasn't yet developed into mature bone, the result is tightness in their tendons and muscles which cause a lack of flexibility and strain on an undeveloped heel.
The unfortunate consequence of this is that, when participating in weight-bearing activities, or even just long periods of standing, the tight heel tendons may put too much pressure on the back heel. This build-up of pressure results in Sever's Disease.
Sever's Disease typically rears its ugly head at the commencement of a new sporting season, when adolescents are putting extra strain on their heels and tendons. Repetitive running or pounding on firm surfaces is especially hard on young heels, and for this reason, those involved in soccer, track, or basketball are especially vulnerable.
Other factors that can increase the risk of Sever's disease include a pronated foot (one that rolls at the ankle when walking), a high or flat foot arch, legs of uneven lengths, and obesity. A poor-fitting pair of shoes can also contribute to the condition, by not providing adequate support and/or padding for the feet.
Tenderness or pain in one or both heels is the most obvious sign of Sever's Disease. A child with the condition may begin to walk strangely, either limping or tip-toeing to avoid putting pressure on their heels.
Diagnosis of the condition is generally straightforward, and usually, a verbal description of the symptoms can provide an accurate identification of Sever's Disease. A 'squeeze test' may also be conducted to confirm the condition, which involves squeezing the back part of the heel to check whether this causes any pain.
As Sever's Disease does not tend to cause pain in adulthood, once the condition is diagnosed, the immediate goal of treatment is pain relief. Rest, which helps relieve pressure on the heel and thus decrease the associated swelling and pain, is usually the first thing prescribed. With proper care, Sever's Disease will generally disappear within 2 weeks to 2 months.
A doctor may also prescribe any combination of the following for Severe's Disease treatment:
- foot and leg exercises to stretch the tendons and strengthen the leg muscles;
- use of a compression stocking to decrease pain and swelling;
- over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medication; and
- elevation of the foot for 20 minutes three times a day, coupled with ice, which helps reduce the inflammation and pain.
Although Sever's Disease heals quickly and does not cause long-term problems, it can recur in patients if measures aren't put into place to protect a child's growing heel. The most important preventive measure to ensure that the condition does not return is the use of high-quality sports shoes, with adequate support and padding.
Among all types of injuries related to our feet, ankle injuries are the most common and bothersome. However, contrary to popular opinion, foot injuries or more specifically ankle injuries don’t usually happen only to active, athletic people. They can happen to anyone and everyone, even encountering minor pressure over time can add up to major ankle injuries. To put this in perspective, a person can suffer an ankle injury even by walking on a rough, uneven road or surface. Yes, it is that common.
So, what defines an ankle injury? An ankle injury is most commonly defined as the twisting and stretching of the ankle in an incorrect position resulting in the twisting, stretching and tearing of the ligaments present in the ankle.
Severe ankle injuries can happen if the ligaments stretch to an extreme, which leads to their tear, which results in the breaking of the bone that is joined together by the ligaments... causing fracture.
Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments of the ankles tear due to sports activities or during regular walking/running regime. It is also commonly known as twisted ankles. Based on the severity, nature and type of injury, an ankle sprain is categorized into mainly three grades. Grade 1 being the lowest and grade 3 denoting the highest intensity of sprain based on severity.
Symptoms of ankle sprain usually includes severe pain on the site of injury and in some cases, the entire ankle along with swelling. The rule of thumb is, the more swelling and pain in the ankles, the more severe the nature of the sprain. And, it is needless to say that, the more severe the sprain, the longer the recovery time. An ankle sprain is usually diagnosed through an X-ray and the typical ankle sprain treatment plan includes:
Adequate rest (Complete leg rest and bed rest in severe cases)
Medication (Usually painkillers, like Ibuprofen.)
Icing and compression therapy
Crutches / other support.
Complete recovery may take anywhere between a week to 3 months depending on the nature and severity of the sprain. If you are dealing with an ankle sprain, please contact us today.
It is becoming extremely common for humans to form bunions in their lifespan. Bunions are typically a very uncomfortable bump, forming over the bottom (or base) of the large toe on a human foot. Doctors are seeing a rise in the number of adults coming forward with foot pain, leading to the diagnosis of a bunion. While humans have experienced bunion pain for quite some time, with the advancement of medical knowledge and technology there are a continual increase of strategies to reduce bunion pain or remove the bunion all together.
What causes bunions?
While we, as humans, don’t realize the amount of work our bodies actually do for us to function on a daily basis, our feet literally carry our entire body weight each and every day. Most adults typically form problems with their feet early on in adulthood. Bunions are typically more common with women, simply because of the fit and wear of many women’s shoes (high heels definitely contribute to potential bunion problems). However, men are definitely still susceptible to forming bunions. In general, the shoes created for the human foot pushes the toes together in an unnatural way, causing the bones in the foot to alter in shape. This can often result in forming a bunion. Along with all of these factors, bunions can also simply be programed into your genes. Yes, bunions have been found to be a characteristic passed down to you in your genetics.
What does a bunion feel like?
For most people, bunions are not typically classified as comfortable. In fact, most people with bunions would tell you they can be extremely painful. Bunions will often swell and hurt when touched. The color of a bunion is commonly red, but this is not always the case. You may find certain circumstances will cause your bunion to hurt more than others.
Are there treatment options for bunions?
When meeting with a doctor to talk about options for your bunion pain treatment, they will typically initially advise a different environment for your feet; wearing shoes that will work around your bunion. This generally means finding shoes that are a wider fit, or even sandals (exposing the feet) while still providing the arch of your foot with support. Along with changes to your daily shoe choices, an over the counter anti-inflammatory medication may also be a suggestion to help you manage your bunion pain. You can also find some padding specifically designed to place over bunions while wearing shoes in an attempt to lower your bunion pain level.
If your bunion pain continues to persist, go back to your doctor to talk about additional options such as a bunionectomy to get bunion relief. This procedure is done to correct the bunion that has formed on your foot. While this surgery is usually successful, make sure you talk to your doctor about what the right bunion treatment option for you.
If you struggle with bunion pain, do your research and find options that are going to work best for you, your lifestyle and your bunion.
Please see pictures below of a recent patient's successful bunion procedure:
Not only is it a condition which affects old people but also the young as well. For those of us who have had the displeasure of experiencing heel pain, we can attest to the fact that it is a nagging problem which often causes pain and discomfort. Heel pain has been one of the many common complaints of patients in health facilities even up to date. With that said, there are excellent home remedies and lifestyle changes which you can put into practice so as to comfortably ease your symptoms. The following are some of the top natural methods of heel pain treatment to reduce the pain and discomforts:
Using cold compress ice on your heel can help you to reduce pain and prevent it from escalating and becoming long-lasting. The ice will have a numbing effect on your heel which works to prevent inflammation and control pain. There are various ways which you can apply the ice compress on your heel. For instance, you can wrap some crushed ice in a plastic bag and then use it on the sensitive area. You can also freeze water in a bottle and then roll it over the affected area. You only require at least 15 minutes each day for desired outcomes.
In most cases, stretching exercise will go a long way to help you reduce pain and promote quick recovery. The right foot stretches will mostly help you to strengthen some of the vital ligaments and prevent any further injuries as well. I will recommend the “standing wall stretch” which from time to time has been found to effective. It is a simple exercise where you face a wall while standing barefoot. You will press into the wall using both your hands and then place one foot forward where you will slowly lean and feel the stretch at the back of the leg and heel. Most people have reported feeling some amazing kind of relief after doing it several times each day.
Salt soaks and packs
You can be sure to receive amazing results from using these remedies to reduce all kinds of aches and pains. An Epsom salt has been known to be the best option if you are looking to bring instant relief from heel pain. The salt constitutes of magnesium sulfate crystals which are responsible for reducing the pain and swelling. Your heels will also feel relaxed from soaking them in warm water.
You have to try ginger if your heel pain is as a result of any muscle strain. A pain journal recently published a study which found out that ginger can ease any muscle pains mostly caused by eccentric exercises. It has anti-inflammatory properties which play a role in combating inflammation and pain in your heels. Aside from that, it improves blood circulation which is even the more reason you should consider this remedy. So how can you use ginger to reduce pain? You can drink ginger tea, use ginger supplements or even massage the affected area with ginger oil daily.
Balanced alkaline diet
You will surely need to incorporate a well balanced alkaline diet if you want to improve your overall health and reduce pain. Alkaline foods are necessary for maintaining a normal pH level and as a result reducing inflammation. On top of that, it is the best way to prevent calcium build up which has been known to be one of the leading causes of heel spurs.
Aside from the above remedies, you should always wear shoes which fit properly, check your weight, and see your local Huntington podiatrist. It is also advisable that you rest your heels as much as you can each time that you experience the pains.
Your toe is red and swollen and it appears the nail of your toe is growing underneath your skin. It might even be painful for you to walk or put on shoes. Sound familiar? Chances are you have an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails occur when the nail begins to grow underneath the skin of the toe. Although a common condition, it’s important to take proper care of your ingrown toenail so that it does not become infected. A serious infection of an ingrown toenail can often require medical attention.
In this article, we’ll provide you with tips for prevention and outline for you the most effective steps for ingrown toenail treatment what will hopefully be your last ingrown toenail.
What causes an ingrown toenail and how can it be prevented?
If you’ve ever suffered from an ingrown toenail, you’ll likely want to know the causes and remember the tips for prevention so you can avoid having one again in the future. Practice these tips for prevention and your toes will thank you for it ☺
Cause #1: Tight footwear
Prevention: Wear shoes that fit and be sure that you are leaving plenty of wiggle room for your toes to move around, avoiding any rubbing on the interior of the shoe. For those who love high heels, unfortunately you may need to give your favorite pair a short break. The steep angle of heels causes your toes to become wedged which applies pressure to the toenail area. It’s best to wear sandals or open shoes that allow your toes breathing room and if you already have an ingrown toenail, wearing open shoes will help speed up the healing process.
Cause #2: Improper nail trimming technique
Prevention: Be sure to cut your nails in a straight line, rather than a curved shape. Also, be careful not to cut your nails too close to the skin.
Cause #3: Trauma or injury to the toenail
Prevention: You may have an ingrown toenail from a simple stubbed toe or perhaps from playing sports. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to prevent small injuries like this from occurring, however, wearing properly fitted shoes can drastically reduce your chances of toe injuries.
It’s important to note that ingrown toenails can be caused by several other factors including heredity and genetics, poor foot hygiene, and diabetes or other medical issues, which could increase your chances of obtaining an ingrown toenail.
A Step-by-Step Home Remedy for Curing an Ingrown Toenail
Unfortunately, the case may be that you already have an ingrown toenail and it’s too late to prevent it. Luckily, there is a safe and natural method for getting rid of an ingrown toenail without having to make a visit to your doctor.
Soak your foot in warm water with Epsom salt. Do this by filling a tub with warm water and add 1 cup of Epsom salt. This will keep the affected area clean and bacteria-free and the salt will also relieve any swelling. Soak your feet at least 3 times per day and for 15 to 30 minutes.
Typically, after soaking your feet, the skin around the infected area of the toe will soften which will allow for the toenail to grow outward from the skin. If you do not notice a difference within a few days, another popular method after soaking your foot is to gently place a cotton wisp underneath the nail bed to help support the toenail in growing toward the correct direction.
Be sure to also apply antibiotic ointment to the affected area at least twice a day.
Antibiotic ointment is important as it will help prevent infection. After applying ointment, bandage the toe carefully.
With these steps, most ingrown toenails will improve, however if your symptoms persist or worsen, be sure to contact your Manhasset podiatrist for professional advice.