Injuries May Be Prevented by Effectively Stretching the Feet

Posted on March 1, 2021

Many people who enjoy running understand the importance of warming up and cooling down. This is necessary in possibly preventing foot injuries and stress fractures. In addition to wearing shoes that fit correctly, there are stretches that can be performed that can protect the feet. One type of effective stretch can be done by standing on a step, and gently lowering one heel at a time. This is helpful in strengthening the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel. The toes can be stretched by pulling them back one at a time, and it can be beneficial to roll the sole of the foot on a tennis ball. If you would like additional information about the benefits and instructions on how to properly stretch your feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Runners And Blisters On The Feet

Posted on February 22, 2021

People who enjoy running can experience blisters. It is the body’s method of protecting skin that has become damaged from excessive friction. It appears as a bubble that is filled with liquid which forms over the raw skin, and it will gradually drain as new skin develops. It is beneficial to wear a protective covering over the blister while running, and this may help to prevent the blister from popping or draining prematurely. Common symptoms of an infected blister can consist of swelling, redness, and there may be a yellowish fluid that comes from the blister. Effective preventive methods can include wearing shoes and socks that fit correctly, and it may help to improve balance which can affect stability. If you would like additional information about blisters on the feet, please confer with a podiatrist.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Why Is the Outside of My Ankle Swollen?

Posted on February 15, 2021

The outer part of your ankle may be swollen due to an injury or because of an underlying medical condition. Ankle injuries such as sprains, fractures, and tendinopathies can make the ankle swell. Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, including the ankle joint. When the arthritic ankle joint is inflamed, it can cause the ankle to swell. You may also notice symptoms like warmth and redness around the joint and difficulty moving the ankle. Cellulitis, a skin infection, can also make the feet and lower legs swell. If you notice swelling around your ankle, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment.

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Running and Stress Fractures

Posted on February 8, 2021

Stress fractures generally occur because of overuse. They are considered to be a hairline fractures of the bones in the foot, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. The foot may become swollen and tender, and in severe cases, bruising may develop. They are a common condition among people who enjoy running, or frequently participating in jumping activities.  Some of the reasons stress fractures may develop can include rapidly increasing the intensity of a sport or exercise, or the surface that is run on or played upon can change. Research has indicated stress fractures may be prevented by slowly increasing the intensity of the chosen sport, in addition to maintaining a healthy diet. If you have foot pain, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat stress fractures.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor 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 our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Heel Spurs and The Plantar Fascia

Posted on February 1, 2021

The human foot has twenty-six bones. A heel spur is defined as a bony hook that forms on the bottom of the heel. This often causes severe pain and discomfort, and it can be difficult to walk. Heel spurs form on the largest bone in the foot, known as the calcaneus. The heel spur generally develops at the spot where the plantar fascia attaches to the bone. This band of tissue is located on the sole of the foot, and connects the heel to the toes. The pain comes from surrounding tissues that become inflamed, and sharp and sudden pain may exist in the sole of the foot. Heel spurs can be diagnosed by taking an X-ray of the affected foot. If you have a heel spur, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and treat heel spurs.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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Relief From Foot Pain With Wearing Orthotics

Posted on January 25, 2021

Many patients choose to wear orthotics in their shoes. Orthotics are insoles that are made of rubber, leather, or synthetic materials, and are designed to balance the structure of the foot. Certain types of orthotics can help to control pain that can come from having flat feet or high arches. It is also helpful to wear shoes that cushion your feet and fit correctly. If you have foot pain, and think orthotics may help you, it is strongly recommended that you consult with a podiatrist who can determine if this is the right decision for you.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes

Types of Hammertoe Surgery

Posted on January 18, 2021

A hammertoe is a toe deformity that causes a toe to bend downward at the middle joint, creating a hammer-like or claw-like appearance. This can cause discomfort as the affected toes rubs against the shoes while walking. Hammertoes may become painful, stiff, and restricted in their range of motion if left untreated. While there are many conservative treatments for hammertoes, surgery may be needed for more severe cases. There are two main types of hammertoe surgery. In a fusion surgery, the surgeon cuts the ligaments, tendons, and the ends of the bones that form the middle joint of the hammertoe in order to straighten it. Pins and screws are then used to help the cut bones fuse together. In a joint resection surgery, the surgeon may also cut the ligaments and tendons, as well as the end of one bone, so that the toe can be straightened. To learn more about treatment for hammertoes, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Risk Factors for Athlete’s Foot

Posted on January 11, 2021

Athlete’s foot is a contagious infection of the skin on the feet. This infection is caused by a fungus entering the top layer of skin through a small crack or wound. Symptoms of athlete’s foot can include reddened, cracked, flakey, or itchy skin on the foot and between the toes. Certain factors can increase your risk of developing athlete’s foot. These include having a genetic predisposition to infections, allergies, eczema, a weakened immune system, and poor circulation in the lower limbs. Having very sweaty feet and participating in sports like running and swimming can also make you more likely to catch athlete’s foot since the fungus lives and thrives in warm, moist environments. If you think you are afflicted with athlete’s foot, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist for treatment. 

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Who Does Sever’s Disease Affect?

Posted on January 4, 2021

An injury to the growth plate in the heel may indicate a condition that is known as Sever’s disease. It generally affects children and young teenagers who participate in sporting activities. The heel can become inflamed, which can cause severe pain and discomfort. Mild relief may be found when the activity that caused the injury is temporarily stopped, and walking patterns may be changed. It may help to wear custom made orthotics if Sever’s disease is severe, and some patients find it necessary to take pain medication. If your child complains of heel pain, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat Sever's disease.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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What Is a Tailor’s Bunion?

Posted on December 28, 2020

A Tailor’s bunion, sometimes called a bunionette, is similar to a regular bunion. However, a Tailor’s bunion forms on the 5th metatarsophalangeal joint (or the “pinky toe”) instead of the big toe. Tailor’s bunions are most commonly caused by poorly fitting footwear, as well as structural foot problems. They appear as a swollen and hard bump on the outside of the foot next to the big toe, and they generally form over a long period of time and may not become painful for a while. Treatment options that a podiatrist may suggest include surgically removing the bunion, a corticosteroid injection to reduce swelling, and padding or orthotics to reduce pain. If you are dealing with pain that may be a Tailor’s bunion, be sure to consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions – rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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