Possible Causes of Heel Pain

Posted on August 10, 2020

Heel pain can often be uncomfortable, and may be indicative of existing foot conditions. A common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which occurs as a result of a damaged or injured plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the portion of tissue that connects the heel to the toes, and it can cause severe pain and discomfort if it becomes injured. Additional reasons for heel pain to develop can happen from being overweight, or from standing for extended periods of time throughout the day. Additionally, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly may be a cause of heel pain. Children who participate in running and jumping activities may be susceptible to developing Sever’s disease, which is a condition that affects the growth plate in the heel. If you are experiencing heel pain, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist, who can properly diagnose and treat any type of heel pain, as quickly as possible.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, 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.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

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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Flip Flops Offer Limited Stability

Posted on August 3, 2020

Many people choose to wear flip flops during the summer months, despite knowing the potential harm they can cause to the feet. Some of these foot conditions include an altered walking style, toe cramps, and pain in the arches of the foot. Additionally, the risk of falling may be increased, and this may cause foot injuries to occur. It is natural for the toes to grasp the front of the shoe to keep it on the foot, and this can cause the overall foot to become tired. Research has indicated that it is acceptable to wear flip flops for short periods of time, but it is beneficial to alternate with a pair of shoes that offer more stability. Please consult with a podiatrist if you would like more information about how flip flops can affect the feet. 

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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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Can Stretching the Foot Help Plantar Fasciitis Pain?

Posted on July 27, 2020

Patients who have the medical condition that is known as plantar fasciitis are often familiar with the severe discomfort this ailment can cause. The pain that is associated with plantar fasciitis is felt in the heel and it can cause difficulty walking. Daily activities may be hard to complete as the day continues, and this can be a result of existing heel pain. This condition can gradually develop from standing for extended periods of time throughout the day, or from wearing shoes that do not fit properly. Moderate relief may be found when the affected foot is stretched. An effective stretch consists of rolling the sole of the foot on a golf ball, and this may help to alleviate a portion of the tension that is commonly associated with this type of foot pain. If you are experiencing any type of heel pain, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist as soon as possible who can properly diagnose plantar fasciitis and offer you the correct treatment options.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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 Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is 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 care needs.

 

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Exposure to Fungus May Cause Athlete’s Foot

Posted on July 20, 2020

An infection on the skin of the feet is commonly known as athlete’s foot. It can cause severe redness, and the skin may itch and develop small blisters. The bottom of the feet and between the toes are the areas of the feet that are most often affected by this condition. It is caused by a fungus that is known to be contagious, and lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These can include public swimming pools, shower room floors, and surrounding areas. Effective prevention methods can consist of wearing appropriate shoes while in these types of places, and it is helpful to avoid sharing towels, shoes, and socks. Mild relief may be found when an antifungal powder is applied to the affected area, and this may help to control existing inflammation. If you are afflicted with athlete’s foot and would like professional advice on how it is treated, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist. 

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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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The Importance of Practicing Foot Care for Diabetic Patients

Posted on July 13, 2020

Patients who are diabetic may be fearful of losing a toe or foot due to their condition. Foot complications can occur as a result of elevated blood sugar levels and can cause the feet to feel numb or minimal sensation. This may lead to the inability to feel existing cuts or bruises on the feet, and diabetic ulcers may develop. It is beneficial to implement a daily foot care routine. This can consist of washing the feet every day, properly trimming the toenails, and maintaining steady blood circulation. It is helpful to smooth corns and calluses by utilizing a pumice stone, and this can aid in preventing foot infections from developing. If you have diabetes, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper management techniques.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, 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.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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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What Are the Different Types of Flat Feet?

Posted on July 6, 2020

Flat feet is a condition known for causing fallen arches, meaning the feet lay completely flat on the floor. There are two different kinds of flat feet one may experience, rigid and flexible. A flexible flat foot has an arch when resting, however, when standing or walking, the arch then disappears. This type of flat foot is often common among pediatric aged patients. A rigid flat foot develops during adulthood due to the weakening of the tibialis posterior muscle tendon. This type of flat foot may worsen over time and can cause pain and swelling in the feet, particularly the inside arch of the foot and ankle. Rigid flat foot may eventually lead to arthritis as well. For a proper diagnosis and recommended treatment plan, it’s suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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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Possible Causes of Bunions

Posted on June 29, 2020

A bump that extends on the side of the big toe may indicate a bunion. It is considered to be a deformity, and a common cause can be from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, genetics can play a significant role in developing a bunion. Mild relief may be found when larger shoes are purchased, and it may help to wear a protective covering over the top of the bunion. In severe cases, orthotics can be prescribed, and therapy techniques may be suggested. If you notice a bony protrusion on the side of the big toe, it may be a bunion, and it is strongly suggested that you seek treatment from a podiatrist.

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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Two Types of Corns

Posted on June 22, 2020

A corn is an area of skin that develops in a circular shape and is often found on the bottom of the foot or between the toes. It typically forms as a result of excess friction that can come from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Additionally, a corn can develop on the inside of the heel from existing medical conditions that can include flat feet. Hard corns can develop on top of the toes or on the sole of the foot. A corn that is found between the toes is referred to as a soft corn and can cause pain and discomfort. Relief may be found when the feet are washed and dried thoroughly, and it may also help to file the corn with a pumice stone. If you have a corn that is hindering daily activities, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can treat this condition properly.

Corns can make walking very painful and should be treated immediately. If you have questions regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? And How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns are thickened areas on the skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure and friction on the skin. Corns press into the deeper layers of the skin and are usually round in shape.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as:

  • Wearing properly fitting shoes that have been measured by a professional
  • Wearing shoes that are not sharply pointed or have high heels
  • Wearing only shoes that offer support

Treating Corns

Although most corns slowly disappear when the friction or pressure stops, this isn’t always the case. Consult with your podiatrist to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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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Possible Treatments for an Achilles Tendon Injury

Posted on June 15, 2020

The Achilles tendon connects the heel to the calf muscles. It is located in the back of the leg, near the foot, and is responsible for the ability to point and flex the foot. An injury can cause the Achilles tendon to become ruptured or injured, and this generally causes severe pain and discomfort. Some of the symptoms that many patients can experience include sharp pain at the time of the injury, bruising, swelling, and it is often difficult to walk. This type of injury can happen as a result of participating in running and jumping movements, or if a new activity begins suddenly. Effective treatments can include wearing a brace or cast as the healing process occurs, and in severe tears, surgery may be necessary. If you have pain in your calf, it is strongly advised that you speak to a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can treat an Achilles tendon injury.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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 the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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

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Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Posted on June 10, 2020

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.