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There is a portion of tissue that is located on the bottom of the foot, which is referred to as the plantar fascia. The purpose of this tissue is to connect the heel bone to the toes. Severe pain and discomfort may develop in the heel area if the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. It may feel worse in the morning upon arising, and the pain may gradually diminish as the day progresses. This condition is known as plantar fasciitis, and there may be several reasons why this ailment may develop. Common causes may include being obese, which may exert excess weight on the heels, wearing shoes that fit incorrectly, in addition to standing on hard surfaces for extended periods of time. Research has shown there may be gentle stretches that can be performed, which may bring temporary desired relief. If you suspect you may have this uncomfortable condition, it is advised to seek the counsel of a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can perform a correct diagnosis and proper treatment techniques can begin.

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 one of our podiatrists from Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors 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 affects 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 Mesa, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

The foot is comprised of several bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles, which provide the mobility that is necessary to perform daily activities. There are two types of muscles that are in the feet, and these are referred to as extrinsic and intrinsic muscles. When the foot is pointed and flexed, the extrinsic muscles are responsible for this type of action. The latter set of muscles are attached to the foot, and these muscles are used to maintain balance, in addition to moving the feet forward. Uncomfortable and painful foot conditions may possibly diminish when these muscles are properly stretched. There are specific stretches that can be performed, which may be beneficial for the overall health of the foot. These may include static stretches in which the toes can be pulled back until a gentle stretch is felt. Additionally, when dynamic stretches are practiced, the natural motion of the foot may be restored. This can be accomplished by rolling the arch of the foot along a tennis ball or a similar object. If you would like additional information about the benefits of stretching the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Why Stretching is Important for Your Feet

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with one of our podiatrists from Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors 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 to determine 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 exercise, 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 to ice and rest the foot. It is advised that you then see a podiatrist for help.

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

Read more about How to Stretch Your Feet
Monday, 26 November 2018

Can Bunions Be Prevented?

If you have a bunion, you may be experiencing uncomfortable foot conditions that may develop as a result of this ailment. The bony area that forms on the side of the big toe may lead to inflamed and callused skin, which may make walking difficult to accomplish, depending on the severity of the bunion. Research has shown the formation of bunions may be caused by genetic traits, in addition to medical conditions that may be present, which may include cerebral palsy or rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, if you choose to wear shoes that are too tight, a bunion may gradually form, and proper treatment should begin as soon as possible. Bunions may be prevented by wearing shoes that fit correctly, leaving ample room for the toes to freely move about in. If you feel you have developed a bunion, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist to learn about proper treatment techniques.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of our podiatrists of Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors 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 Mesa, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Research has shown that it may be beneficial for the feet and body to exercise bare foot. Professors at the department of Exercise and Sports Sciences at Ithaca College have stated that messages are received in the brain from the feet relating to the environment. When shoes are worn, these messages may get confused as a result of the feet not making direct contact with the ground. The outcome may be overcompensation of other muscle groups, which may ultimately lead to injury. The importance of increasing the strength of small foot muscles may lead to the development of large foot muscles and may decrease the risk of a potential injury. If you would like additional information about the benefits of exercising in bare feet, please speak with a podiatrist.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries and build strength. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Exercise for Your Feet

Exercise for your feet can help you gain strength, mobility and flexibility in your feet. They say that strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body. Your feet are very important, and we often forget about them in our daily tasks. But it is because of our feet that are we able to get going and do what we need to. For those of us fortunate enough to not have any foot problems, it is an important gesture to take care of them to ensure good health in the long run.

Some foot health exercises can include ankle pumps, tip-toeing, toe rises, lifting off the floor doing reps and sets, and flexing the toes. It is best to speak with yOur doctors to determine an appropriate regimen for your needs. Everyone’s needs and bodies are different, and the activities required to maintain strength in the feet vary from individual to individual. 

Once you get into a routine of doing regular exercise, you may notice a difference in your feet and how strong they may become.

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

Read more about Exercise for Your Feet
Monday, 12 November 2018

How to Care for a Broken Toe

If you have incurred an injury to your toe or have dropped a heavy object on it, you may have a broken toe. Common symptoms that typically accompany this condition may include pain and discomfort, swelling, redness, or tenderness. Walking may prove to be a difficult task to accomplish, and the toe may often appear bruised. For severely broken toes, the affected bone may protrude from the skin, or the toe may appear to be at an unnatural angle. Once a proper diagnosis is performed, which is often accomplished by having an X-ray taken, proper treatment techniques can begin. These may include elevating the foot, which may reduce any pain or swelling, taping the affected toe to the toe next to it for support, or wearing appropriate footwear that that can accommodate the broken toe. If you feel you have broken your toe, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include: worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

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

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe

Research has shown the importance of teaching children at a young age how to perform proper foot care. This process may begin with educating the child about their feet. For example, feet are comprised of 26 bones, and the strongest two are the heel bone and the talus bone. These bones carry the majority of the body’s weight as daily activities are pursued. Additionally, proper foot hygiene is important to learn and practice daily, and this may prevent certain uncomfortable foot conditions from developing. This may be accomplished by washing and drying the feet thoroughly every day, walking barefoot in the house, which may aid in helping to spread the toes out, and learning how to trim the toenails properly. Additionally, it’s important for the child to notice any pain or discomfort in their feet, which may be a result of improperly fitting shoes or socks. If this should occur, it’s suggested to visit a podiatrist who can help guide the parents in learning about proper foot care for their child.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact one of our podiatrists of Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of intoeing or outtoeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water, and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

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

Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet
Monday, 29 October 2018

Causes of Hammertoe

A condition that is referred to as hammertoe is typically the result of weakened muscles in the toes. This may be caused by wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, medical conditions including arthritis, or genetic traits, which may include having high arches. Some of the symptoms that may be associated with this condition can often include difficulty in walking or moving the toes, in addition to having a toe that tends to bend in a downward direction. There may be several remedies that can relieve a portion of the discomfort and this may depend on the reason why the hammer toe is present. If it is because of shoes that do not fit properly, changing the footwear may be an option to consider. Additionally, wearing insoles in your shoes may aid in providing moderate relief if the hammer toe develops due to high arches. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to permanently straighten the toes, which may be successfully performed by a podiatrist.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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

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Research has shown that many women suffer from specific physical ailments during their pregnancies, and swollen feet is one of the more common uncomfortable conditions. Women who are pregnant undergo a multitude of changes, which may often result in swollen feet and ankles. These may include the blood becoming thicker, which may be a consequence of unpreventable changes in the blood chemistry. Many women have learned to manage swollen feet during their pregnancies, and this may be accomplished by elevating the feet frequently during the day, drinking plenty of fresh water as often as possible, and maintaining a gentle exercise program. Additionally, it may be advised to sleep on your left side, which may help to regulate blood flow in the body. If you would like additional information about the effects pregnancy may have on your feet, please counsel with a podiatrist.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy, but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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

Read more about Foot Care for Pregnant Women

Many people experience heel pain at some point in their lives. Research has shown the most common type of this uncomfortable condition is referred to as plantar fasciitis. This affects the band of tissue known as the plantar fascia, which connects the heel to the toes. Inflammation may gradually develop as a result of high or low arches or if an injury to the foot has occurred. Bursitis in the heel is another form of foot pain, and may be a result of wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. This type of inflammation originates in the fluid-filled bursa, which is located at the back of the heel.  Additionally, a condition known as heel bumps typically affect teenagers. This may be a result of wearing shoes that cause friction on the underdeveloped heel bone. If the Achilles tendon should endure an injury, severe pain is generally felt in the back of the heel and may gravitate to the back of the calf. If you are experiencing heel pain, it’s suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can determine the cause and begin proper treatment as quickly as possible.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors 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 Mesa, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
Monday, 08 October 2018

Lifestyle Changes and Gout

The medical condition referred to as gout is the result of elevated uric acid levels in the blood. The symptoms of this uncomfortable ailment may include severe pain surrounding the big toe, swelling, and redness. Research has shown there may be triggers that may cause gout including ingesting certain medications, a sudden illness, or an injury to the joint in the toe. Additionally, many gout patients may benefit from a healthy lifestyle change, such as eliminating specific foods and drinks from their daily intake. People who consume an excess of alcohol, or eat an abundance of red meat and shellfish may be more likely to develop gout and this may be a cause of inflated uric acid levels. A podiatrist can perform a proper diagnosis, which may include having an X-ray or CAT scan taken. This will enable the soft tissue and bone to be examined. Once this condition is confirmed, the correct treatment can begin.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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

Read more about Gout
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