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Wednesday, 19 January 2022 00:00

Podiatrists treat many types of disorders that cause pain in various parts of the heel. The most common heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue), which causes pain on the bottom of the foot. Other common sources of heel pain include a calcaneal (heel bone) fracture, heel pad syndrome (a wearing down of the cushion on the bottom of the heel), nerve entrapment, including tarsal tunnel syndrome (which can also cause tingling, numbness or burning), neuromas (nerve swelling), and Achilles tendinopathy (damage to the tendon that attaches to the heel bone). Growing children may also be prone to Sever’s disease, which is irritation in the growth plate of the heel. If you have heel pain, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist. They will typically begin their evaluation by asking where the pain is located in the heel, along with medical history questions, followed by a physical examination. They may also use various diagnostic tools to determine the underlying cause of your heel pain and how best to treat it.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Eastern Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 Greenville, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 11 January 2022 00:00

The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes. This strong ligament supports the arch of the foot, providing it with strength, stability, and shock absorption as you go about your day. Stretching the plantar fascia can help keep it strong, flexible, and healthy, preventing debilitating injuries and foot pain. Stretching is also helpful if you are recovering from a plantar fascia injury. One simple stretch that you can do is a towel scrunch. Sit in a chair and place a towel flat on the floor in front of you. Using just your toes, scrunch up the towel, pulling it towards you. For more information about the benefits of stretching the plantar fascia, 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 one of our podiatrists from Eastern Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 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 Greenville, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 04 January 2022 00:00

Signs that you may have contracted a fungal toenail infection are rather easy to spot. Typically, you will notice a whitening or yellowing of the nail, and it will appear to be thicker and more brittle. The fungus, known as onychomycosis, is often spread in swimming pools, saunas, gyms, or nail salons – places where you are likely to walk barefoot. Tight socks that hold in moisture may also be a contributing factor. Heat, humidity, and perspiration help spread the infection, which is highly contagious. A few natural remedies that may help reduce the fungus from spreading include applying tea tree, lavender, lemon, or thyme oils to the affected nails. A foot bath with baking soda or white vinegar may help too. However, if the nail condition persists or spreads it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist for an examination and treatment plan.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of Eastern Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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

 

Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus
Tuesday, 28 December 2021 00:00

A bunion is a bony growth that occurs at the base of the big toe joint. Thought to be caused by faulty foot mechanics, bunions are often hereditary, meaning that they run in families. Wearing tight shoes with pointed toes can make bunions more likely to develop. Other than the deformity itself, symptoms of a bunion include pain, soreness, inflammation, redness, or a burning sensation around the bunion. It can become painful to wear certain shoes, walk, or stand for prolonged periods of time. Bunions progressively worsen without treatment, so it is strongly suggested that you see a podiatrist if you have a bunion that is bothering you. 

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of our podiatrists of Eastern Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 Greenville, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Bunions?
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