With age, it’s not uncommon to experience pain and stiffness in your feet and ankles. Carefully monitoring your pain is important, however, as this noticeable discomfort could be an early indication of a more serious condition known as arthritis. Arthritis is a group of conditions that typically involves pain and inflammation in the joints. There are many types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common form. Left untreated, pain caused by arthritis will get worse, eventually leading to a joint weakness that can interfere with the most basic daily activities.
Arthritis can have a serious impact on the structure and function of your feet and ankles. See a podiatrist if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Chronic pain or tenderness
- Limited mobility or motion
- Stiffness early in the day
- Changes in skin, including growths and rashes
Whenever you notice a change in your lower extremities, contact our podiatrists at our practice for a thorough evaluation. When detected early, proper treatment can slow the development of arthritis and get you back to your active lifestyle.
Treating Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle
Our practice can help you determine the best treatment option depending on the type and severity of your arthritis.
Treatment options include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections for the joint
- Shoe inserts, pads, braces or arch supports
- Physical therapy and exercise
- Custom-designed shoes
- Weight management
When arthritis doesn’t respond to conservative treatment, surgical intervention may be considered as the last resort.
A thorough evaluation of your health and type of arthritis will allow our podiatrists to recommend the best treatment plan for you. Arthritis is a disabling disease, but with early detection, you can help manage the pain associated with arthritis of the foot and ankle and maintain a healthy, fulfilling life. Allow our podiatrists to assess your foot and ankle pain and get you back on your feet.
An ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries to the ankle, resulting from a fall or a sudden twist that forces the ligaments out of their normal position. It’s no wonder so many athletes suffer from ankle sprains every year.
The severity of an ankle sprain depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn or completely torn. Look for the following symptoms if you think you have sprained your ankle:
- Immediate pain at the site of the tear
- Immediate swelling
- Hearing or feeling something tear, pop or snap during the twist
- Pain and difficulty moving the ankle
- Inability to walk or bear weight on the ankle
Treating Your Ankle Sprain
Early treatment of a sprained ankle can improve the recovery time and minimize symptoms. The following steps will reduce swelling and help alleviate pain until you can get into our office.
- Rest: Stay off your ankle as much as possible. This will ease the pain, as well as reduce the swelling.
- Ice: It’s critical to ice your injured ankle throughout the day for the first 24 hours or until the swelling goes down.
- Compression: Elastic wraps, such as an ACE bandage, will help reduce swelling.
- Elevation: Rest your ankle above the level of your heart to keep swelling to a minimum.
Preventing Injuries to the Ankle
With extra care, you can help avoid ankle injuries.
- Wear appropriate shoes for each activity
- Throw out old, worn out shoes
- Be cautious of wet, slippery floors at work or at home
- Wear ankle braces or have your ankle taped during sports activities for increased stability
If you’ve injured your ankle and are experiencing pain or difficulty walking, come into our office for an examination and proper diagnosis. If an ankle sprain is not treated promptly with the necessary attention and care, chronic problems of pain and instability may result. Our podiatrists can recommend a treatment plan based on the severity of the sprain to ensure proper healing and a fast recovery.
The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body, located in the back of the lower leg and connecting the heel bone to the calf muscle. This tendon is crucial as it facilitates walking and running by helping to raise the heel off of the ground. While the tendon can withstand immense force, it’s also surprisingly vulnerable. Injuries to the Achilles tendon require prompt treatment.
When the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed from excessive use, tendinitis can weaken it over time and cause small tears. Athletes are at a high risk for Achilles tendon injuries, which often occur at the start of a new exercise or training program, or due to not having enough rest or recovery time.
You don’t have to be an accomplished athlete to suffer an Achilles tendon injury. People with flat feet, arthritis and other foot problems are also more susceptible to develop Achilles tendinitis due to increased demands placed on the tendon when walking.
Common symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include:
- Mild pain after running or exercising that intensifies gradually
- Localized pain along the tendon, especially after running
- Tenderness near the heel bone, with pain being worse first thing in the morning
- Stiffness and limited range of motion in the lower leg and ankle
- Swelling around the tendon
- When the disorder progresses to degeneration, the tendon may become enlarged and develop nodules in the area where the tissue is damaged
To prevent injuries to the Achilles tendon, strengthening and stretching the calf muscles through daily exercise is recommended. Alternating intense exercise with low-impact workouts and wearing proper shoes for your foot type and activity can also help reduce your risk for injury.
Any time you experience pain, tenderness or swelling along the Achilles tendon, visit us for professional diagnosis and treatment. Treatment for an injured Achilles tendon should begin right away with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Without prompt care, Achilles tendinitis will get progressively worse, thus increasing the risk for further deterioration and rupture. As a last resort, surgery may be recommended to repair the tendon.
Our office can provide the best diagnosis and treatment, for optimal recovery. If you suspect Achilles tendinitis is holding you back, call us today to schedule an appointment, and get on the road to walking with ease again.
We’ve all been there before - after a long day of work, shopping or a playing sports, your feet ache and you feel as if you couldn’t walk another step from the pain. They might be heavy and swollen, even tight in your shoes, especially as you age. So why do your feet hurt after a long day upright, and when is it time to worry it might be something more than simple strain?
Achy Feet Factors:
Causes of Achy Feet
When you are constantly on your feet, a significant amount of stress is put on your legs and feet. Strenuous walking or standing for long periods has an obvious effect on your feet. Other factors include ill-fitting, poorly padded shoes, tight socks or stockings and tight garters. Reduced blood circulation to the ankles and feet also causes tired aching feet.
Your age and level of dehydration contribute to how achy your feet are after a long day. Poor circulation can also cause foot swelling and, therefor, foot pain.
5 Simple Ways to Relieve Tired, Aching Feet
There are ways to relieve pain associated sore feet and legs.
Elevate your feet for 15-20 minutes.
Soak your feet in warm water with epsom salts, or a warm, wet towel and wrap it around your feet and legs.
Massage your feet or have someone massage your feet for you.
Exercise your feet, as it helps to keep them healthy - it tones muscles, helps to strengthen the arches and stimulates blood circulation.
Wear orthotic insoles in your shoes. Ask your podiatrist if an orthotic device is a good fit for your lifestyle
When foot pain persists, it's important to visit our office for a thorough examination. The cause of your foot pain may be more serious than simple stress and overwork. Your podiatrist can identify serious problems and work with you to determine a treatment plan that will put an end to your tired, achy feet once and for all.
A child's feet grow rapidly during the first year, reaching almost half of their adult foot size. This is why podiatrists consider the first year to be the most important in the development of the feet. Proper care at a young age is essential for healthy development. Since many adult foot ailments develop in childhood, periodic visits to your child’s podiatrist and basic foot care can help minimize these problems later in life.
A child’s feet are formed from soft, pliable cartilage which makes them more susceptible to deformities. A young child can be affected by foot conditions such as:
- Flat feet
- Heel pain
Tips for Parents
Parents can help promote normal, healthy foot development for their baby.
- Examine your baby’s feet regularly. If you detect anything unusual, contact your child’s pediatrician or podiatrist right away.
- Encourage exercise. Lying uncovered allows the baby to kick and move feet and toes freely so not to inhibit normal development.
- Cover feet loosely. Tight clothing or covers restrict movement.
- Alternate your baby’s position several times a day. Lying too long in one spot may place unnecessary strain on the feet and legs.
As your baby continues to grow and develop, so will the feet. It may be necessary to change shoe and sock size every few months, as tight-fitting footwear can aggravate pre-existing conditions. After your child takes their first steps, you should also carefully observe walking patterns. Intoeing, out-toeing, and gait abnormalities can be corrected when they are detected early.
A baby’s feet will carry them throughout life, so it’s important to begin good foot care at a young age. Neglecting your child’s foot health invites problems in other parts of the body, such as the back and legs. Whether you have questions about your child’s foot health or suspect a problem with the development of your child’s feet, please contact our office. We want every step your child makes toward adulthood to be pain-free and easy!
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