Heel pain is one of the leading problems that sends patients to visit their podiatrist, and it’s no wonder. The relentless ache in the bottom of your foot or the sharp pain as you step out of bed in the morning is often enough to persuade even the most stubborn patient to make an appointment with his or her podiatrist.
Because there are many potential causes of heel pain, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, nerve damage or arthritis, it’s important to have your foot examined by a podiatrist with expert training in heel pain. Our practice will examine your foot, determine the underlying source of your heel pain, assess your symptoms, make a proper diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan based on your individual case. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent more serious problems.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, occurring when the thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that connects the heel to the toes becomes irritated and inflamed. When the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension, tissues of the fascia may tear or stretch, which leads to pain.
Faulty foot structures, such as flat feet or high arches, are common causes of plantar fasciitis. Non-supportive shoes and increased weight or strain may aggravate the condition as well.
Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Bottom of the heel pain
- Pain that intensifies after sitting for extended periods of time and subsides after a few minutes of walking
- Pain that worsens over a period of months
Most types of heel pain, once properly diagnosed, can be successfully treated with conservative measures, such as use of anti-inflammatory medications and ice, rest, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, footwear modifications and physical therapy. The longer heel pain is allowed to progress, the longer treatment can take. When plantar fasciitis doesn’t respond to conservative care, your podiatrist may recommend surgery as a last resort. Always seek care from our office for heel pain in its earliest stages for proper treatment.
Welcome to the Blog of Family Foot & Ankle Care
Whether you are an existing patient or searching for a podiatrist in the Sparta, NJ area, we’re excited you are here. With the podiatric industry advancing, we recognize the importance of keeping our patients and visitors up to date with all of the new and exciting things taking place in our practice.
As we move forward with our blog, we hope to promote good foot health as a vital part of your healthy lifestyle. Here you will find a variety of articles and topics including podiatry news, advancements in podiatric treatments, practical foot and ankle health advice and updates from our practice.
We hope you find our blog to be helpful, engaging and informational to ensure your best foot and ankle health
As always, feel free to contact Family Foot & Ankle Care with any questions or concerns.
-- The Podiatry Team at Family Foot & Ankle Care
What your podiatrist in Sparta wants you to know
If you are a diabetic, you are not alone. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, over 29 million Americans are affected by the disease. Diabetes is a systemic disease that affects many areas and systems in your body, including your immune, nervous and circulatory systems.
The disease also wreaks havoc with your feet, causing pain, ulcerative lesions and loss of sensitivity. Your feet require special care if you are diabetic. Dr. Philip Caswell at Family Foot & Ankle Care in Sparta, NJ wants to help you take special care of your feet.
One of the foot problems associated with diabetes is diabetic neuropathy, a condition which causes pain and loss of sensation in your feet. Due to a compromised nervous system, you may not feel it if you are damaging your feet.
Infections and diabetic ulcers can develop because your immune system is impaired. You may not be able to fight off infections which can result from simple cuts, scratches or blisters.
Circulatory problems from diabetes can cause ischemia and tissue death because not enough blood gets to your feet and toes. The end result of lack of blood flow may be amputation of toes or feet.
If you are diabetic, you need to take special care of your feet. Your foot doctor in Sparta wants you to follow these simple steps to ensure your feet stay healthy:
- Check your feet every day, looking at the sides and soles of your feet with a hand mirror.
- If you have cuts, bruises or blisters, bandage them for protection against further injury or infection.
- Thoroughly wash and dry your feet every day; apply lotion to keep your skin from drying out and cracking.
- Always wear soft, supportive socks and comfortable footwear; don’t go barefoot.
- Exercise and move your ankles and toes regularly to increase circulation.
- Avoid extreme temperatures because you might not feel the heat or cold and can injure your feet.
If you are diabetic, you don’t have to take care of your feet alone. Regular visits to your foot doctor are a vital part of your healthcare. For more information on diabetic foot care call Dr. Caswell at Family Foot & Ankle Care in Sparta, NJ. Call today!
Characterized by thick, unsightly, discolored nails, fungus-infected toenails can be irritating, embarrassing and painful. For years, the only treatments available for toenail fungus were topical and oral medications or removal of the nail. Typically, the medications were largely ineffective and removal of the nail plate was painful and debilitating.
Fast, Effective and Pain-Free Nail Fungus Treatment
A new breakthrough in technology is making it possible to get rid of your nail fungus fast- a new procedure known as PinPointe FootLaser. The new, patented laser technology treats nail fungus safely and quickly, with no drugs, no anesthesia, and no pain. It's specially designed to penetrate your toenail, vaporizing the fungus embedded deep in your nail bed. Better yet, the powerful laser beam targets the infection only and has no effect on surrounding healthy tissue. In just one appointment at our office, we can treat your nail fungus, and within months following the treatment, the toenail will replace itself with a healthy, clear, fungus free nail.
Avoiding Irritating Toenail Fungus
Prevention is key to avoiding a fungal infection. The following tips can help you avoid toenail fungus.
- Practice good hygiene and inspect feet and toes regularly
- Try not to injure your nail by cutting it too short, as trauma to the nail may lead to infection
- Wear moisture wicking socks
- Wear dry, proper-fitting shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet
- Wear shower sandals when you are at a public pool or shower
Left untreated, a fungal infection can spread to other toenails, the skin on the feet and even the fingernails. Severe cases can impair one's ability to walk or lead to painful ingrown toenails. It's important to seek care when you notice signs of infection.
If you're ready to eliminate your toenail fungus, contact our office and learn more about the new PinPointe FootLaser. We can evaluate your fungal infection and make recommendations for best treating and eradicating your toenail fungus once and for all.
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that can develop in various parts of your body. In the foot, the most common occurring neuroma develops at the base of the third and fourth toes. This condition is referred to as Morton's neuroma.
There are typically no physical signs of Morton's neuroma, such as a lump or a knot. Instead, symptoms may include:
- A sharp, achy or burning pain in the ball of your foot
- Numbness, tingling, or cramping in the toes or forefoot
- Feeling as if you're standing on a pebble in your shoe
While the exact cause of Morton's neuroma is unknown, the growth of the neuroma seems to occur in response to injury, pressure or irritation to one of the nerves that lead to the toes. People with foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes and flat feet are at higher risk for developing a neuroma. Women are also more likely to develop this condition, as wearing high-heels or narrow-toed shoes can increase pressure on the toes. Other potential causes are activities that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running.
Morton's neuroma can make walking and performing normal activities difficult and painful. Treatment options vary with severity, and identifying the neuroma in its earliest stage of development is important to avoid more invasive treatments or surgical correction. Left untreated, neuromas tend to worsen, so it's always best to visit our office at the first sign of pain.
Early treatments aim to relieve or reduce pressure on the area around the affected toes. Depending on the severity of your neuroma, a podiatrist may recommend:
- Modifications to footwear. Wide-toed shoes relieve pressure on the neuroma.
- Shoe inserts or padding to provide support for the arch of the foot, which removes pressure from the nerve.
- Anti-inflammatory medications can help ease any pain and inflammation. Ask your doctor first.
- Icing to reduce inflammation.
- Rest to lessen repetitive pressure on the neuroma.
In the most severe cases, surgery may be recommended for patients who do not respond to conservative treatments. We can help you determine the best approach for your specific condition.
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