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Posts for: November, 2016

By Family Foot & Ankle Care
November 04, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: heel pain  

Heel pain can put quite the damper on your life. Find out how to end your pain once and for all.

It’s amazing just how much heel pain can affect our day-to-day lives. Whether it’s too painful to get around the house and do chores or heel painheel pain has you avoiding your standard workout, pain shouldn’t be dictating your life. If this is an issue you are dealing with, our Sparta, NJ podiatrist, Dr. Philip Caswell, can help.

While coming into our office to visit our Sparta, NJ foot doctor is highly recommended so we can determine the cause of your heel pain, many cases of heel pain are caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammatory condition that affects the band of tissue known as the plantar fascia. If this is the case there are quite a few things you can do to give your feet the TLC they deserve:

  • Apply an ice pack to the heel to reduce pain and inflammation. Make sure to never place ice directly on the skin (always wrap an ice pack in a towel first). Apply the ice for about 15-20 minutes at a time two to three times a day.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen. While it certainly won’t eliminate your pain for good it can at least temporarily provide you with the pain relief you need. Not to mention, it can also reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Try and give your feet a break. We know how hard that can be but being stubborn and trying to go about your regular activities could just make your condition worse, which will only lengthen your recovery time. Avoid strenuous activities that put a lot of pressure on your feet until you have fully recovered. Now is your time to kick back and relax!
  • If you must exercise, we are happy to show you some exercises you can perform each day to help stretch the plantar fascia and strengthen the muscles. If cardio is your activity of choice, go with low-impact activities like swimming or the stationary bike. You can still elevate your heart rate without making your foot feel worse.
  • Talk to us about whether or not custom orthotics (aka: shoe inserts) can help cushion and support the arch and heel of your foot while also taking pressure off the area, especially when walking.

If you find that your heel pain doesn’t resolve within a few weeks despite trying these at-home measures then it’s time to visit Dr. Caswell. Don’t let heel pain tell you how to live your life. Fight back by turning to Family Foot & Ankle Care in Sparta, NJ for the care and treatment you deserve to get back on your feet and living life again.

By Family Foot & Ankle Care
November 01, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Metatarsalgia  

Heel PainMetatarsalgia denotes a common foot condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the joints and bones of the ball of the foot - the area just before the toes, also called the metatarsal region.

Symptoms of metatarsalgia can develop suddenly, especially after an increase in exercise or high-impact activities, but normally the problems develop over time. Common symptoms of metatarsalgia include:

  • Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot - the part of the sole just behind the toes
  • Pain that intensifies when you stand, walk or run
  • Pain that radiates from the balls of the feet into the toes
  • Numbness or tingling in the toes
  • A feeling in your feet as if you are walking with a pebble in your shoe
  • Pain that increases when walking barefoot

Sometimes a single factor can trigger metatarsalgia. More often, multiple factors contribute to the pain, including:

  • Over-training or Over-activity. Extensive training and high-impact sports, especially running, places an abnormal amount of stress on the balls of the feet, causing irritation, inflammation and pain.
  • Other foot disorders. High arches, hammertoes, bunions, stress fractures and Morton's neuroma can all trigger metatarsalgia symptoms.
  • Poor-fitting footwear. High heels, narrow-toed shoes and shoes without adequate padding can all contribute to metatarsal problems.
  • Excess weight. Extra weight places excess pressure on your metatarsals.
  • Aging. The fat pads on the metatarsals thin out as a person ages, diminishing the ability of the metatarsal bones to protect themselves.

Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can disrupt your day to day activities, and when left untreated can lead to additional pain in your unaffected foot, back or hips. Treatment to eliminate metatarsalgia symptoms can be as simple as resting, icing the affected area and wearing proper-fitting shoes to significantly reduce swelling and ease pain.

When conservative treatments aren't effective and pain persists, visit our practice for a full exam and a proper diagnosis. In most cases, metatarsalgia can be treated non-surgically. An experienced podiatrist may prescribe specially-designed orthotics or shock-absorbing insoles and arch supports to prevent and minimize future problems with metatarsalgia.