Items filtered by date: October 2023

Tuesday, 31 October 2023 00:00

Causes and Treatment for Foot Drop

Foot drop, a condition that affects one foot and impedes the ability to walk normally, can stem from various causes. Most commonly, foot drop results from peroneal nerve injury, often linked to sports injuries or surgical incidents, like hip or knee replacements. Spinal problems, such as slipped discs, may also compress the peroneal nerve, as can prolonged leg crossing, kneeling, or squatting. Peripheral neuropathy from diabetes can damage nerves and weaken muscles, potentially leading to foot drop. Extended immobility, such as hospital stays, can cause muscle weakness, including those governing foot movement. The main symptom of foot drop is a marching gait that requires a higher lifting of the knee with each step to allow the toe to clear the ground. Addressing foot drop can involve customized exercise regimens to strengthen and stretch leg and foot muscles. Devices, including braces, splints, or shoe inserts may help to promote foot stability and reduce fall risks. Electrical nerve stimulation aids nerve activation, which may be beneficial for stroke or multiple sclerosis patients. Surgery may be considered in cases of permanent foot drop, involving joint fusion for stability or nerve repair and grafting to restore function. For a clear idea of how to manage foot drop, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist. 

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Philip C. Caswell, DPM from Family Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

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Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, are a common condition that affects individuals of all ages. Identifying whether you have flat feet involves recognizing various signs and symptoms. First, stand on an even surface and observe the soles of your feet. If your arches touch the ground entirely or appear significantly lowered, you may have flat feet. Pain or discomfort in the feet, particularly in the arches, heels, or calves, can also indicate flat feet. Additionally, your shoes may wear out more on the inner side, revealing your foot's pronation pattern. Consulting a podiatrist for a thorough evaluation and diagnosis is essential to determine if you have flat feet. A podiatrist will explore appropriate treatments and support options for your specific needs. If you think you have flat feet, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with this type of doctor as soon as possible.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Philip C. Caswell, DPM from Family Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  


  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn


If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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

Read more about Flatfoot
Tuesday, 17 October 2023 00:00

Children’s Custom Orthotics

Children's orthotics may be needed to support their foot growth and development. However, knowing when to seek the counsel of a podiatrist is vital. Typically, before the age of three, concerns related to a child's gait naturally resolve as their muscles and foot structures mature. In these early years, orthotics are seldom necessary, and simple shoe adjustments or exercises may suffice. Yet, specific signs should prompt consultation. For example, flat feet can lead to joint pain and posture issues, warranting attention. Likewise, if a child's feet point inward or outward, it is crucial to address this to prevent long-term muscle imbalances and mobility problems. Some foot deformities, such as hammertoes and bunions can be corrected with orthotics if addressed promptly. Abnormal shoe wear, recurring foot pain, and rapid fatigue during physical activities can all indicate underlying foot problems. In most cases, custom foot orthotics effectively address these concerns, facilitating proper development without pain. If you have any questions about your child's foot health, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for professional guidance.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Philip C. Caswell, DPM from Family Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Sparta, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes
Friday, 13 October 2023 00:00

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

Tuesday, 10 October 2023 00:00

Imaging Tests for Heel Pain

There are a number of imaging options for diagnosing heel pain. Heel pain can result from a variety of causes, and the choice of imaging method depends on the suspected condition. Common imaging tools for assessing heel pain include radiographs, diagnostic ultrasound, MRI, and CT scans. Radiographs are often used initially to rule out bone-related causes such as stress fractures or bone cysts. Different views, including lateral ankle and foot, calcaneal axial, and medial oblique views, can provide valuable information. Diagnostic ultrasound is a dynamic and cost-effective tool that offers detailed information about soft tissues, such as the plantar fascia, calcaneal bursa, nerves, and tendons. It is particularly useful for conditions like plantar fasciitis and Baxter's nerve entrapment. CT scans are less common but can be used when fractures are suspected. An MRI is the most comprehensive tool for diagnosing causes of heel pain, including plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, nerve entrapment, and soft tissue abnormalities. It can provide a detailed view of the heel region and associated structures. For specific conditions, a combination of ultrasounds and MRIs may offer the most comprehensive diagnostic approach. If you are suffering from heel pain, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and individualized treatment plan.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Philip C. Caswell, DPM of Family Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctor 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


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 Sparta, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 03 October 2023 00:00

Definition and Common Symptoms of Heel Spurs

Heel spurs often misconstrued as a painful condition on their own, are actually bony growths that develop on the underside of the heel bone. Heel spurs develop in response to prolonged stress on the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. This continuous stress can lead to the formation of calcium deposits, resulting in the characteristic bony protrusions. The most common symptom of heel spurs is sharp, stabbing pain in the heel, typically upon standing or walking, especially in the morning or after periods of rest. The pain is often described as localized and can radiate along the arch of the foot. It is important to note that not everyone with heel spurs experiences pain. In some cases, they are detected incidentally during X-rays taken for other foot-related issues. Treatment options may include rest, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, or, in severe cases, medical interventions to alleviate pain and improve foot function. If you suspect you have heel spurs and are experiencing persistent heel pain, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. 

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact Philip C. Caswell, DPM from Family Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.


The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.


There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in Sparta, NJ . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Heel Spurs

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