Pain in the heel is often associated with plantar fasciitis, but it’s not the only possible cause of heel and arch pain. There are a variety of other conditions that can create a similar sensation in the foot but is caused by a totally different mechanism.
Three other possible sources of heel and arch pain:
Joint problems—Sometimes the cause of pain in the bottom of the foot or heel is caused by joint diseases such as arthritis. This pain can radiate to other areas of the foot and, without expert advice, may easily be misidentified as a soft tissue problem.
Soft tissue injuries—The ligaments, tendons, muscles and other softer tissues of the foot can become injured during while working out, causing an injury that mimics a plantar fascia injury. For example, the two peroneal tendons that run along the outside of the foot are sometimes the actual source of bottom-of-the-foot swelling and pain. A serious injury such as a torn ligament would require different treatment, and using the treatment for a plantar fascia injury can actually cause further damage.
Nerve disorders—Since problems with the functioning of nerves is an infrequent source of heel pain, it is often not considered. The stress and pressure that your feet absorb during exercise, along with improper gait mechanics and just normal aging, can adversely affect the peripheral nerves that run from the brain to your extremities.
Nerve related heel pain can be very similar to the pain caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, so it’s important to have a proper diagnosis by your foot care specialist in order to get the correct care. If you are experiencing heel pain and discomfort, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Ingrown toenails can not only be unsightly and a possible avenue for a fungal nail infection, but also can be extremely painful. So preventing them from happening in the first place is the best strategy.
Some methods to help prevent ingrown toenails from occurring include:
● Proper nail cutting technique—Use the appropriate toenail clippers for trimming. Larger clippers are meant to be used on bigger nails and will be more effective and easier to use. Always cut your nails as straight across as possible, and make them the same length as the tips of your toes. Cutting nails too short is a major way that ingrown toenails get started. Be certain to clean your clippers with rubbing alcohol or another disinfectant before and after each use to help ward off infection.
● Properly fitted shoes—Pick shoes that are wide enough in the toe area so that they don’t squeeze your toes together or cause rubbing against your footwear. Pressure on your toes from tight-fitting shoes can cause the toenail to grow into the surrounding tissue despite your best efforts, so avoid high heels!
● Don’t damage the cuticles—The nail cuticles are where your nail growth actually occurs, so try not to cut into them. This will help protect against harmful fungal and bacterial infections. Always gently push the cuticles back into position.
● Protect your feet—An injury to your toe caused by dropping a heavy object on your foot can also cause a nail to grow into your surrounding skin. It’s often a good idea to protect your feet with shoes even while walking around the house to prevent stubbing or other injuries. Those individuals suffering from diabetes should check their feet daily for ingrown toenails and check for any signs of infection that could lead to a possible amputation of a toe or foot.
If you need help treating stubborn ingrown toenails, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Having a feeling that there is a small object such as a pebble in your shoe is the main symptom of a condition called Morton’s neuroma. It occurs when a metatarsal ligament traps a nerve causing inflammation and discomfort that usually presents between the second and third, or third and fourth metatarsal bones that lead to your toes. If you don’t have an actual rock in your footwear that is causing this feeling, then you should visit your podiatrist for proper evaluation and treatment.
The actual cause of neuromas is still under investigation, but it often appears to be a result of injury and pressure that pushes on the nerves that run into your toes. Women are diagnosed with this ailment nearly three times as often as men due to the deleterious effects of wearing high heeled shoes. High impact sports such as tennis, jogging, and basketball, and any actions which cause repetitive stress to the feet, can also contribute to this condition. Individuals with foot deformities including bunions and flat feet are also more susceptible.
Treatment Options for Morton’s Neuroma
Depending on the severity of your neuroma and your particular situation, your foot doctor will customize your treatment. Suggestions may include the following:
- Change your shoes—Shoes with a wider toe box will help to relieve pressure on the interdigital nerve that is often inflamed by this condition.
- Limiting activities—Reducing the wear and tear to your feet by taking it easy with sports or other strenuous activities.
- Orthotic inserts—Properly placed custom orthotic inserts and foam pads may help to relieve pressure and irritation by shifting the stress to other parts of the foot.
- Anti-inflammatory medications—Ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will reduce pain.
- Icing—Applying ice to the area for 15 minutes several times a day can help reduce swelling and pain.
- Steroid injections—These can provide long-term relief but may also be implicated as the cause of damage to surrounding soft tissues after repeated use.
If you feel like you have a pebble in your shoe, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Chilblains occur when the tiny veins called capillaries in your skin become irritated and inflamed after repeat exposure to cold, winter air. Often referred to as pernio, this condition causes red spots and blotches, severe itching, a burning sensation, and swelling and blistering on the hands and feet. Once you develop the condition of chilblains, they often become chronic and occur over a period of many years in correlation with cold weather. The best way to prevent the scourge of chilblains is to try avoiding getting the condition in the first place by dressing warmly and keeping exposed skin covered from exposure to the cold.
Signs and Symptoms of Chilblains include:
- Itching—Small, red, itchy areas on your hands and feet
- Skin color changes—Skin color can change from red to a dark blue with a pronounced increase in pain
- Burning feeling—A sensation of burning on the skin of the feet
- Wounds and blisters—This condition is often accompanied by blisters and small ulcers
Risk Factors for acquiring Chilblains include:
- Geography—People living in areas of high humidity and cold temperatures (but not freezing) are more likely to get chilblains. Chilblains are less likely to occur for people who live in areas where the temperature frequently drops below freezing.
- Tight shoes and clothing—Wearing tight fitting shoes and clothing, especially in a cold, damp environment, can increase the occurrences of chilblains.
- Gender—Women are more prone to developing chilblains, more so than men or kids.
- Circulation—Poor blood circulation can make you more sensitive to temperature fluctuations.
- Raynaud’s disease—is often a precursor to developing chilblains.
When the weather gets warmer, chilblains often get better on their own. However, if the pain persists or if you don’t notice any improvement after two or three weeks, you should check with your doctor to eliminate any other possible causes. If you have diabetes, you need to be especially watchful for skin wounds and blistering since they may develop into infections leading to possible amputation.
If you suspect that you may be suffering from chilblains on your feet, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
The tarsal tunnel is a channel that exists in between part of your ankle bone and a bevy of ligaments that span across your foot. This tunnel carries the nerves, tendons, and arteries that allow you to use your foot. One of the main nerves inside the tarsal tunnel is the tibial nerve, which is necessary for providing feeling to the bottom of your foot. This nerve can become inflamed and irritated due to excessive pressure causing the condition known as tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS).
Diseases or injuries that may produce the pressure that initiates this disease include:
● A varicose vein or bone spur
● Swelling due to an ankle injury
● Arthritis and diabetes
● Flat feet or fallen arches
Some of the symptoms of TTS include the following:
● Foot numbness
● Tingling or burning sensation
● Shooting pain
A diagnosis of tarsal tunnel syndrome is often a difficult matter due to the fact that other conditions can cause similar symptoms, so it is very important to consult with your podiatrist to devise the most efficacious treatment plan. Your foot doctor will perform a complete clinical exam followed by imaging studies (X-ray, CT or MRI), and electrical testing such as EMG or nerve conduction studies may be required to confirm this diagnosis.
Non-surgical treatment options include:
● Steroid injections
● NSAIDS for pain and inflammation
● Braces, splints and orthotic inserts to reduce the pressure on the nerve
In difficult cases where conservative treatments do not relieve pain and discomfort, you may require the intervention of a skilled foot doctor to surgically release the pressure on the nerve.
If you suspect that you may have tarsal tunnel inflammation, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
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