By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
March 23, 2017
Category: Sports Injuries
Tags: Untagged

Although most of us are aware of the benefits of stretching before exercise—warms up your muscles, reduces the chance of injury, etc.—we are often tempted to skip this part of our sport or fitness activity. Well, here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we’d like to give you one more good reason to stretch before your workout: stretching can help protect your feet and ankles from injuries and inflammation problems.

What many patients don’t realize is that stretches for your back, knees and calves also benefit your feet. When these other parts of the body are tight, the feet and ankles often suffer as the body tries to compensate for muscle stiffness or pain in other areas. Tight calf muscles, for example, can cause strain on your ankles and be a factor in tendonitis and arch problems. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah have experience working with athletes and can make recommendations about your feet and your fitness routine. If you have questions, contact our Monmouth Junction, Edison or Monroe office for an appointment.

Below are some good stretches to try before your next work out to help protect your feet and ankles. Remember to follow the stretch, hold, release pattern—no bouncing!

Wall Push Up – Stand facing a wall, about three feet away from it. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees locked. Place your hands in front of you and lean into the wall. Hold for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5 times.

Hamstring Stretch – Place your foot on a chair or table that allows you to keep it relatively straight. Keep your balance on your other leg with knee locked. Slowly lower your head over the elevated knee. Stop when you feel your muscles getting tight and hold for a count of 10. Repeat 5 times and then do with the other leg.

Lower Back Stretch – Stand with your legs straight and your feet slightly spread apart. Bending at the waist, attempt to touch the palms of your hands to the floor—only go down until you feel a stretch but not pain! Hold for 10 seconds then release. Repeat 10 times.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
March 17, 2017
Category: Sports Injuries
Tags: Untagged

As the thermometer begins to creep up into the 60’s and fields begin to thaw your children’s minds may be turning to spring sports. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we applaud children being active but at the same time want to see them make the transition from winter activities (or inactivity) to spring sports without injuring their feet.

Caution: Potential Injuries Ahead

If your child has been participating in a winter sport, chances are the spring will bring workouts on very different types of surfaces. If, on the other hand, your child has spent the cold months indoors in front of a screen they will most likely be out of shape. In either case, the solution is the same. Start conditioning slowly and gradually increase practice and playing time. There are many injuries associated with overuse or increasing activity too quickly. Conditions such as Achilles tendon rupture or tendonitis, stress fractures and shin splints can be avoided if young athletes take time to stretch properly before and after exercise and if they follow a sensible program that doesn’t go from “0 to 60” in the first couple of weeks.

Pre-Sport Checklist

Before starting a spring sport, there are a few steps to take to insure a safe season:

  • Make an appointment for a pre-season podiatric check up. Our podiatrists, , Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your child’s feet to make sure there are no existing injuries or conditions. The foot doctor can also make recommendations about types of shoes that will be most comfortable based on whether your child has a tendency to overpronate or has any foot or toe deformities. The podiatrist may want to take a look at your child’s current sports shoes to evaluate the wear pattern for clues to biomechanical issues.
  • Do a shoe inventory. Chances are if it’s been a year since your child played a spring sport they will need new shoes. Even for teens whose size may be stable it’s important to inspect sports shoes for wear. If new shoes are needed, get your child fitted at a professional sports shoe store.
  • Have a pain agreement. Be clear with your child that his or her foot health is more important to you than winning the game. Insist that they tell you if they are in pain and watch for signs in their technique and play that something is hurting.

If you have additional concerns about your child’s feet and sports activities, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
March 08, 2017
Tags: heel pain  

Have you ever thought about how big a part your heels play in your everyday life? Walking, standing, running, jumping, bending and climbing would all be impossible without the work of your heels. When our heels hurt it definitely gets our attention and that’s often when we hear from patients at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care.

The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a long band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from your toes to your heel. When this ligament gets irritated it becomes inflamed. Signs of this inflammation include:

  • Pain in the heel that is often particularly bad with the first steps you take in the morning
  • Arch pain
  • Swelling  in the heel

What Causes Heel Inflammation

Most often plantar fasciitis is the result of a defect in the structure of the foot. Patients with overly high arches or flat feet, for example, are more prone to developing this disorder. Other causes of plantar fasciitis include wearing nonsupportive shoes, radically ramping up your exercise routine, overuse, obesity and work or activities that have you on your feet for many hours at a time.


Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah, will examine your feet and ask questions about your work, fitness and other activities. X-rays or other imaging studies may be ordered. There are other sources of heel pain such as arthritis and nerve issues that the foot doctor will need to rule out. Once a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is confirmed, there are several conservative treatment options the foot doctor may recommend including:

  • Rest
  • Immobilization in the form of a removable walking cast
  • Physical therapy and stretching exercises
  • Shoe modifications and/or custom orthotic inserts
  • Night splint to help keep the plantar fascia stretched overnight while you sleep

If you have been suffering from heel pain, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 28, 2017
Tags: Untagged

Cold weather can trigger certain podiatric conditions. Have you noticed a stiffness or pain in the joint of your big toe (particularly on those very chilly or damp days)? Is it swollen, red and warm to the touch? Is there a bump on the top of the joint? Do activities such as squatting or running seem more difficult? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have the beginnings of a disorder known as Hallux Rigidus. Since many patients at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care have not heard of this condition, here are a few facts to help you better understand what it is and how it can be treated.

  1. Hallux rigidus is an arthritic condition. Sometimes patients mistake it for a bunion because of the bony growth on the top of the joint but hallux rigidus is very different. In the case of a bunion, the bump is usually on the side of the toe and it is caused by the joint shifting out of place. With hallux rigidus, the bump on the top of the joint is actually a bone spur that forms as a result of bone rubbing on bone because the cartilage in the joint has worn away.
  2. Hallux rigidus is a progressive disorder. It will only get worse over time without treatment. In fact, in its early stages, this disorder is called hallux limitus. Hallux means toe and limitus means limited. Initially the toe may be stiff and have a limited range of motion. Over time the condition becomes hallux rigidus, meaning the toe is rigid and unable to bend.
  3. Severe disability and pain can occur with hallux rigidus. Pay attention to your big toe as you stand, walk, run, squat or bend. Each of those movements requires the flexing of the big toe. The inability of the toe to bend creates a debilitating condition for the patient.
  4. Non-invasive treatment is available. If our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, diagnose hallux limitus, they may recommend orthotics, strapping or splinting the toe and/or physical therapy along with medications to relieve pain and inflammation. If, however, the toe becomes completely rigid, surgery may be required.

If cold days are causing discomfort in your big toe joint (or other joints in your feet or ankles) contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office sooner rather than later for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

By contactus@footandanklenj.com
February 23, 2017
Tags: Untagged

After many hours of standing or walking a long distance, it’s not unusual for your feet to feel like they’re on fire. If, however, you find that you are experiencing a burning sensation in your feet on a regular basis, regardless of activity or time of day, the foot doctors at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care will need to see you for a podiatric examination, particularly if you are over the age of 50. Burning feet may be a sign of a serious health problem, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Nerve problems (i.e., Neuroma or tarsal tunnel syndrome)

Heavy alcohol use and gastric restriction in people who are extremely obese can also be the root of a burning sensation in the feet.

Our foot doctors, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will want to get a complete medical history in addition to examining your feet. If the podiatrist suspects a systemic disorder you may be referred to your general physician or a specialist for further testing and consultation.

If no significant health issues are diagnosed, there are several ways you can try to reduce the burning sensation. These include:

  • Take foot baths daily to soothe hot and sweaty feet.
  • Choose cotton socks and those made of lighter fibers. Synthetic materials tend to make it difficult for feet to breathe and may cause irritation and the burning feeling.
  • Be sure that your shoes fit properly and provide the necessary support. Remember that your foot size can change as you age and you should have your foot professionally measured periodically to be sure you are wearing the correct size.
  • Put shock-absorbing or cushioned insoles in your shoes.
  • Try to avoid standing for long periods of time

Sometimes a mechanical imbalance in your feet can be the cause of the burning sensation. The podiatrist may recommend orthotics to help correct the position of the foot. The bottom line is that if you persistently experience burning feet, you need to contact our Monroe, Edison or Monmouth Junction office to make an appointment and get it checked. 

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