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Posts for: March, 2017

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
March 30, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that the health of your feet is dependent on the health of the rest of your body. In honor of National Nutrition Month, we want our patients to be aware of how your diet can impact your podiatric health.

  1. Your weight is largely controlled by your diet. This is the most obvious reason to pay attention to what you eat but it’s also one of the most important. Being overweight increases the risk and severity of a number of foot problems, including plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and metatarsalgia, as well as non-specific foot pain. Carrying excess weight can also make you less active which in turn can have a negative impact on your circulation. It’s important to not only eat nutrient dense foods—vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins—but also to watch portion size.
  2. Inflammation can be affected by what you eat. Sugary foods and fried foods are known to trigger an inflammatory response, while strawberries, cherries, olive oil, salmon, bok choy, turmeric and almonds can decrease inflammation. Why does that matter to your feet? The pain caused by many foot conditions like Achilles tendonitis, capsulitis and plantar fasciitis is due to inflammation.
  3. You can increase the strength of your bones. The 26 bones in each of your feet do a tremendous amount of work every day. Keeping them strong is an important part of maintaining an active lifestyle. Including lots of dark green leafy vegetables, white beans, fish and low fat dairy products, as well as fortified cereals and juices in your daily food plan will protect bone health.

To learn more about how your diet may be affecting your foot health, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office and make an appointment with our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah by calling: 732-662-3050.


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

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.

Treatment

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.