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Posts for tag: Foot pain

By Nrupa Shah
December 17, 2014

Pregnant women endure a lot more hardship than men can probably imagine. The birthing process alone (from induction to final birth) tops any pain a male feels at any given time. But we also have to think about the nine months leading up to that. What kind of pain do women experience then? Do they experience pain? In actuality, they experience lots of pain mainly in the joints—feet, knees, hips, and back are the most common areas. But if we’re able to treat the feet and educate patients on proper footwear during pregnancy, the other painful joints have the potential to be pain-free as well. 37 year-old Grammy award singer, Shakira, was caught wearing high-heels at a proposed 8 months pregnant. This is not something your podiatrists at Affiliate Foot and Ankle Care located in Monroe and Edison, NJ would condone by any means. Wearing the proper footwear during pregnancy is crucial to pain-free joints.

 Usually pregnant patients complain of a painful arch because the joints in their feet tend to compress and pronate causing their arches to collapse and that’s where the term “flat feet” comes in to context. If shoes alone do not fix the problem, patients can be casted for custom foot orthotics. These orthotics will bring the arch back to its original position which will in turn cause the lower leg to align itself properly with the remaining joints all doing the same as well.

Moral of this story—do not wear high heels when you’re pregnant. Women’s feet are already at a higher risk for pain and deformity when they’re pregnant and wearing high heels only increases that risk. Again, if you were told to buy new shoes give them a try for at least a month before deciding they work or not. Lastly, if shoes alone don’t work please do not hesitate to give our office a call so we can properly assess your pain and foot function and get you in the proper orthotics to get you walking pain-free again.

 By Nrupa Shah

A callus is an area of the skin with an excess buildup of keratinocytes (cells that produce the keratin which makes up the outer layer of skin).  The cells proliferate in response to any excess in pressure or friction.  This is your body's natural protective response traumatic stimuli.  The most common places for calluses to form are the hands and the feet.  I commonly get a callus buildup on my hands when doing pulling exercises at the gym.  This can get irritating which is why many heavy lifters use chalk or lifting gloves.

The feet are also a very common place for callus formation.  The average active adult will walk over 5000 steps a day which equates to over 2 miles.  Every step puts your entire body weight and momentum onto your shoes which in turn transfers that pressure to your feet.  That's a lot of pressure and friction every single day.  The feet are built to handle this pressure and for most people it's not a problem.  However, many people get a buildup of calluses.  For the trained eye, these calluses are obvious patterns of wear that indicate problem areas in the foot.  Common places for callus formation are the heel, metatarsal heads (the balls of your feet), side of the big toe, and on top of the toes. 

Without getting too technical, let's just say that the foot has more going on biomechanically than any other location in your body.  With 26 bones in each foot interacting with each other at 33 joints it doesn't take much to throw the system out of wack.  The purpose of these joints is to absorb the body weight and propel you along while expending the least amount of energy possible.  Your body is remarkably efficient at locomotion. 

So what can throw the system out of wack?

·         Wearing shoes that interfere with normal motion or don't properly distribute the weight

·         Variations in foot structure that can predispose to abnormal weight distribution

·         rapid weight gain that puts more stress on the foot than it can handle

·         Trauma that alters growth at a young age

·         Anything that causes pronation

·         Arthritis, pain, or injury which may cause you to alter your gait to alleviate the pain

The list can go on but you get the idea.  When you visit your podiatrist, you can bet he'll be looking at your calluses for clues as to what may be happening with your foot.  In many cases the reason for callus formation is benign such as a recent change in shoes or increase in activity.  In other cases, orthotics may be able to relieve the callus formation and correct a biomechanical abnormality. 

If you are curious as to why you have recurrent callus formation, then I encourage you to make an appointment with your local podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care located in Edison and Monroe NJ today.  Have a great day and remember to take care of your feet!

By Nrupa Shah

 

In your calf there are deep layers of muscles; one of these muscles is known as the tibialis posterior muscle. The tendon of this muscle attaches the muscle to the bones on the inside of the foot. This tendon functions to support the arch of the foot, and to support the foot while walking.  If the tendon simply becomes inflamed, you will most likely be diagnosed with posterior tibial tendonitis. In some occasions the tendon can actually tear. A posterior tibial tear is the most common reason for an adult’s flatfoot.

The common symptoms of this tendonitis include pain on the inside of the foot and ankle, this area may also be swollen, and the pain will get worse with activities like walking or running. Sometimes there can also be pain on the outside of the ankle due to the heel bone shifting outwards due to the inflammation of this tendon. This injury is common in runners, basketball players and tennis players. Also women are more likely to get this than men, and people over the age of 40 are at a higher risk for developing this.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to make an appointment with a podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Edison and Monroe NJ to get a proper diagnosis. Your doctor will do a few things to confirm this diagnosis; they will look for swelling in the indicated area, a change in shape of the foot due to the heel bone moving and a very important test they will do is ask you to stand on your tip toes on one let at a time. When this tendon is healthy anyone should be able to do that without a problem, but when there is tendonitis trying to do this will be painful and most likely won’t be able to do it.

After a diagnosis is made your podiatrist will recommend rest, ice and Tylenol to help with the pain and inflammation. Your doctor will also recommend custom orthotics to help relieve the stress off the tendon so it can heal. In severe cases steroid injections or braces may be required to help the tendon heal.

By: Varun Gujral

 

It may seem weird but there are two tiny bones embedded in the tendon under your big toe, and these bones can become irritated and can lead to the injury called sesamoiditis. This injury is caused by any activity that makes you push off on the front of your foot. Every time you push off the front of your foot these bones are involved and when activity is vigorous or the amount of activity has increased these bones can become irritated and sometimes fractured. This injury is very common to dancers and gymnasts. Some of our favorite gymnasts like Shawn Johnson and Gabrielle Douglas are very prone to this injury due to their amount of activity.  Since these bones are located inside a tendon the irritation causes the tendon to become inflamed which adds to the pain. Even though there is a lot of pain associated with this injury there is no visible swelling or bruising on the foot. So how can this be diagnosed if there are no visible symptoms? This injury is unique in that the pain isn’t immediate, it is very gradual. It will start out as an ache and over time as the activity is continued the pain will become worse and worse.

Treatment for this injury is almost always noninvasive, rest, ice and pain killers are the most used forms of treatment. Steroid injections are a common treatment for athletes to reduce the pain and swelling. The big toe can also be taped to the toe next to it to reduce the amount of pressure placed on the big toe when pushing off from the front of your foot. 

Of course we would always rather prevent an injury then treat it, so how do professional athletes like Shawn Johnson and Gabrielle Douglas prevent themselves from getting and injury like this? This is done by giving your sesamoid bones cushioning and support, this is done by orthotic insoles. These are inserts that can be placed in your shoe to help prevent extra strain from being place on these bones.

You can talk to your local podiatrist, Dr. Shah at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Monroe and Edison NJ, about either preventing or treating this injury!

By Nrupa Shah