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Posts for tag: Physical Therapy

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 30, 2018
Category: Haglunds Deformity

Do you have a painful bump on the back of your heel? Is it red and sometimes swollen? Does the pain get worse when you wear shoes with rigid backs? If yes, you may have Haglund’s Deformity, a condition we treat fairly often at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care. Although wearing pumps may make the symptoms of Haglund’s Deformity worse (hence the nickname of this condition, “pump bump”), it doesn’t actually cause the problem. Haglund’s Deformity develops as a result of faulty foot structure issues including:

  • Tight Achilles tendon
  • High arches
  • The tendency to walk on the outside of your heel

These structural defects can be genetic.

Treatment Options

Our podiatrists, Dr. Ben Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will first want to confirm the diagnosis of Haglund’s Deformity and rule out other possible conditions. To do this, the foot doctor will examine your heel and the rest of your feet and also order an x-ray, MRI, ultrasound or other diagnostic imaging tests. The type of treatment prescribed will have to do with the cause behind the deformity. Some possible options include:

  • Changes in footwear—wearing shoes made of soft materials and those with no backs will lessen pressure and pain on the bony enlargement.
  • Custom orthotics—the foot doctor may prescribe an orthotic to reposition the foot and help correct for a structural problem.
  • Immobilization—if the inflammation is severe, a soft case or walking boot may be used to allow time for healing to occur.
  • Heel pads—to cushion the bony protrusion and decrease pain
  • Heel lifts—if you have high arches, heel pads can help compensate.
  • Physical therapy
  • Stretching exercises—to loosen the Achilles tendon

If none of these options are successful, surgery may be recommended which can eliminate Haglund’s Deformity. Need more information on how to treat Haglund’s Deformity? Contact Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care at our Edison, Monroe, Linden or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
November 21, 2017
Category: Nerve Injury
Tags: Physical Therapy   Orthotics  

When patients come to us at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care with foot pain, we need to determine the source of the pain before the appropriate treatment can be prescribed to bring relief. In addition to examining your feet and ankles, our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will take a medical history, conduct tests and ask you questions about your activities and the pain itself. Pain that is related to your muscles tends to ache or throb and joint pain can be perceived as soreness or stiffness. Nerve pain, too, has its own distinct characteristics. Any of the following symptoms may point to nerve pain:

  • Pain is accompanied by a sharp or dull shooting sensation like an electrical shock traveling up or down the leg and foot
  • Muscle weakness in the area where the pain is
  • Pain that doesn’t go away
  • Numbness between the toes
  • The sensation of walking on a small pebble
  • Super sensitivity to cold or hot
  • A tingling or burning feeling on the bottom of your foot

Treatment Options

If the foot doctor determines that you are experiencing a nerve issue, a surgery to decompress or free a nerve that is being pinched may be recommended. Similar to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome surgery, part of the roof of the tunnel that houses the nerve is removed. This gives the nerve more space to transmit and receive messages and thus the pain is eliminated.

There are also conservative measures that your podiatrist may want to try first to relieve nerve pain. These include:

  • Icing the affected area
  • Shoe modifications or custom orthotics
  • Oral medications to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Injection therapy
  • Bracing
  • Immobilization
  • Physical Therapy

As with most podiatric conditions early treatment is best because nerve damage can become permanent if not caught soon enough. If you have pain that you suspect may stem from a nerve problem, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
November 08, 2017
Category: Foot Pain

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, patients often come in with foot pain that they do not know the source of. If you are experiencing pain in your heel, arch, ankle, along the outside of your foot, your shin, knee, hip or lower back, it may be caused by partial or completely fallen arches.

Although the term “flat feet” may make it seem that the condition is fairly obvious, it is not always so. Some people have what’s known as flexible flat feet: when they are sitting they appear to have a defined arch but when they stand the foot flattens out. In some cases, an arch may be only partially fallen.  Since your arch is an important component in ensuring that the weight of your body is distributed properly, improper positioning can result in pain in your foot and the lower half of your body.

Possible Causes of Fallen Arches

One common cause of flat feet is overpronation or the tendency to walk with your ankles turning inward. A way to tell if this might be true for you is to look at a pair of shoes that you’ve had for a while. When placed side by side the shoes will appear to lean into each other if you overpronate. Flat feet can also be caused by a tendon inflammation or a biomechanical defect.

Getting Relief

In extreme cases, surgery on the midfoot bones or to repair a damaged or torn tendon may be necessary. Fortunately, however, there are several non-surgical treatment options available as well. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will examine your feet and decide on the best treatment if you are diagnosed with flat feet depending on the underlying cause and the severity of your condition. Options include:

  • Medications
  • Immobilization
  • Weight management
  • Modification of activities
  • Shoe changes
  • Physical therapy
  • Custom orthotics
  • Bracing

If you have pain that you believe is due to flat feet, contact our Monmouth Junction, Monroe or Edison office in New Jersey for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

I’m sure all of you baseball fans know who Tim Hudson is; and for those of you who don’t he is the star pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. An ankle fracture seems weird for a pitcher; most of us would expect a hand, arm or shoulder injury for them. But as Hudson was covering first base the runner stepped on the back of his right leg, resulting in the fracture which will end the season for him.

There are three bones that make up the ankle joint, the two leg bones, tibia and fibula, and another bone called the talus. Ankle fractures can result from many different things, in Hudson’s case it was by getting stepped on the back of his foot. A break in any of these three bones around the ankle joint is considered an ankle fracture. The severity of the fracture depends on the number of breaks in each bone. The least severe injuries are a break in one, whereas the most severe injuries are multiple breaks in multiple bones. Some common ways ankles are fractured are by weird, forced twisting movements, rolling your ankle, or falling and landing on it in a strange position.

The common signs of a fracture are immediate extreme pain, immediate swelling and bruising in the area, no weight can be placed on the foot and very tender to touch. Hudson went to go see a doctor right away to get his ankle treated; if you ever experience any of these symptoms it is important to go see your local podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care located in Edison and Monroe NJ right away! Your podiatrist will take x-rays to determine how exactly the ankle has been fractured and how to go about surgery. A majority of ankle fractures will require surgery to fix, with casting and physical therapy after to restore normal function.

By Nrupa Shah

No this isn’t a new version of the popular song; this is a deformity of the toes! If you aren’t sure what this is, it is a deformity of the proximal interphalangeal joints in the toe. What the heck is that? If you look at your toes and bend them down, the first joint you see bending, that is the joint we’re talking about. Hammertoe is when this joint deforms causing the joint to be bent permanently, so it looks like a hammer. This normally happens in the second, third and fourth toes.

Some common causes of this are wearing shoes that put the toes in this bent position frequently. Common shoe types that can cause this type of toe bending are shoes that are too tight or too small and high heels.  Some of our favorite actresses like Jennifer Anniston and Natalie Portman have an increased risk of developing hammertoe because they frequently wear high heels.  These shoes cause the muscles of the toes to shorten, which pulls them into this position; the muscles can become permanently shortened. There are some underlying conditions that can cause this, for example osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, a stroke or diabetes.

If you suspect that you or a family member may have hammertoe you should make an appointment with your local podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Edison and Monroe NJ to get your feet checked out! The treatment for hammer toe depends on the severity of the deformity. For less severe cases your podiatrist will recommend physical therapy and toe boxes in your shoes. Toe boxes are inserts that will separate your toes and let them have space to “stretch” out. In more severe cases surgery will be required to fix the deformity. After surgery you will need to do some physical therapy exercises to help the toes maintain their new shape.

by Varun Gujral