Don’t let heel pain dictate your life. Stop it in its tracks and get back to what matters.
Heel pain can really put a damper on your life. Not only can it make getting out of bed a grueling and unpleasantly painful task but it can also rear its head at the worst of times like when you’re trying to work out or run errands. If your heel pain has affected your daily life then our Ashburn, Fairfax, McLean and Reston, VA podiatrists have some helpful solutions for you to try.
First and foremost, our Ashburn, Fairfax, McLean, and Reston VA foot doctors will want to determine the cause of your heel pain. The two most common causes are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. There are a variety of other foot ailments that can lead to heel pain. Of course, once we are able to pinpoint the cause then we can create an effective treatment plan.
Most of the time patients will receive a list of conservative treatment methods that they can perform from the comfort of their own home to eliminate their heel pain over time. Common treatment methods include:
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers and anti-inflammatories
- Wearing a splint or brace to support the arch of the foot and reduce pain
- Staying off the foot whenever possible to promote faster healing
- Avoiding high-impact exercises that could exacerbate your symptoms
- Performing daily stretching and strengthening exercises to improve muscles in the feet and to take pressure of certain aggravated tendons or ligaments
While the above treatments are often all that’s needed to tackle your heel pain, there are some people that have such severe cases that these options just aren’t enough to ease their symptoms for good. When this happens then it’s a good idea to talk to us about more aggressive options such as corticosteroid injections or shockwave therapy, which can both be great ways to combat severe or chronic forms of heel pain.
If you are dealing with heel pain in Ashburn, Fairfax, McLean and Reston, VA, isn’t it time you did something about it? Call the foot experts that are always here to help at Family Foot and Ankle Center.
Fairfax, VA - (703) 273-9818
Reston, VA - (703) 723-2719
McLean, VA - (703) 556-8637
Ashburn, VA - (703) 723-9267
Podiatrists diagnose and treat a wide variety of footrelated concerns that affect everything from the heels to the toes. One relatively rare yet concerning issue that a foot doctor can fix is clubfoot—it’s a condition that usually affects children. If you have concerns about the shape and function of your child’s feet, learn more about clubfoot, its causes and how it can be successfully treated by a podiatrist.
What Is Club Foot?
Club foot is a condition that causes the feet to look deformed. It is an issue that usually develops at birth and continues to develop through childhood. The foot looks twisted to the point where the child cannot walk properly or even place his foot down on the ground normally. In extreme cases, where the foot is almost upside down, the child can’t walk at all. If it goes untreated, it can cause problems in the calves and legs, so this is a problem that must be corrected as soon as it is noticed.
What Causes Club Foot?
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes clubfoot, but there is a theory that it may develop in the womb. The way that the baby is positioned in the mother’s womb could cause unnatural pressure on the stilldeveloping child’s skeletal system. Children who are diagnosed with musculoskeletal disorders are also more prone to this foot problem. Some doctors also believe that club foot runs in the family, or it can be caused by smoking or doing drugs during pregnancy.
Cures for Club Foot
Podiatrists can successfully correct most cases of club foot in children—the earlier that it’s addressed by a doctor, the better. The standard procedure to fix this condition is called the Ponseti treatment method. The podiatrist stretches the child’s feet to the proper position and then puts it in a secure cast. Regular appointments are necessary to readjust the position of the feet and monitor progress until they are properly aligned. Other solutions include taping the feet, and in advanced cases surgery may be needed.
Your child can be cured of club foot and have healthy, normally aligned feet. It’s important to see a podiatrist for a consultation as soon as the issue is noticed for the best results.
Women tend to experience the pain and disfigurement associated with bunions more often than men. Here we explain why:
It's been said that women often suffer for the sake of fashion. That seems to be especially true when it comes to their feet years of wearing narrow, highheeled, pointed shoes can wreak havoc on the structure of women's feet, particularly in the form of bunions. These deformities have become one of the most common afflictions podiatrists treat in their offices. But why does this problem tend to affect women over men, and what can be done to prevent it?
First, it's important to know what bunions are and how they develop. Bunions gradually develop on the outside of the big toes from pressure on their joints. As the big toe is constantly pushed inward toward the other toes, the bunion becomes more pronounced. They are not actually new growths; the deformity of the foot bones makes it appear that there is a lump under the skin. The results of this irregularity can be pain, swelling and limited range of motion, and its appearance can make people selfconscious about going barefoot or wearing opentoed shoes.
The cause of bunions is not completely known: they may be an inherited abnormality, or they may be caused by many years of wearing illfitting footwear. Either way, it is generally accepted that cheaply-made or tight-fitting shoes can worsen bunions over time. Given that women's shoes often require the foot to contort into an unnatural position, it is no wonder that more women suffer from bunions than men. Women also tend to be more arthritic, a condition that can exacerbate bunions as well.
Low-maintenance, non-surgical options are usually the first line of treatment for bunions. Shoes should be highquality and fitted by an expert to ensure proper sizing. Speciallydesigned foot pads or arch supports can be worn to alleviate some of the pressure and mild pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen can ease the pain. Surgeries involve removing some of the affected bone or surrounding tissue to correct the foot's position.
If you think your feet might be fashion victims, kick your shoes off and call your podiatrist to ask about your options.
The condition called “trench foot” was first officially diagnosed in 1812 by a doctor who treated French soldiers who spent a lot of time in cold, wet trenches. Though it is relatively rare in patients, trench foot is a very concerning foot problem that you should be aware of. If you have any potential symptoms, schedule an urgent appointment with your podiatrist to have it properly diagnosed and treated.
What Is Trench Foot?
Trench foot is a foot condition that develops because the feet have been exposed to very cold water or dampness for a very long time. Proper circulation to the feet stops as blood vessels constrict due to the cold. The feet are vulnerable to bacteria and the elements, causing a number of undesirable symptoms. Common symptoms of trench foot include:
- Discolored feet (turning red, blue or black)
- Tingling, itching or burning
- Numbness in the feet
- Red blisters
In severe cases, parts of the feet, like toes, can begin to fall off. If the foot already has some type of infection or wound, the progression of trench foot can be more aggressive. In untreated cases, gangrene can develop and amputation may be necessary.
Who Is at Risk for Trench Foot?
Trench foot was first noticed in soldiers who were forced to spend days, weeks or months in wet trenches. Wearing poorly designed shoes or boots allows the feet to become damp and cold. Any patient who lives in an outdoor environment that is very cold and gets long periods of rain could be at risk for trench foot—especially if proper boots aren’t worn at all times.
Getting Help with Trench Foot Symptoms
It’s important to have any symptom of trench foot looked at by a podiatrist as soon as possible. There are a few common ways that doctors treat trench foot:
- Warming the feet with heated pads or warm water.
- Physical therapy to bring circulation back to the feet.
- Cleaning and disinfecting the feet with antifungal agents.
- Removing bad tissue so that good tissue has a chance to regenerate on the feet.
Schedule an urgent appointment with your podiatrist if your feet have been exposed to cold, damp or dirty conditions for an extended period of time and you’re experiencing symptoms of trench foot. The sooner it is treated, the better the chance of returning the feet to a normal and healthy condition.
Find out how AFO devices could offer your foot and ankle some much needed support.
Are you suffering from a severe fracture or sprain in your foot or ankle? Has a stroke or orthopedic disorder affected your ankle strength? If so, there is an easy way to improve your balance and offer some muchneeded stability and support to weak muscles in both the foot and ankle.
AFO, also known as an ankle foot orthosis, is a podiatric device often made from plastic that is worn to provide additional support to both the ankle and foot. AFOs account for about 26 percent of all orthotics in America. This plastic frame runs from the knee down to the foot and helps maintain better alignment and movement.
This orthotic is customdesigned to provide optimal ankle support and to promote proper motion and gait. AFOs can be worn under shoes, but may require the wearer to purchase larger shoes to accommodate the bulk of the orthotic.
Who Wears AFOs
A number of people can benefit from wearing these plastic devices, including those who are dealing with either orthopedic or neurological problems that affect their joints, movement and posture. Those who have suffered a stroke or have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis could find significant improvements to their posture, alignment and motion by wearing an AFO. AFOs can also help with muscular imbalance.
Orthopedic conditions that can benefit from AFOs include fractures, drop foot, sprains and arthritis. If you suffer from foot pain or weakened muscles due to an injury, then you may also want to consider how AFO could help you.
Both children and adults can benefit from wearing AFOs. In fact, about 80 percent of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy currently use an orthotic to improve their coordination and movement.
To find out whether an AFO is right for you or your child, talk to your podiatrist today. We would be happy to customdesign an AFO to accommodate your podiatric needs.
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