Arthritic Foot Care

During your lifetime, you will probably walk about 75,000 miles, which is quite a lot of stress to put on your feet. As you get older, the 26 bones and 30 joints in your body will lose flexibility and elasticity, and your foot’s natural shock absorbers will wear down too. Having arthritis added to this mix only makes matters worse because your joints will become distorted and inflame, which is why arthritic foot care needs to be something you think about every day.

When dealing with arthritis, having additional foot complications, such as bunions, hammertoes, or neuroma, can be a serious detriment. To avoid these, buying well-fitting shoes with a lower heel and good support are a must. Arthritis causes you to lose your arch, so having shoes with good arch support is also highly recommended.

Aside from getting good arch support, the shoes need to fit comfortably and properly as well. A good place to start is by leaving a finger width between the back of the shoe and your foot to gauge proper size. It is also helpful to have a square or rounded toe box in the front to provide even more comfort. Another thing to look for is a rubber sole that can provide a cushion and absorb shock as you walk. This adds flexibility to the ball of your foot when you push off your heel to walk.

Exercise is another key aspect of arthritic foot care, not only strengthening and stretching your muscles and joints, but helping to prevent further injury and pain as well. Stretching the Achilles tendon for example, the tendon located in the back of your heel, will give you added mobility and reduce pain due to stress. Another thing you can do is massage your feet, kneading the ball of your foot as well as your toes from top to bottom.

Stretching the Achilles tendon is a simple exercise that you can do at home anytime. Lean against the wall with your palms flat against the surface while placing one foot forward, towards the wall, and one foot behind you. Bend your forward knee towards the wall while keeping your back knee locked straight, and make sure both your heels are completely touching the ground at all times. This will stretch your Achilles tendon and calf muscles as well, and you will feel the stretch almost immediately. You can also stretch your toes in a couple ways. One involves taking a rubber band and wrapping it around both your big toes while your heels remain together, then pull them apart to stretch your big toe. You can also place a rubber band around all the toes of one of your feet and then try to separate each individual toe, stretching them all.

A final step you can take to help your arthritis is taking non-steroid, non-inflammatory drugs or topical medicines with capsaicin. Unfortunately there is no complete way to remove all of your arthritic pain, but following some of this advice can go a long way in staying as pain free as possible.

National Foot Health Awareness Month Calls for Regular Foot Check Ups

Since April is National Foot Health Awareness month, the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society wants to offer tips to those that are always on their feet and may need specific attention such as arthritic foot care. According to the society, the average individual walks takes nearly 10,000 steps a day and when people are busy with their daily activities, they will often forget about foot health. It is important to regularly pay attention to your feet to promptly find and treat associated arthritic symptoms including joint stiffness, swelling, and overall pain. For those that are out and on their feet often, make sure shoes are changed after signs of excessive wear begin to show. Often changes in the feet occur most specifically with age, making regular check ups important.

Arthritic foot care is an important part of preventing long term problems and reducing pain. If you have any concerns about your foot and ankle needs contact podiatrist Dr. Jon M. Sherman of Kentlands Foot and Ankle Center . Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Arthritic Foot Care

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves inflammation of different joints in your body, such as in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. On top of this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help to temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gaithersburg, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about arthritic foot care.

Heel Pain More Common in Menopausal Women

According to the Korean times , menopausal women are more likely to experience sudden heel pain. Symptoms of the pain are very similar to plantar fasciitis which may be related to a change in hormone levels that thin the fat layer of the sole. Wearing unsupportive footwear such as high heels, flats, or flip flops has also been said to increase the amount of heel pain in women. These symptoms can be reduced with the help of cushioned soles, injection therapy, physiotherapy, or shockwave therapy.

Heel pain can be a nuisance to deal with. If you are suffering from heel pain contact our podiatrist Dr. Jon M. Sherman of Kentlands Foot and Ankle Center . Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Causes of Heel Pain

• Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

• Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

• Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

– Wearing ill-fitting shoes
– Wearing non-supportive shoes
– Weight change
– Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a thing of the past.

With the advancements in technology and greater knowledge of how muscles and joints work, physical therapists can turn things around dramatically.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gaithersburg, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and treatment for your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about heel pain.

Heel Pain

Heel pain is a stressful condition that effects day to day activities. Running and walking causes stress on the heel because the heel is the part of the foot that hits the ground first. This means that the heel is taking on your entire weight. Diagnosis and treatments for heel pain can be easily found through your podiatrist.

One of the main causes of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that extends along the bottom of the foot, from the toe to the bottom of the heel. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of these tissues, resulting in heel pain. People who do not wear proper fitting shoes are often at risk of developing problems such as plantar fasciitis. Unnecessary stress from ill fitting shoes, weight change, excessive running, and wearing non-supportive shoes on hard surfaces are all causes of plantar fasciitis.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Similar to plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause heel pain due to stress fractures and muscle tearing. A lack of flexibility of the ankle and heel is an indicator of Achilles tendonitis. If left untreated, this condition can lead to plantar fasciitis and cause even more pain on your heel.

A third cause of heel pain is a heel spur. A heel spur occurs when the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, leading to a separation of the ligament from the heel bone entirely. This results in a pointed fragment of bone on the ball of the foot, known as a heel spur.

Treatments for heel pain are easy and effective as long as problems are addressed quickly. The most common solution is simply taking stress off the feet, particularly off of the heel. This will ease the pain and allow the tendons and ligaments to relax. In the case of both plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis, icing will reduce swelling of any part of the foot and anti-inflammatory medication is highly recommended. Properly fitting your shoes and wearing heel pads or comfort insoles will also reduce the risk of developing heel pain. Stretching before and after exercises such as running will help the foot muscles prepare for stress and lower the chances of inflammatory pain. In extreme cases, relieving heel pain might require surgery. Always make sure to discuss these symptoms and treatment options with your podiatrist to keep yourself active and pain free.

APMA Study Finds Americans Don’t Care About Their Feet

The American Podiatric Medical Association recently published a study revealing that much of this nation’s foot pain goes untreated. In a survey of 1,000 people over the age of 18, 77% reported experiencing foot pain, but only a third of those claim they would see a podiatrist. Half of the participants with foot pain say that the pain has hindered walking, exercising, playing with grandchildren, and other daily activities.

Among the group who sought podiatric help, 88% reported a quick diagnosis and 76% received treatment that eliminated the problem. A third of the group said that their visits to the podiatrist exposed other health concerns, such as diabetes, circulatory issues, and nerve issues.

“It’s not surprising to see how many people are affected by foot pain, when survey results show that we view our feet as the least important body part in terms of our overall health and wellbeing,” said AMPA President Frank Spinosa. “Our feet are literally and figuratively the furthest things from our minds.”

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Seek the assistance of Jon M. Sherman, D.P.M. of Kentlands Foot & Ankle Center . Our doctor will provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

What is a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek care of a podiatrist when they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as: heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • physical therapy
  • drugs
  • perform surgery on lower extremity fractures
  • orthotic inserts or soles

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gaithersburg, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What is a Podiatrist

What is a Podiatrist

The branch of medicine that is focused on the treatment, diagnosis, and study of disorders of the lower leg, ankle and foot is referred to as podiatry. Because people often spend a great deal of their time on their feet, many problems in this area can occur. A person seeks help from the field of podiatry when they need treatment for heel spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, infections, and problems with the foot that are related to diabetes and additional diseases.

To treat problems of the foot, ankle or lower leg, a podiatrist may prescribe physical therapy, drugs, perform surgery, or set fractures. Individuals may also be recommended to wear corrective shoe inserts, custom-made shoes, plaster casts and strappings in order to correct deformities.

When trying to gather information on a patient problem, a scanner or force plate may be used in order to design orthotics. During this procedure, patients are told to walk across a plate that is connected to a computer; the computer then takes a scan of the foot and indicates weight distribution and pressure points. The computer readouts will give the podiatrist information to help them determine the correct treatment plans.

Diagnosis is also provided through laboratory tests and x-rays. Through the foot, the first signs of serious problems such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis can show up. For example, individuals that have diabetes may frequently have problems such as infections and foot ulcers because they experience poor circulation in the foot area. A podiatrist can then have consultations with patients when symptoms arise and referrals will be made to specialists that handle the greater health problems.

Some podiatrists have their own solo small private practices or clinics where they have a small staff and administrative personnel but many work within group practices. They usually spend time performing surgery in ambulatory surgical centers or hospitals or visiting patients in nursing homes. They typically spend between 30 to 60 hours of week working. Some podiatrists specialize in public health, orthopedics, surgery, or primary care. Some other fields include specialties in geriatrics, dermatology, pediatrics, diabetic foot care and sports medicine.

Some podiatrist specialists complete extra training in the area of foot and ankle reconstruction that result from the effects of physical trauma or diabetes. There are also surgeons that perform surgery of a cosmetic nature to correct bunions and hammertoes.