Plantar Fasciitis

 The plantar fascia is a connective tissue in the heel that stretches across the bottom length of your foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the connective tissue becomes inflamed, causing heel pain and discomfort during physical activity. Although the condition is completely treatable, traditional methods can take up to a year to start becoming effective.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by a number of everyday activities, so understanding the condition is important for managing and treating it. One of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis is excessive running, especially with improper fitting or non-supportive shoes. Too much exercise can lead to the plantar fascia being overworked and overstretched, which can cause tears in the tissue. Along with improper fitting shoes, pronation, the rolling of the feet inward, is a common cause of plantar fasciitis. If not treated properly, the plantar fascia becomes overstretched and starts to tear, causing inflammation.

Despite the common causes of plantar fasciitis, there are many different treatment options. For less severe cases, conservative home remedies include taking anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate pain, applying ice packs to the bottom of your foot and heel, slowly stretching and exercising your feet to re-strengthen the tissue, and using orthotic devices are all ways to help manage your plantar fasciitis.

For more severe cases, shockwave therapy has become a common solution for plantar fasciitis. Shockwave therapy can effectively break up the tissue on the bottom of your foot which facilitates healing and regeneration. This fights the chronic pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Even if this doesn’t work, surgery is always a final option. Surgery on the tissue itself can be done to permanently correct the issue and stop the inflammation and pain in your heels.

No matter what the case may be, consulting your podiatrist is the first and best step to recovery. Even the slightest amount of heel pain could be the first stage of plantar fasciitis. Untreated symptoms can lead to the tearing and overstretching of tissue. Because the tearing of tissue can be compounded if it remains ignored, it can evolve into a severe case. The solution is early detection and early treatment. Talk to your podiatrist about the possibilities of plantar fasciitis if you’re experiencing heel pain.

New Smart Socks Help Detect Diabetic Foot Ulcers

diabetic-foot-care4Thanks to research conducted by the Nottingham Trent University and Siren Care, new technology has been developed for the treatment of diabetic feet. The technology involves a pair of electronic smart socks which are able to prematurely detect and identify diabetic foot ulcers in diabetic patients. Electronic sensors in the socks are able to alert its user to the problem before it progresses. The socks were created to treat diabetic patients who suffer from neuropathy, the loss of sensation.

Diabetics must pay special attention to their feet to help prevent any complications. If you believe you are having problems with your diabetic feet, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. Diabetes can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels because blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, Briarwood, and Flushing, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Diabetic Foot Care

Millions of people are affected by diabetes each year. Diabetes damages blood vessels in all parts of the body, especially the feet. The legs and feet may develop slow blood flow, which causes neuropathy, or nerve damage. Once a diabetic patient develops neuropathy, it is important that the feet are well taken care of. Otherwise, the lower limbs may have to be amputated. This only happens in drastic cases, but it shows how seriously diabetic foot care should be taken.

It is very important to always wash and dry the feet thoroughly, especially in between the toes, if you’re a diabetic. Secondly, examining your feet and toes for redness or sores must be done, even if you do not feel pain.  You may also want to examine your feet from the bottom. Try to avoid wearing colored socks to prevent infections that may occur from the dye. Well-fitting socks are also highly recommended.

A diabetic’s physician should always monitor their blood levels to test how well blood sugars are being maintained. In addition to giving advice about everyday eating habits and foot care, a physician may prescribe medicine to help with the diabetic patient’s neuropathy. It is also advised to see a podiatrist if experiencing any feet conditions. Toenails may also need to be taken care of by a podiatrist. This prevents patients from cutting too deeply around their cuticles, which can lead to infection.

A person can take care of their feet at home by following the instructions of their physician. Using creams on one’s feet is also an effective way to heal dryness. Proceed with caution when using tools to remove calluses, as severe diabetics may not be able to feel pain on their feet. If any complications arise do not hesitate to contact a podiatrist.

On a daily basis, diabetic feet must be checked. If you are ever concerned about something, contact your health care professional. You never want to wait until a wound becomes too severe to treat. If left untreated, gangrene may develop. Gangrene is a serious infection that can lead to sepsis or amputation. It is also important for diabetics to be on the lookout for ulcers. Ulcers are sores that develop from tissue loss on the skin. They can be quite painful and require intensive treatment. Early treatment and everyday inspection are imperative to staying healthy.

Orthotics Offer Additional Benefits in Addition to Foot Support

orthotics5Orthotics offer many different benefits in addition to support for your flat foot. According to chiroeco.com, orthotics can also help straighten the back and alleviate back pain. Other benefits orthotics also offer include improving the “musculoskeletal efficiency and sports performance.” The custom biomechanics of orthotics allows for better absorption of force exerted onto the feet as we do physical activity. Orthotics does this by supporting the foot’s arches and pronation movements.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain, but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct over arched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you, or if you have a more severe foot issue, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and more severe heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses, and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist on the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain free.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, Briarwood, and Flushing, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Ankle Foot Orthotics For Athletes

Ankle and foot orthotics, known as AFOs, are custom-made inserts. They are shaped and contoured to fit inside a shoe and used to correct an irregular walking gait or provide cushioning. Orthotics come in a variety of different models and sizes, including over the counter and customizable variants. Customizable ones should be prescribed through a podiatrist who specializes in customized footwear and orthotics design and management.

AFOs are often used by athletes including track and field runners, cyclists, professional dancers, ice skaters, and even golfers. They benefit a lot from custom made AFOs by preventing injuries from occurring and providing cushioning to keep pain levels down to a minimum. Ankle foot orthotics allows for the correct positioning of the feet. Orthotics also acts as shock absorbers to help keep pressure and stress off the foot and ankle. They can also relieve back pain and hip pain while restoring balance and improving an athlete’s performance.

The way they help alleviate pain is by controlling the movement of both your feet and ankles. They are custom designed by a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist to help treat foot problems. These problems include flat feet, spurs, arthritis of the ankle or foot, ankle sprains, weakness, and drop foot, a condition in which the patient cannot raise their foot at the ankle joint.

With custom orthotics, a patient will go through a complete examination of the foot and ankle. This is followed by the ankle and foot being cast and fitted for the proper orthotic. Depending upon the final result of the tests, a stretching treatment is created with specific shoe fitting in mind. After a patient has been fitted to the shoes, adjustments can be made in order to get the perfect fit. Evaluations are then usually set up to monitor the patient in the coming weeks to see how they are adjusting.

AFOs are also available over the counter and are more common than custom fit ones. Athletes that have generally low aches and pains in the foot, ankle, or lower back area can use an over the counter version of these orthotics. Weight is distributed evenly throughout the bottom of the foot thanks to the arch support they give. However, when an injury or ailment occurs, it is usually not enough to try and remedy it with an over the counter version. In either case, a podiatrist will be able to offer the best advice and treatment when it comes to foot and ankle orthotics.

Barefoot Running As Possible Treatment for Flat Feet

flat-feet5For those who have flat feet, running barefoot may help strengthen muscles in your arch and ankles. Those who do a lot of physical activity or run often may experience their flat feet lacking pronation, when the arch compresses to help with shock absorption as force is exerted on the feet. The force is instead shifted to the ankle or up along the calf or knee. Treatment options for flat feet include custom orthotics, over-the-counter insoles, and motion-control running shoes to help correct your flat feet condition.

Having flat feet can create a myriad of foot and ankle problems. For assistance, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arch never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – if you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.

Symptoms:

Pain around the heel or arch area

Trouble standing on the tip toe.

Swelling around the inside of the ankle.

Flat look to one or both feet.

Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment:

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, Briarwood, and Flushing, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Flat Feet

Flatfoot is a foot condition in which the arch of the foot has either partially or totally dropped or has never developed. While it is common in babies and small children, it can become a problem for them in adulthood if the arch never forms. For adults, the development of flat feet can be brought upon by injury, as a result of pregnancy due to increased elasticity, or obesity. Those who have health concerns such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes may also be at greater risk for developing the condition.

If you suspect that you have flat feet, it is best to consult your podiatrist. Your foot doctor will examine the suspected foot and observe how it looks while you sit and stand. He or she may take an X-ray to determine how serious the condition is. Some common signs of flatfoot include toe drift, in which the toes and front part of the foot point outward, a short Achilles tendon, and a heel that tilts outwardly while the ankle tilts inward.

Once flatfoot has been diagnosed, your podiatrist may suggest one of several treatment options. Flat feet can be rigid, in which the feet appear to have no arch even when the person is not standing; or flexible, in which the person appears to have an arch while not standing, but once standing the arch disappears. Those with flexible flatfoot may be told to reduce any activities that cause pain and to avoid extended periods of walking or standing. Another suggestion may be weight loss, as excessive weight may be placing pressure on the arches

In few cases, if the condition is severe and all other methods have been exhausted surgery may be required. This is normally avoided, however, due to a lengthy recovery time and high cost.

Predators Eric Nystrom Out with Broken Foot

broken-footEric Nystrom of the Nashville Predators sustained a broken foot on January 26, putting him out indefinitely as he recovered from the injury. Nystrom has played up to three seasons with the Predators, but may be unable to continue as he recovers. Nystrom suffered the injury when he was clipped by Captain Shea Weber.

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment to prevent exacerbation. If you are seeking treatment for a broken foot, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury.

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue (foot)
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, Briarwood, and Flushing, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot

One out of ten broken bones is reported to be in the feet. When an object crushes, bends, or stretches the bone beyond acceptable ranges, bones break. A break in the foot is either a fracture or a straight break.

The location of any break can tell you how the break happened. Toes, for instance, break typically as a result of something being kicked hard and with great force. Heel breaks almost always are a result of an improper landing from a tall height. Twists or sprains are the other two frequent occurrences. As with all usual breaks, they result from unexpected accident or sudden injury. As with stress fractures, breaks form as a process over time from repeated stress on already present cracks. Runners, dancers, and gymnasts are the usual athletes who receive this type of break. Stress fractures result from incredible pressure on the feet. It is no surprise these athletes bear the majority of reported fractures.

Pain, swelling, bruising, and redness are all indicative of the typical symptoms from a broken foot. Severe pain—to the point of not being able to walk—usually depends on the location of the break in the foot. Toes are on the lower scale of pain threshold, but heels are high, as are a few other particular bones. As the severity of the broken foot increases, symptoms like blueness, numbness, misshaping of the foot, cuts, or deformities will become apparent. These symptoms indicate the need to see a medical professional with access to an x-ray facility.

Prior to seeing a specialist, precautions should be taken to reduce pain and swelling. Elevate and stabilize the foot, and refrain from moving it. Immobilization of the foot is the next priority, so creating a homemade splint is acceptable. Keep in mind that while creating a splint, any increase of pain or cutting off blood circulation means that the splint should be removed immediately. Use ice to decrease swelling and relieve pain symptoms.

When dealing with a medical center, the patient should note that the treatment can vary. The treatment will depend on the severity of the fracture and the cause of the break. Crutches, splits, or casts are common treatments while surgery has been known to be used in more severe cases in order to repair the break in the bones.

Siena’s Marquis Wright On Recovery from Stress Fracture

stress-fracturesSiena Star Guard Marquis Wright suffered a stress fracture and is on recovery for as long as 6 to 8 weeks, unable to play in Siena’s games. Wright sustained the injury in late December during practice. Up until the injury, Wright “is one of just four players in Division I averaging at least 17 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals per game,” and was given the title MAAC Player of the Week as a result of his double-double play in the game against St. Bonavanture.

Stress fractures can become painful if left untreated for an extended period of time. If you would like assistance in treating a stress fracture, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

Coping with Podiatric Stress Fractures

Stress Fractures occur on the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken as a result of overexertion or underuse.  As a result, the ankles and feet lose support when walking or running from the ground. Since these bones are not protected, they receive the full impact of each step. The stress on the feet causes the bones to form cracks.

What are Stress Fractures?

Stress Fractures are very common among those who are highly active and involved in sports or activities that make excessive use of their legs and feet. Stress fractures are especially common among:

-athletes (gymnasts, tennis players, basketball players)
-runners/joggers
-osteoporosis patients
-those who engage in high-intensity workouts

Stress Fracture Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures, and can be either constant or periodic. The pain is usually sharp or dull, accompanied by swelling and tenderness. Engagement in any kind of high impact activity will exacerbate the pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, Briarwood, and Flushing, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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