The 2 Types of Achilles Tendonitis

The stress of repetitive exercise activities encountered in sports such as tennis and basketball often cause aggravation to the Achilles tendon that can become extremely painful and debilitating.

There are two types of Achilles tendonitis determined by the part of the tendon that is affected:

  1. Non-Insertional Achilles tendonitis – Non-insertional Achilles tendonitis is characterized by a degeneration and tearing of the fibers in the middle part of the tendon, causing it to swell and thicken. This type of tendonitis tends to affect younger, active people.
  2. Insertional Achilles tendonitis – Insertional Achilles tendonitis involves the lower heel area at the point where the tendon attaches (or “inserts”) to the heel bone. Although tendonitis that affects the insertion of the tendon can occur to anyone even in patients who are not very active it usually happens after years of stress and overuse that occur from activities such as long distance running and high-impact sports.

In both forms of Achilles tendonitis, the damaged tendon fibers may also become calcified. Bony growths called heel spurs are more likely to form in patients with insertional Achilles tendonitis.

Treatments for Achilles tendonitis

Treatments include rest, icing, and elevation to relieve stress and swelling. Custom orthotic inserts can insulate and isolate the heel area while the tendon heals. Switching to a low-impact activity such as swimming can provide relief while still being able to exercise. A variety of stretching exercises can be used to increase the flexibility and strength of the Achilles tendon.

If you notice pain developing in your heel while exercising, take a break and evaluate the extent of the injury. Be sure to give yourself some time to heal when you first notice symptoms to avoid further damage.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis, see your podiatrist for the proper diagnosis and treatment. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631)-549-8637 and Briarwood, NY (718)-657-8921.

The Causes and Treatment of Heel Spurs

A heel spur is a bony growth on your heel that is often the cause of severe pain and discomfort. Daily activities including just standing and walking can become painful and very difficult. A heel spur can form as your body’s defense mechanism to increased pressure and stress in the heel area, often by the wearing of tight-fitting shoes such as pumps.

Heel Spur Causes

The risk factors for developing heel spurs include the following:

  • Constricting shoes—Footwear that creates excessive pressure and rubbing on the heel area should be replaced or avoided.
  • Physically stressful activities—High impact sports that involve a lot of jumping and running can contribute to the formation of this growth. Jobs that require you to be on your feet all day can also be a factor.
  • Carrying too many extra pounds—Increased pressure on the heel bones from being too heavy can have this consequence.
  • Complications from diabetes—Heel spurs and other foot problems are more likely to occur and cause difficulty in diabetic patients.

Treatment for heel spurs

Small heel spurs may not cause any trouble and can even go undetected for years. In more severe cases, custom orthotic inserts can be utilized to correct the abnormal foot mechanics that may have caused the spur to form.  Always be certain that your shoes are not causing the problem, and get your feet properly measured before shopping for new shoes. Several physical therapies are available to treat heel spurs including ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and massage therapy.

When the conservative measures are not providing relief, the skill of a foot surgeon may be required to excise the bony protrusion. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631)-549-8637 and Briarwood, NY (718)-657-8921.

 

What Is Morton’s Neuroma?

The feeling of walking around with a small rock in your shoe can be infuriating, especially when you see that there is no actual pebble that is causing the feeling. But this sensation is one of the primary symptoms of a condition called Morton’s Neuroma that causes a nerve to become trapped and inflamed, usually between the second and third, or third and fourth toe bones.

This condition is often the result of injury, soreness, and pressure on one of the nerves that extends into the metatarsal bones that extend into your toes. Females tend to be diagnosed with this problem more frequently than men since wearing high heeled shoes is a major risk factor. High impact sports including basketball, football, tennis, and jogging can cause the repetitive trauma to the nerve that creates this condition. It also tends to occur more often in individuals who have untreated flat feet.

Treatments for Morton’s Neuroma

Your foot doctor will determine the proper course of action depending on the severity of your neuroma and your particular situation. Based on individual circumstances, suggestions may include:

  • Give your feet a rest—By limiting sports or other strenuous activities.
  • Wear proper shoes—Wear shoes that have a wider toe box to relieve pressure on the nerve.
  • Pads and orthotic inserts—Foam pads may relieve pressure and irritation, and your podiatrist can provide custom-made orthotic inserts for more severe cases.
  • Pain medications—Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can provide some relief from discomfort.
  • Ice packs—Icing the area will relieve inflammation and pain.
  • Surgery—In cases that do not respond well to conservative treatments, surgery on the nerve may be necessary.

If you feel like you have a painful phantom pebble in your shoe, see your foot doctor for the correct diagnosis and care. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631)-549-8637 and Briarwood, NY (718)-657-8921.

Arthritis and Other Age-Related Foot and Ankle Problems

The average person will walk the equivalent of four times around the planet during a lifetime, so you need to take good care of your feet as you age to provide the best foundation for an active retirement. While arthritis is one of the most common conditions that affects the feet and ankles as we age, there are a variety of other problems that can be mitigated or prevented with proactive foot care.

Some common foot and ankle issues that often occur with aging include the following:

  • Arthritis—There are several types of arthritis that affect the feet and ankles, with the most common being osteoarthritis. This condition is caused by the wear and tear on your joints and results in joint inflammation, pain, and immobility, especially in the ankle and big toe joints.
  • Balance and coordination issues—Nerve disorders such as peripheral neuropathy from diabetes can cause a lack of feeling in the feet that can interfere with balance and coordination.
  • Skin problems—Skin dryness that accompanies the aging process can lead to cracked heels, corns and calluses. Abnormal looking skin lesions may be a sign of skin cancer and should be evaluated immediately.
  • Toenail fungus and ingrown toenailsThicker and more brittle nails can become common as you age, and may be the sign of an underlying fungal nail infection. Thickened nails become more difficult to trim properly, and that can lead to an ingrown toenail problem.
  • Loosening of tendons and ligaments—The loss of strength and flexibility in the connecting tissues of the feet and ankles often causes tendonitis and fallen arches.
  • Fluid retention—Cardiovascular disease and hormonal changes can contribute to swelling of the feet and ankles.

If you are experiencing foot and ankle arthritis or other age-related foot and ankle problems, consult with your board certified podiatrist for the best care. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (718-657-8921).

What Can I Do To Avoid Nail Fungus Infections?

Toenail fungus can cause a smelly and yellowish infection under your toenails that will eventually lead to the complete removal of the nail if treatment isn’t started before the infection gets out of control. Fungi thrive in warm, wet environments, which is why they love your warm, sweaty feet. Interestingly, the same fungi that cause athlete’s foot are the dudes that can spread under the nail, resulting in a thick, brittle, moonlike appearance and that telltale sulfur smell.

 

Some of the best tips for avoiding nail fungus infections include:

 

  • Proper nail care—Always cut your nails straight across rather than close to the skin. As an added benefit, this greatly reduces the incidence of ingrown toenails.
  • Cleanliness—Washing your feet regularly will help to avoid spreading the fungi. Always be careful to dry your feet completely before putting on socks and shoes.
  • Breathable footwear—Lighter socks and breathable footwear made with fabrics like GORE-TEX and linen will help keep your feet cooler and therefore much drier.
  • Medicated powders and lotions—Antifungal powder can be used on your feet and inside your footwear. Antifungal creams and lotions will also help heal dry skin problems such as calluses.
  • Foot protection—When using public areas and facilities such as locker rooms, gyms, jujitsu parlors, and swimming areas, remember to wear sandals or shower shoes to avoid coming into contact with fungi and other microorganisms that can cause infections.

 

If you still develop a toenail fungus infection, cutting-edge laser nail therapy can be implemented to clear up your nails and kill the fungus in a fast, effective procedure that shows great results in just a few sessions with zero time required for recovery. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unsurpassed experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems, so give us a call.  Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Different Types of Foot and Ankle Fractures

Our feet and ankles absorb a tremendous quantity of pressure and stress every day, which is why fractures of the feet and ankles are among the most common injuries treated by foot specialists.

 

Fractures are usually categorized as stress fractures or acute fractures

 

Stress fractures

Stress fractures occur from repeated trauma on the feet and ankles over time. Since a stress fracture can be difficult to diagnose, it is best to see your podiatrist for the proper evaluation and treatment. Symptoms can be similar to those of other types of foot injuries (like metatarsalgia) and include severe pain with the application of weight, swelling, bruising and redness. Stress fractures frequently occur in individuals who have not been exercising and then greatly increase the intensity of a workout. Always start an exercise program slowly, and work your way up to a higher intensity over several months.

 

Acute fractures

These are usually caused by an abrupt event in which the bone’s integrity is rapidly compromised. Acute fractures can occur in a variety of different ways, depending upon how much force is applied to the bone when the fracture occurs.

 

Some of the different types of acute fractures include:

 

  • Compound fracture—This is one of the most severe types of fracture and includes an open break with bone protruding from the skin.
  • Transverse fracture—a horizontal break.
  • Stable fracture—when the bones are just slightly out of place.
  • Comminuted fracture—This is a very severe fracture in which the bone has broken into several pieces.

 

See your foot doctor right away for foot and ankle fractures and treatment that can range from resting and icing for minor injuries to surgery, immobilization, and physical therapy for the more severe fractures. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

The Woe of Stubbing Your Toe

Stubbing your toe usually hurts intensely at the moment of injury because your toes have limited fat deposits to take the impact. Also, since there are more nerve endings in your toes that send pain signals to the brain, even a minor injury can feel quite painful. When the initial shock of stubbing your toe wears off, you should always check your toe for any symptoms that may indicate a more serious problem such as a fracture.

 

Toe Woe symptoms to be on the watch for include:

 

  • A loud cracking sound when you stubbed your toe may be a sign that you have broken your toe. Surprisingly, this may not be a major cause for alarm, but you should see your foot doctor right away just in case.
  • Severe pain in the toe, especially when pressure is applied to the area.
  • Bleeding near, under and around the toenail.
  • Discoloration and swelling that persists for two or more days.

 

Complications from stubbing your toe often include:

 

Diabetic infection—Those with diabetes should be very careful with any toe injuries to make sure an unnoticed infection doesn’t occur and spread. If the injured toe has additional abnormalities like an ingrown nail or corn, infection is more likely to occur.

 

Arthritis—Injuring your big toe can contribute to an arthritic reaction or exacerbate symptoms of osteoarthritis and other types of arthritis.

 

The children’s condition Osteomyelitis—This condition often strikes children who stub their toes. This should always be taken very seriously, since even a minor fracture can cause inflammation of the bone, resulting in considerable damage. It’s important to see a foot doctor right away for any child with symptoms of a broken toe since delayed treatment can lead to major complications.

 

A broken toe may be treated by splinting or taping, and a stiff boot may be recommended to prevent further injury.

 

For complicated fractures, a surgical intervention may be required to reset the bone and remove any fragments that may have settled in the joint, so always get a professional evaluation from your foot doctor. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

How Custom Orthotic Inserts Help Your Feet

For optimum foot health, you should always use the proper footwear, stretch before exercise, and perform regular foot inspections and cleanings. Additionally, the use of custom orthotic inserts and stabilization devices can provide excellent foot and ankle support and treat any abnormalities in foot structure that are often the cause of many foot and ankle problems.

 

Different types of orthotic devices

You can purchase a wide variety of insoles, pads, and cushions online or at the pharmacy or sports store, but they will not perfectly fit your feet the way custom-made inserts will. Other available devices include ankle and foot braces to improve stability.

 

What can custom orthotic inserts do for me?

A partial list of the benefits of custom orthotics includes:

 

  • Pressure and pain relief—The added cushioning and support provides comfort and relief from many foot and ankle conditions.
  • Foot structure support—The correct arch support is essential to overall foot function and custom orthotics follow the natural shape of your foot to help treat and prevent conditions like bunions and hammertoes.
  • Stabilization—Special braces can help with weak ankles and poor balance, which are two of the main causes of debilitating falls and fractures.
  • Lower risk of injuries and infections in patients with diabetes—By supporting feet that are weakened by complications from diabetes, custom orthotic inserts can help mitigate injuries and dangerous infections that can lead to amputation.
  • No need for surgery—Custom orthotics are a great way to treat a wide variety of foot problems without surgery.

 

It’s always best to have your foot care specialist examine the structure and movement of your feet with a computerized gait analysis to fabricate perfectly-fitted orthotics that will provide instant relief and help prevent any future problems. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

3 tips for preventing foot pain

Our feet are the foundation to our bodies. They keep us standing and moving throughout the day. However, when they begin to ache, you will feel it from head to toe–literally. A lot of the foot problems we experience are related to flexibility. If your muscles are really right, they’re not working properly and will shorten, which can lead to pain. Here are three ways to stretch and strengthen your feet to keep the pain away.

The plantar fascia stretch. The plantar fascia is one of the most common areas you will experience foot pain. To stretch, try kneeling and sitting back on your heels with your back straight and your weight on the balls of your feet. Slowly lean backwards while keeping your core engaged, spine straight and body stable. Hold this pose for about 30 seconds and repeat it three times.

The Arch Cross Stretch. When the arch of your foot, or feet, becomes tight, you might experience numbness and pain. To stretch the arches of your feet, place a tennis ball just below your pinkie toe on the pad of your foot. Slowly roll the ball back and forth from your pinkie toe to your big toe. This move helps to mobilize the joints and increase range of motion in the toes, helping relieve tension in the arch. As you move slowly, complete this stretch for five minutes per foot.

The calf stretch. Your calf muscle can become tight from many types of common exercises, such as running, walking, or any workout that involves jumping. To stretch your calf muscle, stand on a step, curb, brick, or anywhere you can drop your heel, lean forward, and hold onto something for support. Place the ball of your foot on the step and then lower your heel while keeping your leg straight, and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. For even better results, alternate the stretch by pointing your toes inward first, and then repeat with your toes pointing outward. You can repeat this on both legs twice each.

Contact us today at ETL Podiatry in Queens or Melville to learn more about the different stretches you can do to improve the health of your feet and minimize pain.

Watch Out for Foot Cancer

Skin cancer is often associated with sun exposure, but it can still affect parts of your body that don’t normally get a lot of sun, particularly when it comes to your feet.  Always take the same measures you would with other exposed skin including applying sunscreen to your feet when you go barefoot or wear sandals. Some of the other causes of cancers on your feet can be from viruses and chemicals.

 

Cancer Can Affect Your Feet

Three of the cancers that can show up on your feet include the following:

 

Squamous cell cancer—This cancer often causes painless, itchy bumps that can look a lot likeplantar wartsor a fungal infection, so always have a consultation with your foot doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. This cancer doesn’t usually spread very quickly unless it has been growing for a while.

 

Melanoma—This is the most aggressive and deadly of skin cancers because it can grow inwards with little external signs and spread throughout the body in the blood vessels and lymph system. Since they can often be mistaken for warts, moles, blisters, or bruises, a professional evaluation by your podiatrist is essential.

 

Basal cell cancer—This type of cancer is rarely seen on the feet. It is less aggressive than melanoma and will not usually spread beyond the skin layers.

 

Early detection of skin cancers is essential for successful treatment. Always wear plenty of sunscreen on exposed skin, and try to avoid sun exposure during the hours of ten and four to limit UV exposure.

 

If you are concerned that you may have a cancerous lesion on your feet, see your podiatrist right away. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatryin Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctorsis dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY(631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY(929-336-4523).