Overpronation Causes Foot, Knee, and Back Problems

The correct way for your foot to operate when you walk or run is for the outer part of the heel to make contact first followed by the middle and ball of the foot. If your foot rolls excessively inward during this rotation it creates a condition called overpronation. The misalignment can cause arch and heel pain and also create problems with your knees, hips, and back.

Having untreated flat feet or fallen arches is usually the cause of overpronation. You can tell if you have flat feet by wetting your feet and then standing on a flat surface. If your foot leaves a full imprint without a gap in the middle, then you probably have flat feet.

Symptoms that you may be having overpronation problems include the following:

  • Observe the wear patterns on your shoes—The pattern of wear on the bottom of your shoes is a telltale sign of possible gait abnormalities. An even wear pattern is normal. However, if the inner side of your shoes and the ball area show signs of excessive wear, then you have a pronation problem.
  • Heel discomfort—Heel pain is often a sign that you are experiencing overpronation. The condition called plantar fasciitis that affects the arch can be a major cause of heel pain.
  • Developing toe deformities—People who have untreated flat feet are also more susceptible to developing toe deformities like bunions and hammertoes.

If you are experiencing foot pain from untreated flat feet, see your foot doctor to help correct the problem. 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, Geoffrey C. Epstein, D.P.M. Matthew J. Tavroff, D.P.M.Stuart B. Leon, D.P.M. Robert J. Leon, D.P.M. 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.

Haglund’s Deformity Causes Heel Pain

heel

Haglund’s deformity is sometimes called the “pump bump” since it tends to affect people who frequently wear tight-fitting shoes like high heels. The bony protrusion that is the telltale sign of this condition forms near the Achilles tendon.

It isn’t always painful in the beginning, but the condition can lead to a complication called bursitis which may cause the tendon to pull away from the bone. Bursitis can also increase the development of calcification causing the bump to become larger and more problematic.

Some of the conservative treatments for Haglund’s deformity include:

  1. Wear softer shoes—Backless sandals or very soft canvas footwear will help by removing the pressure on the heel.
  2. Pain medications—Ibuprofen can reduce pain and inflammation.
  3. Resting and icing—Rest your foot and decrease inflammation by applying ice wrapped in a towel to the area for ten or fifteen minutes several times a day.
  4. Physical therapy exercises—Stretching and strengthening therapy exercises will increase muscle strength and flexibility and decrease pressure on the heel.
  5. Orthotic shoe inserts—Heel lifts placed inside the shoe will minimize movement of the foot and provide relief of pain and discomfort.

Some of the above methods will also treat bursitis that is often seen in conjunction with a Haglund’s deformity. In more severe cases, surgical removal of the bone may be required to provide pain relief and allow normal shoe wearing to occur.

If you are experiencing a painful Haglund’s deformity, see your podiatrist for the proper 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.

How To Prevent Painful Plantar Warts

Plantar warts can grow hidden under the skin on the bottom of your foot. The only sign that you have a plantar wart will be a painful bump that hurts when you walk on it. Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus that can enter under your skin through cuts and scrapes.

Since plantar warts can mimic other conditions and be hard to identify and treat, you should always see your foot doctor for the correct care. Treating plantar warts involves removing layers of skin and treating the wart with acid or liquid nitrogen. However, preventing warts in the first place is obviously the best way to go.

You can help prevent plantar warts by avoiding the virus that causes warts in the first place:

  1. Keep your feet clean, dry, and protected—To help eliminate microbes on your feet, wash and carefully dry your feet at least once every day. Always wear clean and dry socks and shoes. Allow your footwear to dry out completely between uses.
  • Avoid spreading the virus—Since warts can spread from one part of your body to another, try not to scratch your warts to avoid this cross contamination. The HPV virus is hard to avoid, so always wear protective sandals or shower shoes when using public showers and locker areas to limit your contact with microorganisms.

If you notice a painful bump on the bottom of your feet, you may have a hidden plantar wart. Be sure to see your foot doctor 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.

Different Types of Foot Fractures

foot fracture

A fracture of the foot or ankle is a risk taken by professional athletes on an almost daily basis, but it can happen to anyone. A broken foot or ankle is a leading cause of a visit to your podiatrist’s office.

Different types of foot and ankle fractures

The two major types of bone fractures:

  • Stress fracturesOne of the most common causes of stress fractures is the continuous pounding on the feet over time that is involved in sports such as football, basketball, and tennis. Bone disorders like osteoporosis can contribute to the severity of a stress fracture.
  • Acute fractures—A sudden fracture may involve a total or partial break of the bone. You will be unable to walk on the foot and there will be considerable swelling, bruising, pain, and possible bleeding. Surgery and resetting will be needed for acute fractures.

Acute fractures are further defined as follows:

  • Compound fracturesThis type of fracture may cause a bone to protrude and the skin is broken, increasing the chance of an infection.
  • Stable fractures—When the bones are only slightly out of place, the fracture is easier to treat.
  • Oblique—This fracture is characterized by a diagonal break across the bone.
  • Transverse—A horizontal break defines this type.
  • Comminuted fractures—The bone is shattered into many pieces, requiring extensive reconstruction with screws and hardware.

See your foot doctor right away for proper diagnosis and treatment of a fractured foot. 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.

How To Treat Hammertoes

hammertoe

A hallmark of this abnormality is a bend in the middle joints of the middle toes. They will appear in the shape of a hammer, which is why they are called hammertoes. This is likely to be caused by an imbalance between the muscles and tendons in the toes and can be exacerbated by wearing tight-fitting shoes like high heels.

Symptoms of hammertoes include:

  • Redness, pain, blisters, and a burning sensation
  • Irritation from rubbing on the inside of your footwear
  • Painful corns growing on top of hammertoes

Some conservative treatments for hammertoes include the following:

  • Moleskin padding—to eliminate the rubbing for corns and calluses
  • Custom orthotic insertsthese will help to isolate and cushion the toe and treat the imbalance between the tendon and muscle that is causing the bending
  • Shoes with enough room—shoes need a wide toe box and lower heels to allow the toes to move without rubbing on your footwear
  • Splints and straps—can be used to force bent toes into a straighter position
  • Pain medication—NSAIDs like ibuprofen will help reduce pain and swelling

The best time to treat hammertoes is in the early stages when they are still somewhat flexible. When untreated, hammertoes become more rigid and painful and surgery may be needed to straighten them out.

If you need help with hammertoes, consult with your foot doctor for the optimum 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 Often Hurts Your Feet and Ankles

arthritis

Various types of arthritis can cause severe pain and discomfort in the joints, and, since each of your feet has more than thirty joints, they are frequently affected. Joints in the feet and ankles can become stiff, swollen and painful, making it hard to walk or just taking off and putting on your shoes. Developing a comprehensive treatment plan with your foot doctor is an excellent way to mitigate arthritic problems in your feet and ankles.

3 common types of arthritis that can hurt your feet and ankles are:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis—This type of arthritis is unique in that your body’s own immune system attacks the cushioning material of the joints, contributing to painful deformities in the hands and feet.
  • Osteoarthritis—This type of arthritis is caused by the ravages of time. The constant stress and pounding of the joints in the feet and ankles eventually take a toll as the cartilage breaks down, causing stiffness, pain and swelling.
  • Injury-induced arthritis—Injuring your feet and ankles from falling or twisting your ankle causes considerable trauma to the joints. Arthritic conditions are more likely to affect joints that have suffered an injury.

Treating arthritis in the feet and ankles 

Many different therapies can help alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis. Properly-fitted shoes that are comfortable and supportive are essential. Custom orthotic inserts can redistribute pressure away from problem areas and help to isolate foot deformities like hammertoes and bunions. You can also perform regular physical therapy exercises to increase flexibility and strength which will also help to prevent falls.

If you have arthritic foot or ankle issues, contact your podiatrist for the proper 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.

Your Toenails Can Indicate Health Problems

toenail health

The color and texture of your toenails can indicate problems such as nutritional deficiencies, systemic diseases such as diabetes, and bacterial and fungal toenail infections. Signs of many problems often show up in your extremities first, so your toenail condition should be monitored regularly.

Toenail changes that may indicate other health issues include:

  • Dark or white stripes across the toenail—Having dark stripes across your toenails may be an indication of skin cancer that grows in the nail bed. White stripes, on the other hand, can be a sign of liver disease, poor nutrition, or low protein levels.
  • Thick and brittle toenails—Toenails can become thickened and brittle from exposure to harsh chemicals such as cleaners and the acetone in nail polish removers. A thickened and yellowing toenail may be a sign of a fungal toenail infection, psoriasis, or a thyroid disorder.
  • Yellow, green or black toenails—Overuse of harsh nail polishes and removers can cause discoloration of the toenail. If your toenails look green or black, it may be the result of an injury to the toe or of a microbial infection. Sometimes antibiotics can have the side effect of causing discoloration in the toenails.

If you notice that the color and texture of your toenails is troubling, be sure to have your foot doctor examine them to determine the cause and proper 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.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

plantar fasciitis

The wide, fibrous tissue that spans the bottom of your foot can become irritated and inflamed from too much stress, causing serious pain and discomfort. This condition, called plantar fasciitis, can also strike those who have been inactive for a while and then suddenly decide to start exercising. Complications often radiate to the heel area where the plantar fascia connects to the heel bone, resulting in a heel spur.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by the following:

  • Improper footwear—Poorly-fitting shoes with poor arch support can cause overstretching of the plantar fascia.
  • Obesity—Carrying extra pounds puts more pressure on the plantar fascia making it more susceptible to injury.
  • Calf muscle shortening—People who often wear high heels develop a tightened calf muscle that increases stress on the foot.
  • Repetitive stress and pressure—Those who are on their feet all day for work, ballet dancers, and professional athletes are prime candidates for plantar fascia or other ligament injury.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis:

For less severe injuries to the plantar fascia, conservative treatment methods include RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), calf and tendon stretching exercises, and wearing shoes with proper arch support and custom-made orthotic inserts. For more severe cases, a specially made boot and splint may be required, and surgery may be needed to repair major tears.

If you are experiencing heel pain, see your podiatrist for the proper diagnosis and best 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.

Treating a Sprained Ankle

sprained ankle

A twisted ankle that causes a severe sprain is a very common occurrence. People who have had previous ankle injuries that were not properly treated are more susceptible to having future sprains. This is because repeatedly spraining your ankle and not getting proper treatment from your podiatrist causes chronic instability in the joint that may require surgery to properly repair.

So always see your foot doctor if you have a severe ankle sprain to determine if imaging studies are needed. Your doctor will check for broken bones, tendon injuries, and ligament damage. An MRI may be required to show details of any damage to the soft tissue.

Initial treatments for a sprained ankle:

  • RICERest, ice, compression, elevation
  • Pain management—Pain relievers such as ibuprofen will also reduce swelling
  • Weight removal—Taking weight off the foot with crutches or a wheelchair may be necessary
  • Rigid boot—A specially-made walking boot may need to be worn for a period of weeks to limit movement of the ankle joint and promote healing
  • Therapy exercises—These will help to restore strength, flexibility, stability and motion range

To help prevent foot and ankle injuries from happening, always do a proper warm up before exercise. Wear shoes that are correct for the activity and incorporate strength, flexibility and balance exercises to your routine.

If you are experiencing problems with sprained ankles, see your foot care professional to ensure that proper diagnosis and treatment are performed. 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.

 

Using Custom Orthotics To Stop Foot Pain

custom orthotics

Custom-made orthotic shoe inserts and braces are fabricated and molded to fit your precise foot shape. When used in combination with properly fitted footwear, orthotics will alleviate and treat a wide variety of foot and ankle problems. Properly formed and fitted custom orthotics can also postpone or entirely prevent the need for surgery in many instances.

How custom orthotic inserts can stop or prevent foot pain and discomfort

  • Weight and pressure redistribution—A wide variety of foot and ankle ailments including Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, bunions and hammertoes can be helped with the use of custom orthotic inserts. Gait abnormalities can also be addressed, which helps the alignment of your spine and improves knee, hip, and back function.
  • Avoid the need for surgery—Custom orthotics can often correct foot and ankle problems to the point where surgery and the corresponding recovery and rehabilitation periods can be avoided. This can be especially important for patients with diabetes who can develop severe complications from surgical procedures. If surgery is required, orthotics inserts can help improve recovery quality.

Although custom-made orthotics are more costly than the store-bought variety, the custom fitting makes these inserts much more effective at treating your particular foot and ankle ailments.

If you need assistance with custom orthotics and diabetic footwear, consult with your foot care professional. 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.