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Your feet are covered a good part of the day. If you are diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often another sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

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Heel pain is a very common ailment that can be caused by a variety of factors. Heel pain can range from a bruise or a stress fracture, to plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. The heel bone sits at the back of the foot beneath the ankle. Along with surrounding tissue, the heel bone works to provide balance and side-to-side movement of the back of the foot. If you are unsure of the cause of the symptoms of heel pain, it is important to seek medical attention. The signs that you should look for include an inability to walk comfortably on the affected side, signs of an infection, swelling or discoloration on the back of the foot and heel pain that persists beyond a few days. The heel condition can be diagnosed through your medical history or through physical examinations such as blood work and X-rays. If you are experiencing heel pain, it is advised that you visit with a podiatrist to discuss the best course of action. 

 

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

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 condition of the past.

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

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Tuesday, 23 July 2019 00:00

Stretches That May Relieve Heel Pain

The plantar fascia is located on the bottom of the foot. It is a band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes, and if it should become damaged and inflamed, a condition that is known as plantar fasciitis may develop. Common symptoms that are associated with this ailment often include severe pain and discomfort, and it may cause difficulty in walking. It typically originates from overuse from running activities, or as a result of being overweight. Relief may be found when specific stretches are performed that will strengthen the plantar fascia. These consist of stretching the calf, which may be helpful in relieving muscle tightness in the Achilles tendon and heel area. Some patients find it beneficial to roll the arch of the foot on a tennis or golf ball, in addition to pointing and flexing the foot. If you have heel pain, please consult a podiatrist who can guide you toward the treatment that is correct for you.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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

 

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Patients who have chronic foot pain may understand the benefits of receiving shockwave therapy. It can be helpful in alleviating pain that comes from plantar fasciitis. There are two forms of this type of treatment, and they are known as high and low energy. The former is administered in three or more sessions, which are generally not painful. The latter is often given with a form of anesthesia, and can produce severe pain and discomfort. Both forms of this type of treatment use pressurized air or electromagnetic pulses which may be effective in reducing a portion of chronic foot pain from plantar fasciitis. If you have this type of foot pain, it is suggested that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can help you in determining if this type of treatment is correct for you.

Shockwave therapy is a treatment commonly used to treat various injuries and conditions, particularly plantar fasciitis in the feet. To learn more, consult with Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is a new treatment option designed to treat bone conditions such as tennis elbow, shoulder pain, and others. Shockwave therapy uses high intensity sound waves that are directed to the affected tissues of the body with pinpoint accuracy. The effects are very beneficial, leading to a production of collagen fibers, eliminating inflammation.

Who Benefits from Shockwave?

Shockwave is recommended for patients suffering from heel pain and associated problems. Heel pain is a common condition which can be caused by obesity, overexertion, and spending a substantial amount of time on hard floors with your feet exposed and unsupported.

Fast and Easy

The therapy is actually a simple process that can leave patients feeling better the very next day. Shockwave therapy is not as dramatic as it sounds. It enables more blood flow to effected areas, addressing the source of the problem and allowing treatment to last for a long time.

Treatment & Recovery Time

Shockwave treatment will enable your feet to recover quickly. This is especially important since surgery is not required. It is cost effective and does not require the use of anesthesia. This treatment is a better option to surgery, since it is proven safe.

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

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Tuesday, 09 July 2019 00:00

Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury

The Achilles tendon is located at the back of the calf, and its function is to connect the heel to the calf muscles. It is important for this tendon to remain strong, as it is necessary in performing running and jumping activities. Achilles tendonitis occurs if it becomes irritated, inflamed, or swollen. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including increasing the intensity of a new sport, wearing inappropriate shoes while exercising, or from having tight calf muscles. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition can include pain and discomfort near the heel, and some patients may have difficulty in flexing and pointing the injured foot. Effective treatment options can include resting the foot, performing exercises to strengthen the calf muscles, in addition to possibly wearing orthotics. If you feel you have injured your Achilles tendon, it is strongly advised to consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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

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Tuesday, 02 July 2019 00:00

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus

The medical term for toenail fungus is onychomycosis. This type of fungus typically lives and thrives in warm and moist environments, which often include public swimming pools, locker rooms, and shower room floors. It is considered to be contagious, and appropriate shoes should be worn while in these areas. There may be existing medical conditions that precede the development of toenail fungus. These can include diabetes, a weakened immune system, or a possible skin injury around the nail and surrounding areas. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition often include yellow or white streaks on the nail, brittleness of the nail, and some patients may lose the nail. If you notice symptoms of toenail fungus, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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

 

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