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February 2021

Monday, 22 February 2021 00:00

Am I at Risk for Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a very common foot problem, especially among runners. It occurs when the plantar fascia, the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes, becomes inflamed due to repeated injury or overuse. You may be at an increased risk for developing plantar fasciitis if you are a highly active runner, stand for prolonged periods of times, have tight calves or a decreased range of motion in your ankles, have flat or high arched feet, or are obese. Fortunately, there are many treatments for plantar fasciitis, including resting the foot, performing foot stretches, and modifying your activities or footwear. If you believe that you are at risk for developing plantar fasciitis, please consult with a podiatrist.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Monday, 15 February 2021 00:00

Diabetic Feet Need Frequent Exams

Diabetic feet are prone to developing infections and foot ulcers. This is generally a result of the inability to feel cuts or bruises that may develop on the feet. This is caused by elevated insulin levels in the blood that can come from obesity and eating unhealthy foods. It is important to maintain proper foot care by trimming the toenails correctly, and keeping the feet clean and moisturized. Checking the feet daily may help to notice any discoloration that can accompany diabetes, in addition to abnormal swelling. If you have diabetes, it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist on a frequent basis, and have routine foot examinations performed.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially 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, as 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 our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Conditions
Monday, 08 February 2021 00:00

Surgeries for Bunions

A bunion is a bony bump on the big toe joint which may be painful, red, swollen, stiff, or sore. Over time, the bunion pushes the big toe out of alignment and towards the smaller toes. When conservative treatments, such as footwear modifications or padding the bunion do not yield results, surgery may be recommended. There are several different types of surgery for bunions. In an osteotomy, the surgeon makes small cuts in the bones to realign them. In an exostectomy, the surgeon removes the bony protrusion from the joint, but does not realign the bones. In an arthroplasty, the surgeon removes the damaged portion of the big toe joint. In an arthrodesis, the surgeon removes the arthritic surface of the joint and then uses screws of plates to close the space. Arthroplasty and arthrodesis are usually reserved for elderly patients, those who have had previous failed surgeries, and those with severe arthritis. If you have bunions, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can determine the right treatment for you.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 01 February 2021 00:00

What Causes Pain on the Inside of the Heel?

Pain on the inside of the heel can have several different causes. Nerve pain on the inside of the heel, which is characterized by a tingling, numb, or burning sensation, can be the result of a nerve in the foot being squeezed or constricted. Heel pad syndrome occurs when the fat pad on the bottom of the heel has atrophied and is no longer able to cushion and protect the heel effectively. This leads to bruise-like pain deep in the heel, and can be caused by weight gain, aging, wearing unsupportive footwear, or repeated impacts of the foot against a hard surface. A stress fracture of the heel, which presents as tiny cracks in the heel bone, can cause pain that worsens over time. One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot. If you are experiencing heel pain, please consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors 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 offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
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