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Monday, 29 October 2018 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

There is a thick portion of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the toes to the heel bone, which is referred to as the plantar fascia. If this should become injured, inflammation may occur, leading to a condition known as plantar fasciitis, which typically causes severe pain and discomfort. Research has shown the main purpose of the plantar fascia is to maintain adequate support to the arch of the foot in addition to acting like a shock absorber for the body. Some of the reasons why this ailment could develop may be from wearing shoes that do not have proper cushioning, standing for extended periods of time, or participating in sporting activities that include running or jumping. Patients who have plantar fasciitis may experience pain that radiates from the heel and may gradually increase over time. If you are afflicted with this painful condition, please counsel with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this condition.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Steven Sheridan  from Ankle & Foot Specialty Clinics. Our doctor 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 one of our offices located in Sandusky, Lapeer, and Marlette, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 22 October 2018 00:00

Swollen Feet May Be Common During Pregnancy

Research has shown that many women suffer from specific physical ailments during their pregnancies, and swollen feet is one of the more common uncomfortable conditions. Women who are pregnant undergo a multitude of changes, which may often result in swollen feet and ankles. These may include the blood becoming thicker, which may be a consequence of unpreventable changes in the blood chemistry. Many women have learned to manage swollen feet during their pregnancies, and this may be accomplished by elevating the feet frequently during the day, drinking plenty of fresh water as often as possible, and maintaining a gentle exercise program. Additionally, it may be advised to sleep on your left side, which may help to regulate blood flow in the body. If you would like additional information about the effects pregnancy may have on your feet, please counsel with a podiatrist.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. Steven Sheridan from Ankle & Foot Specialty Clinics. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy, but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Sandusky, Lapeer, and Marlette, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

Intense Pain May Accompany Gout

An excess of uric acid levels in the blood may lead to a painful condition known as gout. When the body has difficulty in processing this buildup, crystals will typically form in the joint of the big toe. It is often considered to be a form of arthritis, and may cause considerable pain and discomfort. This ailment may develop as a result of ingesting foods that are rich in purines, which may often include red wine, seafood or chocolate. Research has shown there may be several predispositions for gout to occur. People who have high blood pressure or who have abnormal kidney functions may be at a greater risk to develop this ailment. Patients who are afflicted with gout are aware of the intense pain, swelling and redness that accompanies this predicament. If you have developed gout it's suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can provide valuable information about the treatment of this debilitating condition.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Steven Sheridan from Ankle & Foot Specialty Clinics. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Sandusky, Lapeer, and Marlette, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Despite the fact that many women enjoy wearing high heels, they may want to be aware of the potential damage wearing these types of shoes may cause. The toes may endure increased pressure, and this may specifically occur under the big toe. If you are susceptible to bunions, this may result in the formation of one, in addition to the development of corns and calluses, which may typically form on the balls of the feet or on top of the toes. Pain affecting the heel of the foot may be related to a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This may occur when the band of tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the toes becomes inflamed, and severe pain and discomfort may often accompany this condition. Research has shown that regardless of the ailments that may develop as a result of wearing high heels, a large percentage of women choose to wear this type of shoe.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Steven Sheridan from Ankle & Foot Specialty Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Sandusky, Lapeer, and Marlette, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

Possible Causes of Poor Circulation

For people who have poor circulation, experiencing “pins and needles” and tingling are common sensations. It is not considered to be a disease, and research has shown it may be indicative of serious illnesses including heart conditions, or PAD, which is known as peripheral artery disease. When the blood circulates properly throughout the body, oxygen and essential nutrients flow easily to the organs. Poor circulation hinders the ability for this to occur. There are several symptoms that are associated with this condition, including cold feet, cramps in the muscles, lack of energy, or throbbing. History has shown that poor health habits may contribute to the onset of this ailment. These may include smoking, eating poorly, or being sedentary for long periods at a time. If you feel you have poor circulation, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist for possible treatment options. These may include wearing compression socks, taking prescription medicine, or surgery.

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Steven Sheridan of Ankle & Foot Specialty Clinics. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms:

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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

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Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

Different Types of Foot Surgery

There are several reasons why it may be necessary to have foot surgery performed. These may include having a foot deformity corrected, relieving severe pain and discomfort, or to have normal function returned to your foot or ankle. A common surgery that involves having the toenail removed may be a suitable cure for specific foot conditions such as ingrown toenails. Additionally, for people who suffer from the constant pain of an ankle disorder, a procedure that is known as open ankle fusion surgery may be a viable option to obtain moderate or full relief. Bunion surgery may be necessary for the permanent removal of painful bunions if all other options should fail. If you are contemplating foot surgery, it’s advised to speak with a podiatrist who can properly inform you of any information you need to know, so a proper decision can be reached.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Steven Sheridan of Ankle & Foot Specialty Clinics. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Sandusky, Lapeer, and Marlette, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

Is Hammertoe Uncomfortable?

If you have ever worn narrow, pointed-toe shoes, you may be a candidate to develop hammertoe. The characteristics are a noticeable deformity that affects the middle toes, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. The toes may be bent at the middle joint and face downward, giving the appearance of a hammer. The surrounding muscles may become unbalanced, and this may cause difficulty in straightening the toes. This condition may become worse if prompt treatment is not administered, which may consist of performing simple exercises that may strengthen the foot and toes. Research has shown the most common cause of hammertoe is related to incorrect shoes that are worn. Additionally, there may be other reasons why this ailment may develop, including having an elongated second toe, incurring an injury to the toes, or genetic traits may play a significant role. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it’s strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist for a complete diagnosis and to gather information about proper treatment options.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Steven Sheridan from Ankle & Foot Specialty Clinics. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Sandusky, Lapeer, and Marlette, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?

If you notice a large bony protrusion on the side of your big toe, you may have what is referred to as a bunion. It is considered to be a deformity, and there may be several reasons why this condition may occur. Research has shown that genetics may play a significant role in the formation of bunions. If you happen to have a pre-existing case of bunions, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly could possibly make it even worse. This type of footwear may include shoes that have a narrow toe area, which does not have adequate room for the toes to move about in. This may result in the toes being forced to squeeze into an area that is too small. There is a significant reduction in the development of bunions in non-western countries and this may be a result of wearing shoes that fit correctly. If you feel you have a bunion, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can begin treatment options that are right for you.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Steven Sheridan of Ankle & Foot Specialty Clinics. Our doctor 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 one of our offices located in Sandusky, Lapeer, and Marlette, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
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