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Monday, 19 April 2021 00:00

Biomechanic Effects of Footwear

The study of the movement and structure of living organisms is known as biomechanics. Podiatrists have long been interested in biomechanics not only in regard to the treatment of certain foot, ankle, and gait disorders, but also in the biomechanic effects of certain footwear. Shoes—as the line of defense between the body and the ground—are integral to how people control the movement of their bodies and lower limbs in particular. Along with offering the feet support and protection, wearing shoes when walking allows for better muscle movement and longer strides. Footwear that is designed for optimal foot biomechanics is believed by some to be particularly beneficial to those with chronic ankle instability by reducing the extension of the ankle and improving gait. If you are interested in learning more about how different shoes change the biomechanics of your feet, or are experiencing any weakness in your ankles, contact a podiatrist.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Howard Waxman, DPM from Pleasant Valley Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Willoughby Hills and Broadview Heights, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Friday, 16 April 2021 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Monday, 12 April 2021 00:00

Why Do Heel Spurs Occur?

Heel spurs can occur when foot muscles and ligaments are strained, the plantar fascia is overly stretched, or the membrane covering the heel is repeatedly torn. In response to this trauma, the body sends calcium to protect and strengthen the area, which can build up over a period of time and cause bony projections on the bottom of the heel bone towards the arch, at the back of the heel, or beneath the arch. While some heel spurs go undetected, many people experience tenderness and pain in the heel, especially when walking barefoot on surfaces that are hard. If you have heel pain, a podiatrist can examine you and use X-rays to help determine if a heel spur is present, and prescribe treatments such as orthotics, exercise, injections, or even surgery to provide relief.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact Howard Waxman, DPM from Pleasant Valley Podiatry. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices located in Willoughby Hills and Broadview Heights, OH . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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Flip-flops don’t offer the protection or support your feet need. While they may be appropriate for some limited use, they should not be worn for long periods of time. Their flimsy foam soles and lack of structure offer no arch support at all, which causes your feet to flatten and forces tendons and ligaments to compensate. This stress throughout your feet can cause heel spurs, bunions, flat feet, cracked heels and even plantar fasciitis. Additionally, their floppy “fit” makes your toes work harder to keep them on, which can cause hammertoes and put you at higher risk of twisted ankles, stubbed toes, and even trips and falls. If you would like more information about the danger of improper footwear or if you have any discomfort or pain in your feet, contact a podiatrist today.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Howard Waxman, DPM from Pleasant Valley Podiatry. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Willoughby Hills and Broadview Heights, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Shin splints are a painful, yet sometimes avoidable, common form of shin pain among athletes. Shin splints—also known as Medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS)—are usually associated with runners and gymnasts, and occur when the muscles that attach to the tibia, or shin bone, are overused and become inflamed. Athletes can sometimes get shin splints if they increase training too rapidly, or don’t warm up properly or wear proper shoes. The pain associated with shin splints can cover the entire inner part of the shin, and unlike exertional compartment syndrome—a more serious condition often mistaken for shin splints—usually goes away with proper self-care. A podiatrist can recommend a treatment/management plan which may include massaging or icing after activity, orthotics, physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, and switching to more appropriate footwear.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Howard Waxman, DPM of Pleasant Valley Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Willoughby Hills and Broadview Heights, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Wednesday, 17 March 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Monday, 22 March 2021 00:00

Peripheral Neuropathy 101

Peripheral neuropathy is caused when the nerves in the extremities such as the hands or feet are damaged.  Neuropathy is generally indicated by pain, numbness, tingling, or a pins and needles sensation in the feet.  While one of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes, it can also be caused by metabolic disorders, alcohol, trauma, vitamin deficiency, and even genetics.  Treatment options for neuropathy are often individualized and focused on the cause of the neuropathy.  Therefore, patients who are experiencing the signs of peripheral neuropathy in their feet should visit a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment method.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with Howard Waxman, DPM from Pleasant Valley Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Willoughby Hills and Broadview Heights, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 15 March 2021 00:00

Wearing High Heels With Bunions

Bunions, bony bumps on the sides of the feet that often form at the big toe joint, can cause pain or discomfort. This problem is exacerbated by wearing shoes that have excessively high heels, pointed toes, or a fit that is too tight. While you don’t have to give up high heels forever, if you have a bunion, it is recommended that you make changes when it comes to the type of heels you wear and how frequently you wear them. When picking out your shoes, opt for those with a heel no higher than two inches. You should also look for wider shoes that have built-in support and cushioning. Rather than wearing high heels daily, it is recommended that you give your feet a break often, by resting the feet, wearing flats, and doing foot stretches regularly. For more information about bunions, or if you have painful bunions, please consult with a podiatrist.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Howard Waxman, DPM of Pleasant Valley Podiatry. 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 Willoughby Hills and Broadview Heights, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, the band that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes, becomes inflamed. Plantar fasciitis usually causes pain in the heel, which is often worse in the morning, after prolonged standing, or after an intense workout. Usually, the pain that comes from plantar fasciitis gradually worsens over time. Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that comes from an activity that puts stress on the plantar fascia, like running, but it can also be caused by other medical conditions, such as flat feet or obesity. Because plantar fasciitis can negatively impact your daily activities, patients who are suffering from heel pain should be under the care of a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Howard Waxman, DPM  from Pleasant Valley Podiatry. 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 Willoughby Hills and Broadview Heights, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Like other parts of your body, the feet contain many joints that can be affected by the various types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis, which is characterized by age-related degeneration of the cartilage that cushions your joints, can affect the joints of the feet and cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and a reduced range of motion. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition that is not related to aging, is characterized by pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints, as well as fever, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss. Psoriatic arthritis, which affects people who have a skin condition called psoriasis, can cause swelling, pain, and stiffness in the joints, extreme fatigue, and changes in the nails. Gout, an arthritis that often affects the big toe joint and can flare up and then go away, may cause swelling, pain, redness, and warmth in the affected joint. If you have the symptoms of arthritis in your feet, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact Howard Waxman, DPM from Pleasant Valley Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Willoughby Hills and Broadview Heights, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Arthritic Foot Care
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