Foot Conditions

 

Arch Pain and Heel Pain

The Achilles tendon attaches your calf muscles to our heel. This tendon is used to jump, walk, run, and stand on the balls of your feet. Continuous excessive tension to this tendon can cause inflammation. This is known as Achilles tendonitis. Symptoms: pain, swelling, tight calf muscles, warm to the touch.

Faulty biomechanics is to a main contributory cause. Dr. Sables can help immediately with taping immobilization, therapy, etc. followed by biomechanical correction to alleviate and prevent further injury.

Plantar fasciitis, plantar fasciiosis, or posterior tibial tendonitis are commonly the diagnosis. However, there are other things like systemic conditions, compressed nerves, stress fractures, etc that can be the cause of your pain. In children, it is NOT growing pains. If arch pain persists beyond a few days or frequently recurs with activity, see a foot and ankle specialist for treatment to prevent this condition from worsening. Remember, it typically does not take months for the pain to subside if biomechanics are addressed.

Arch pain and heel pain rarely requires surgery or outpatient procedures.


Bunions and Hammertoes

Bunions and Hammertoes are common problems aggravated by shoe wear. These conditions can develop into arthritis which can cause the area to become painful and inflamed. Bunions and hammertoes are signs of biomechanical fault in the foot. Shoes do not cause bunions and hammertoes but they can enhance the formation of them. It is important to have a well fitted shoe.


Heel Spurs

A heel spur is an abnormal growth of bone at the area where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone. It is cause by a long term strain on the plantar fascia and muscles of the foot, especially in people who suffer from obesity, runners, and joggers. Similar to plantar fasciitis, shoes that are worn out, poorly fitting or poorly constructed can aggravate the problem. Heel spurs may not be the cause of heel pain even when seen on an x-ray. In fact, they may develop as a reaction to plantar fasciitis.


Ingrown Toenails

When a toenail is ingrown, it is curved and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders (the sides of the nail). This “digging in” of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in the toe. If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause infection in the area. This is usually marked by draining and a foul odor. However, even if the toe isn’t experiencing any of these symptoms, a nail that curves downward into the skin can progress into an infection.


Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia is a pain of the ball of your foot, singularly or multiple. The pain is an inflammation that occurs at the metatarsal heads- the base of the toes. It is a common problem if too much pressure is applied, usually from abnormal biomechanics. This can occur from poor foot wear, poor foot function, or systemic conditions such as arthritis. Metatarsalgia can effect a couple of toes or the whole foot. If it is associated with a callous, a biomechanical fault exist. It is recommended to seek profession help. Symptoms: Aching dull to a burning pain. This can also cause tingling or shooting pain in the toes.


Neuromas

A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissues that may develop in carious parts of the body. The most common neuroma in the foot is Morton’s neuroma, which occurs between the third and fourth toes. It is sometimes referred to as an inter metatarsal neuroma. The thickening or enlargement of the nerve that defines a neuroma is the result of compression and irritation of the nerve. This compression creates inflammation and pain. People with foot deformities are at a higher risk for developing a neuroma. Symptoms: Tingling, burning, numbness, pain, a feeling something is in the shoe, etc.


Morton’s Toe

Morton’s Toe is a common condition where the second toe is larger than the big toe. This leads to excessive pressure on the second metatarsal head resulting in pain similar to metatarsalgia. Morton’s Toe impacts the whole body because it changes your posture and the way you walk and run. This is known to cause and perpetuate musculoskeletal problems. Ideally fit shoes and inserts can aid in controlling the many conditions and relieve pain without surgery.


Neuropathy

Neuropathy is seen with a number of different underlying medical conditions. It can also exist without the cause being known. This is called ‘idiopathic’ neuropathy. This conditions seems to be a more common condition with again. The autonomic nerves, motor nerves and sensory nerves can be involved. Most cases of neuropathy are found in people who have diabetes. About half of those who suffer with diabetes have neuropathy but are without symptoms or do not know it. Testing for neuropathy is a routine part of diabetes. Neuropathy can not be treated but the underlying cause can be targeted. There are also some supplements that can help nerve regeneration.

At ArchMasters, we have found many patients with neuropathy tell us that their conditions improved with the use of our orthotics. This is a because of improved foot function better distributes pressure under the feet and thus improves blood flow to the nerves.


Posterior Tibial Tendon

The posterior tibial tendon serves as one of the major supporting structures of the foot, helping it to function while walking. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is a condition cause by changes in the tendon, impairing its ability to support the arch. This results in flattening of the foot. Post tibial tendon dysfunction is usually progressive. This means it will keep getting worse, especially if left untreated. If left untreated it could leave you with an extremely flat foot, painful arthritis, and increase limitations with physical activity. Symptoms: Flattening of the arch, inward rolling of the ankle, pain, swelling, etc.


Foot Pain During Pregnancy

It is common for women to have foot pain while pregnant. Due to the natural weight gain during pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity can be altered. This causes a new weight bearing stance and added pressure to the knees and feet. Two of the most common foot problems experienced by pregnant woman are over pronation and edema. These problems can lead to pain at the heel, arch, or the ball of the foot. Many women may also experience leg cramping and varicose veins due to weight gain. It is important for pregnant women to learn more about foot health during their pregnancy to help make the nine month period more comfortable.

There are effective ways to treat both over pronation and edema during pregnancy. Over pronation can be treated conservatively with orthotics. Proper fitting footwear is also very important. It is important to treat over pronation for pain relief but also to prevent other foot conditions from developing such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, metatarsalgia, post tibial tendon dysfunction and bunions. Edema in the feet can be minimized by elevating your feet as much as possible and wearing well fitted footwear. Drink plenty of water and eat a well balanced diet to help reduce swelling. If swelling is not symmetrical in both feet, this many be a sign of a vascular problem and a doctor should be contacted immediately.


Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a common ailment that affects the forefoot, typically in young people who engage in physical activities like running or dancing. The most common symptom is pain in the ball of the foot, especially of the medial or inner side. The term is a general description for any irritation of the sesamoid bone, which are tiny bones within the tendons that run to the big toe. Similar to the kneecap, the sesamoids function as a pulley, increasing the leverage of the tendons controlling the toe. When you push off against the toes, the sesamoids are involved and eventually become irritated, even fractured.


Shin Splints

Shin splints are a type of “overuse injury” to the legs. The pain is characteristic and located on the outer edge of the mid region of the leg next to the shin bone (tibia). It can be extreme and halt workouts. A multi-faceted approach of “relative rest” cab restore a pain free level of activity and return to competition. This includes changes in workouts, ice, rest, anti inflammatory medication, etc. Shin splints are typically caused by abnormal excessive pull of the muscle off the bone. Faulty biomechanics are typically found and can be corrected with ArchMasters TC3-DR orthotic technology.


Toe Deformities

If you’re not born with it, toe deformity develops as you grow and age. If so, this typically a sign of an abnormal alignment of your feet causing the muscles and tendons to abnormally contract the toes which can lead to hammer, mallet, or claw toe deformities. This can eventually lead to arthritis in the joints. Eventually the toes will not be able to be straightened out manually. Shoes do not necessarily cause hammertoes but rather can aggravate them if the shoe is not ideally fit. If you suffer with toe deformities, it is recommended you get checked for biomechanical causes.


Nail Fungus

There are three layers of the nail plate itself. The fungus can get in any layer or a combination of the layers. Nail fungus could be a simple discoloration on the top layer or if it starts involving the other layers it can cause abnormal thickening of the nail. It can also provide a foul odor. Toenails are vulnerable around damp areas where you are likely to be walking barefoot, such as a swimming pool, locker rooms, and showers. Injury to the nail bed may make more susceptible to all types of infection. Those who suffer from chronic disease such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or immune deficiency conditions, are especially prone to fungal nails. Hereditary factors are involved as well but it is typically not indicative to poor hygiene.