Posts for category: Common Foot Conditions
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we’re starting to see a predictable increase in appointments for younger patients experiencing fall sports injuries. Many pediatric problems in young athletes can be avoided. Below are some common sports injuries and how to prevent them.
Plantar Fascitis—a long band of tissue known as the plantar fascia runs along the bottom of the foot. When the plantar fascia becomes aggravated and inflamed, your child can experience pain in the arch of the foot and also heel pain. This tends to be a recurring problem. In many cases, plantar fasciitis is related to a defect in foot structure. If your child has overly high arches or flat feet, he or she may need special footwear or a custom orthotic device to play sports comfortably.
Shin Splints—pain and swelling in the front of the lower part of the legs are the characteristic symptoms of this source of discomfort. Shin splints are often the result of repetitive activities like running. Changing training regimens stretches for the calves and properly supportive sports shoes can all help alleviate and prevent this condition.
Sever’s Disease—this condition specifically affects children in the age range of 8 to about 15. Until the heel bone is fully developed, new growth is constantly occurring, leaving a vulnerable area in the growth plate at the back of the heel. Overly-strenuous practices and sports that feature repeated pounding of the heel on hard surfaces, such as basketball, track, and soccer, can increase the risk for Sever’s Disease. In addition to rest periods, other ways to reduce irritation include: maintaining an appropriate weight, stretching exercises and correct footwear or support if your child has flat feet or high arches.
Achilles tendonitis—inflammation of this long tendon in the back of the leg that connects the calf muscle to the heel is most often the result of doing too much too quickly. It’s important that children and teen's condition themselves before the sports season and that coaches follow a training regimen that gradually increases the intensity and duration of physical activity.
If your child experiences pain or discomfort in their feet and ankles during or after sports, make an appointment at one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices as soon as possible. Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we find that many patients don’t think much about their feet until they’re not working properly. We want to encourage our patients to be proactive in the care of their feet and not wait until something goes wrong. One simple way to ensure good podiatric health is by regularly examining your feet to detect potential problems. Below are five checkpoints:
- Skin and toenails—look for any signs of skin irritation such as blisters, redness, calluses or corns. Bruises, lumps, discoloration or changes in existing moles or freckles are all possible indicators of a foot condition. Toenails that appear to be getting thicker or have a yellowish, brownish discoloration or any crumbling at the edges might be a sign of a fungal infection.
- Circulation—good blood flow is essential for healthy feet and wound healing. Try this simple test: press down on the nail of your big toe until it looks white. Let go and see how long it takes for the blood flow to come back to your toe and it returns to normal color. On average this should take about two to five seconds. A blue, red or purple tinge to toes may also be a sign of poor circulation.
- Sensation—using a pencil eraser, lightly run it around the top, bottom and sides of both of your feet. You should be able to feel it equally on all parts of your feet. Neuropathy or nerve damage is associated with diabetes and can result in loss of feeing in your feet. Pain is never a “normal” sensation in your feet.
- Flexibility—you should be able to flex your feet without pain or discomfort. Try picking up a marble or dish towel with your toes. Test ankle flexibility by hanging your heel off a stair and allowing it to drop below the level of the stair. Flexibility can be improved with exercises and regular physical activity.
- Balance—good balance is a key factor in preventing fall injuries. Balance may decrease with age. To assess your balance, stand on one foot with your arms out to the side and your eyes closed. You should be able to hold this stance for 15 seconds if you are under 30, 12 seconds between 30 and 40, 10 seconds between 40 and 50 and 7 seconds if you are over 50.
If you find anything concerning or abnormal when conducting a self-exam, contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices to make an appointment. Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. will examine your feet and determine if there is a problem that needs treatment.
Summer is an easy season for implementing and maintaining an outdoor fitness regimen. At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know that being active has several benefits for your feet, including:
- Increasing flexibility and range of motion
- Maintaining a healthy weight which in turn reduces stress on your feet and ankles
- Improving circulation
However, there are certain conditions in the summer months that require some extra precautions. Below are some do’s and don’ts for a healthy summer workout.
Don’t: plan to exercise during the hottest time of the day. Late afternoon or early evening and early morning are usually safer time slots, especially during particularly hot stretches.
Do: always have plenty of water with you. Not only do you sweat more during hot weather, but your risk of edema or painful swelling of the feet and ankles is increased. Drinking lots of water will help flush excess fluid from your body.
Don’t: exercise if you don’t have the proper shoes. While it might be tempting to join in an impromptu softball game at a family barbeque, if the only shoes you have are sandals or flip flops sit the game out. Wearing non-supportive footwear to play sports is likely to result in an ankle sprain or other injuries.
Do: find a cool place to cool down after your workout. Inflammation and swelling will be worse if you stay out in the heat after you’re done exercising. Be sure to engage in some static stretches of your quads, hamstring, calves and other large muscle groups—these types of stretches are best done on muscles that are warmed up, not before you start.
Do: stop exercising if you feel lightheaded, start to cramp or experience any foot or ankle pain. If the pain persists even after you stop, contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices today for an appointment so that one of our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. can examine you and determine if a sports injury has occurred.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know that many of our patients are planning to spend time at some of Connecticut’s beautiful beaches this summer. Nothing can ruin a day at the beach quicker than a foot or ankle problem, however. Below are some common podiatric issues that can occur while you’re enjoying surf and sand.
Burns—there are two kinds of burns you need to protect your feet from at the beach: sun and sand. For some reason, people often don’t apply sunscreen to their feet, but a burn on the skin of your feet can make it treacherous to walk or wear shoes. Always re-apply sunscreen after you come out of the water and put on the bottoms of your feet too if you are lying out in the sun. Sand can also be way hotter than it looks. Even a short run to your beach towel can result in a bad burn to the soles of your feet.
Ankle Sprains—the sand gives way under your feet and turns them in unexpected directions. This can lead to an ankle-twisting injury if you are playing Frisbee or another beach game, or even just walking. Pack a pair of sneakers in your beach bag if a walk along the shore is part of your beach day plans.
Jellyfish Stings—even dead jellyfish that have washed up on the sand still have stingers that will hurt your feet if you step on them. Steer clear if you see these sea creatures.
Cuts and Puncture Wounds—while your path may look clear, just beneath the surface of the sand may be glass, metal debris, sharps stones or broken shells that can cause a cut or deep puncture wound. If this occurs, wash out the wound immediately and apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage. For deep puncture wounds, call one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices so that one of our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. can check it and make sure it does not become infected.
Your podiatrist deals with a wide range of lower extremity conditions and disorders. At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we want to encourage patients to contact us if they have a concern about their feet. No symptom is too trivial. In fact, sometimes unusual changes in your feet, even if they are not painful, can signal the beginning of a serious condition. In some cases, your feet may be the place where other diseases that affect your entire body may first show up, including diabetes, arthritis, and circulatory or nerve issues.
- Any pain in your feet or ankles that is persistent.
- Severe cracking, peeling or scaling on the heel or foot.
- Unusual rashes, blisters or bruising.
- Changes in toenails including discoloration, thickening of the nails, crumbling at the edges.
- Tingling or burning sensation or loss of feeling in your feet.
- Any signs of bacterial infection, such as redness, tenderness, heat with red streaks extending from the affected area, or any sign of discharge or pus. If these are accompanied by a fever, it is essential that you contact us immediately.
If you have diabetes, you have special risks associated with infections and difficulty healing. For this reason, you should call us even for minor podiatric conditions such as athlete’s foot, blisters or toenail trouble. Get in the habit of checking your feet daily or have someone do for you if you cannot easily see your entire foot. This will help you spot potentially dangerous changes early.
Whatever your symptoms, our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. will perform a complete podiatric exam, get your medical history and order any tests necessary to diagnose your discomfort and determine the treatment plan to manage it.