Posts for: April, 2016

Last year we talked a little about heel pain and that brought up the topic of bursitis. Here’s a quick recap of that article:

  • Bursae are fluid filled sacs around the body that help muscles and tendons move smoothly over one another
  • When these bursae become inflamed it is called Bursitis and results in heel or foot pain
  • Bursitis is caused mainly through repeated misuse of the same area of the body but other factors such as inflammatory diseases might also be a factor
  • If the pain persists for more than a week or goes away and then comes back, you need to see your podiatrist

READ MORE: Heel Pain

While bursitis is a common cause of heel pain, it can cause pain in other places as well. The metatarsal bursa is located on the pad of your foot just under your toes and takes a lot of the weight of your everyday movements. If more strain is put on one toe than another, this can inflame the metatarsal bursa and cause pain. Pain from the metatarsal bursa will be noticeably worse if you are standing with bare feet on a hard floor.

The intermetatarsal bursa is located between the toes and can cause shooting pain through the top of the foot starting at the toes. Bursitis here can be caused by wearing improperly fitting shoes that squeeze your toes together or it can occur naturally as we age. As we grow older, the arches of our feet begin to weaken and fall putting more pressure on our toes. As this happens, bursitis can develop. Wearing shoes with wide toe boxes and good arch support can help avoid and relieve this pain.

The metatarsophalangeal bursa is located on the inner side of your foot next to your big toe. This is a common place for bursitis since friction from shoes is common on this part of the foot. Preexisting bunions in the same area can exacerbate inflammation of the metatarsophalangeal bursa. If the pain persists, you could end up having a very hard time finding comfortable shoes.

Bursitis of any kind can be recognized by pain, swelling, and redness. If you have these symptoms in any part of your foot (not just your heel) come and see us at the FAAWC. When left untreated, bursitis can become chronic and lead to other foot health issues down the road. Luckily, there are lots of treatment options and they are fairly simple. Your podiatrist will make a customized treatment plan for you and get you back on your feet in no time with no inflammation and no pain. What could be better than that?!

Ladies, many of us love to wear heels, and why not? Heels can be empowering and make us feel sexy and Amazonian (especially if you’re on the shorter side). But do we really know what those heels are doing to our feet? Among the myriad of problems associated with high heels, let’s look at Haglund’s Deformity also known as “Pump Bump”.

In some ways this is a misnomer, since Haglund’s Deformity can occur in both men and women and from many types of shoes. The “bump” is true though. Haglund’s Deformity is an enlarged bump on the bone of the heel. When this bump rubs against a hard surface (like the back of a stiff high heel or a structured men’s dress shoe) it irritates the bursa next to your Achilles tendon. An inflamed bursa causes bursitis, which is a painful condition brought on by repeated stress to a single area.

READ MORE: Bursitis

People who have high arches, tight Achilles tendons, or a tendency to walk on the outside of their heel are more predisposed to have Haglund’s Deformity. If you develop this deformity, you will know by the pain, swelling, and redness surrounding a noticeable bump on the back of your heel.

Haglund’s Deformity can be diagnosed with a simple doctor visit and x-ray. Most cases of Haglund’s Deformity are treatable with anti-inflammatory medications, heel pads, heel lifts, ice, stretching exercises, orthotics, or physical therapy. If these methods don’t provide relief, surgical options may be considered.

The best way to protect your feet from Haglund’s Deformity is to avoid wearing shoes with stiff backs that press on your heel. I’m not saying that you can never wear your favorite pumps again, but it may be a good idea to cut down on the amount of time you wear them. Consider wearing flats to and from the office or party or switching it up with a cute backless heel that will avoid putting pressure on the same area. Heels are cute; “Pump Bump” is not. Protect your feet with proper shoes and treatment from the FAAWC.

READ MORE: High Heels and Neuromas

Pain: it hurts. (Imagine that!) But when that pain becomes chronic, it takes on a whole new meaning. Tendonitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that can affect many different parts of the body. As we know, tendons are strong bands of fibers that connect our muscles to our bones. When we overuse or misuse these tendons, we cause damage. Even minor damage to our tendons sparks the body’s natural response to send extra blood to the area to help it heal; we call this swelling. Usually swelling should last only a couple of days, but chronic damage to our tendons causes chronic pain and swelling; we call this tendonitis.

The primary cause of tendonitis is overuse. You hear about it mostly in athletes who perform the same exercises over and over again, but it can truly affect anyone. If you experience chronic pain, swelling, and stiffness in any part of your body, you could be affected by tendonitis. You have over 100 tendons in your legs, ankles, and feet alone so tendonitis has many places to manifest. The most common tendonitis issues in the feet are:

Achilles Tendonitis: Pain between the heel and the calf.

Posterior Tibial Tendonitis:  Pain on the inner side of the foot.

Peroneal Tendonitis: Pain on the outer ankle.

Extensor Tendonitis: Pain on the top of the foot.

Anterior Tibial Tendonitis: Pain at the front on your foot.

If you experience recurring pain in any of these areas, you need to see your podiatrist. You could be over working your feet, be wearing the wrong shoes, or even have an underlying foot abnormality (like flat feet) that is exacerbating your condition. Any number of things could cause tendonitis in your feet and ankles. Taking care of the problem before it becomes chronic is important. Recovery could take weeks or months depending on the severity of your tendonitis. Treatment includes managing pain and swelling, addressing the underlying cause of the problem, and resting the affected area for the duration of the recovery period. If you continue to overuse your feet, tendonitis will come back; so make sure to follow your doctor’s orders!

Plantar Fasciitis. Let’s say it together, PLAN-tur fashee-EYE-tis. If you’ve hung around the FAAWC enough, I’m sure you have run into this term. Whether you heard it in passing in the hall or saw it on a brochure, it’s important to know what it is, because you may be experiencing it! When you wake up in the morning and, after hitting the snooze button several times, swing your feet onto the floor, do you feel sharp pain in your heels or the bottoms of your feet? This is due to your plantar fascia.

The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that connects your heel to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. Previously, it was believed that this was an inflammatory condition, but recent research shows actual structural changes in the plantar fascia. Essentially, repeated stress on the plantar fascia causes small tears in the ligament, can lead to calcium deposits in the connective tissues, and may rearrange the collagen fibers of your foot.

There are several risk factors that can lead to plantar fasciitis including:

  • Walking or standing for long periods of time on hard surfaces
  • Having very high or very low arches
  • Wearing shoes that do not fit properly
  • Rolling your feet inward when you walk
  • Having excessively tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons

As always, the first thing you should do is stop all activity and rest the affected foot or feet. Heat and ice along with stretching and strengthening exercises will help with plantar fasciitis, but it’s important to see your podiatrist for a full recovery plan. This plan may involve taping techniques, custom orthotics, steroid shots, or even surgery as a last result.

If you wake up in the morning with pain in your arches or heels, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. Please call the FAAWC today to make an appointment and get you waking up to a pain free morning!

Remember those crazy looking moon shoes? Well they are making a come back and in a big way! Podiatrists around the country are praising the moon shoe for its healing benefits. The cushiony, air soft steps reduce pressure on the bottoms of your feet, which solves every known foot problem you could have. Sound like too much of a miracle?


Well it is, which is why this is April 1st! Happy April Fool’s Day!