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Posts for tag: plantar fasciitis

Tennis is an incredibly popular sport in the United States with almost 18 million recreational and professional players. With new technology and advances, the ball is flying faster than ever before which means we have to be going faster to keep up. This puts additional strain and pressure on our already taxed feet which can leave us open to many types of tennis injuries.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are the most common tennis injury and can take a player out of the game for weeks or months at a time. Rapid changes in direction and jumping are two highest risk factors for ankle sprains and tennis has both. Ankle sprains happen when the ligaments of the ankle (most often the interior ligaments) are stretched or even torn due to unnatural movement of the ankle. Some players will wear an ankle brace on a weak ankle as a precaution. This is especially important if you have had prior ankle sprains as you have a higher reinjury risk.

Subungual Hematomas

You would recognize this injury as a pool of blood beneath your big toenail. The constant direction changes in tennis cause your feet to slide around inside your shoes. This can put undue pressure on the front of the toes and cause bruising beneath the nail. Your podiatrist can release the pressure and drain the blood in a single office visit. After bandaging, you can get back on the court, but if the nail needs to be removed, you might be out for a week or more.

Muscle Cramps

These occur mostly in the calf and foot. Cramps are caused by loss of blood flow due to dehydration. Staying hydrated, wearing appropriate sweat-wicking clothing, and stretching before exercise can all help avoid muscle cramps. If you cramp during a match, you must rest completely until you have rehydrated and stretched. If you don’t, you could lead yourself down a path to chronic injury.

Muscle Strains

Straining of the calf muscle is a common occurrence in tennis and can take a player out for weeks. Everyone has a dominant leg and usually it is just a bit stronger than the other. You may also have imbalanced muscle groups (such as your thighs being stronger than your calves) which can lead to injury. If you land on the wrong foot or use your weaker leg to push off for a move, you could cause micro-tears in the muscle. Over time, this can cause chronic issues. Rest and physical therapy are the best ways to overcome muscle strains.

READ MORE: Strain or Sprain?

Plantar Fasciitis

We talk about plantar fasciitis a lot because it is one of the most common causes of foot and heel pain. The plantar fascia, a band of tissue across the bottom of the foot, is used in every walking and running movement. When it is stretched or torn, it can cause intense pain. Wearing the right shoes with custom orthotics and stretching are great ways to avoid plantar fasciitis. If you experience heel pain, start with RICE and keep resting for longer than you normally would (a few weeks rather than a few days). If the issue does not resolve, you may need injections, tapings, casts, or even surgery. Resting now can avoid a longer recovery time later.

Achilles Tendonitis

Tendonitis can be acute, caused by a sudden increase in exercise, or it can be chronic, a prolonged injury that flares up over time. Either way, it isn’t something you want to deal with. Keep your Achilles and calf muscle loose with daily stretching and strengthening exercises. Limited mobility of the ankle and tightness when you point your toes are signs that your Achilles tendon is stiff and could be susceptible to injury. Wearing a heel lift, especially when you are off the court, can help relieve strain on the Achilles.

READ MORE: Achilles Tendon Ruptures

Heel Bruise

This injury is more common amongst older tennis players because their heel pads (the fatty cushioning under your heel) have worn down over time and there is no longer enough cushioning between your heel and the ground. This injury is easy to treat with rest, ice, and extra padding in your tennis shoes. Talk to your podiatrist about gel heel cups to soften the impact. You’ll also want to see your podiatrist to rule out heel fractures which can present with bruising.

 

Although there are a lot of potential risks in tennis, many of them are easy to avoid when you stretch, wear the proper shoes, and exercise caution with your running and jumping. If you are experiencing a tennis-related foot or ankle injury, come see the FAAWC. We have more experience at keeping athletes on the court and can help put you back in the game, not benched on the sidelines. Don’t give up the sport you love because of a simple injury. Come see us today.

 

 

 

 

Golf has often been called a good walk ruined, but golf involves so much more than walking. The demands of golf on your feet are like no other sport. During most activities, your feet are either moving forward in a steady gait or side-to-side with quick cuts and sudden direction changes. A golf swing is a unique blend of passive and active motions that both strain and twist the feet, causing a variety of problems.

Shin Splints

Shin splints occur when the stress of walking or running slowly tears muscle away from the bone. It is a painful condition that is all too often ignored. Shin splints can be brought on by starting with too much exercise too fast, changing from flat to hilly terrains, exercising without stretching, and playing in worn out or unsupportive shoes. Because bones, muscles, and ligaments are involved in this injury, it is important not to “play through the pain.” Give yourself a rest, use RICE at home, and if your shin splints return, come see a podiatrist immediately.

READ MORE: Don't Let Shin Splints Halt Your Exercise

Plantar Fasciitis

Characterized by heel and arch pain, plantar fasciitis is a condition affecting the band of tissue across the bottom of your foot that connects your toes to your heel and supports your arch. In other words, it’s important. Repeated stress on the plantar fascia may result in small ligament tears. Most people will experience this pain first thing in the morning as they are getting out of bed. Your podiatrist can create a custom plan with you that involves tapings, arch supports, stretches, and strengthening exercises.

READ MORE: What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and connects your heel to your calf muscle. It needs a certain degree of flexibility for an effective and proper golf swing. Repeating the same swing over and over again with a tight Achilles tendon can lead to damage and pain. Overuse injuries are the most common foot and ankle injuries in golf. Be sure to stretch before each game and wear supportive shoes.

Neuromas

If it feels like there’s a pebble constantly underfoot, you most likely have a Morton’s neuroma. This is caused by a thickening of the tissue around a nerve, usually between the third and fourth toes. Golfers may experience tingling, pain, or numbness in this area which can throw off balance and concentration. Wearing tight footwear that leaves little toe room can contribute to a neuroma.

READ MORE: Neuromas

Hallux Rigidus

Your balance can be thrown off significantly if you suffer from hallux rigidus, a stiffening of the big toe. At first, this may be minor, but as the condition worsens, you will experience pain, loss of balance, and even difficulty walking. After all, the big toe takes about 40% of the weight load when you walk and is the last part to push off from the ground. Non-surgical solutions are available if this condition is caught early. Wear properly fitting shoes and get to the podiatrist at the first sign of a stiff big toe.

Foot and ankle injuries in golf are more common than you know. Golfers who don’t stretch, don’t wear proper footwear, and don’t have a proper golf swing, could be putting themselves at risk of any number of foot ailments. Get training from a professional to ensure your golf swing isn’t damaging your feet.

Sandals and summer go together like peanut butter and jelly, but too many sandals don’t offer the correct support or protection and can leave your feet aching or lead to other issues. Don’t fret, there are still plenty of options out there that will make your podiatrist happy and look fashionable.

 

The key features to look for in a summer sandal are:

Arch Support – Perhaps the biggest complain podiatrists have about sandals is the lack of support. When your foot is not properly supported, it can lead or contribute to plantar fasciitis, fallen arches, and even ankle, knee, hip, and back pain. Sandals might be appropriate at times, but you should never plan on walking in them for long distances or periods of time as this can exacerbate issues.

READ MORE: Plantar Fasciitis

Toe Protection – Personally, I love showing off my toes in the summer (especially after my latest PediCare Salon visit!), but leaving your tootsies exposed can result in pain or injury. Stubbed or stepped on toes are common and can result in fractures and unsightly bruising. There is also a potential for cuts and abrasions or even sunburn. Choosing sandals with enclosed toes can eliminate some of these flip flop risks.

READ MORE: PediCare vs Pedicure

Materials – Choosing the right sandal all depends on the occasion, but you should always match the material of the sandal to your activity. If you’re going to be wearing your sandals around water, don’t choose leather, suede, canvass, or other materials that absorb water or are damaged by it. Make sure any straps are comfortable and wont rub to form blisters. Pay attention to the sole thickness as well; the shoe should not fold in half if you attempt to bend it.

Sandals fit properly only if your entire foot is resting on the footbed. If your heel hangs off the back or your smallest toe is falling off the side, you need a bigger size or a completely different sandal. Look for brands that boast the APMA seal of approval. This seal is granted only to products that have shown consistent benefits for foot and ankle health. To find brands with this approval click HERE, scroll down to shoes, flip flops/sandals and click. There are over 400 individual sandals to explore!

If you’re looking for the perfect summer sandals, the FAAWC offers Revere sandals for both men and women. The footbed is removable to fit your orthotics, meaning you’ll be looking good and keeping your feet (and your podiatrist) happy and supported.

READ MORE: Insoles vs Orthotics

Call or drop by today to browse our selection of perfect summer sandals.

 

Our ancient ancestors once believed the world was flat, but it’s a good thing the world is round, otherwise we’d have a lot of troubles. Another thing that causes trouble when it’s flat is your foot!

The arch is an extremely important feature of your foot. As you walk or run, there are certain times when your foot must remain rigid to push off the ground and provide balance. At other times, your foot needs to relax to distribute bodyweight and act as a shock absorber. If the tendons or ligaments supporting the arch are damaged or become weak, the arch will start to fall, and these functions will be impacted.

READ MORE: Choosing Exercise Shoes

When your arch flattens, the rest of your foot will fall inward, resulting in overpronation. This throws off the alignment of your steps and leads to other foot and ankle conditions. If you overpronate, the shock of each step is not absorbed or distributed properly. Extra wear and tear on the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons of your foot can lead to plantar fasciitis, tendon ruptures, stress fractures, heel pain, and more.

Fallen arches occur due to a variety of different causes. When we are born, our feet are completely flat. Eventually an arch will develop; usually by age six. In some children, however, the arch will never fully form, mostly due to genetics. If you have diabetes, are obese, or are pregnant, your arches are more likely to fall. Adults can also acquire flat feet from wear and tear or as the result of an injury. Additionally, it may be a secondary symptom of a different underlying condition such as an excessively tight Achilles tendon or a weakened tibial tendon.

READ MORE: Achilles Tendon Ruptures

You may notice that the arch is visible when sitting, but the foot flattens once the person stands. This is common in kids, and many children outgrow flexible flat foot with no problems. In adults, the disappearance of the arch may be due to lack of strength in the foot and excess body weight.

The flattening of the arch itself generally does not cause symptoms, but the stress it adds to other portions of the foot can lead to new issues or exacerbate existing conditions. Pain may develop in the hips, back, or knees as well as the feet and ankles. One of the easiest ways to support a flat foot and avoid pain is by using orthotics and proper footwear. These will realign the ankle and reduce chances of injury. When combined with stretching and physical therapy, these methods can eliminate pain and other symptoms associated with flat feet.

READ MORE: Accommodative Orthotics

To determine the best course of treatment, your podiatrist will examine your feet from the front, back, while standing, and on tiptoe. They may also inspect the wear pattern on the bottom of your shoes to determine where you need support most. If you have fallen arches, make an appointment today to avoid pain tomorrow.

Exercising and maintaining an active lifestyle means always wearing the right shoes. Proper footwear is critical to preventing and treating common foot ailments. With such a variety of exercise shoes out there, how do we know what to choose?

Exercise shoes fall into three basic categories: walking, running, and cross-training. Walkers strike the ground with their heel and roll forward to push off their toes. Shoes designed for this movement will be flexible at the forefoot for optimal toe mobility and have moderate to minimal cushioning. The heel of the shoe is not built up so that the foot remains parallel to the ground.

Depending on their stride, runners may strike the ground with their heel or mid-foot and roll in an S pattern to push off their big toe. With each stride, a runner’s feet and ankles must withstand 2 to 4X their bodyweight. For this reason, running shoes have increased cushion in the heel and forefoot. Running shoes also tend to have large mesh panels for breathability.

READ MORE: What Happens to Feet During a Marathon

Cross training shoes are designed for lateral (side to side) movement. Quick turns and sudden direction changes can mean disaster for your ankles if not properly supported. Cross training shoes have little to no bend and should be used primarily for aerobics, weightlifting, kickboxing, and sports like basketball, racquetball, tennis and more.

Using the wrong shoe for any activity can lead to a variety of issues. Lack of cushion on hard surfaces can put you at risk for stress fractures, heel pain, and tendonitis. Lack of arch support can cause put excess strain on the plantar fascia. Wearing the wrong size shoe can squeeze toes together, forming bunions and corns, or backward, creating hammertoes.

READ MORE: Shoes for Every Activity

No matter what sort of activity you perform, the right shoes are paramount to safety and fun. When trying on exercise shoes, use these handy tips:

  • Try on shoes later in the day
  • Try them on with the same socks, inserts, or braces that you will wear when exercising
  • Get your feet measured every time; they change through the years
  • Replace shoes every 300-500 miles (1 or 2x yearly)
  • Don’t skimp on price; poor quality shoes will damage feet, necessitating costly treatments
  • Bring in your current shoes so the sales associate can find similar models
  • Look for shoe features that match the unique needs of your foot (e.g. wide toe box, lateral ankle support)

READ MORE: Tips for the Shoe Store