Keep Your Feet Young, Healthy, Beautiful and Active

How Podiatrists Can Treat Two Chronic Foot Injuries Common In Gymnasts

Posted by on July 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Podiatrists Can Treat Two Chronic Foot Injuries Common In Gymnasts

Whether you’re a professional gymnast or a casual amateur, practising gymnastics can be a great way to stay in shape while greatly increasing your strength and agility. However, the varied and high-impact nature of gymnastics can take its toll on your body over time, and the feet of gymnasts can be particularly prone to accidents and injuries, even when all proper precautions are taken. Luckily, podiatrists and other foot health professionals are well-versed in the various aches and pains that can be caused by gymnastics, and offer a range of treatments to help you get back on the horse (figuratively and literally) more quickly. Plantar fasciitis The plantar fascia is a strong but thin band of connective tissue near the sole of your foot, running from the toes all the way to the back of the heel. In this position it provides strength and control to the arches of the feet, and helps you control your feet while walking, running and jumping. However, over time this connective tissue can become damaged and torn, particularly when engaging in high-impact activities like gymnastics. Plantar fasciitis occurs when accumulated damage to the plantar fascia becomes debilitating, and is generally characterised by chronic heel pain which worsens during activity. You may also feel some numbness or tingling in the bottom of the heel. Luckily, in most cases plantar fasciitis is not a serious condition, and can be treated with conservative, non-surgical treatments by your podiatrist. The most important part of recovering from plantar fasciitis is resting the foot and allowing the fascia to heal naturally, and many podiatrists will recommend fitting your foot in a cast or compression bandages to immobilise the foot and speed this healing process. Podiatrists can also provide pain relief; in most cases this will take the form of ice packs and non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, although some podiatrists may use ultrasound therapy and corticosteroid injections to relieve more severe pain. In rare cases, damage may be so severe that corrective surgery becomes necessary; in these cases your podiatrist will advise you on the benefits and risks associated with these treatments, and help you make the best decision for both your gymnastics career and your overall foot health. Achilles tendinitis As one of the most important components of the foot the Achilles tendon is routinely placed under a great deal of strain, but gymnastics can place pressure on the feet that even this strong and durable tendon cannot handle. Located at the back of the heel, the Achilles tendon connects the heel to the calf muscles, and is vitally important for foot strength and control. When overused, however, this tendon can become inflamed and painful — this pain can spread to encompass the entirety of the ankle joint, and will generally worsen over time without treatment. Sufferers can also feel stiffness in the affected heel after exercising, and may lose considerable load-bearing strength in the damaged foot. Treatments for Achilles tendinitis focus on reducing this pain and swelling quickly, and podiatrists can offer a number of fast and effective ways to reduce pain and swelling. Compression bandages can be very effective for pain relief, and can help keep the tendon immobile to allow it to heal more quickly. However, improper use of these bandages can...

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Calm Your Nerves: Non-Surgical Treatments For Morton’s Neuroma

Posted by on June 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Calm Your Nerves: Non-Surgical Treatments For Morton’s Neuroma

Human feet are wonders of natural design and are able to take all kinds of punishment without complaint. However, they are not invulnerable, and incremental damage suffered over time can cause a range of chronic conditions. One of these nasty foot conditions is known as Morton’s neuroma, and many patients who suffer from this illness choose to accept the risks and pain of corrective surgery to cure it. However, podiatrists can offer a range of non-surgical treatments that can reduce or even eliminate symptoms without going under the knife. What is Morton’s neuroma? A neuroma occurs when part of a nerve becomes thickened and inflamed, generally as a result of long-term irritation or compression. Morton’s neuroma occurs when a neuroma appears on one of the nerves that provide sensation to the ends of the feet, which lie between the metatarsals (the bones that connect your toes to the main body of the foot). This neuroma often appears on the nerve between the third and fourth toes but can also occur between the second and third toes. What are the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma? The nerve swelling that characterises a case of Morton’s neuroma can cause the following symptoms: Strange sensations: In the early stages of the condition, the swollen nerve often produces tingling and/or burning sensations around the affected area. You may also experience temporary numbness, particularly after exercise. Many sufferers feel like there is something stuck under the sole of their foot, such as a small stone. Pain: Pain caused by Morton’s neuroma is centred around the swollen section of nerve, and tends to become more intense during and immediately after exercise. This pain becomes more frequent and intense if the condition is not treated. Weakness: You may notice that the toes close to the affected nerve are weaker than they should be, and your balance during standing and walking may be impaired. How can podiatrists treat Morton’s neuroma non-surgically? Surgical treatments for Morton’s neuroma often involve removal of the affected nerve, and while this is a very effective approach (particularly for chronic sufferers), it permanently diminishes nervous sensation in the affected foot. As an alternative, podiatrists can offer the following non-invasive treatments: Conventional pain relief: Your podiatrist may supply you with oral painkillers, generally non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. Ice packs and compression bandages can also help relieve pain. Intravenous pain relief: In more severe cases, you may be given corticosteroid injections directly into the affected area, but these are only a short-term solution due to the risk of unpleasant side effects. Alcohol injections can also help to reduce swelling and are supplied by some podiatrists. Orthotic devices: Taking pressure off the affected nerve can help it return to its normal state, and you may be supplied with cushioned sole pads to reduce pressure during physical activity. Padded and shaped insoles can also help. Gait correction: Morton’s neuroma can be caused or exacerbated by improper gait, and a number of issues such as fallen arches, overpronation and hammer toe can place undue pressure on the nerves of the feet. Your podiatrist will analyse your gait and help you to correct any problems that may be affecting your...

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