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Tuesday, 20 February 2018 00:00

What Causes Cracked Heels?

Cracked heels are a common foot ailment, caused by cuts or fissures resulting from dry skin on or around the heel. The general symptoms of this condition may include the skin around the heel becoming hard, itchy, or flaky in texture. There are certain conditions that may cause cracked heels, including diabetes, obesity, and flat feet. Lifestyle habits, which may consist of a poor diet or wearing shoes that have an open back or improper fit, may be contributing factors in developing cracked heels. Common treatments include utilizing a moisturizer to soften the skin and staying hydrated by consuming water frequently. Please consider a consultation with a podiatrist if additional treatment is needed for severely cracked heels.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Ronald Sheppard from Warren-Watchung Podiatry Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How do you get them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Marlboro and Watchung, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 12 February 2018 00:00

DeMarcus Cousins Injures Achilles Tendon

Demarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans recently ruptured his Achilles Tendon during a Friday night game.  With just 15 seconds remaining, Cousins went to rebound on a free throw he missed and landed on his left leg.  Now, Cousins must miss the remainder of the season from having to undergo surgery.  Cousins will be immobilized for quite some time and have to go through physical therapy to regain strength and range of motion in his ankle and leg.  It is said that the rate of recovery from surgery associated with this injury are high.  With professional athletes having a different standard of physical health, this injury may hinder their athletic performance in the future.  That being said, many people are curious to see how well Cousins will perform when he returns.  

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Ronald Sheppard of Warren-Watchung Podiatry Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Marlboro and Watchung, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 06 February 2018 00:00

Symptoms of Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is a common condition that affects children and is often accompanied by intense pain. When the growth plate in the heel becomes inflamed, often in children that are physically active, this bone disorder can become quite uncomfortable. This is typically the result of a growth spurt that occurs in early puberty, causing the bone in the heel to grow faster than the muscles in the leg. The tendons become less flexible and consequently place excessive pressure on the heel bone. The Achilles tendon becomes tight and may damage the growth plate, thus causing the pain associated with Sever’s disease. Common symptoms of the condition include difficulty in walking, stiffness in the foot in the morning, or a heel that is swollen or red. Treatment can include rest, which is generally effective in reducing pressure on the heel. Eliminating the activities that cause the pain is recommended, in addition to strengthening the leg with proper foot and leg exercises.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Ronald Sheppard at Warren-Watchung Podiatry Center. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain asscoiatied with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Marlboro and Watchung, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease
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