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Monday, 28 January 2019 00:00

Running and Its Effects on Stress Fractures

Routinely going for runs offers an abundance of health benefits, but there are also some health risks to watch out for, especially regarding feet. One of the common ailments associated with running is stress fractures. Running results in repetitive pressure being applied to your foot, which can create a small break in the bone. This small break is called a stress fracture. Sadly, sometimes this fracture may not become apparent to the runner immediately and they could be put in a situation where they cause more damage. There could be a feeling of slight discomfort, but the fracture may not be obvious at first. Running on a stress fracture could result in a full-on fracture or full break, so paying attention to what your foot is feeling is important. If you feel that you may have a stress fracture or simply want more information in order to avoid getting one in the future, then it is suggested you consult with a podiatrist.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, 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.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Specific foot conditions that are known as plantar fasciitis and heel spurs may be a result of shortened muscles in the lower legs and feet. Moderate relief may be obtained when these muscles are lengthened, and this may be accomplished by properly stretching the feet. An effective stretch for the plantar fascia consists of lowering your heel while standing on a step until a desired stretch is felt. Maximum results may be achieved by alternating feet and repeated several times per day. The towel stretch is an effective method in stretching this band of tissue on the bottom of the foot. A satisfying stretch may be achieved while sitting on the floor, wrapping a towel around the sole of the foot, while pulling inward. Hold this position for several seconds and repeat on the other foot. If you would like additional information about the importance of stretching your feet, please speak with a podiatrist who can recommend beneficial exercises.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Ronald Sheppard from Warren-Watchung Podiatry Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

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.

Read more about How to Stretch Your Feet
Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

What Causes Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

The area in the foot that is located between bones and fibrous tissue is known as the tarsal tunnel. There are several nerves, arteries, veins, and tendons that lie inside this portion of the foot. If these nerves should be compressed, inflammation may occur and may be indicative of a condition that is referred to as tarsal tunnel syndrome. This uncomfortable ailment may be the result of different forms of arthritis, tumors that may be benign, or from a possible fracture. Additionally, medical conditions including flat feet or specific foot deformities can cause narrowing of this “tunnel” and may precede the onset of this condition. Patients will typically be aware of noticeable symptoms that may include numbness or tingling over the sole of the foot, in addition to pain and a burning sensation. If you feel you may have tarsal tunnel syndrome, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can perform a proper diagnosis and discuss correct treatment options.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, 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.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
- Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
- The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
- If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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 needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

Stretch Before Running

Many people enjoy running as a form of exercise to maintain cardiovascular health, in addition to losing weight. An effective method that can be implemented, which may possibly prevent injuries from occurring, may include to properly warm up and stretch before beginning a run. It may be beneficial to undergo a physical examination before embarking on this sport, and this may pinpoint any health issues that may be present. Additionally, if you set realistic goals about your running, it may aid in promoting safety and possibly prevent overexertion. It is suggested to wear appropriate shoes while running and this may ensure a proper fit. If you are considering running as a hobby or sport, it is advised to speak to a podiatrist who can properly educate you on preventing running injuries.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Ronald Sheppard of Warren-Watchung Podiatry Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training Into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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.

Read more about Preventing Running Injuries
Wednesday, 02 January 2019 00:00

Can Cracked Heels Be Prevented?

Many people who enjoy walking barefoot or wearing flip-flops during the summer months may be surprised to learn that there may be consequences that can follow as a result of this. The skin may become dry, calluses may possibly form, and fissures in the skin of the heels, known as cracked heels, may develop. If the cracks in the skin should bleed, severe pain, discomfort, and infection may accompany this condition. There may be remedies that can be practiced to prevent and relieve extremely dry skin, and these may include washing and drying the feet thoroughly followed by utilizing a good moisturizer. At this point, it is suggested to wear socks while sleeping for the night, and this may aid in healing painful fissures. If you would like additional information about how to treat cracked heels, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can discuss the best options for you.

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. 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

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

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.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
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