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July 2022

Tuesday, 26 July 2022 00:00

Preventing Plantar Fasciitis in Runners

One of the most common sources of foot pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This foot affliction usually results in heel pain and affects the plantar fascia, or the band of tissue that runs between the heel and the toes. Many people who suffer from plantar fasciitis will experience sharp heel pain. Runners are one group of individuals that are at risk of developing plantar fasciitis, which can make running significantly more difficult and painful. There are several steps that runners can take to essentially decrease their risk of developing plantar fasciitis from running. First, runners can be intentional about choosing what surfaces they run on. Specifically, runners can choose to run on soft, rather than hard surfaces to ultimately reduce the impact and pressure felt on their heels. Also, to reduce the strain felt on feet, runners can be careful not to increase the distance of their runs by anything more than 10 percent each week. If a runner wants to be particularly proactive, they may choose to also perform a gait analysis with a professional. The purpose of performing this kind of analysis is to try to detect any potentially problematic qualities of the runner’s stride before it leads to issues like plantar fasciitis. If you are a runner and want to learn more about how you can reduce your risk of developing plantar fasciitis, reach out to a podiatrist. 

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Robert Graser from Graser Podiatry and Bunion Surgery Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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

 

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 26 July 2022 00:00

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. When this band of connective tissue becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis occurs. Fortunately, this condition is treatable.

There are several factors that may put you at a greater risk for developing plantar fasciitis. One of the biggest factors is age; plantar fasciitis is common in those between the ages of 40 to 60. People who have jobs that require them to be on their feet are also likely to develop plantar fasciitis. This includes factory workers, teachers, and others who spend a large portion of their day walking around on hard surfaces. Another risk factor is obesity because excess weight can result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

People with plantar fasciitis often experience a stabbing pain in the heel area. This pain is usually at its worst in the morning, but can also be triggered by periods of standing or sitting. Plantar fasciitis may make it hard to run and walk. It may also make the foot feel stiff and sensitive, which consequently makes walking barefoot difficult.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis depends on the severity of the specific case of the condition. Ice massage applications may be used to reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy is often used to treat plantar fasciitis, and this may include stretching exercises. Another treatment option is anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen.

If you suspect that you have plantar fasciitis, meet with your podiatrist immediately. If left untreated, symptoms may lead to tearing and overstretching of the plantar fascia. The solution is early detection and treatment. Be sure to speak with your podiatrist if you are experiencing heel pain.

Published in Featured

The medical term for the foot condition known as Morton’s neuroma is Morton’s metatarsalgia or interdigital neuroma. It is an ailment that affects the area between the third and fourth toes, and is quite painful. The pain is often felt in the ball of the foot and between the toes. It occurs as a result of a nerve that thickens between the toes, and can happen from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. High heels generally fit into this category. Additionally,  people who participate in high-impact physical activities that consist of running and jumping may be affected. Many patients with Morton's neuroma experience severe pain and find it difficult to walk. It may begin with a tingling or numbing sensation, and may gradually develop into a shooting pain. It can be likened to walking with a pebble or marble in the shoe. In mild cases, relief may come from implementing simple lifestyle changes, such as wearing comfortable shoes and refraining from running and jumping. Surgery that can reset the nerve may be an option in severe cases. If you have this type of foot pain, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat Morton’s neuroma. 

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Dr. Robert Graser of Graser Podiatry and Bunion Surgery Institute. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 19 July 2022 00:00

What is Morton's Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma, (also referred to as Morton’s metatarsalgia, Morton’s neuralgia, plantar neuroma or intermetatarsal neuroma) is a condition that is caused when the tissue around one of the nerves between your toes begins to thicken. This thickening can result in pain in the ball of the foot. Fortunately, the condition itself is not cancerous.

Morton’s neuroma affects women more often than men with a ratio of 4:1. It tends to target women between the age of 50 and 60, but it can occur in people of all ages. There are some risk factors that may put you at a slightly higher risk of developing the condition. People who often wear narrow or high-heeled shoes are often found to be linked to Morton’s neuroma. Additionally, activities such as running or jogging can put an enormous amount of pressure on the ligament and cause the nerve to thicken.

There usually aren’t any outward symptoms of this condition. A person who has Morton’s neuroma may feel as if they are standing on a pebble in their shoe. They may also feel a tingling or numbness in the toes as well as a burning pain in the ball of their foot that may radiate to their toes.

In order to properly diagnose you, the doctor will press on your foot to feel for a mass or tender spot. He may also do a series of tests such as x-rays, an ultrasound, or an MRI. X-rays are usually done to rule out any other causes for your foot pain such as a stress fracture. Ultrasounds are used to reveal soft tissue abnormalities that may exist, such as neuromas. Your podiatrist may want to use an MRI in order to visualize your soft tissues.

There are three main options for treatment of Morton’s neuroma: Injections, decompression surgery, and removal of the nerve. Injections of steroids into the painful area have been proven to help those with Morton’s neuroma. Decompression surgery has been shown to relieve pressure on the affected nerve by cutting nearby structures such as the ligaments in the foot. Another treatment option would be to surgically remove the growth to provide pain relief.

If you suspect that you have Morton’s neuroma you should make an appointment with your podiatrist right away. You shouldn’t ignore any foot pain that lasts longer than a few days, especially if the pain does not improve.

Published in Featured
Saturday, 16 July 2022 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 12 July 2022 00:00

Erythromelalgia Is a Rare Foot Condition

A relatively rare foot condition known as erythromelalgia (EM) can cause severe burning and redness on the feet. It generally affects women more than men, and approximately one out of 100,000 Americans are affected annually. Some of the symptoms associated with this condition include swelling, a shooting pain sensation in the feet, and severe achiness. Some of these symptoms can be debilitating and can affect both feet. This condition may start with itchy feet and gradually advance to burning pain. Some of these attacks may be triggered by physical exercise, sweating, and excessive heat. Research has indicated that erythromelalgia is more common among children, teenagers, and patients who have autoimmune disorders, who may be at an increased risk for developing this rare ailment. In many cases, there is no actual cure, and podiatrists will concentrate on relieving the symptoms, which may include prescription medicines. If you have any sign of erythromelalgia, please speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for help in managing this condition. 

Some foot conditions may require additional professional care. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Robert Graser of Graser Podiatry and Bunion Surgery Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Rare Foot Conditions

The majority of foot conditions are common and can be treated by a podiatrist.  Standard diagnostic procedures are generally used to identify specific conditions and treatment can be rendered. A podiatrist also treats rare foot conditions which can be difficult to diagnose and may need extra attention and care. 

There are many rare foot conditions that can affect children. Some of these can include:

  • Freiberg’s disease
  • Kohler’s disease
  • Maffucci syndrome

Freiberg’s disease - This can be seen as a deterioration and flattening of a metatarsal bone that exists in the ball of the foot. It typically affects pre-teen and teenage girls, but can affect anyone at any age. Symptoms that can accompany this can be swelling, stiffness, and the patient may limp. 

Kohler’s disease - This often targets the bone in the arch of the foot and affects younger boys. It can lead to an interruption of the blood supply which ultimately can lead to bone deterioration. The patient may limp or experience tenderness, swelling, and redness.

Maffucci syndrome - This affects the long bones in a child’s foot leading to the development of abnormal bone lesions. They are benign growths and typically develop in early childhood and the bones may be susceptible to breaking. 

A podiatrist can properly diagnose and treat all types of rare foot conditions. If your child is affected by any of these symptoms or conditions, please don’t hesitate to call our office so the correct treatment method can begin.

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

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 12 July 2022 00:00

Rare Foot Conditions

A podiatrist will be able to address a variety of rare foot conditions, particularly the ones that affect children. The most common are Kohler’s disease, Maffucci syndrome, and Freiberg’s disease. They can be properly diagnosed by having an X-ray taken, but in more serious cases an MRI may be needed. Kohler’s disease generally affects younger boys and bone deterioration may result from an interruption of blood supply. Children who have Kohler’s disease may find relief when the affected foot is rested, and a special boot is worn. Benign growths in the long bones of a child’s foot may lead to the development of bone lesions, and this is known as Maffucci syndrome. People who have this condition find mild relief when custom-made orthotics are worn. Freiberg’s disease targets the ball of the foot and can typically affect pre-teen and teenage girls. The metatarsal bone becomes deteriorated and flattened, and common symptoms include swelling and stiffness. A cast is often necessary to wear with this disease as it can help to reduce existing pain. Erythromelalgia is a rare foot condition, and its cause is unknown. Symptoms of this disease can include intense burning pain and the feet may appear red or feel warm. Relief may be found when the affected foot is immersed in ice water. It can also be beneficial to elevate the foot frequently. If your child complains of foot pain, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat rare foot conditions. 

Published in Featured
Tuesday, 05 July 2022 00:00

Bunions

A bunion is a bump that forms at the base of the big toe. Bunions form when the big toe pushes against the next toe, which forces the big toe joint to get bigger and stick out.  As a result, the skin over the bunion may start to appear red and it may feel sore.

There are risk factors that can increase your chances of developing bunions. People who wear high heels or ill-fitting shoes are more likely to develop them, in addition to those who have a genetic history of bunions or have rheumatoid arthritis.

The most obvious way to tell if you have a bunion is to look for the big toe pushing up against the toe next to it. Bunions produce a large protrusion at the base of the big toe and may or may not cause pain. Other symptoms are redness, swelling, and restricted movement of the big toe if you have arthritis. 

Nonsurgical methods are frequently used to treat bunions that aren’t severe. Some methods of nonsurgical treatment are orthotics, icing and resting the foot, taping the foot, and pain medication. Surgery is usually only required in extreme cases. However, if surgery is needed, some procedures may involve removing the swollen tissue from around the big toe joint, straightening the big toe by removing part of the bone, or joining the bones of your affected joint permanently.

Your podiatrist will diagnose your bunion by doing a thorough examination of your foot. He or she may also conduct an x-ray to determine the cause of the bunion and its severity.

Published in Featured
Tuesday, 05 July 2022 00:00

Bunions and Dancers

A bunion, hallux valgus, forms when there is a gradual change to the anatomy of the big toe leading to a deformity on the side of the toe that can be painful. This condition worsens when shoes are ill-fitting or have pointed toes that apply pressure to this toe. Dancers, especially ballet dancers (who dance in pointe shoes), are prone to this ailment but anyone can get a bunion. The main symptom of a bunion is a swollen, red area over the deformed joint of the big toe that is tender when touched. One can also experience numbness or a burning sensation if the surrounding nerves become irritated. The big toe angles in and irritation of the skin can lead to blisters or bursitis at the site of the bunion. When severe and long-standing, a bunion may cause the toes to overlap and arthritis, which causes additional pain when walking or performing activities that require one to push off with the feet. To prevent bunions, one can try to change their footwear to shoes that have more room in the toe box and that are wider, modify activities that cause pain, or wear shoe inserts or spacers. It is often recommended that dancers avoid bunion surgery until they stop dancing, as it may interfere with their ability to dance. If you have a bunion that is interfering with your life, consider seeing a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment options.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. Robert Graser of Graser Podiatry and Bunion Surgery Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

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