Wondering why your heel hurts? Dr. Clint Vanlandingham in Poplar Bluff, MO, discusses common causes of heel pain and explains what you can do to decrease your pain.
The Lego effect
If you've ever stepped on a Lego, small rock or other hard object, you know even small objects can cause significant pain. The day after you stepped on the object, you may have noticed that your heel hurt when you pressed on it, and it felt as if you were walking on a marble. The problem, officially called metatarsalgia, occurs when you bruise your heel. Metatarsalgia can also happen if you run and wear shoes without enough padding. Limiting the time you spend on your feet, wearing a heel cup, applying ice packs and taking over-the-counter pain medication can relieve the pain.
Heel fractures are not that common but can occur due to falling, jumping or automobile accidents. The fractures can be very painful and may cause bruising and swelling. You'll need to wear a cast or boot to protect and support your heel while it heals. Surgery may be recommended if the bones in your heal are no longer aligned.
Is your heel pain worse when you first wake up? You may have plantar fasciitis, a condition caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia, the band of tissue that connects the toes to the heel. The condition can occur if you are on your feet a lot or enjoy running or walking for exercise. Rest, ice and non-prescription pain medication can be helpful, but if your pain doesn't go away, it's a good idea to make an appointment at our Poplar Bluff office. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may benefit from night splints, foot exercises, heel pads, cortisone injections and other treatments, including surgery, in some cases.
Tendinitis and bursitis
Achilles tendinitis and retrocalcaneal bursitis occur due to inflammation in the bursa at the back of your heel or the Achilles tendon. In addition to resting your foot and applying ice, you may benefit from a heel cup or walking boot, steroid injections, ultrasound treatment, shock wave therapy or surgery.
Are you ready to do something about your heel pain? Call Dr. Vanlandingham in Poplar Bluff, MO, at (573) 785-4546 to schedule an appointment.
What your podiatrists in Poplar Bluff want you to know
Proper foot care doesn’t have to take a big part out of your day. If you spend just a few minutes each day taking care of your feet, your feet can take care of you. It’s easy to forget about your feet, but they are vital to your ability to move around, walk, run, and get through your life. Your podiatrists at Copper Top Foot & Ankle Clinic in Poplar Bluff, MO want to share how to properly take care of your feet.
You can have great-looking, healthy feet by following these easy steps every day:
- Cleanse your feet with mild soap and dry them thoroughly
- Apply moisturizing cream or lotion
- Check your feet with a hand mirror and look for:
- Darkening and crumbling of your toenails, which could be a sign of toenail fungus
- Redness, swelling, or unhealed lesions, which could be a sign of infection
- Scaly, peeling, itchy skin, which could be a sign of foot fungus
- Bunions, calluses, corns or other abnormal growths
You can also add a foot scrub at least once each week. Use a pumice stone, salt scrub, or other abrasive to gently smooth away dead skin.
If you play sports, athlete’s foot can become a problem. That’s why you should always wear flip flops or sandals if you enter a public restroom or shower. You can also apply antifungal foot powder before putting on your shoes. To prevent an injury always wear the appropriate footwear for the sport you are playing, and remember to replace old, worn-out shoes.
If you have diabetes, your feet need extra care. That’s because diabetes affects most of the major systems of your body, causing problems in your extremities, especially your feet. Diabetic nerve pain (neuropathy) is a common problem that can be debilitating. Diabetic ulcers can result from an impaired immune system, and you can lose toes from lack of blood flow due to circulatory issues. If you have diabetes, it’s best to visit your podiatrists regularly to ensure you keep your feet healthy.
Proper foot care is an easy, but often overlooked part of your health regimen. Don’t forget your feet! For more information about foot care call your podiatrists at Copper Top Foot & Ankle Clinic in Poplar Bluff, MO. Protect your feet by calling today!
When you're a diabetic, it's vital to treat foot injuries right away. Even a small wound can turn into a serious foot ulcer if you don’t care for it quickly. Copper Top Foot & Ankle Clinic in Poplar Bluff, MO, offers a variety of diabetic wound treatments to their patients. Read on to find out how they can help take care of foot wounds if you're a diabetic.
1. Wound Assessment
Diabetes wounds fall into three categories: ischemic, neuropathic, and near ischemic. Failure to properly identify the wound type that exists can lead to an ineffective treatment plan, causing serious complications.
2. Wound Debridement
Wound debridement, or the removal of dead tissue from a wound, will stimulate wound healing, help with wound drainage and optimize a wound dressing’s effectiveness. Doctors typically recommend wound debridement by scissors or scalpel, but there are other tissue removal methods they may recommend, such as ultrasonic and autolytic larval.
3. Infection Control
Both topical and oral antibiotics are recommended for all patients who show signs of infection. Topical antimicrobial agents can reduce bacteria and prevent the spread of infection deeper into the wounds. Typical wound care dressings used in treating diabetes wounds are those impregnated with antimicrobial agents to help treat the infection.
4. Moisture Balance
Choosing the proper dressing for diabetes wounds is critical for a successful recovery. The right wound care dressing will help maintain a balanced moisture environment and allow the wound to heal properly. While each diabetic wound needs to be assessed properly, some common wound care dressings that can be used for wounds include films, hydrocolloids and alginates.
5. Pressure Reduction
For most wound treatment plans for diabetics suffering from ulcers, pressure reduction or offloading is a key factor in preventing serious complications. Total contact casting (TCC) is a specially designed cast designed to take weight off the foot in diabetics with foot ulcers.
If you have a diabetic wound, who should you call? A podiatrist, of course. Call Copper Top Foot & Ankle Clinic in Poplar Bluff, MO at 573-785-4546 to schedule an appointment. Our world-class podiatrists are dedicated to providing superior diabetic care in Poplar Bluff, MO. Get your life back on track by receiving the best wound treatment available. You'll be glad you did.
Getting back on your feet as soon as possible is a priority after you sprain an ankle, but returning to your usual activities too soon can prolong or worsen the injury. Your Poplar Bluff, MO podiatrists, explain what you should you do if you think you have a sprained ankle.
Get plenty of rest
Sprains occur when the ligaments in your ankle are stretched or even torn in some cases. It's important to give your ankle enough time to heal before you resume your daily run or hit the basketball court again. If your sprain is mild, you may be able to slowly resume your normal your activities in a few day. During your recovery period, limit walking and elevate your ankle on a pillow while you rest.
Treat swelling with ice packs applied to your ankle every two to four hours for up to 20 minutes at a time. Don't apply ice directly to your skin, as frostbite can occur.
Take pain relievers
Nonsteroidial anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, reduce both pain and swelling.
Wrap your ankle
Compression bandages not only support your ankle, but also help reduce swelling. Make sure the bandage is tight enough to provide support, but not so tight that it cuts off your circulation.
See your podiatrist if your symptoms don't improve
If your ankle doesn't start to feel better after a few days of rest, ice and bandaging, make an appointment with your foot doctor. Your Poplar Bluff podiatrist will take X-rays to make sure that your ankle isn't broken and may recommend that you use a walking boot, cast or crutches while you heal. He may also recommend physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that support your ankle. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to improve the stability of your ankle.
Do you suffer from foot or ankle problems? Your foot doctor can offer treatments that will reduce your pain and improve your mobility. Call Dr. Jeffrey Baller, Dr. Clint Vanlandingham and Dr. David Dowell, your Poplar Bluff, MO podiatrists, at (573) 785-4546 to schedule an appointment.
A torn tendon in your foot could be a serious issue. Find out if your symptoms are warning you of a tendon injury.
It can be scary when a foot injury impairs your ability to move or function. These issues shouldn’t be ignored or treated lightly. The moment you notice any issues with your foot it’s time you visited one of our Poplar Bluff, MO podiatrists, Dr. Clint Vanlandingham and Dr. Jeff Baller, for treatment. Tendon injuries and tears are certainly nothing to mess with!
Tendon Tear Causes
The posterior tibial tendon is the most common tendon to be injured in the foot. This tendon attaches the calf muscles to the bones inside of the foot. It also provides the foot with support. Injuries such as a fall can be enough to tear this tendon. Tendons can also tear as a result of overuse (as is often the case with athletes).
Those who play high-impact sports like soccer or basketball are at an increased risk of tendon tears in the foot. Other risk factors for a posterior tibial tendon tear include high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
If you have a torn tendon in the foot one of the most common symptoms is pain. You may notice that the pain will increase with movement or activity. If the tear is bad enough you may find it difficult to walk or even stand.
Other symptoms include swelling, decreased range-of-motion and instability.
Treatment Options in Poplar Bluff
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms then you need to see your foot doctor right away. The sooner you seek treatment the easier the problem will be to treat. Through a physical exam and imaging tests we can determine whether or not you have simply injured the tendon or have actually torn it.
Many patients’ tendon tears can heal without surgery. Common nonsurgical treatment options include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Wearing a cast or brace
- Physical therapy and exercises
- Steroid injections
If pain doesn’t go away after about six months of proper nonsurgical treatments then it might be time to weigh the pros and cons of surgery.
Copper Top Foot & Ankle Clinic is here to provide you with a full array of foot treatments to cater to everyone from the avid runner to the dedicated desk jockey. Call our Poplar Bluff, MO podiatry office today.
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