Items filtered by date: October 2018

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 18:57

Facts about Haglund’s Deformity

Are you familiar with the condition known as Haglund’s Deformity? At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we find that patients have some misconceptions about this disorder which affects the heel. Below are some facts to better familiarize you with this foot problem:

FACT: Haglund’s Deformity is a bony enlargement that develops on the back of your heel. Other signs of this condition are swelling and redness around the enlargement and pain where the Achilles tendon attaches to your heel bone.

FACT: Another name for Haglund’s Deformity is “pump bump.” That’s because pumps with their stiff backs hit the bony enlargement and irritate it, resulting in pain when walking and wearing shoes.

FACT: More women than men get Haglund’s Deformity.

FACT: Although pumps aggravate the bony enlargement, they are not the cause of Haglund’s Deformity. This condition is the result of structural defects, including overly high arches, the tendency to walk on the outside of your heel or a tight Achilles tendon.

FACT: Haglund’s Deformity can only be corrected by surgery. There are, however, a number of conservative measures that can be used to relieve pain and decrease pressure on the bony protrusion. After our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas, examine your heel and order x-rays or other imaging studies to confirm a diagnosis of Haglund’s Deformity a treatment plan can be determined.

FACT: Treatment for pump bump will depend in part on the cause. Heel pads, for example, may be recommended if the cause is high arches or stretching exercises for your calf if the source of the condition is a tight Achilles tendon. Custom orthotics can also be used to correct abnormal foot motion.

FACT: Pain from pump bump can be reduced by icing the bony enlargement. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel (do not apply ice directly to the skin) for 20 minutes at a time with a 40-minute break in between.

FACT: You can help prevent inflammation of the bony growth by wearing shoes with open backs or those made of soft materials. You should also avoid running on hard surfaces and up hills.

If you have additional concerns about Haglund’s Deformity, contact our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018 18:55

Could You Have Metatarsalgia?

Are you experiencing acute pain in the ball of your foot? Is the pain more noticeable with increased activity or when you are walking barefoot? Have you noticed a callus beginning to form in the spot where the pain is? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be suffering from a condition we treat at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center known as metatarsalgia.

Your metatarsal bones run down the middle of your foot from your ankle to each of your 5 toes. When the nerves between two of the metatarsals become inflamed, it causes pain, and this is known as metatarsalgia.

What’s Behind the Pain

Basically, metatarsalgia occurs when there is either too much pressure or an uneven pressure applied to the metatarsals. This can have a wide range of causes, however, including:

  • Overpronation
  • Arthritis
  • Foot injuries
  • Aging
  • Weight gain
  • Overuse from weight-bearing sports such as running
  • Foot deformities
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Poorly fitting footwear
  • Standing for long periods on hard surfaces

Getting Relief

The treatment for metatarsalgia will depend on the cause. The first step is to have our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas examine your feet. The foot doctor will also want to get your medical history and ask about your recent activities. Once the reason behind the metatarsalgia has been found, the foot doctor may recommend one or more of the following:

  • Icing the area and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Resting your feet from sports and physical activities that aggravate the ball of the foot
  • Custom orthotics to correct overpronation or other biomechanical issues
  • Wearing properly fitting, supportive shoes
  • Losing weight if you are overweight to reduce pressure on your feet

If you are experiencing pain or pressure in the ball of your foot, contact our Long Beach office today for an appointment by calling: (562) 420-9800.

It’s the time of year for fright fests, haunted houses and all kinds of scary attractions, but at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we believe the podiatrist’s office shouldn’t be one of them! Many times, patients may get a diagnosis that sounds scary. In most cases, however, the name of a disorder may sound more frightening than it is. The job of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas is to make sure you understand a diagnosis and the treatment recommended for it. Your job as a patient is to ask questions until you feel confident that you comprehend your condition and treatment plan. Below are a few foot problems that illustrate our point.

Xerosis: while this may sound like a condition common to an ancient Greek god, it’s actually a term to describe very dry skin. Dry air, showering too frequently with very hot water or the soap you are using may all be the underlying cause. In some cases, dry skin can be a symptom of a systemic disorder. Usually, however, applying a super-rich moisturizer to your feet several times a day will eliminate xerosis.

Ganglions: you may be a little frightened when you start to experience numbness, tingling and pain in your feet for no apparent reason. Oftentimes, however, these symptoms are caused by small fluid-filled sacs that occur in the tendons or joints on the top of the feet or ankles. Repetitive stress to tendon linings and joints and shoes that constrict your feet are frequently the reason behind ganglions.

Brachymetatarsia: no, it’s not a pre-historic dinosaur. This term describes a defect in the growth of a toe bone that results in one of the metatarsals being shorter than the rest of the toe bones. It will commonly be seen in both feet. In some cases, this condition will not cause pain or discomfort, but it can affect balance so careful shoe selection will be necessary. For other patients, surgical remediation may be necessary.

Don’t hesitate seeking evaluation of foot or ankle symptoms. Putting off treatment is when foot conditions can truly become scary. Contact our Long Beach office today for an appointment by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Thursday, 11 October 2018 18:50

4 Ways to Prevent Achilles Tendonitis

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center a condition that we frequently see in both experienced athlete’s and “weekend warriors” is Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon, also known as the heel cord, is a band of tissue that runs down the back of your lower leg, connecting your calf muscle to your heel bone. Although it is the strongest tendon in the body, it is also one of the most frequently injured. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, known as Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury which is caused by putting too much stress on the tendon too abruptly. If left untreated, the ongoing stress to the tendon prevents the body from repairing the injured tissue and the result is a continued pain. Below are some strategies for avoiding this common podiatric disorder:

  1. Slow and steady wins the race. And, it helps prevent Achilles tendonitis, too. If you have been inactive for a period of time and wish to resume or start a new exercise program, begin slowly. Gradually increase the length and intensity of your activity.
  2. Don’t choose pain before gain. Even experienced athletes can experience Achilles distress if they decide to significantly increase the difficulty of their workout. Running hills and stair climbing puts particular strain on the Achilles tendon and should not be suddenly increased.
  3. Stretch it out. One of the best ways for anyone to head off an Achilles tendon problem is by stretching. Exercises that specifically help to stretch and strengthen your calf muscles will help avoid tendonitis.
  4. Get some support. Patients with flat feet have a higher risk for Achilles tendonitis because as the arch flattens it increases the strain on the Achilles tendon and calf muscles. Be sure the shoes you wear (both on and off the field) have adequate arch support. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley, and Dr. Constance Omelas may suggest a custom orthotic device to wear in your shoes for added support.

If you are experiencing soreness, aching or stiffness anywhere along your Achilles tendon, contact our Long Beach office (562-420-9800) to get it evaluated.

Wednesday, 03 October 2018 18:49

Eat This Not That for Less Joint Pain

World Arthritis Day takes place in October and here at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we’d like to take this opportunity to explore the relationship between food and joint health. Overall, we know that maintaining an appropriate weight greatly reduces the strain on your joints (and the rest of your feet), lowering your risk for arthritis and other foot problems. Below are some foods to choose or stay away from if you suffer from arthritis or other joint conditions:

Eat These:

Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. These include salmon, sardines, tuna, anchovies, scallops and other cold-water fish. Omega 3’s have inflammation-fighting properties and research has shown that people who consume the highest amounts of them have the lowest levels of two inflammatory proteins in their bodies. If you can’t stand fish, take a fish oil supplement. A recent study found that 600-1,000 mg per day could ease joint swelling and pain and reduce the duration of morning stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.

Fruits and Vegetables. Eating a rainbow of produce will give you many nutrients and antioxidants. Among the heavy hitters for reducing inflammation are: citrus fruits, red and purple fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and cherries and dark greens like spinach, kale and broccoli.

Good oils. Of course, all oil should be used in moderation but 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil a day can help reduce joint pain because it contains a compound that has properties similar to that of nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory medications. Other “good oils” include safflower and avocado oil and also walnut oil which is high in omega 3’s.

Skip These:

Sugar. Foods with processed sugars (cakes, cookies, candy bars, sodas and fruit juices) release messengers called cytokines that actually create an inflammatory response in the body. Read labels because sugar has many names. Anything ending in “ose” is usually a sugar.

Saturated and Trans Fats. These trigger fat tissue inflammation which not only worsens arthritis but is an indicator of heart disease too.

Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG). Although most often found in prepared Asian foods and soy sauce, MSG is also added to many fast foods, soup mixes, salad dressings and deli meats. MSG opens 2 pathways to chronic inflammation.

Food is just one way to help control arthritis. If you are experiencing pain, stiffness and/or swelling of the joints in your feet and ankles, contact our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas will examine your feet and help develop a plan to best deal with your joint issues.

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