Items filtered by date: March 2018

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we see a high incidence of neuromas among professional women for whom running is the fitness activity of choice. A neuroma is a disorder where a nerve becomes inflamed and enlarged causing symptoms of pain, burning and tingling. Patients with neuromas often say it feels like there is a rock in their shoe or that their sock is bunched up under their foot. Women who spend their workdays in heels and then pound the pavement running after work may be unknowingly putting an extreme amount of pressure on the ball of their foot. What’s the high heel/high impact running connection? High heels push your foot forward and narrow toe boxes squeeze toes together—both of which put excess stress on a nerve that is located at the base of your toes in the ball of your foot. Combine this stress with the added irritation of high impact and repeated force from running and you have the perfect conditions for a neuroma to develop.

Unfortunately, many women don’t pick up on these signs right away. The symptoms usually come on gradually and massaging the ball of the foot or changing your shoes for a day or two may relieve the pain—but only temporarily. In fact, the temporary nerve damage can become permanent if a patient does not seek professional podiatric treatment promptly.

Relieving Symptoms

You can’t see a neuroma on an x-ray or diagnose it with a lab test. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas will examine the affected foot and palpate the nerve as well as ask questions about your symptoms and their duration to determine how far your condition has progressed. There are several treatment options available, including:

  • Rest from activities that aggravate the foot
  • Icing
  • Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications
  • Orthotic devices to reduce compression and increase support to the foot

Surgery is reserved for severe cases where other methods have not worked. If you wear heels, run and are experiencing any pain or odd sensations in the ball of your foot contact our Long Beach office for an appointment at your earliest opportunity by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018 15:56

5 Causes of Heel Pain

When your heel hurts, we at Superior Foot & Ankle Center know how limiting that can be on your day to day life. When every step is painful it’s difficult to walk, let alone work, shop, take care of children and household tasks or do any of the many other activities we normally take for granted. While resting your foot may temporarily ease heel soreness, permanent relief requires discovery of the source of the pain and developing a treatment plan that will address the root cause. Below are some common reasons for heel pain:

  1. Plantar fasciitis/heel spurs—this disorder is one of the most frequent reasons why patients experience heel pain. It occurs when the plantar fascia—a long band of tissue that stretches from your toes to your heel on the bottom of your foot—becomes injured or inflamed. If a patient is prone to plantar fasciitis they also have a greater likelihood of developing heel spurs, which are calcium deposits that build up in the heel and cause additional pain.
  2. The Wrong Shoes—sometimes eliminating heel pain is as simple as changing your shoes. Shoes that don’t provide adequate arch support or that position your foot in an abnormal way can inadvertently put extra pressure on your heel.
  3. Arch Issues—having flat feet or high arches alters the correct alignment of your feet with heel pain as a possible result.
  4. Calluses—these patches of hard, dry skin that appear on the surface of your heel are actually a sign of an internal irritation. The excessive pressure put on the heel by wearing high heels, being overweight, an altered gait or even the loss of the natural fat padding on your heel can all cause heel irritation which reveals itself in the callus.
  5. Nerve Problems—with disorders such as tarsal tunnel syndrome or Baxter neuropathy a compressed nerve in the foot or ankle can produce excruciating pain in the heel. If the pain is felt in both heels there is also a chance that the nerve issue is further up in the body in the spinal column.

Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas will need to do a complete examination of your foot, ankle, and heel to diagnose the source of your heel pain. X-rays and other imaging studies may also be ordered. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the foot doctor will be able to prescribe the correct treatment plan to resolve your heel pain. If you are experiencing pain in your heel, contact our Long Beach office by calling (562) 420-9800 today.

Friday, 16 March 2018 15:54

Could You Have Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Do you experience a burning or tingling sensation that feels something like an electrical shock on the inside of your ankle bone? What about numbness or shooting pain in that area? If yes, you may be experiencing the symptoms of a condition known as Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we find that these symptoms can manifest in a number of ways. In some patients, they come on suddenly after a particularly strenuous workout session or after a long day of standing. The symptoms may also be experienced just in one spot or extend to the heel, calf, arch, and toes. This can make diagnosis a bit tricky because the symptoms are similar to those of several other podiatric conditions. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas will want to do a complete examination of your foot and ankle, checking for loss of sensation and trying to reproduce the symptoms you experience. Nerve conduction studies and advanced imaging studies may also be ordered.

Tracking Down the Source

The tarsal tunnel is literally a tunnel on the inside of your ankle that houses the posterior tibial nerve along with arteries, veins, and tendons. The tunnel is covered with a thick, protective ligament. Whenever something occurs that causes the nerve to be compressed the above symptoms can result. There are many different reasons for nerve compression:

  • Flat feet—fallen arches cause the heel to turn outward which can put a strain on the posterior tibial nerve.
  • Crowding—if an abnormal structure such as a ganglion cyst or a bone spur develops in the tunnel or a structure such as a tendon or varicose vein becomes enlarged it takes up more space in the tarsal tunnel, decreasing the amount of room for the nerves and other structures that belong in the tunnel. This causes the nerve to be squeezed or compressed.
  • Injury—if you sprain your ankle or sustain another injury to that part of your foot the nerve may be compressed due to swelling or inflammation that occurs from the injury.
  • Disease—certain diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis, also have swelling associated with them and will produce compression.

Once the foot doctor confirms a diagnosis of tarsal tunnel syndrome and determines the source the appropriate treatment can be prescribed. Left untreated the nerve damage can become permanent. So don’t delay—if you have symptoms, contact our Long Beach office at 562-420-9800.

Friday, 09 March 2018 15:53

3 Ways that Food Affects Your Feet

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we know that the condition of your feet isn’t just about what goes on below your knees. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas believe that the health of the rest of your body plays a significant role in podiatric concerns. In honor of National Nutrition Month, we want to highlight the importance of proper eating and how it relates to your feet. Below are 3 ways that your diet can improve the health of your ankles and feet.

  1. Avoid Diabetes—diabetes, which afflicts over 30 million people in the U.S., affects your body’s ability to properly use or produce insulin resulting in high blood sugar levels. Diabetes reduces circulation and can cause neuropathy (loss of sensation) leaving your feet vulnerable to wounds and ulcers that can lead to infections and even possible amputation. The good news is you can prevent or significantly delay the onset of the most common form of this disease, Type 2 diabetes, with physical activity and modifications to your diet, including:
  • Cutting way back on foods high in added sugar such as sodas and refined, processed foods
  • Increasing the number of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods you consume every day
  • Switching to healthier sources of fat such as olive and canola oil, nuts and avocados and avoiding saturated fats
  1. Prevent Gout Attacks and Inflammation—for patients who suffer from gout food is often what triggers an attack. Avoiding shellfish, red meat, beer, red wine, organ meats and heavy sauces can help you steer clear of this extremely painful joint inflammation which often happens in the big toe or ankle. Inflammation in, general, can be reduced by eating more berries, fish, and nuts high in omega 3 fatty acids, green vegetables, and olive oil, while steering clear of white sugar, fried food and refined flours.
  2. Decrease Your Risk of Foot Disorders—what do arthritis, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures and flat feet all have in common? The risk of developing one of these podiatric disorders as well as the severity of their symptoms are all increased by being overweight. There are many strategies for reducing and maintaining a healthy weight:
  • Using smaller plates to automatically reduce portions
  • Consulting a nutritionist or registered dietician to develop a healthy food plan
  • Eat smaller portions more frequently instead of big meals

If you have questions about how changing your diet could impact a chronic foot condition contact our Long Beach office at 562-420-9800.

Thursday, 01 March 2018 15:50

Post Op Pointers for Speedy Healing

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we are committed to helping patients obtain relief from foot and ankle disorders using the least invasive methods possible. Sometimes, however, when conservative methods fail to give good results or a condition has progressed to a certain point, surgery is the best treatment option. Whether your surgery is to correct a bunion or help with flat feetplantar fasciitis or another podiatric condition, what happens after the surgery is critical to completing the healing process. Below are some areas you should focus on if you are planning or have recently had podiatric surgery:

Plan Ahead—our feet are so crucial to daily living and yet we often take them for granted. If you will be unable to walk, even for a short period of time, you will need to put certain things into place prior to surgery:

  • See that the area where you will be recovering has everything in easy reach—T.V. remote, books, water, phone, etc. If you sleep upstairs, you may need to set up a temporary bedroom on your main floor.
  • Accept all offers of help for meals, running errands or caring for children.
  • Clear your calendar of work and other appointments and obligations. Regardless of mobility, you will need rest immediately after surgery.

Wound Care—one of the most critical aspects of surgical recovery is preventing an infection from developing. Be sure you understand and follow all your foot doctor’s instructions for keeping surgical wounds clean. If you notice any signs of infection—warmth at the site of the surgery, redness or red streaks around the wound or fever—contact our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas, immediately, even if it is after regular office hours.

Follow Through—don’t be your own foot doctor! Follow all of the podiatrist’s guidelines for your recovery and complete the full course of any physical therapy that is prescribed. Too often patients will discontinue therapy when they are feeling pain-free, but particularly for foot and ankle injuries strengthening of surrounding muscles and ligaments is necessary for full recovery. If you have any questions concerning post-operative care instructions or symptoms you experience after surgery don’t hesitate to contact our Long Beach office by calling: 562-420-9800.

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