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Traverse City / Kalkaska


(231) 922-9100
(800) 968-7440

July 2020

The Achilles tendon, located just above the heel, is a band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon is particularly prone to injury from overuse. Common causes of Achilles tendon issues include over-training, excessively increasing the intensity or distance that you run or jog, lack of training variation, running on hills, and wearing shoes that do not sufficiently support your feet. You may also be at greater risk of injuring your Achilles tendons if you are male, 30 years of age or older, and have a higher body weight or diabetes. Weakness, poor endurance, or tightness in the calf muscles, poor muscular control of your lower limbs, and stiff ankle and foot joints can increase your risk as well. Consult with a podiatrist to discuss how you can continue to stay active while reducing your risk of Achilles tendon injuries. 

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm of Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
Friday, 17 July 2020 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Monday, 13 July 2020 00:00

What Are Stress Fractures?

A stress fracture is a tiny crack in the bone that occurs because too much stress was placed on the foot. Stress fractures don’t usually occur because of a particular trauma, but rather they gradually develop over time. Some causes of stress fractures include repetitive high-impact activities, increased training, low bone density, and poor nutrition. Most stress fractures can be diagnosed with x-rays, but an MRI or CT scan may be necessary for smaller and newer stress fractures. Upon the discovery of a stress fracture, a cast or walking boot may be necessary. Generally, stress fractures take around 4-6 weeks to heal, and a slow return to your normal activity will be needed. If you are feeling a gradual increase of pain in the feet that you believe may be a stress fracture, please consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis. 

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm from Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle 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 one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Monday, 06 July 2020 00:00

Possible Symptoms of Poor Circulation

One symptom that is associated with poor circulation is cold feet. This can be a result of limited blood flow, and it may be indicative of serious health issues. Additional signs of this condition can include a tingling or numbing sensation, increased blood pressure, and the feet may feel heavy. There are several reasons why poor circulation may develop. These can consist of being obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and having medical conditions such as diabetes. Research has indicated it is beneficial to perform low-impact exercises that can consist of yoga, swimming, and walking. Patients have found relief when compression stockings are worn which may help to increase circulation. If you have symptoms of poor circulation in your feet, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm of Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Causes Symptoms and Treatment for Poor Circulation in the Feet
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