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August 2022

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Heel Spurs and Orthotics

Heel spurs can be quite a nuisance to the health of your feet. Formed by calcium deposits in the feet, heel spurs are essentially bony outgrowths that can form at the front of the heel bone. These outgrowths will typically grow inward, pointing towards the toes of the feet. Although some individuals who suffer from heel spurs do feel some pain, other individuals do not. Heel spurs can be treated in a variety of different ways. Besides undergoing a surgical procedure to treat the heel spurs, an individual might be able to treat the condition with less severe methods. Namely, you might be able to address your heel spurs with orthotics. Orthotics are shoe inserts that are made to help correct foot or gait deformities. They also can provide extra foot support. By wearing orthotics, you might be able to help provide your feet with the extra cushioning and support that is needed to reduce any pain from heel spurs. In the same vein, splints for the feet may also be worn at night. These objects can keep your feet in a stretched position throughout the night. Not only could this keep your plantar fascia in a relaxed position, but it might also help mitigate your heel spurs. If you have heel spurs, contact a podiatrist to see if orthotics or night splints are right for you. 

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm from Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about How to Treat Heel Spurs

There is a narrow passageway called the tarsal tunnel, which is located on the inside of the ankle. The tibial nerve, starting at the back of the leg, runs down through the tarsal tunnel, along with veins, arteries, and tendons. Because so many structures pass through the tarsal tunnel, the interior space is very confined. This space becomes even more constricted if an ankle injury occurs that causes inflammation or a swollen vein or tendon, or if a cyst develops within the tunnel. This can cause the tibial tendon to become squeezed, or compressed, and result in pain, burning, tingling, or numbness along the nerve’s path. This condition is known as tarsal tunnel syndrome. Flat feet, and inflammation due to arthritis and diabetes may also contribute to this condition developing. It is important to have tarsal tunnel syndrome diagnosed and treated as early as possible, not only to relieve pain and inflammation, but to avoid permanent nerve damage. A podiatrist can assess your condition and devise an appropriate treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery as soon as possible.


 

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, 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.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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 and ankle needs.

Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tuesday, 16 August 2022 00:00

Food Servers and Foot Care

Many individuals earn their living by working as food servers, waiters, or waitresses. If you work as a food server, you are no doubt familiar with the fact that food servers spend the majority of the day working on their feet. Whether you are walking to and from the kitchen or carrying heavy dishes of food to tables, you spend a significant amount of the work day putting pressure on your feet. If you are not diligent about maintaining a foot care routine, you might be setting yourself up for a foot injury or condition. First, ensure that you are wearing the right kind of footwear on the job. Instead of wearing shoes with high heels that can increase your risk of falling during your shift, wear shoes with low, wide heels to provide stability. Second, since food servers spend such long amounts of time working on their feet, be sure to take the time you need to relax and pamper your feet. You may choose to give yourself a foot massage or to receive one professionally. These foot massages can relax muscles and ligaments in the feet, preventing tightening that could lead to injuries. Third, it is a good idea to be diligent about keeping your feet clean. For example, you might wash your feet to remove damaging bacteria, and pat them dry completely. Food servers ought to take the health of their feet seriously. If you work in the food service industry, contact a podiatrist to understand the best way to care for your feet.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm from Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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 and ankle needs.

Read more about Working on Your Feet
Tuesday, 09 August 2022 00:00

Prefabricated Versus Custom Orthotics

Prefabricated orthotics is another name for over-the-counter (OTC) orthotics. Custom orthotics are constructed to the precise specifications of your foot. With certain foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis or flatfoot, there is evidence that prefabricated or custom orthotics help. They are not considered to help as much for overuse injuries like tendonitis or stress fractures. Rigid, or very stiff orthotics, can help control the foot position during walking but must exert force against the plantar part of the foot that is three to four times one’s body weight. Rigid orthotics are not particularly comfortable either, and less of this type of orthotic is used. Most often, one wears semi-rigid or accommodative orthotics, and they act almost like a bed for the foot spreading the weight more evenly across the surface of the footwear. When there is an abnormality of the foot, custom orthotics are thought to be better. Know that no orthotic—custom or OTC—will be able to treat all foot problems. Consult with a podiatrist to see which type is best for your condition.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, 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.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

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

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes
Saturday, 06 August 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.

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

Ankle Arthritis

While the ankle joint is less likely to be affected by arthritis than other joints, when it is, it means that the tibiotalar joint – the joint between the shin bone and ankle bone – is worn out. The most common cause of this condition is a previous injury, such as an ankle fracture. In such cases, something called osteonecrosis can result from ankle injuries, where there is damage to the blood flow to a portion of the bone that can then lead to ankle arthritis. Other causes of ankle arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis (which can cause joint inflammation and damage to the cartilage), infections of a joint leading to damage of cartilage cells, being overweight, placing a larger burden of weight on the ankle joint, and possibly genetic factors. The most common symptom of ankle arthritis is joint pain. Other indicators of this condition include stiffness in the ankle, swelling in the joint, bone spurs on the joint, deformity of the joint, and a feeling of instability in the joint. One is less apt to feel tingling and numbness in the feet and toes from ankle arthritis due to irritation of the nerves, but it can happen. Changes in footwear, adding cushioned inserts in shoes, using a brace to help hold the ankle in position, and modification of activity can relieve discomfort associated with ankle arthritis. Sometimes, however, surgery is necessary. If your ankle hurts and you feel you might have ankle arthritis, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and customized treatment.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, 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.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

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 How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
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