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Posts for tag: orthotics

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
January 16, 2013
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Joint Pain   RICE   orthotics   swelling   stiffness  

Joint Pain In FeetThe foot contains 26 bones and more than 30 joints, which can create multiple areas for pain to originate.  Swelling, tenderness, stiffness, redness, bruising, and/or increased warmth may accompany the pain in the affected joints. Your podiatrist in Sammamish describes joint pain as being caused by trauma, infection, arthritis, bursitis, gout, or structural foot problems.

When you first notice any joint pain in your foot and ankle, your Sammamish podiatrist may initially treat your pain with the conservative treatment, RICE, which stands for:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Your podiatrist in Sammamish will also recommend a limitation of walking and weight bearing on the painful foot to ensure further damage does not develop.  Use of steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, and ice can also help to reduce local inflammation and pain.  Custom orthotics may also be prescribed to support the foot and reduce the pain. 

Dr. Howard Schaengold of Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic can best determine the cause of joint pain and recommend the appropriate treatment.  If you are experiencing joint pain in your foot or ankle, schedule an appointment today to ensure a speedy recovery. 

Expert Corn RemvoalCorns are thickened areas of skin that develop in response to excessive pressure and friction.  This can occur when one toe rubs repeatedly against another, or when the toes rub against ill-fitting footwear.  Typically hard and circular, corns are usually not a serious problem, but can be quite painful if untreated, especially when wearing shoes.

Since corns are often symptoms of underlying problems such as faulty bone structures or abnormal gait, self-treatment should only involve footwear modification. Never attempt to cut or scrape away a corn on your own as this can lead to infection. It’s best to consult Howard Schaengold, DPM first as many times over-the-counter treatments fail to effectively treat the underlying foot disorder and can damage the healthy surrounding skin if used incorrectly.

A podiatrist will assess your corn, determine the cause, and help you determine a treatment plan to manage the pain and eliminate pressure that is causing the corn. These conservative treatments may include padding to prevent pressure, footwear modifications and orthotics to relive stress under the foot.  When pain is persistent or conservative treatment isn’t effective, minimally-invasive surgical correction may be recommended to remove the corn or repair the bone structure beneath the corn.  

The surgery can often be performed in the doctor's office, the recovery time is brief, and many patients obtain relief within days. Corns always require consultation with an experienced podiatrist at our Sammamish office.  When treated early, most corns can be resolved with non-surgical treatments.

Heel pain is one of the leading problems that cause patients to visit their podiatrist, and it’s no wonder. The relentless ache in the bottom of your foot or the sharp pain as you step out of bed in the morning is often enough to persuade even the most stubborn patient to make an appointment with his or her podiatrist.

Because there are many potential causes of heel pain, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, nerve damage or arthritis, it’s important to have your foot examined by a podiatrist with expert training in heel pain. Howard Schaengold, DPM will examine your foot, determine the underlying source of your heel pain, assess your symptoms, make a proper diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan based on your individual case. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent more serious problems.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, occurring when the thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that connects the heel to the toes becomes irritated and inflamed. When the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension, tissues of the fascia may tear or stretch, which leads to pain.

Faulty foot structures, such as flat feet or high arches are common causes of plantar fasciitis. Non-supportive shoes and increased weight or strain may aggravate the condition as well.

Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Bottom of the heel pain
  • Pain that intensifies after sitting for extended periods of time and subsides after a few minutes of walking
  • Pain that worsens over a period of months

Most types of heel pain, once properly diagnosed, can be successfully treated with conservative measures, such as use of anti-inflammatory medications and ice, rest, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, footwear modifications, and physical therapy. The longer heel pain is allowed to progress, the longer treatment can take. When plantar fasciitis doesn’t respond to conservative care, your podiatrist may recommend surgery as a last resort.  Always seek care from our Sammamish office for heel pain in its earliest stages for proper treatment.

Biomechanics involve how the movements of your lower limbs and feet affect the rest of your body.  When the feet aren’t working correctly, you may experience injuries and pains in other areas of the body beside your foot, such as the knees, hips and back.  Even the slightest changes, such as leg length discrepancies or fallen arches, can have a huge impact on your entire body’s ability to function properly without pain or injury.  

If you’re an athlete, many sport-related injuries develop from poor biomechanics of the foot. Athletes with poor foot mechanics are more prone to sustaining lower extremity injuries.   As your body tries to compensate for any anomalies, your muscles, joints and tendons are placed under excessive stress.

It’s important that athletes visit their Sammamish podiatrist for athorough assessment of their biomechanics at the first sign of a problem or pain, including footdiscomfort, poor balance, or unexplained corns and calluses. An assessment of your low limbs will help identify what happens in your legs and feet when you walk, stand and run.   A professional evaluation is critical for successful prevention and treatment of any injury or condition. 

Many sport injuries can be traced back to biomechanical problems including:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Shin splints
  • Calluses and corns
  • Plantar fasciitis

Once Howard Schaengold, DPM has identified the problem and cause of your pain, a tailor made treatment plan can be created to restore your lower extremities and feet back to their normal function, thus improving your game. Treatment may involve one or more of the following:

  • Exercises and therapy to stretch or strengthen muscles
  • Orthotic devices that are worn inside the shoe to control, realign or cushion the abnormalities, thus reducing discomfort
  • Footwear modifications

Don’t let poor foot biomechanics compromise your game. Whether you are a full-time athlete or the weekend warrior, your podiatrist can help you return to your favorite sport activity. Not only will performance improve, but injuries will also be significantly reduced with proper treatment.

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
March 01, 2012
Category: Deformities

Back PainYour feet are the foundation of your entire body—complex structures consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints and 126 muscles and ligaments. They support your weight, act as a shock absorber, serve as a lever to propel the leg forward and help maintain balance.

Since your entire body is interrelated, any mechanical issues with the feet can lead to chronic musculoskeletal problems in other parts of the body, including your back.   

One common foot disorder affecting the back is excessive pronation. Also known as flat feet, this condition causes the foot’s arch to flatten and collapse under the body’s weight. While a normal arch promotes stability and alignment of the entire body, the ability to cushion and absorb forces is greatly reduced when the arch is collapsed. As a result, increased stress is placed on the joints of the body. This continued stress can cause deformities of the foot over time, such as misaligned bones, hammertoes and bunions, eventually making its way to the legs, knees and lower back.

If you suffer from chronic back pain, visit Howard Schaengold, DPM for an evaluation.  Your feet may be the source of your pain.   If your back pain is caused by poor biomechanics of the feet, orthotics may be an effective treatment option.  These custom devices are designed to support and restore the arch of your foot.  Restoring the normal alignment of the foot helps normalize the posture and alignment of the lower body. This can reduce unnecessary stress to areas of your back.  

The shoes you are wearing may also be contributing to your back pain.  Good, proper fitting footwear will provide your feet with the support they need to stabilize your body’s weight and relieve the stress on the rest of your body.

If you suffer from back pain, visit your Sammamish podiatrist for an evaluation.  Your feet may be causing your pain. With proper treatment, you can achieve proper foot biomechanics and eliminate your back pain once and for all.