Your feet and ankles are important assets. Just think about what you do with them: run, walk, jump, dance, skate, play ball, skip, hop and just stand still. Plus, if you're an athlete--either professional or amateur--an injury to your lower extremities definitely changes the game. Your foot doctors in Houston, examine, treat and help prevent sports injuries. Dr. David Blumfield and his professional partners at Podiatry Associates of Houston will support your feet and ankles, and if you're hurt, they have the diagnostic and treatment expertise to get you moving again.
Why injuries happen
Trauma and overuse cause most sports injuries to the feet and ankles. In other words, when something contacts your foot hard or when you keep moving and your toe gets caught in something such as grass or artificial turf, your lower extremity breaks, tears, or swells. Repetitive motions such as bouncing on the balls of the feet put undue wear and tear on joints and connective tissue, and they may cause sore skin blisters. Additionally, injuries may be acute, happening suddenly, or chronic, a continuing problem with painful and debilitating flare-ups.
The American Podiatric Medical Association urges all adults to get routine exams by a foot doctor. The reason? Feet have more than 30 joints and over 100 tendons and ligaments, all of which may be strained or injured by sports and even routine activities of daily living.
As such, allow your doctor at Podiatry Associates of Houston to get to know your feet and their medical needs. Is your gait proper? Do you have a condition such as diabetes which can compromise your circulation and nerve function? Are there past injuries? What are first aid strategies for injured feet and ankles?
Common injuries and prevention
At Podiatry of Houston, Dr. Blumfield and his professional staff see a variety of sports injuries, including:
- Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of connective tissue between the heel and toes
- Heel spurs, small bony projections often associated with plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendonitis, swelling of the tendon which stretches from the calf muscles to the heel
- Ankle sprains
- Turf toe
- Shin splints
- Stress fractures
Research shows that many of these problems may be prevented with common sense strategies such as the following:
- Routine stretching and warming up before athletic activity (simply standing with your toes on a step and lowering your heels helps avoid plantar fasciitis)
- Conditioning exercises (if you wish to be a competitive tennis player, build up your calves, ankles, feet and cardiovascular capacity by training for several weeks in advance)
- Wear proper shoes to avoid abrasions and roll injuries
- Use custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, to cushion and align your feet
Also, if injury occurs, remember RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression (with an elastic bandage) and Elevation.
Stay in the game
You can if you take care of your feet. For more information on avoiding sports injuries, contact Podiatry Associates of Houston. There are four convenient locations: Chimney Rock, Memorial City, Katy and Willowbrook.
Your body tells you when something is wrong. For instance, while some nerve pain is idiopathic--that is, there's no identifiable reason for it--most neuropathy comes from real problems with your physiology or anatomy. Nerve pain in the feet, for instance, can originate with diabetes or in compression of the nerves. At Podiatric Associates of Houston, Dr. David Blumfield, Dr. Michael Mineo, Dr. Jorge Matuk and Dr. Maria Buitrago offer nerve pain treatments that help patients maintain normal function and lifestyles. Learn more here about this common condition that affects millions of Americans.
What's nerve pain like?
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says that up to 20 million people have nerve pain, particularly in their hands and feet. They experience:
- Shooting pains
- Tingling and prickliness
- A crushing sensation
Unfortunately, numbness often gives rise to more serious problems, such as diabetic foot ulcers, because the brain is not receiving the message that something is wrong in an extremity. So if someone notices any of the above symptoms in their feet, he or she should call Dr. Blumfield for nerve pain treatment in Houston.
What causes nerve pain?
Injury, congenital malformation and the changes associated with simple aging cause neuropathy. However, nerve pain can be based in physiology gone awry with conditions such as:
- Deficiency of Vitamin E and some B vitamins
- Decreased kidney function
What can your podiatrist do?
Dr. Blumfield or one of the other highly qualified podiatrists at Podiatry Associates of Houston will visually inspect your feet, watch you walk and possibly order diagnostic imaging and lab tests. These strategies add valuable objective information to your symptoms so the doctor understands what is happening and how to treat it.
Possible nerve pain treatments in Houston include:
- Topical ointments and creams
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
- Injected anesthetics
While these treatments may be necessary for some nerve pain patients, others do well with modifying their lifestyles, incorporating healthier diets (lower in sugars and carbs) and more exercise. Just moving, instead of being sedentary, is good for your musculature, connective tissue and nerves. Even the simplest of exercises, such as walking, increases peripheral circulation and a built-in pain manager--body chemicals called endorphins.
If you have nerve pain or think you do...
Don't wait. The team at Podiatry Associates of Houston asks you to call for an appointment so one of the expert staff podiatrists can check your symptoms and determine a course of action. Please call the office nearest you.
In Chimney Rock, call (713) 666-0287. In Memorial City, phone (713) 467-1299. In Katy, call (281) 579-0186, and in Willowbrook, phone (832) 912-7792.
Do you recall when your Grandmother complained about her bunions? While a sore, reddened bony bump at the base of the big toe often happens as we age, younger people get bunions, too--even athletes and children. And, they're nothing to joke about because these toe joint problems cause significant pain and impair walking and other activities of daily living. That's why Dr. David Blumfield, Dr. Michael Mineo, Dr. Jorge Matuk and Dr. Maria Buitrago at Podiatry Associates of Houston ask anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of bunions to get a podiatric evaluation right away.
How bunions happen
Bunions in Houston are a biomechanical problem, says the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Heredity may factor into their formation; in other words, you may have inherited your grandmother's foot structure! However, having an occupation where you stand on your feet constantly or wearing shoes that are too narrow or provide inadequate support are often the culprits in bunion formation and flare-up of symptoms. The APMA says that women are much more likely than men to develop bunions.
What your podiatrist looks for and suggests
If you suspect you have a bunion, your podiatrist will ask you about the location and severity of your symptoms and what aggravates and relieves them. in addition, the doctor will visually inspect your foot to see how your toes move. He or she may take X-rays of the area of concern. Sometimes blood tests are ordered to rule out health conditions such as gout.
With a confirmed diagnosis, your foot doctor may advise:
- Padding the joint to relieve pressure and friction
- Custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts, to ensure proper joint alignment when you walk
- Night time splints
- Stretching exercises
- Removal of calluses and corns which can develop due to the friction between the bunion and your shoe
In severe cases, a surgical procedure called a bunionectomy may be warranted.
Contact the Office
If you are experiencing some of the symptoms discussed here, please don't wait. Contact Podiatry Associates of Houston right away for a one-on-one consultation with one of our foot doctors. Call at one of these offices: Chimney Rock (713) 467-0287, Memorial City (713) 467-1299, Katy (281) 579-0186 or Willowbrook (832) 912-7792.
Are you anxious to get back on your feet after a sports injury? Returning to your activity too soon can delay healing and even worsen your problem. Dr. David Blumfield, Dr. Michael Mineo, Dr. Jorge Matuk and Dr. Maria Buitrago in Houston, TX, explain how to handle your sports injury.
Take it easy
Your body often does a remarkable job of healing itself if you give it enough time. Often, a week or two of resting and limiting the time you spend on your feet may be all you need to do to recover from your injury. Over-the-counter pain medications and ice will reduce inflammation that can worsen pain.
When rest doesn't solve your problem
Although rest can be very effective, it's not the ideal solution for every foot or ankle injury. If you have severe pain, bleeding or a clearly broken bone, you'll need to receive treatment immediately after your sports injury. You may need stitches, a boot or cast, or even surgery if you have a fracture or other severe injury.
A sprained ankle may seem like a minor injury, but if your pain doesn't improve after two weeks, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment at one of our Houston area offices. A walking boot or crutches may be needed to take pressure off your ankle and allow healing to occur. You may also benefit from physical therapy sessions if the muscles that support your ankle joint are weak. Although surgery isn't usually required, it may be needed if your ankle has become unstable due to your injury.
Achilles tendon problems are very common in athletes. If you experience pain or stiffness in your heel, don't ignore it. Achilles tendinitis, an inflammation of your Achilles tendon, can eventually cause a rupture in the tendon if you don't stay off your feet. Ruptures can also occur suddenly if you're involved in an activity that involves running or jumping. Immobilizing your foot and ankle in a cast or brace, in addition to using a heel lift and participating in physical therapy, can be helpful. In some cases, you may also need surgery.
Heel pain is also common if you have retrocalcaneal bursitis. Steroid injections, physical therapy or ultrasound treatment may help decrease your pain and help you get back to your sport or activity.
Proper treatment is essential when you suffer a sports injury. If you're probably isn't getting better, call Podiatry Associates of Houston in Houston, TX, at one of these offices: Chimney Rock (713) 467-0287, Memorial City (713) 467-1299, Katy (281) 579-0186 or Willowbrook (832) 912-7792.
Heel pain and arch pain is commonly caused by inflammation on the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is this inflammation of the connective tissue known as the plantar fascia. This connective tissue stretches from the base of the toes down the arch of the foot to the heel. At Podiatry Associates of Houston in Chimney Rock, Memorial City, Katy and Willowbrook, TX, with the help of Dr. David Blumfield your arch or heel pain can be resolved once and for all.
Causes of Heel Pain
This occurs when the foot rolls inward constantly when walking or running. This causes the foot to flatten, lengthens the arch and puts added strains on the plantar fascia itself. Over a period of time, this causes inflammation and then heel pain.
Some risk factors leading to heel pain include:
- Intense activity
- Certain jobs (on feet for extended period of time)
A podiatry office in the Houston area can offer an in-depth heel consultation that provides treatment options for your heel pain. The most successful treatment plan for heel or arch pain is one that is customized for each particular patient.
Treatment Options for Heel Pain in Chimney Rock, Memorial City, Katy and Willowbrook
Firstly, rest is the best treatment option as it allows the inflammation to reduce in the foot. Other conservative measures such as anti-inflammatory medications, stretching and icing has helped some patients. However, in more severe cases, orthotics and physical therapy may be necessary. For the most extreme cases, a treatment method known as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment may be used to treat your heel pain.
Podiatry Associates of Houston with the help of Dr. Blumfield can offer you a thorough consultation that seeks to provide pain relief. For more information on our heel pain treatment options, call one of our Chimney Rock, Memorial City, Katy and Willowbrook, TX, podiatry offices in the Houston area today.
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