Monday, September 29, 2014

Football, Feet and More

Football season is in full swing, and whether it’s pro ball or pee-wee injuries are likely to occur. Even on the best day, with the most well trained athlete, accidents can happen, but we are here to help!

The most common injuries we see from team sports, like football, are plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, neuromas, stress fractures and capsulitis. One of the most important things for athletes of all levels to remember is not to over-do it. The majority of injuries in athletes are what we call ‘overuse injuries’. 

More often than not injuries start off as small problems, which are easy to self-heal, however these injuries become exaggerated when the proper time-off/rest time isn’t observed.  With team sports it is sometimes hard to sit on the sidelines, but it can be a vast difference in the severity of your injury and your recovery time. 

At the first sign of pain, impact, swelling or chronic soreness it is important to not only seek medical treatment, but to adhere to your recovery plan for the best outcome. This is especially vital in younger athletes in order to avoid chronic or long-term foot and ankle damage. 

Dr. Saffer and Dr. Brown are experts in the fields of sports podiatry, and love working with youth to establish healthy and successful plans for an active future. Come see us today

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Arches Making You Ache?

Many of those suffering from chronic pain on the balls or heels of their foot are victims of a high arch (aka Cavus Foot). A high arch can be a symptom of your genes, a neurologic disorder or from other medical conditions. The cause of your high arches will determine the course of treatment recommended by our expert staff.

Even the most subtle factors can be signs of a high arch issue: calluses on the ball, heel or side of the foot, pain when standing, chronic ankle sprains or hammer toes are just a few. When you make an appointment to visit us we will view your gait (foot form when walking), muscle strength and general coordination. It is also good to bring in your most commonly worn shoes so we can check for habitual wear and tear giving us a better idea of how you walk on a regular basis.

After determining the root cause of the high arch(es) treatment may entail custom orthotics, recommended shoes, bracing or surgery.

If you are tired of suffering from daily pain or nuisances and think high arches may be your problem- visit us at Carolina Foot Specialists for the best in your foot care.

You can also take our online assessment to pinpoint warning sings of foot and ankle problems.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Underpronating Can Lead to More Ankle Pain

Wondering why you keep spraining your ankle? It could be your shoes!

If you underpronate, your foot tends to roll to the outside when walking or running, you naturally have greater risk of ankle sprains. Not wearing shoes with the correct support for can lead to ankle sprains and stress fractures, torn ligaments and worse. When being fitted for athletic or active shoes make sure your gate is checked when walking and running for the best evaluation of your needs.

A correct assessment for shoes should contain the following:
- Asking questions about you! What will the shoes before, what’s your activity level, past injuries and so forth should all be addressed between you and your fit professional.

- Measurement. You should always have your feet measured for length and width. Feet can change sizes and one foot is always bigger than the other, a new purchase should not be based on your last shoe’s size.

- Gait Analysis. Your fit professional should observe you running and walking, either on a treadmill or designated area. A trained professional will determine your personal movement "map" from this process.  That "map" reveals the programming of everything happening within your body including your levels of mobility, stability, flexibility and functional strength. The analysis of all these different elements taken together is what creates a complete picture of a person's gait, and allows them to better understand the type of footwear you need. (*This is where it is decided on whether you under or over pronate.)

- Arch Analysis. Either by viewing your feet (without shoes) from various angles or by having you step on a arch pad your fit professional should measure your arch to determine the best shoe for you and your chosen activity, as well as the need for inserts and what type.

- Fitting. Try on the shoes with the socks you will most likely use. Run around the parking lot, bend, stretch, stand on your tip toes- move in the shoes and see how they feel. Tell your fit professional about any tight areas, slipping, rubbing or any other complaints- you need to find the shoe right for your foot, but that you also feel good in.

Dr. Brown and Dr. Saffer are both skilled in athletic shoes and fitting and are happy to sit down with you to discuss inserts, if your shoe is right for you and foot tips for your active life!

Find a professional fit equipped store near you with the Runners World Store Finder.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Dreaded Shin Splints

Shin splints seem like a normal side effect to activity, but the truth is a few simple precautions can stop your pain. Shin splints refer to pain on either side of the leg bone that is caused by muscle or tendon inflammation.

Shin splints are often related to a collapsing arch (flat foot), but may be caused by a muscle imbalance between opposing muscle groups in the leg due to increasing intensity or distance of workouts, or due to a lack of cross training (strengthening all your muscles not just the ones used in your sport).

At the other extreme are people with "high arch feet". These feet are very tight-jointed and do not yield enough upon impact. Common rigid foot running injuries are stress fractures, ball of the foot pain, and shin splints.

In addition, wearing the wrong time of athletic shoe for your feet or not replacing shoes at the proper time can also increase the risk of getting shin splints. Proper stretching before and after exercise and sports can help to alleviate the occurrence of shin splints and to reduce the pain in already existing ones.

In severe cases we recommend corrective shoes, or orthotics (corrective shoe inserts) to help prevent shin splints.

As you can see many people across the board suffer from this issue. Being proactive with your footwear and proper stretching can save you a lot of down time, corrective measures, money and pain in the long run. If you are suffering from pain or would like ideas on stretches and preventative measures please contact us today.