Posts for category: Podiatric health
It's impossible to ignore heel pain when every step you take is so uncomfortable. Fortunately, Dr. Mukesh Bhakta, your Gainesville, VA, podiatrist at Prince William Foot & Ankle Center offers treatments that can improve your painful symptoms.
Why Do My Heels Hurt?
Heel pain can occur due to a variety of reasons, including:
- Worn-Out Shoes: Do you remember the last time you replaced your running or walking shoes? After months of use, the cushioning layer inside shoes becomes compressed. Although the shoes may look perfectly fine, they no longer support your foot adequately. As a result, you may develop a stone bruise in the fat pad under your heel bone, Achilles tendinitis (inflammation of the long tendon at the back of your heel), or retrocalcaneal bursitis (inflammation of the cushioning sac under the tendon).
- Plantar Fascia Inflammation: Is your heel pain worse first thing in the morning or when you stand after sitting for a while? If so, there's a strong possibility that you have plantar fasciitis. The condition occurs when the plantar fascia that runs along the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed. You may be at increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis if you are overweight, spend long hours on your feet, are over age 40, are a runner, wear poorly fitting shoes, or have flat feet or high arches.
- Bone Spurs: Bone spurs can happen to anyone, but are particularly common after you've had plantar fasciitis. In addition to pain, swelling over your heel may also occur. In some cases, it may be possible to feel a bony bump on your heel. You may be at increased risk of developing a bone spur if you have arthritis, are overweight, have diabetes, spend long periods on your feet, run or walk on hard surfaces, or have a gait abnormality that stresses your heel.
How Can My Gainesville Foot Doctor Help?
Your podiatrist offers a variety of treatment strategies that will ease your pain. Most stone bruises go away on their own, but they will return if you continue to exercise in worn-out shoes. In addition to buying new shoes, you may benefit from orthotics, custom-designed shoe inserts that cushion your feet and keep them properly aligned in your shoes.
Other possible treatments, depending on your diagnosis, may include anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, orthotics or heel cups, and night splints (for plantar fasciitis.) If you have Achilles tendinitis or plantar fasciitis, you may benefit from shockwave therapy. The treatments send shock waves deep into your tissues to trigger your body's natural healing abilities.
Get back on your feet with a trip to the foot doctor! Call Dr. Mukesh Bhakta, your Gainesville, VA, podiatrist at Prince William Foot & Ankle Center at (703) 753-3338 to schedule an appointment.
Chronic heel pain is one of the most common foot and ankle problems. While a little pain and stiffness from time to time can be normal, persistent pain is typically a sign of an injury or orthopedic problem like plantar fasciitis. Dr. Mukesh Bhakta, a podiatrist in Gainesville, VA, recommends scheduling an appointment if you are experiencing chronic pain.
Heel Pain Treatment in Gainesville, VA
There are two types of heel pain: under the heel, and just behind the heel. One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which causes pain under the heel due to strain or inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tendon that runs the length of the foot from the heel bone to the base of the toes. Another common source of heel pain is Achilles tendonitis, which causes pain behind the heel due to strain or an injury of the Achilles tendon.
What Causes Heel Pain?
According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, heel pain is the most common podiatric complaint, and can result from a number of causes. Everything from the normal wear and tear of walking or exercising on hard surfaces, to wearing shoes with inadequate support can put strain on the bones and joints of your feet and ankles, making them more susceptible to pain and injuries.
Because foot and ankle injuries are very difficult to self diagnose, you should schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for persistent pain (lasts for several weeks, or clears up and returns). Depending on the severity and underlying cause of your heel pain, conservative treatments are usually successful in relieving heel pain. If you have low arches/flat feet, your podiatrist may recommend orthotics to help keep your feet in proper alignment and to prevent excessive strain on your feet and ankles.
Find a Podiatrist in Gainesville, VA
Don't wait for your heel pain to become debilitating. For more information about plantar fasciitis and other causes and treatment options for foot and ankle pain, contact Prince William Foot & Ankle Center by calling 703-753-3338 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bhakta today.
Staying healthy and active, while always crucial to your health, becomes more important and, unfortunately, often more difficult as you age. However, increasing or starting your exercise routine suddenly at any age could compromise your ankles and the connective tissues which hold the joints together. Learn about how to protect your ankles while staying active with Dr. Mukesh Bhakta, DPM at Prince William Foot and Ankle Center in Gainesville, VA.
Common Causes of Ankle Injuries
Ankle injuries can quickly affect your quality of life and make walking and standing difficult. These injuries often come from trauma to the bone, joint, or connective tissue. Something as simple as twisting your ankle while walking could result in an injury through overuse and abnormalities in the ankle itself often cause injury. Suddenly adding more aggressive exercises into your normal routine can also injure the ankle.
Preventing Ankle Injuries in Gainesville, VA
If you choose to up the difficulty of your exercise routine, do so gradually. For example, instead of doubling your normal route while running, add distance slowly over the course of several weeks to reach your goal. Additionally, make sure you wear the correct shoes for the activity you participate in. Shoes designed for running have different qualities and support systems than shoes for other sports, making your choice of shoes important in protecting your feet and ankles. Stretch before and after exercising and take care to stay hydrated.
Ankle Injury Treatment
Treatment for ankle injuries varies depending on the patient, their injury, and their lifestyle. Some injuries require only plenty of rest to allow the body’s natural healing abilities to take over. Icing the ankle several times a day and keeping it elevated can help reduce pain and bring down swelling. Over-the-counter medications can help calm pain, and orthotics like a brace or wrap can also help reduce swelling.
Your doctor may recommend prescription orthotics or medications to aid in the healing process. They may also recommend physical, laser, or hot/cold therapy. Some severe or chronic ankle injuries require surgery to correct the problem. Your doctor can help you determine which treatment is best for your ankle injury.
For more information on protecting yourself from ankle injuries, please contact Dr. Mukesh Bhakta, DPM at Prince William Foot and Ankle Center in Gainesville, VA. Call 703-753-3338 to schedule your foot and ankle examination today!
Have you given up on finding an effective treatment for your toenail fungus? Over-the-counter treatments can be helpful if you have a mild problem, but they're not very effective in treating more severe infections. Dr. Mukesh Bhakta, your Gainesville, VA podiatrist at Prince William Foot & Ankle Center, explains how laser nail treatment can get rid of toenail fungus for good.
The limitations of drugstore products
The topical medications available at your local drugstore coat the top of your nail and may offer some slight improvement initially. Unfortunately, these medications can't reach the fungus that grows under your nail. If you don't kill this fungus, your problem will continue. If you have a particularly stubborn case of toe nail fungus, even prescription oral medication may not get rid of the fungus. Oral medication also has several unpleasant side effects, including abdominal pain, diarrhea and headaches.
How does laser treatment help?
The laser your Gainesville foot doctor uses penetrates your toenail to kill the fungus underneath. Since he can precisely control the thin beam of light, healthy tissue won't be damaged by the laser beam. The heat generated by the laser light quickly kills the fungus in just one session.
Treatment only takes about 30 to 45 minutes and isn't painful. Your toe may feel a little warm when the laser is applied and you may notice a slight pinprick sensation. Unlike oral medications, laser nail treatment has no unpleasant side effects. Although the fungus will be dead after the treatment, you won't notice immediate results. As your toenail grows, you'll gradually see a new section of fungus-free nail emerge.
Will laser treatment cure my problem?
The fungus is killed in the majority of patients who undergo laser nail treatment. Since fungus is everywhere, there's always a chance you could eventually develop another infection, but if you take precautions, such as wearing shoes in public showers and changing your socks when they become sweaty, you can decrease your chances of developing a new infection.
Laser nail treatment offers a simple solution to toe nail fungus. Call Dr. Bhakta, your Gainesville, VA podiatrist at Prince William Foot & Ankle Center, at (703) 753-3338 to schedule an appointment to learn if laser treatment is a good option for you. Say goodbye to toe nail fungus with laser nail treatment!
Is your bunion pain beginning to become too much to handle? Do you feel pain while you walk, have trouble bending or straightening your big toe or experience redness and swelling at the base of your big toe? If so, bunion treatment may be necessary. Fortunately, many options are available with help from your Gainesville, FL podiatrist at Prince William Foot & Ankle Center.
What are bunions?
Bunions are a bony growth located at the base of the big toe. As a bunion grows, it pushes the big toe towards the smaller toes, forcing the toes to push sideways. Due to its location, the body’s weight falls directly onto the bunion, making walking and standing painful. The resulting lump of the bunion tends to rub against shoes, causing irritation and swelling. Women are more likely to develop bunions than men though men can develop them as well. Genetics also play a part in the presence of bunions.
How are bunions treated?
Sometimes, simply switching the shoes you wear is enough to relieve bunion pain and irritation. Avoid narrow or pointed shoes, such as high heels and try to wear shoes with a big enough toe box to properly accommodate for the foot’s width. Icing the foot or taking over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen help relieve pain and swelling. In more severe cases, your Gainesville doctor may determine you need bunion surgery called a bunionectomy.
What is a bunionectomy?
A bunionectomy is a surgical procedure which removes the bunion itself and realigns the muscles in the foot to provide normal functionality and pain relief. Bunion surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. You will need about six weeks of recovery time, wearing a walking boot and, if necessary, using crutches. However, bunion removal has a high success rate. Avoid bunions from reforming by wearing comfortable shoes and avoiding narrow toe boxes.
Your podiatrist can help you determine if you would benefit from bunion surgery. For more information on bunion treatment, please contact Dr. Mukesh Bhakta at Prince William Foot & Ankle Care in Gainesville, FL. Call (703)753-3338 to schedule your examination today!