Texas Foot Doctor's Blog
Posts for: November, 2012
If your child develops heel pain, which gets worse after exercising, they are likely suffering from calcaneal apophysitis. Also known as Sever's disease, this condition is the most common cause of child heel pain, and it is typically the result of overuse.
What Causes Calcaneal Apophysitis?
According to Boston Children's Hospital, calcaneal apophysitis occurs when the growth plate and bone in the lower back portion of a child's heel becomes inflamed. Most cases arise during the two-year growth spurt of early puberty. During this time, the heel bone, which is also known as the calcaneus, goes through a growth spurt of its own, which can cause the muscles and tendons, especially the Achilles tendon, to become very tight and to damage this growing bone.
The typical child suffering with Sever's disease is usually between the ages of 8 and 13 and involved in a sport that requires a lot of jumping and running. The most common sport associated with this condition is soccer, according to the National Center for Biotechnology.
Children who develop Sever's disease will complain of pain in the back of one or both of their heels, especially when engaged in a sport that involves repetitive pounding of their feet. Some children also experience pain on the sides and bottom of the heel. In addition, the heel may occasionally be swollen or red, and a doctor may find that the back of the heel is also tender to the touch.
Because there are other conditions, such as an infection or a fracture, that could also cause a child heel pain, you should always have your child's condition properly diagnosed by a podiatrist at Academy Foot and Ankle. The doctor may order an x-ray of the heel to verify that there are no factures and also so that he can look at the growth plates.
If the podiatrist diagnoses your child as having Sever's disease, he will probably order a course of treatment that includes leg stretches and resting the heel in order to give it time to get better. He may also recommend that your child substitute his current high-impact activity with one that will be less stressful on his heels, such as swimming or biking.
To relieve the pain your child is suffering, your podiatrist at Academy Foot and Ankle may suggest that you give your child over-the-counter medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and to also ice down the area. In addition, some podiatrists may also prescribe the use of orthotics or heel cups to protect the area from further aggravation. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at
How to Maximize Your Game with Good Foot Health
When it comes to exercise, your feet are one of the most overlooked parts of the body, enduring tremendous strain and stress during a hard workout. It's no surprise that an athlete's foot and ankle are prime candidates for injuries. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), poor foot care during physical activity is a contributing factor to some of the more than 300 foot ailments.
The following tips may help prevent foot and ankle injuries to keep you in the game.
Get a check-up
Visit Academy Foot & Ankle Specialists and your regular physician before starting any sport or fitness activity. This should include a complete foot and physical exam. During a foot exam, a podiatrist can identify whether your previously injured ankle is vulnerable to sprains, and recommend supportive ankle braces for increased stability.
Pre-workout warm up and stretch
Jogging before a competition or workout can help reduce the risk for foot and ankle injuries by warming up muscles, ligaments and blood vessels. Proper stretching before beginning a workout is also important. When muscles are properly stretched, the strain on joints, tendons and muscles is greatly reduced.
Treat foot and ankle injuries immediately
It's possible to injure bones in the foot or ankle without knowing it. What may seem like a sprain at the time may actually be a fracture. See a podiatrist at the first onset of ankle pain. The sooner you start treatment, the better your chance of preventing long-term problems like instability, and the sooner you can get back in the game.
Wear shoes specific to your sport
Different fitness programs require different footwear. Wearing the appropriate type of athletic shoe for your unique foot type and needs can help prevent foot problems while keeping you at your best performance. Remember to replace old, worn shoes in order to ensure optimal stability and support.
Pay attention to what your feet are telling you and remember to rest and consult our Southlake office when you first notice pain. Exercising is a great way to stay energized and fit, but if you're neglecting the health of your feet, you may be setting yourself up for serious injury.
What are Bunions? Bunions are those unsightly and often painful bumps that form on the outside of your big toe, near its base. They are caused when the big toe deviates sideways towards the other toes, which then causes the metatarsophalangeal joint to move in the opposite direction. Eventually, a bump consisting of soft tissue and bone forms over the joint.
Unfortunately, this condition is not uncommon. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, over 50 percent of women in the United States suffer from bunions. Bunions are genetic! You can thank mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa for them. Narrow or high-heeled shoes can put pressure on the bunion and make them hurt worse.
If you believe you have a bunion and it is causing you pain, there are a number of ways you can correct or manage this condition. The first step is to see a podiatrist to determine whether you have a bunion or possibly some other condition.
• If your podiatrist diagnoses your bump as a bunion, he will most likely begin your bunion treatment by recommending that you wear wider, more comfortable shoes that won't crowd your toes. If you own a number of shoes that are too narrow or too tight and cannot afford a whole new wardrobe of footwear, consider purchasing a Ball and Ring Shoe Stretcher. These devices can stretch the specific parts of your shoes that are irritating your bunion.
• Your doctor may also recommend that you wear a gel bunion sleeve or a gel bunion cushion as part of your bunion treatment. Both of these products can protect the bump from painful pressure from your shoes.
• You may also want to try using foam toe separators to separate your big toe from the second toe.
If your bunion continues to cause you pain even after conservative treatment, you may want to consider surgery. Most bunion surgeries involve realigning the toe and removing the bony bump. Consult with the specialists at www.texasfootdoctor.org for more information and advice.
If you are one of the millions of Americans that suffer from chronic heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, then you know just how unpleasant this very common foot condition can be. Plantar fasciitis is the most common form of heel pain, and it occurs when the long, flat ligament on the bottom of the foot stretches irregularly, developing small tears. As a result, the stretched tissue becomes tender and inflamed, making every day tasks and activities difficult and painful.
At Academy Foot & Ankle Specialists, we've helped numerous patients overcome their chronic heel pain with conservative treatments, including anti-inflammatory medications, stretching exercises and orthotics. For some patients, however, these treatment options are ineffective or provide only temporary relief. So now we offer a new and advanced treatment for chronic heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis -- Shockwave Therapy-a fast and gentle alternative to other invasive and risky surgical procedures.
Shockwave Therapy from our Southlake office is a non-invasive surgical procedure that involves directing strong sounds waves to the affected area, penetrating the heel and stimulating a healing response by the body in the affected non-healing tissue. The sound waves break up the tissue, creating small tunnels through which new blood vessels can grow, and the increased blood supply allows the tissue to heal. The result is a reduction in inflammation and pain from the affected ligament.
The outpatient procedure performed in our Southlake office is quick and safe. Patients experience a short recovery period, often with few or no side effects. Most patients notice pain relief instantly, but for others, the full results from a single treatment may be experienced within one to three months.
Benefits of Shockwave Therapy from Academy Foot & Ankle Specialists:
- Reduces inflammation and stimulates a healing response in the injured tissue
- Fewer side effects compared to surgery
- Quick recovery time
- Risks associated with surgery and general anesthesia are eliminated
Contact our Southlake office today to receive more information about Shockwave Therapy. Once we've assessed your condition, we can help you determine the most appropriate treatment for your plantar fasciitis- and this mean putting an end to your heel pain once and for all.