My Blog
By Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
June 20, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Are you dealing with heel pain? If so, you aren’t alone. Foot pain, particularly heel pain, is one of the most common complaints and most people will deal with pain at some point during their lifetime. Whether you are on your feet all day for work or you are a runner, there are many risk factors that can play into your likelihood to deal with heel pain. If heel pain is happening to you, you may be wondering what’s causing it and how you can get rid of the pain quickly.

Causes of Heel Pain

As you might imagine, there are many reasons why you might be experiencing heel pain. The root cause will also determine the best course of action for getting your symptoms under control while providing the optimal healing environment for a speedy recovery.

The most common cause of heel pain is an acute inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis, in which the thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel (known as the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. Of course, there are other reasons people experience heel pain. Other causes include:

  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fracture
  • Arthritis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Heel spur
  • Bursitis
  • Osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone)
  • Page’s disease of bone
  • Peripheral neuropathy

Heel Pain Treatment Options

For more mild-to-moderate cases of heel pain, your podiatrist may recommend simple conservative treatment options that you can incorporate into your daily routine from the comfort of home. This is usually the first course of action, unless the condition is more serious. Only once we’ve exhausted at-home care and pain is still present do we decide on more aggressive tactics for handling your symptoms.

Common at-home heel pain treatment options include:

  • OTC pain relievers (e.g. ibuprofen)
  • Icing the heel several times a day
  • Bracing or splinting the foot
  • Wearing custom orthotics (shoe inserts)
  • Wearing protective and supportive shoes
  • Resting and avoiding certain activities or high-impact exercises

If you’ve tried these treatment options for weeks and still don’t notice any change in your symptoms—or if symptoms get worse—then it’s time to visit your foot doctor again to determine the next step. If pain and swelling are severe we may recommend steroid injections, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) or ultrasound therapy. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the imbalance, deformity, or problem that’s causing your chronic or severe heel pain.

Don’t let heel pain affect your day-to-day life when there are simple and easy solutions to manage your symptoms and promote faster healing. Turn to a podiatrist who will be able to handle your heel pain and get your foot health back on track.

By Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
June 07, 2018
Category: Foot Health
Tags: Heel Pain  

Heel PainSuffering from heel pain? Heel pain can be caused by standing for long periods, wearing ill-fitting shoes, or playing active sports. Podiatrists offer treatments that can provide relief from heel pain. Dr. Robert Linn at Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala in Ocala, FL, offers treatments for heel pain. Read on to learn about treatment options for heel pain.

#1- Orthotic Devices

Podiatrist-prescribed orthotic devices are among the best ways to treat heel pain. Orthotic devices are typically shoe inserts or foot pads that are placed into a pair of shoes. Orthotic devices that provide cushioning and arch support for added shock absorption, comfort, and protection. Research has shown that orthotic devices improve function and decrease heel pain.

#2- Medications

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are used to ease heel pain. They are often sold over-the-counter. Some common brand names are Advil, Motrin, and Aleve. You can also get relief from heel pain with targeted topical pain medications from your Ocala podiatrist.

#3- Cortisone Shots

Cortisone shots offer quick relief for heel pain. Cortisone shots are used to relieve pain and inflammation in a specific area of your body. Cortisone shots will help reduce your pain for a few months, but they might keep the swelling down for even longer than that. You can get cortisone shots at your podiatrist's office.

#4- Stretching Exercises

Podiatrists prescribe stretching exercises for various foot conditions. Stretching exercises are an important adjunct to therapy for many conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, heel pain, and Achilles tendonitis. Stretching exercises ease pain, increase flexibility, improve function, and reduce swelling.

#5- Night Splints

Night splints can help relieve heel pain. Night splints hold the feet in a neutral position during sleep and provide a gentle stretch to the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. This gentle stretch helps reduce the muscle contracture, swelling, and pain. You can wear a splint every night for about six months. Then you can gradually reduce how often you wear it as your symptoms disappear.

Call Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala at 352-861-1055 today to schedule a consultation in Ocala, FL. Get your life back on track by receiving the best treatment available. We will help you achieve relief from heel pain.

By Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
June 04, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Footwear   Foot Care   Child Podiatry  

While it might not be something you think about often (or at all), the health of your child’s feet is important. Your child is growing by leaps and bounds and certain habits and other factors can affect how your child’s feet develop or if they experience injuries or other problems down the road. Unfortunately, a lot of children end up wearing shoes that are far too small for their feet, which can lead to pain, structural imbalances and certain foot deformities.

We know that going shoe shopping is certainly not a walk in the park for most parents; however, it’s an important component to making sure your child maintains healthy feet. There are many things to think about when it comes to picking the right shoes, and your podiatrist can also provide suggestions and tips to make the world of shoe shopping easier for you and your little one.

Some factors that you should consider when shopping for the right shoes include:

  • Your child’s age
  • The shoe’s material
  • Your child’s shoe size
  • The shoe’s structure

A good rule of thumb is to shop for shoes every 2 months when your child is between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. Once they reach three and four, you’ll want to purchase new shoes approximately every four months. At the point that your child is five or six years old, every six months is a good time to swap out old shoes for new ones.

As you might already know, the bones of a baby or infant’s feet are soft and haven’t fully developed. To protect your child’s feet it’s important that they wear socks and soft shoes. Make sure that as your child’s feet grow that the toes have room to wiggle and move around within the shoes. Bunched-up toes are a major no-no!

Since your little one is growing by leaps and bounds it is important that you are constantly checking their shoe size for changes. Remember that feet swell throughout the day, so shoe shopping should be done at the end of the day when feet are at their largest. If you aren’t sure what size shoe your little one wears, you can ask one of the store’s footwear specialists for help.

Of course, you can’t forget the importance of choosing the right socks, as well. Socks can prevent your little one from blisters, calluses and other foot problems. They can also wick away sweat and prevent fungal infections. When it comes to choosing the right socks for your little one consider the type of fabric, your child’s activity level, the size of your child’s feet and sensitivities they might have to certain fabrics.

When in doubt, you should talk to a foot doctor who can provide you with advice, answer any questions you might have about your child’s developing feet and also provide comprehensive care, when needed.

By Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
May 15, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Health   Aging Feet  

As you age, it becomes even more important to take care of yourself, especially your feet. Foot health tends to decline in seniors for many reasons, including:

∙       Years of walking

∙       Improper footwear

∙       Poor circulation

∙       Diseases related to foot problems such as diabetes and gout

∙       Improperly trimming toenails

When problems are ignored, they may worsen and lead to more dangerous issues. There are easy ways to take care of aging feet and nonsurgical treatments to relieve pain.

When to talk to your doctor

It’s important to know when symptoms are just common aches and pains and when they might be something more serious. Even if your pain isn’t related to something serious, you still need to take care of your feet since they are the foundation of the body. Aging foot pains may cause pain in the knees, hips, or back.

Some symptoms to look out for are:

∙       Brittle or discolored toenails

∙       Discoloration or cold/numb feet

∙       Severe pain in feet and ankles

∙       Blisters or cracked skin

∙       Sores and wounds

Tips for maintaining healthy feet

Taking care of feet is simple and will pay off in the long run. Some easy tips for foot health are:

∙       Inspect your feet and nails regularly

∙       Use soap to wash your feet and always thoroughly dry them

∙       Use lotion to prevent dry, itchy, and cracked skin

∙       Wear properly fitted shoes and clean socks

∙       Trim your toenails regularly

∙       Don’t cross your legs

∙       Elevate your feet when seated

Taking care of aging feet is simple, and your dedicated foot doctors are here to help. Foot care is something you shouldn’t avoid, and individuals that aren’t able to take care of their feet are encouraged to see their podiatrist for foot care appointments. If you have any questions about taking care of your aging feet, call our office today to make an appointment!

By Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
May 03, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Joint Replacement  

Joint replacement surgery is a powerful procedure available which can give you back mobility and range of motion. However, joint replacementunderstanding the reasons behind joint replacement is an important factor in determining if this is the right procedure for you. Find out more about joint replacement surgery with Dr. Robert Linn at Foot and Ankle Center of Ocala in Ocala, FL.

What is joint replacement surgery? 
Joint replacement surgery removes the damaged or defective part of a joint or the entire joint altogether and replaces it with man-made parts. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, meaning that it requires recovery time both at the surgery location and at home afterward. Physical therapy, which uses special stretches and exercises to help rebuild the under-used muscles surrounding the joint, will help you increase the range of motion and get back on your feet for good.

When is joint replacement necessary? 
One of the main reasons for joint replacement is arthritis, which causes irritation and inflammation of the joint. However, some patients require a joint replacement due to simple wear-and-tear from everyday use. Certain diseases can also cause the need for a joint replacement. Your doctor will almost always try to treat your condition with less invasive methods first and usually only suggest surgery if these treatments fail to provide successful results.

Joint Replacement Surgery in Ocala, FL 
As with any surgery, your doctor will require that you are in good general health and able to undergo the anesthesia your doctor uses during the procedure. While most patients can return home within about a day of the procedure, recovery times can take upwards of six weeks, meaning that you will need to avoid putting any pressure on the affected foot and use crutches or a wheelchair during this time.

For more information on joint replacement surgery, please contact Dr. Linn at Foot and Ankle Center of Ocala in Ocala, FL. Call (352) 861-1055 to schedule your appointment for a consultation with today!

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