Heel pain is a very common complaint that people seek treatment for, affecting both men and women. Heel pain is often described as throbbing, aching, burning or sharp. Some people may experience pain on rising and after sitting down for extended periods, with prolonged standing and with exercise. Heel pain has many causes and may be associated with the plantar fascia, a band of tissue between the heel and toe area of the foot. The area can become inflamed and painful and is referred to as plantar fasciitis. Your growing child may also present with heel pain which is often diagnosed as Sever’s disease. There are many treatment options available so if you have heel pain, contact us for an appointment.
If you have diabetes or have recently been diagnosed with the condition your doctor may refer you to a podiatrist. It Is important to have a diabetic foot screening with a podiatrist as diabetes can cause many foot complications and, at worst, amputation.At Freeman Podiatry & Biomechanics we can perform this diabetic foot screening which involves an assessment of your general foot health and advice can be given regarding footcare and footwear. This screening helps avoid the lower limb issues associated with diabetes. It is also important to note, maintaining good blood sugar levels helps reduce your risks of complications. All results of your diabetes foot screening can be sent to your doctor to ensure close monitoring of your foot health. So if you have been diagnosed with diabetes or have had diabetes for a long time and not currently having a foot health check, contact us.
Many changes can occur to toenails which can be assessed and diagnosed by a podiatrist:
Fungal infection of the nails is the most common and a problematic condition affecting nails in which the nail can become discoloured and unsightly. Thickening of the nail may also occur due to the fungal infection causing pressure on the nail bed which results in pain. Many treatment options are available including treating the infection and improving the appearance of the nail.
Ingrown toenails can cause pain and infection which can make wearing shoes difficult. This problem can be managed by a podiatrist both conservatively and surgically.
BRITTLE AND DISTORTED TOENAILS
Nails can detach from the nail plate due to trauma, becoming brittle and distorted. This can also be caused by lesions under the toenail. These lesions can be serious and need prompt diagnosis.
If you notice changes in your nail or pain, you should see a podiatrist. Treatment can be started in clinic and advice given for at home treatment options.
More common in females than males due to choice of footwear, bunions are a bony deformity affecting the big toe joint. The first metatarsal bone moves away from the midline of the foot and the big toe starts to angle towards the second toe. Symptoms include, pain, redness, swelling and inflammation within the big toe joint or on the skin surrounding the bunion. In longstanding bunions, arthritis is usually associated with the deformity. Causes of bunions include: genetic links (63%), poor footwear choices (ballet flats, high heels), excessive pronation as well as poor foot mechanics. At Freeman Podiatry we can assess your foot mechanics and improve them (with orthotics, exercises, stretches etc) to help slow down the progression and development of your bunion. We can also give you footwear advice to accommodate your bunion and if necessary a surgical referral.
Occurring in approximately 6% of the population, a tarsal coalition is a congenitalfusion which occurs during early foetal development. Certain bones in the feet fail to separate properly during pregnancy and remain fused together in varying levels of severity. Usually diagnosed during adolescent years or early 2o’s, the signs and symptoms of a tarsal coalition include flat, rigid and stiff foot (limited range of motion) which can be very painful with vigorous sporting activity or just routine daily walking. Pain is often felt across the ankle, rearfoot and/or in the midfoot depending on which bones are fused. Here at Freeman Podiatry, we can assess your child’s feet and refer them for appropriate imaging to confirm or rule out a tarsal coalition to help in our course of treatment. We can provide appropriate footwear advice as well as prescribe orthotics to support the foot and reduce any abnormal movement for pain relief. However, for severe cases appropriate referral to another specialist or surgeon may be the only option.
Ingrown toenails are a common foot pathology that your podiatrist can manage. There are many factors and causes that can contribute to the nail growing in to the surrounding skin. Tight shoes and poor cutting technique are some examples. A partial nail avulsion, or PNA, is a simple surgical solution of an ingrown toenail that can be performed by a podiatrist. If the ingrown nail isn’t improving with conservative treatments, a PNA is a simple permanent solution. A PNA involves removing the ingrown section of the nail, and preventing that part of the nail growing back. The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and a chemical called phenol is used to prevent the affected part of the nail from growing back once it is removed. Once the anaesthetic is administered, the procedure is pain free and usually takes less than an hour. There is little to no post operative pain if rest and elevation advice is followed after the procedure. There is also no need for crutches or time off work during the following days.
The use of correct footwear is a very important factor when trying to prevent injury whilst on your feet. Whether it is for work, training for a half marathon, or just an afternoon stroll, not having the correct footwear for the correct purpose can cause injuries in the feet and lower legs. There is a huge variety of shoes available on the market at the moment, and they all have a different purpose. Making sure that you get the correct shoes for the correct activity is vital. For running and walking, as a general rule there are two categories, supportive and neutral. Supportive shoes are for people who have a ‘flatter’ foot, or pronation. A supportive shoe will predominantly try to control the pronation in the foot, with different shoes depending on the level of correction needed. A neutral shoe is for a ‘high arch’ foot, which doesn’t usually need any support, but requires more cushioning due to the rigid nature of the high arch foot. Once again there are different shoes depending on how much cushioning is needed and also the level of use. As for work wear, there is now an extensive range of shoes available for all different types of occupations that provide great support, comfort, are fashionable and accommodating to orthotics. It is very important to discuss footwear with your podiatrist, as this alone could be the contributing factor to your foot pain.