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Posts for: January, 2013

Flip-flops tied to surge in teenage heel pain

(Greensburg, PA) Many of us are welcoming the warmer weather sporting flip-flop sandals, however, their popularity among teens and young adults is responsible for a growing epidemic of heel pain in this population, according to Cherrie Cindric, DPM, FACFAS, a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

“We’re seeing more heel pain than ever in patients 15 to 25 years old, a group that usually doesn’t have this problem,” says (LASTNAME). “A major contributor is wearing flip-flop sandals with paper-thin soles everyday to school. Flip-flops have no arch support and can accentuate any abnormal biomechanics in foot motion, and this eventually brings pain and inflammation.”

Cindric recommends wearing sandals with reasonably strong soles and arch support.

“Especially for girls and young women, thicker soled sandals with supportive arches might not be considered stylish, but if you want to wear sandals most of the time, you’ll avoid heel pain if you choose sturdier, perhaps less fashionable styles,” shesays.

It is estimated that 15 percent of all adult foot complaints involve plantar fasciitis, the type of heel pain caused by chronic inflammation of the connective tissue extending from the heel bone to the toes. Being overweight and wearing inappropriate footwear are common contributing factors.

The pain is most noticeable after getting out of bed in the morning, and it tends to decrease after a few minutes and returns during the day as time on the feet increases. Not all heel pain, however, is caused by plantar fasciitis. It also can occur from inflammation of the Achilles tendon, bursitis, arthritis, gout, stress fractures, or irritation of one or more of the nerves in the region. Therefore, diagnosis by a foot and ankle surgeon to rule out other causes is advised.

Initial treatment options for heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis should include anti-inflammatory medications, padding and strapping of the foot and physical therapy. Patients also should stretch their calf muscles regularly, avoid wearing flat shoes and walking barefoot, use over-the-counter arch supports and heel cushions, and limit the frequency of extended physical activities.

Most patients with plantar fasciitis respond to non-surgical treatment within six weeks. However, surgery is sometimes necessary to relieve severe, persistent pain.

For further information about heel pain, contact Cindric at 724-832-1000, or visit ACFAS consumer Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.


Keep Your Feet Safe at the Gym in the New Year

Don’t let foot injuries keep you from your fitness resolutions

 

(Greensburg, PA, January 1, 2013) -- In the New Year, don’t forget to keep your feet in tip-top shape while following through with your resolutions to get fit. Greensburg area foot and ankle surgeon Todd Cindric, DPM, FACFAS, offers tips for foot safety while at the gym.  

Start new workouts gradually— Increase your stamina and the length of your workouts gradually to avoid overuse injuries such as stress fractures or tendon strains and sprains. Stretching your muscles before and after workouts also helps prevent these types of injuries. “If you do feel you’ve sprained your ankle, be sure to seek treatment right away,” Dr. Cindric, a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons explains. “Untreated or repeated ankle sprains may lead to chronic ankle instability, a condition that causes persistent pain and a ‘giving way’ of the ankle.”

Wear the right shoe and sock—Wear well-fitting athletic shoes designed for the exercise or sport. According to Dr. Cindric, shoes that don’t support the arch of the foot and provide cushion for the heel can cause heel pain (plantar fasciitis). Shoes that are too small can also cause a neuroma, or a thickening of the nerve tissue, in the foot and may require injections, medication or physical therapy. Wearing cotton or non-slip socks are also key to help avoid painful blisters, which can become infected and cause more serious issues.

Use good technique— Improper exercise techniques can result in injury to the tendons or ligaments in your feet and ankles. “Incorrect posture or misuse of exercise equipment can cause decreased stabilization in the foot and ankle, leading to joint sprains and muscle strains,” Dr. Cindricsays.

Gym Safety

Protect yourself from bacteria—Sweaty shoes, public showers, exercise equipment and the pool deck at the gym are breeding grounds for fungus, viruses and bacteria, including drug-resistant strains like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) which has become increasingly more common. Never go barefoot while in public areas; water shoes can provide a great barrier between your feet and the wet surfaces. “It’s also best to cover cuts and cracks in the skin or ingrown toenails since these minor tears in the skin’s surface can act as entry points for bacteria. If you have a cut or scrape that becomes red or swollen and is not healing in a timely manner, don’t hesitate to see a foot and ankle surgeon for an examination,” Dr. Cindric says.

Above all, it’s important to listen to your body. If you experience an injury or pain, call Dr. Cindric’s office at 724-832-1000 for an evaluation in the Greensburg or Irwin office. To learn more about foot and ankle health topics, visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeon’s website, FootHealthFacts.org.