Posts for: July, 2017
Ankle pain. Maybe it's not the most publicized chronic health condition, but it's real. It hurts, and it impacts mobility and well-being. As a matter of fact, the American Podiatric Medical Association states that more than three-quarters of adults in the US have foot and/or ankle pain, but only a small majority seek education on and treatment their problems. Your podiatrists in Irwin and Greenburg, MA, urge you to come to Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care so you receive the best in podiatric medicine. Experts in diseases and conditions of the lower extremities, Dr. Cherrie Cindric and Dr. Todd Cindric get to the root cause of all sorts of ankle pain so patients have their best quality of life.
Types of ankle pain
The most frequently occurring ankle pain comes from traumatic injury. Just step off a curb, twist your ankle and suddenly and painfully, it's sprained. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons say that this injury to the outer aspect of the ankle has a lot in common with chronic or repeated injuries to the ankle, including symptoms such as:
- Instability of the joint as you walk
Over time, painful osteoarthritis deteriorates the function and even the form of the ankle.
Other kinds of ankle pain stem from chronic problems such as tarsal tunnel syndrome, which is a nerve injury or nerve pinch that causes substantial burning sensations within the ankle. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, or PTTD, is an overuse injury in which the tendon in the ankle doesn't provide adequate support. Over time, the arches of the foot flatten. Gout, a type of arthritis associated with uric acid build-up and Achilles tendonitis, an inflammation of the large tendon along the back of the leg, round out the painful problems podiatrists in Irwin and Greenburg see.
Treating ankle pain
Your foot doctors at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care employ the latest diagnostic techniques to understand ankle pain. CT scans, MRIs, ultrasound imaging and digital X-rays, combined with the podiatrists' experience, create treatment plans which optimize the good aspects of your foot and ankle health and support and treat weaknesses.
For instance, the doctors may prescribe:
- Physical therapy and stretching exercises
- Anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections
- Casts and braces
- Shoe inserts (customized orthotics), splints and padding
How can we help you?
The professional staff at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care find caring for your podiatric health exceptionally rewarding. If you have ankle pain, please don't wait. Contact the office right away for an appointment at one of our two offices. In Irwin, call (724) 863-0996. For the Greensburg location, call (724) 832-1000.
Runners: Fit feet finish faster
Greensburg, Pennsylvania – July, 2017 Both long-distance runners and casual joggers can improve their performance by keeping their feet in top condition and taking steps to control foot problems common in runners, according to a Westmoreland County foot and ankle surgeon.
"The human foot is a biological masterpiece that amazingly endures the stresses of daily activity," says Cherrie Cindric, DPM, FACFAS, a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). "For runners, the feet are more vulnerable to injury than any other part of the body, and these athletes should be on the alert for signs of foot problems that can slow them down if not treated promptly."
Cindric says the most common complaint from runners is heel pain. This condition, also called plantar fasciitis, is frequently caused by inflammation of the ligament that holds up the arch.
"In athletes, heel pain can result from faulty mechanics and over pronation in which pressure is unequally applied to the inside of the foot. It also can be caused by wearing running shoes that are worn out or too soft," she explains.
At the first sign of heel pain, Cindric recommends runners do stretching exercises, wear sturdier shoes and use arch supports. In some cases, icing and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, are helpful. Should heel pain continue, custom orthotics, injections and physical therapy might be required. Surgery normally isn’t considered unless heel pain persists for more than a year and conservative treatment has failed to bring relief.
Neuromas and tendonitis are other common foot problems that affect runners. A neuroma is a pinched nerve between the toes that can cause pain, numbness and a burning sensation in the ball of the foot. Overly flexible shoes often are the cause and padding, orthotics or injections usually are effective. Sometimes surgery is the answer if pain between the toes continues for more than six months.
Serious runners can be sidelined with tendonitis if they ignore the warning signs of this overuse-related condition.
"There are several forms of tendonitis that affect the Achilles and other areas, and all are treated with rest, icing, stretching and anti-inflammatory medications, and sometimes with orthotics and physical therapy." Cindric says. "Over-zealous training usually causes tendonitis, especially among beginners who try to do too much too soon."
A common myth among athletes, according to Cindric, is that it’s not possible to walk or run if a bone in the foot is fractured.
"I often hear surprised patients say ‘It can’t be broken, I can walk on it,’ she says. "That’s not true, especially with stress fractures when pain and swelling might not occur for a few days."
If a fracture or sprain is suspected, Cindric advises runners to remember the word RICE as an abbreviation for Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation.
"If pain and swelling continues after following the RICE procedure for three or four days, you should see a foot and ankle surgeon for an x-ray and proper diagnosis."
Contact Cindric's office in Greensburg at 724-832-1000 or Irwin at 724-863-0996 for more information, or visit the ACFAS consumer Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.
Contact: Dr. Cherrie Cindric, Dr. Todd Cindric
Taking a vacation? Make it easy on your feet
Greensburg, Pennsylvania – July, 2017 Although rest and relaxation are the goals for most vacations, they usually involve a lot of walking and a lot of walking usually involves sore feet.
"Walking is great exercise and one of the most reliable forms of transportation," says Cherrie Cindric, DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon with offices in Greensburg and Irwin. "But if your feet aren’t in the best shape or you don’t have the right shoes, too much walking can cause foot problems."
According to Cindric, good foot care is essential if you plan to subject your feet to long periods of walking. Some simple foot care tips include:
- Wear thick, absorbent socks (acrylic instead of cotton).
- Dry feet thoroughly after bathing, making sure to dry between toes. Use powder before putting on shoes.
- Nails should be cut regularly, straight across the toe.
- Bunions, hammertoes or any other serious foot problems should be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon.
"The right shoe is also important to healthy walking," says Cindric. "The ideal walking shoe should be stable from side to side, and well-cushioned, and it should enable you to walk smoothly. Many running shoes will fit the bill."
She adds there are also shoes made especially for walking. Walking shoes tend to be slightly less cushioned, yet not as bulky, and lighter than running shoes. Whether a walking or running shoe, the shoes need to feel stable and comfortable.
Warming up exercises to help alleviate any muscle stiffness or pulled muscles are also advised before walking. Loosening up the heel cords (Achilles and calf) and thigh muscles before a walk is especially effective.
"If you’re not accustomed to long walks, start slowly and rest if your feet start hurting," says Cindric. "And above all, have fun."
Contact Dr. Cindric's office at 724-832-1000 for more information. Cindric is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). Their consumer website, FootHealthFacts.org, provides reliable information on foot and ankle conditions.