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Monday, 21 September 2020 00:00

If you are experiencing pain, weakness, soreness, or a lack of flexibility in your feet or ankles, you may want to start practicing certain stretches. Stretching the feet and ankles can help to benefit the overall health of your lower extremities. One simple stretch you can practice allows you to sit comfortably in a chair. Once seated, begin by raising your toes, point them, and then curl them under. You’ll want to repeat this motion 10 times to help strengthen your mobility and build flexibility. Another stretch you can perform is called the marble pick-up, and is more focused on strength. Sit with your back straight and your feet in front of you. Place marbles in front of you and begin to pick them up with your toes. Start by using the toes of the right foot, then switch to your left. For more suggestions on what stretches you can practice to help the overall health of your feet, please speak with a podiatrist.

Why Stretching Is Important for Your Feet

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with John Horlebein, DPM from Northern Cascades Foot & Ankle, LLC. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first to determine if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous exercise, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising to ice and rest the foot. It is advised that you then see a podiatrist for help.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Chelan, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 14 September 2020 00:00

The Achilles tendon is the band of tissue that connects the back of the calf muscle to the heel bone. Achilles tendinopathy occurs when the Achilles tendon is stressed and experiences very small tears or other damage. “Tendinitis” refers to fresh damage, usually within 10 days, and once the inflammation has gone away and only the tears remain, “tendinopathy” occurs. Those suffering from Achilles tendinopathy typically have severe pain and weakening around the ankle. Symptoms usually worsen during physical activity, but relief may be found with heat or ice packs. Those who are experiencing Achilles tendinopathy should consult with a podiatrist. Pain management is the first step, and orthotics, ankle braces or walking boots may also be necessary.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact John Horlebein, DPM of Northern Cascades Foot & Ankle, LLC. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Chelan, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 08 September 2020 00:00

If the bottom of your feet are experiencing pain, it could be because you’ve developed plantar warts. A common symptom of plantar warts is experiencing tenderness when putting pressure on the soles of your feet, or feeling a discomfort or pain while walking. Plantar warts appear as circular, flat, depressed spots that can appear yellow-ish in color and may have a black dot at their centers. They are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV. This virus thrives in warm, moist environments such as swimming pools and locker rooms, so it’s important to wear proper footwear in these locations to help with preventing its spread. For more information on how to treat plantar warts, please seek the care of a podiatrist.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact John Horlebein, DPM from Northern Cascades Foot & Ankle, LLC. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Chelan, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

Heel pain when first getting out of bed in the morning, a burning or sharp sensation in the heel, and increased pain while walking, can all be indicative of the foot condition known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can be an uncomfortable foot condition to deal with, especially if it is left untreated. Common causes of this condition can include ill-fitting footwear, poor foot structure, certain exercises like long distance running, and occupations that require you to be on your feet for the majority of the day. Obesity may also lead to the development of plantar fasciitis, due to the excess pressure put on the foot. If you have heel pain, please seek the care of a podiatrist immediately for a proper diagnosis.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact John Horlebein, DPM  from Northern Cascades Foot & Ankle, LLC. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Chelan, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
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