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By Crofton Podiatry
April 18, 2018
Category: Children's Feet

Did you know that children’s bones do not fully develop until the ages of 18 to 25? That’s why it’s so important to make sure that when your child incurs an injury, a doctor looks it over. This is especially true when the injury involves the feet or ankles since there are 26 bones that can be affected on each side.

A condition that commonly affects growing children’s growing bones is Sever’s Disease. Also known as Calcaneal Apophysitis, the growth plate in the back of the heel bone has inflammation or swelling, causing pain to your child. Overuse, repeated impact, or blunt injury to the heel bone can cause pain in the back of the foot, making it painful to stand or walk.

Who is usually affected?

The causes of foot pain described above are typical for children and teens that play sports. Those who jump and run repeatedly during practice and games tend to be the ones who suffer from Sever’s Disease. Football, basketball, and long jump athletes tend to experience this type of heel pain. Additionally, children who are obese or have conditions like flat feet are also at higher risk of developing heel pain from the repeated strain on the Achilles tendon.

How can my child feel better?

As soon as your child complains of heel pain, check for symptoms like inflammation or swelling, redness, and tenderness. Pain when squeezing the sides of the heel bone will also indicate a likelihood of Sever’s Disease. For a proper diagnosis, it’s best to make an appointment to see our podiatrist. Additionally, the following treatments might help:

  • RICE method (at home): Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation will help relieve symptoms and reduce pain. Your child should stay off the affected foot (feet) to avoid further aggravation.
  • Orthotic inserts (over-the-counter): You can try to buy some heel inserts to see if supporting and cushioning the heel helps to relieve painful symptoms.
  • Physical Therapy (podiatrist-prescribed): When you see our podiatrist, he might recommend physical therapy to strengthen muscles to better support the heel. Stretching can help relieve symptoms and promote healing.
  • Immobilization (podiatrist-prescribed): If the condition is severe, our podiatrist might recommend a cast or custom orthotic device to prevent your child from experiencing worse symptoms.

If your child complains of foot pain, it’s never a good sign. Make an appointment promptly by calling Crofton Podiatry in Maryland at (410) 721-4505 to consult with our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Brad Toll. He can assess your children’s feet and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Our Crofton, MD office also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
December 18, 2017
Category: Feet Safety

When you think about it, there are some clearly identifiable dangers to your foot health, such as blunt trauma and sports injuries. But did you know that some of your everyday habits might be posing risks as well? While some are a bit more obvious than others, we encourage you to review the following risk factors to see how much you know about what can be affecting your foot health!

Where you walk:

  • Outdoors – For those who like to be barefoot, you can have exposure to disease and sharp objects.
  • Indoors –When walking on smooth surfaces, you want to be careful of slipping. Older adults, in particular should wear non-slip socks or slippers. However, when walking on carpet, you do not want non-slip soles since they can trip you up.

The Way You walk:

  • Gait – Depending on the way you roll your ankles, the way the feet touch the ground, you may be more prone to having heel or ankle pain. You may want to get a gait analysis done by our podiatrist to screen for risks.
  • Heavy stomping – If you tend to have “lead” feet when you walk, you may be more prone to ankle, knee, and hip pain from the impact on hard floors. Wearing cushioned slippers can reduce the impact experienced by your legs.

Shoes you wear:

  • Size matters! – Be sure that you and your children wear shoes that fit appropriately. If shoes are too small, feet will be crammed and can develop corns and calluses. If shoes are too big, feet can slide around inside and they have to work harder to stabilize you, resulting in sore muscles.
  • Flats, flip flops, high heels, and pointy toe shoes – These do not have adequate support and can lead to injury as well as strained muscles and tendons as your feet and ankles work overtime to keep you stable. High heels put excessive pressure on the balls of the feet as well as cram the toes. This can lead to bunions and other foot deformities, as well as arch and heel pain.

Your workouts:

  • Not stretching your ankles and calves, sudden increases in workout, and high impact activities can all be causes of injury due to your physical activity routines. Overuse injuries, such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis are typical foot problems from your workouts. 

Lifestyle and other Risk Factors:

  • Being overweight or obese and/or having a sedentary lifestyle can lead to poor circulation and excessive strain on the feet.
  • Smoking – Among a host of other health problems, you have a higher chance of developing Peripheral Artery Disease, in which plaque builds up in your arteries, making it hard for blood to reach your feet. Your feet can begin to feel pain and be slower to heal injuries.
  • Drinking excessively – This can lead to alcoholic neuropathy, in which there is weakness, pain, and tingling in the hands and feet. Eventually, nerve damage can result in loss of sensation and poor circulation, which means poor healing.

While not a complete list, these are risk factors that you should check often when considering foot health. If you have found that one or more of these may be affecting your foot health, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505 to receive a thorough assessment. Contact our dedicated team at our Crofton office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

 




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