Items filtered by date: March 2024

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 00:00

Flat Feet and Orthotics

Flat feet, or pes planus, is a condition where the arches of the feet collapse, resulting in the entire sole of the foot being in contact with the ground. This can lead to various issues such as foot pain, arch strain, heel pain, and even knee, hip, and lower back problems due to altered biomechanics. Custom-made orthotics are often prescribed as a solution for flat feet. These orthotic devices are tailored to the individual's foot structure and biomechanics, providing support and alignment to address the underlying causes of flat feet. There are different types of orthotics available, including rigid orthotics that offer maximum support and control, semi-rigid orthotics that provide a balance between support and flexibility, and soft orthotics that offer cushioning and shock absorption. By correcting foot alignment and redistributing pressure, custom orthotics can alleviate symptoms associated with flat feet, improve foot function, and prevent or minimize the risk of further complications. If you have flat feet and they are interfering with your quality of life, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to see if orthotics can help provide correction and relief.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Gary Cockrell, DPM from Tennessee. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Brentwood and Madison, TN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes

Clubfoot is a congenital condition where a baby's foot is twisted inward, making walking difficult. It can affect one or both feet. Podiatrists play a vital role in managing clubfoot. They assess the severity of the condition through physical examinations and imaging tests. Treatment often involves a combination of gentle manipulation, casting, and bracing to gradually correct the foot's position. Podiatrists closely monitor the progress and adjust treatment accordingly to ensure optimal outcomes. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. Podiatrists also provide valuable guidance and support to parents, educating them on proper foot care and exercises to promote normal development. If your child was born with clubfoot, it is strongly recommended that regular appointments with a podiatrist are scheduled. Early intervention can significantly improve the prognosis, helping your child lead a more active and fulfilling life without the limitations imposed by this condition.

Congenital foot problems require immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Gary Cockrell, DPM of Tennessee. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Congenital foot problems are deformities affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankles that children are born with. Some of these conditions have a genetic cause while others just happen. Some specific foot ailments that children may be born with include clubfeet, polydactyly/macrodactyly, and cleft foot. There are several other foot anomalies that can occur congenitally. What all of these conditions have in common is that a child may experience difficulty walking or performing everyday activities, as well as trouble finding footwear that fits their foot deformity. Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Consulting with a podiatrist as early as possible will help in properly diagnosing a child’s foot condition while getting the necessary treatment underway.

What are Causes of Congenital Foot Problem?

A congenital foot problem is one that happens to a child at birth. These conditions can be caused by a genetic predisposition, developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation, or with no known cause.

What are Symptoms of Congenital Foot Problems?

Symptoms vary by the congenital condition. Symptoms may consist of the following:

  • Clubfoot, where tendons are shortened, bones are shaped differently, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point in and down. It is also possible for the soles of the feet to face each other.
  • Polydactyly, which usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.
  • Vertical talus, where the talus bone forms in the wrong position causing other bones in the foot to line up improperly, the front of the foot to point up, and the bottom of the foot to stiffen, with no arch, and to curve out.
  • Tarsal coalition, when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot.
  • Cleft foot, where there are missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences.
  • Macrodactyly, when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue.

Treatment and Prevention

While there is nothing one can do to prevent congenital foot problems, raising awareness and receiving neonatal screenings are important. Early detection by taking your child to a podiatrist leads to the best outcome possible.

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

Read more about Congenital Foot Problems
Tuesday, 12 March 2024 00:00

Achilles Tendon Pain

If you are experiencing pain in the back of your heel, you may have injured your Achilles tendon. This tendon, named after the legendary Greek warrior Achilles, connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendon injuries are common among athletes, particularly in sports like basketball and soccer. Symptoms include pain in the back of the heel or up the back of the leg, ranging from mild to severe. These injuries can occur in different places along the tendon, with the most serious being Achilles tendinopathy, which involves chronic inflammation and fluid buildup. Treatment typically involves rest, gentle stretching, and strengthening exercises. Prevention strategies include paying attention to foot mechanics, adjusting running stride, and building flexibility and strength in the lower legs through targeted exercises. If you are experiencing pain in your Achilles tendon area, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an evaluation and treatment.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Gary Cockrell, DPM of Tennessee. 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 offices located in Brentwood and Madison, TN . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about The Causes, Types, and Treatments of Achilles Tendon Injuries
Sunday, 10 March 2024 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Tuesday, 05 March 2024 00:00

Aging Feet and Falls

Caring for your feet becomes more important as you age, as feet impact your ability to stay upright and mobile. Research indicates that foot pain, and common issues such as bunions, are significant contributors to falls among older adults. Studies also reveal that foot pain correlates with indoor falls, affecting gait and balance. Addressing foot problems through exercises, proper footwear, and wearing orthotics can reduce fall risks. Simple exercises, like toe rotations and ankle stretches, can strengthen muscles and improve flexibility. Custom-made orthotics and choosing well-fitting shoes, especially for wider or misaligned feet, can help with comfort and balance. If you are a senior and want to prevent falling from injuring your feet, it is suggested that you schedule appointments with a podiatrist. This type of doctor can give you regular examinations and more information on foot care that can enhance mobility, independence, and overall well-being as you age.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Gary Cockrell, DPM from Tennessee. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

Read more about Falls Prevention

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