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Monday, 21 May 2018 00:00

Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury

The purpose of the Achilles tendon is to connect the calf muscle to the heel bone. The back of the heel is often the area of discomfort when an injury occurs. Research has shown that it may be common among athletes who participate in running and jumping activities such as soccer, volleyball, softball and similar sports to incur this type of injury. Additionally, the Achilles tendon is referred to as one of the longest tendons in the body, and may endure wear and tear from daily activities such as walking and running. Damage inflicted on the Achilles tendon typically begins with a gradual feeling of discomfort. In cases of an extreme tear, severe pain will be felt immediately. Some of the symptoms that may be experienced with this type of injury can include tenderness when touched, redness and swelling. The ankle may become swollen and stiff, causing difficulty when attempting to move it. Changing the area where the sport or activity takes place in addition to adequately resting the foot is essential for proper healing to commence. A consultation with a podiatrist is suggested for a proper diagnosis and for additional information about an Achilles tendon injury.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Frank E. Vargo of Strongsville Podiatry. 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 Strongsville, OH. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 14 May 2018 00:00

How Yoga can Help Strengthen the Feet

Stretching the feet not only feels good, but it will benefit the entire body. The feet are considered to be the foundation of the body, and research has indicated the muscles, tendons and ligaments become stronger when proper stretching techniques are performed. Implementing a yoga practice into your daily routine, which generally incorporates foot stretches, will aid in strengthening the ankles and toes. When the feet feel strong, proper alignment in the body will become attainable, which could allow daily activities to become more manageable. Correct foot stretches may also aid in the prevention of medical conditions including bunions and heel pain, which may typically be referred to as plantar fasciitis. An effective stretch is referred to as a towel stretch, and this involves putting a towel underneath your foot. At this point, moving the toes to grab pieces of the towel will aid strengthening the arch and the toes. Pointing and flexing the toes is a popular stretch of the entire foot, and it’s relatively simple to perform.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Frank E. Vargo from Strongsville Podiatry. 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 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 one, 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 and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

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

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Monday, 07 May 2018 00:00

Causes of Cracked Heels

A condition referred to as cracked heels is often uncomfortable and may produce severe pain. It is a common foot ailment that many people experience. Cracked heels occur when the skin on the back of the heel becomes dry, possibly be due to a lack of moisture in the skin or the amount of pressure the heels endure on a daily basis. This condition may be a result of poor dietary lifestyle habits, standing on your feet for most of the day, or wearing improper footwear. Relief options may be obtained by soaking the feet in warm water, followed by utilizing an adequate foot cream that can help to soften the skin. Additionally, it may be beneficial to file down the skin surrounding the cracks, which are often referred to as fissures. It is strongly suggested to seek the advice of a podiatrist for additional information and proper treatment options for cracked heels.

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Frank E. Vargo from Strongsville Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

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

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