Category Archives: Pain Management

Solution to Heel Pain After Too Much Holiday Shopping

007 ShopperIt’s finally cooling off in Jacksonville, FL, Thanksgiving has past and the Holiday Season is officially upon us, leaving many running for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.  While running is great cardio, it may not be so great for your feet due to obnoxious heel pain, also known as plantar fasciitis. From the weekend recreational runner, to professional athletes, and holiday shoppers making their way through the St. John’s Town Center or The Avenues Mall, heel pain is unbiased.

  • Where does plantar fasciitis cause pain? In the arch and heel of the foot.
  • Early stages: the pain is most severe when stepping down the first time in the morning and improves with walking.
  • As the condition progresses pain becomes present throughout the day – and can be quite disabling.
  • How do I get plantar fasciitis?  Inflammation of the large ligament running from the heel across the bottom of the foot to the ball of the foot.  The inflammation is caused by “overuse” of the ligament, which causes injury and tearing of some of the ligament fibers.

007 Heel PainThe kicker to this painful problem is it doesn’t generally hurt while exercising but exercising will make it worse, and there will be no relief until you allow a period of rest. There are several treatment options for plantar fasciitis.  Conservative treatments for heel pain include:

  1. Getting rid of inflammation by icing and stretching: As with any treatment plan, stretching techniques will be suggested and can be combined with icing to alleviate some of the discomfort by rolling/stretching your foot over a frozen water bottle.
  2. Anti-inflammatory: Always consult your physician before taking any medication, and to confirm that the condition is plantar fasciitis.
  3. Correct fitting shoes paired with custom orthotics:can help keep the pain at bay

For many people with mild or moderate plantar fasciitis these methods alone will bring relief.  Unfortunately for some cases of persistent or severe plantar fasciitis, a more direct treatment plan will be needed.

If you’re currently suffering from plantar fasciitis symptoms and other treatments have not been effective, you may be a good candidate for a non-invasive procedure called Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology, or EPAT.  EPAT was initially used to treat kidney stones before being approved for several musculoskeletal disorders, including plantar fasciitis.

How does it work?  EPAT works through pressure waves increasing the circulation and metabolism to an area, speeding up the healing process.  It offers more intense results to persistent pain without the risk and recovery time associated with surgery.   EPAT is not needed for every patient, but those who are candidates have experienced great results.

If you or someone you know is suffering from severe heel pain come see us at First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic to get your feet free of pain.

Set Your Sights on a Smoother Pregnancy

Pregnant and the Olympics are not two words most people would put in the same sentence; But at the 2012 London Olympics, Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi of Malaysia represented her country for the air rifle competition, eight months pregnant!

Just weeks away from her due date, Mohd Taibi reported “I only feel pain when I walk too much…  sometimes I forget that I’m pregnant.”  And though she not the most decorated Olympian like Michael Phelps, she now holds her own Olympic record as the most pregnant Olympian.  At eight months pregnant Mohd Taibi, like many current day mothers-to-be, does not have time to be slowed down by foot pain.

Many soon-to-be-moms are burdened by everything from back pain and cramping calves, to swollen ankles and sore feet.  Pregnancy hormones can wreak havoc on your body, and your feet are no exception.  Foot pain experienced during pregnancy is due to the increased hormone levels coupled with the extra weight of the baby.  Women may develop:

As the pregnancy progresses, the increasing weight may make the problem worse; Causing walking to be very painful, as well as other issues such as sore knees and back due to the added strain.  Our Olympian Mohd Taibi represents Malaysia where the warm humid conditions cause even further difficulties, such as increased swelling and risk of foot infections – both fungal and bacterial.  The Jacksonville area certainly competes with Malaysia in this regard this time of year.

Ammunition to keep your baby-bump bliss right on target:

  • Aim at taking time off your feet: Taking time to rest and elevate your legs will help reduce swelling
  • Choose correct footwear for your pregnant feet: Feet change size throughout your pregnancy so have them measured accordingly
  • Custom made Orthotics can control or prevent the over-pronation which leads to other body aches

Jump the gun on foot pain and make an appointment before pregnancy related foot problems become more advanced and difficult to treat.  Come see us at First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic for assistance to prevent expected pregnancy-related foot problems and for expert treatment of any problems you may already b experiencing.

This will be the straightest shot at keeping your feet healthy during your pregnancy.

Plagued with Heel Pain?: 3 Exercises to Reduce Morning Heel Pain

058 plantarfasciitis_stretch1Do you wake up in the morning feeling pain in your heels? If so, there is a good possibility you are suffering from plantar fasciitis – inflammation of an important supporting ligament (the plantar fascia)on the bottom of the foot. 90% of people at one point or another in their lives will be affected by this condition.  In many cases, the pain goes away on its own. These exercises will help speed the process up:

  1. Stretching: Your foot is an arch supported by several ligaments, including the plantar fascia. By stretching it out, it is loosened and strengthened. A good exercise is to sit on the floor with your legs forward and knees straight. Wrap a towel around the ball of your foot, and pull back for 30 seconds, and then repeat for another 30 seconds. This will not only stretch your plantar fascia, but also your calf muscles and Achilles tendon. This muscle group actually wraps around the heel bone and is continuous with the plantar fascia, so by stretching this muscle, you will relieve plantar fascia pain!
  2. “ABC”…Draw the alphabet with your toes: On the bottom of your foot are 4 layers of tiny muscles, which contribute to stabilizing the foot when you walk. By making fine movements with your toes, you will strengthen these muscles that help support the arch, so the plantar fascia won’t need to do so much work.
  3. Toe crunches: Just like drawing the alphabet, this also will strengthen the small muscles of the foot that underlie the plantar fascia.

These exercises can be done before going to bed at night or when you wake up in the morning. If all goes well, the exercises should minimize your pain. However, Dr. Vimal Reddy warns that not all heel pain is plantar fasciitis. Furthermore, it can be a symptom of a bigger problem. If your pain does not improve or gets worse after two weeks, request an appointment with Dr. Reddy at the First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic in Jacksonville, FL to see if a more advanced treatment will help.

High Ankle Sprains Can Keep You Down

056 jaguars-jetsJaguars fans are getting excited about the upcoming game against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday at Jacksonville’s EverBank field. Unfortunately in a recent game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets center Nick Mangold was taken out of the game due to injury. Mangold suffered a high ankle sprain—a tear in the ligaments connecting the two bones of the lower leg, the tibia and fibula.

Ordinary ankle sprains usually occur as a result of tears to the ligaments connecting the leg bones to the bones of the heel and foot.  This typically happens as a result of the foot rolling inwards toward the center of the body. On the other hand, high ankle sprains are the result of the foot twisting outwards, which can cause ankle fractures if the motion is more violent.

As with many traumatic sports injuries, Dr. Vimal Reddy recommends the RICE treatment to keep down the swelling and to reduce pain and inflammation:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

056 ankle_syndesmosis_intro01To diagnose a high ankle sprain, Dr. Reddy will order an MRI to see if there is separation of the leg bones or fluid leakage from the ankle joint. If the bones are not moving around, the injury is said to be stable and the patient will be back on their feet in days or weeks.  If the tibia and fibula (the two bones of the lower leg) have separated, surgery may be necessary to repair the ligaments and recovery will be much slower. The First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic looks forward to a victory this weekend for the Jaguars and no injuries on the field.

EPAT for your Heel Pain

EPAT_123142529Whether you are a weekend warrior suffering from irritated tendons or the Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams suffering from plantar fasciitis, the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic may have your solution. Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Treatment (EPAT) is a new therapy able to help people with inflamed and irritated tendons. The best part… No surgery required!  Other treatments effective in taking care of such aches and pains are:

  • Custom orthotics
  • Physical therapy
  •  Stretching
  • and the dreaded…cortisone injections

EPAT is the most advanced and highly effective, non-invasive, treatment method approved by the FDA. The word extracorporeal means the entire treatment takes place from outside of the body—no knife required. It then transmits shockwaves through the tissue to the area of injury causing micro-trauma. This will stimulate blood flow to the area and insure the injured tendon receives the nutrients it needs to heal. Because EPAT works by causing small, localized areas of inflammation, avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and so on. The benefits include:

  • Cost effective
  • Patients are immediately fully weight bearing
  • Bilateral patients can be treated at the same time
  • Returning to your work/normal routine within 24-48 hours after the procedure

The procedure itself is performed in our Jacksonville, FL office and takes less then half an hour. While it is not painless, patients usually are not in extreme discomfort. Dr. Reddy will anaesthetize the area to minimize any pain.  The expected results are often experienced after only 3 treatments at weekly intervals but may take up to four weeks for pain relief to begin.  The overall goal is to achieve maximum healing in minimum time.

“Laser” for your Foot & Ankle Pain

First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic is excited to announce MLS laser therapy! Dr. Vimal Reddy is one of few in Jacksonville, FL who is currently offering this amazing treatment.  The laser therapy painlessly and effectively relieves:

Heel Pain Neuropathy
Bunion Pain Morton’s neuroma
Plantar Fasciitis Tendonitis
Circulation Issues Sports Injuries

 

Many diseases treated by podiatrists involve pain, swelling, and inflammation. The MLS laser will counter the injury on all three fronts completely pain free! It’s like shining a flashlight on one’s skin. Unlike with cortisone injections, the patient can continue to be active throughout their therapy. Most individuals will feel relief within their first few visits, but Dr. Reddy recommends 6-10 treatments depending on the situation.

054 LaserHow does this amazing therapy work?  MLS stands for Multi-wave Lock System. Photons of laser energy penetrate deeply into tissue and accelerate cellular reproduction and growth, thus speeding up the recovery process.  As inflammation is reduced, so is the pain.

While MLS laser treatment shows tremendous promise, many insurance plans still consider it an experimental therapy and unfortunately do not cover the therapy.  This may change as studies continue and as patients continue to feel the results.  To find out more about relieving your foot and ankle pain today please contact us at (904) 739-9129.