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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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Posts for tag: heel pain

One of the more common reasons a parent will bring in their 9-13 year old child has to do with complaints of heel pain.  Most of these children are active sports participants--soccer, football, cross-country, but certainly other physical activities like dance and gymnastics. While there may be other causes, most often they suffer from a condition known as Sever’s Disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis.

Calcaneal apophysitis is actually an injury to the growth plate of the heel bone.  The cause is an excessive amount of torque between the side of the growth plate where the Achilles tendon attaches and the other side where the rest of the foot is.  This usually happens in feet which overpronate (they flatten out too much).

The pain is felt at the bottom or side of the heel near the back and can be on one or both heels at the same time.  The pain increases as they tire during practices, games or in-school physical education classes. It can be worse in sports which utilize cleats, as the placement of cleats can hit in just the wrong spot.  The severity of the pain and how much it interferes with activities can vary as well.

Here’s the surprising fact:  many people try using some form of heel cushion or heel cup inside the shoe with limited success.  Why? Back to the cause—the problem isn’t usually a bruise from landing too hard, even though it tends to feel worse playing on harder surfaces, but from the biomechanical torque on the heel bone.   How is it best treated? By utilizing an orthotic—often one of our specialized LittleSteps children’s orthotics which provide shock absorption, support for the foot which is flattening out too much and a deep heel cup which controls that heel torque.  Unless the pain is severe, the need to miss time from participation is minimal and relief is rapid, usually within a few weeks.

The takeaway point is this: don’t let heel pain get in the way of your child’s enjoyment of playing! For more information or an appointment, contact us at 732-382-3470 or visit our website at www.clarkpodiatry.com

At Clark Podiatry Center and the New Jersey Children’s Foot Heath Institute, we want to keep you walking! #ClarkPodiatry #NJCFHI

"Whether you be man or woman you will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor."- James Lane Allen (1849 - 1925) American Author

By Clark Podiatry Center
May 17, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: heel pain   blisters   corns   calluses   Bunions   arch pain  

No, we don’t mean it like your shoes are not your soulmates, but maybe they are not your “sole-mates”! We always stress the importance of buying shoes that are comfortable and supportive, and that’s really to help you prevent pain and problems in your feet and ankles. So if your feet are complaining to you or feel out of whack, it may be a sign that you are wearing shoes that are wrong for your feet.

Look for the following signs that you may need different shoes:

  • Blisters, Corns, Calluses – If you experience blisters, corns, or calluses on your feet, it means that you’ve got friction on your skin from your shoes. The shoe structure may be too tight or laces may be pulled too tightly. If you have a blister on the back of your shoes, you’ll need to put a pad on the back or wear shoes that do not irritate the skin. Other areas of the foot that experience continuous friction may develop corns or calluses, where the skin thickens to protect itself.
  • Toenail Bruising or Tight/Cramping Toes – If you have painful toes, toenails, or cramps in the toes, the toebox of your shoes may be too small or tight. Often called Jogger’s Toe, the nail can turn a dark color if there is repeated or continuous impact on the toes. Additionally, a small toebox can cause your toes to have to cramp up in the tight space.
  • Arch or Heel Pain – If you are experiencing arch or heel pain, it can be due to a lack of support or cushioning in the shoes. Shoes that have worn down inner soles can have reduced cushioning, causing more impact on the feet. The strain put on the feet can cause heel spurs or plantar fasciitis. 
  • Unevenly worn down outer soles – Check the bottom of the shoes to see if your shoes are worn down a certain way. If you tend to intoe or outtoe, the outer soles will be worn down unevenly. Not only do certain unsupportive shoes make the problem worse, if you keep wearing these shoes, you can experience pain.
  • Bunions or other growths/deformities – When shoes are not supportive or constantly put your feet in an uncomfortable position, your feet can become disfigured. This can happen, especially with women’s shoes, where the front can be pointy-tipped and high heels can put too much strain on the balls of the feet.

If one pair of shoes tends to make your feet hurt more than others, check the structure and comfort levels of the shoes. Even if they are really fashionable, they may be wrong for you and you’ll need to break up with them. Donate them to someone else that might fit into them well.

Having foot problems due to your footwear? Make an appointment today at Clark Podiatry Center. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy will assess your feet to find the best treatment. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all the surrounding Union County towns!

 

 

By Clark Podiatry Center
February 22, 2017

Is your sporty child complaining of pain in the heel? Is there swelling or redness in the heels? Discomfort when you squeeze both sides of the heel? He or she may be suffering from Sever’s Disease, or calcaneal apophysitis. It is a heel bone disorder caused by inflammation of the growth plate, a condition commonly found in children ages 8-15 who play sports. Children in this age range are subject to this issue because they are still growing. The cartilage in this area becomes hard bone over time, but is susceptible to injury and inflammation until the bone is set.

Children who play sports with high impact to the feet are more prone to suffering from this disease. With many sports involving consistent practices, the problem can become worse due to overuse and repeated stress on the heel. Unfortunately, sport shoes with cleats are known to aggravate the condition, so soccer and football players are at higher risk. Furthermore, any issues with the Achilles tendon, such as tendonitis, can contribute to Sever’s Diease by pulling excessively on the heel bone’s growth plate. Other risk factors include: flat feet and overpronated feet; high arches; short leg syndrome; and overweight or obesity.

Treatment

While it may not be the best news your child can hear, the primary goal of treatment is to relieve pain and inflammation, which means rest and prevention of re-injury. This may mean cutting back or stopping sports if the pain is severe. Other treatments that your podiatrist may suggest include:

  • Rest and Icing the inflammation to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Compression stockings or elastic wrap to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Heel cups or orthotics to stabilize and support the heel. Arch supports can also help if children are flatfooted or overpronate.
  • Stretching and physical therapy of the tissues around the feet, ankles, and calf muscles.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications if necessary.
  • Short-term use of a walking boot or cast if the issue is severe.

Is your child suffering from heel pain? It may be Sever’s Disease, or it may be another issue. Make an appointment today to have our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy assess your child’s needs and help him or her back to feeling well. Clark Podiatry Center is located in Clark, NJ office in Union County and our team is ready to help! We keep you walking.

 

By Clark Podiatry Center
March 30, 2016
Tags: heel pain   sever's disease  

Heel pain in a child may be linked to a growth spurt. In other words: Growing pains may be real!

A child with heel pain or difficulty walking may have Severs Disease/Calcaneal Apophysitis. In this condition, the heel bone grows faster than the surrounding tendons and muscles during a growth spurt, and they are overstretched.

In addition, there are biomechanical factors which can trigger the condition.  In feet which hyperpronate or flatten out too much or in children with tight achilles tendons, there can be a torque applied to the growth plate.  The added stresses of sports activities or extra weight often result in an injury to the growth plate area. 

You may observe other symptoms of this condition including:

  • Heel pain that eases with rest, and is worse after athletic activities like jumping or running
  • Redness or swelling in the heel
  • Tenderness when the back of the heel is squeezed. A feeling of tightness may also be there
  • Limping
  • Inability to walk unless on tip toe

Sever's disease can be found at different ages by gender because of the different ages of girls' and boys' growth spurts. For example, boys usually experience growth spurts at ages 10 to 15, so that's when the risk of Sever's disease is greatest. Girls, whose growth spurts are earlier between ages 8 and 13, may have Sever's disease at those earlier ages.

Preventing Sever's Disease

It is possible to prevent this painful condition with some common sense steps that are good tips for children of any age:

  • Provide them with supportive, well-fitting and well-cushioned shoes.
  • Encourage your child to stretch the hamstring, heel and calf gently and regularly.
  • Keep your child at a healthy weight to minimize heel pressure.
  • Limit running and jumping on surfaces that are inflexible and hard.
  • Watch your child to prevent over-training, especially if the heels are painful.

Watch for the signs of Sever's disease if your child participates in sports like basketball, soccer, football or gymnastics. Cleats are particularly hard and rigid and can aggravate the problem.

The good news? The risk of Sever's disease evaporates when the child is fully grown. Then the muscles and tendons will have grown to match the growth of the heel bone.

We Can Treat Sever's Disease To Eliminate Heel Pain

If your child is experiencing heel pain, please come in to The New Jersey Children's Foot Heath Institute at Clark Podiatry Center for an evaluation. We will recommend resting the foot and taking a break from all sports. Our other treatments include:

  • Icing the inflamed area several times a day.
  • Taking ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve pain and inflammation, with your doctor's approval.
  • Physical therapy and gentle stretching.
  • Adding heel cups or orthotics to reduce stress on the heel.
  • Wearing a cast or walking boot if these methods don't bring relief.

We will counsel you and your child on the best way to return to sports and other activities gradually.

Don't Wait To Resolve Your Child's Heel Pain

Dr. Brandon Macy, board certified podiatrist has helped relieve the heel pain of many children and teens so they can return to normal activities. Please contact us for an appointment in our Clark office at 732-382-3470 or use the contact information at the website. Call us today to start your child down the path to recovery from Sever's disease.

By Clark Podiatry Center
March 03, 2016
Tags: heel pain  

If you have a stabbing pain on the bottom of your heel that hits you when you first get out of bed in the morning, you may have plantar fasciitis. The pain may gradually subside as you begin to move about, but can strike again after you've been sitting for a while.

The plantar fascia is a thick tissue running along the bottom of your foot that connects your toes to your heel bone. Small tears in the tissue from excessive stress can cause it to become irritated or inflamed. Overpronation, or when your foot rolls inward while walking, is a common cause of plantar fasciitis. It can also affect runners and those carrying excess weight, as well as anyone wearing shoes without enough support or individuals who stand for long periods on hard surfaces.

Get Help for Your Heel Pain

Without proper treatment plantar fasciitis can develop into chronic heel pain. You may also experience knee, back or hip problems if your gait changes as your body tries to deal with the pain.

Please contact us at Clark Podiatry Center if you have persistent heel pain. We will give your feet a careful examination and take x-rays to rule out other problems like a stress fracture.

With a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis, we begin with conservative treatments. These include:

  • Resting and applying ice to the heel to relieve inflammation.
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • Gently stretching the Achilles tendon area, foot and calf to ease tightness.
  • Stretching the arch and calf at night by wearing a splint to bed.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Steroid injections for pain relief.

Custom-fitted orthotics can relieve the stress on the plantar fascia as well as correct for an abnormal walking pattern.

New Technology To Heal Plantar Fasciitis

For persistent problems, we use Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy - also known as ESWT - to reduce inflammation and relieve heel pain. This pain-free technology uses shock waves that actually stimulate your body's healing response. Your body grows new tissue to replace the damaged area.

ESWT treatments are non-invasive and naturally numb the area to reduce pain.

For more information, read our blog on What is Shockwave Therapy?

Don't Suffer from Persistent Heel Pain

Dr. Brandon Macy, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience in resolving heel pain in his patients. Please call our Clark office at 732-382-3470 or use the contact information at the website to schedule an appointment. We can find a solution that works on your plantar fasciitis so come in to our office soon!



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Call Today 732-382-3470

1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470