Daniel L. Reminga, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.
Foot Doctor Houghton, MI
801 Memorial Rd.
Houghton, MI 49931 US
906-482-9950
 

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Posts for: March, 2012

By Daniel Reminga
March 23, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
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Time Wounds All Heels

Have you ever heard the phrase…”Time heals all wounds?”  Give it time, time, time. This ancient proverb may or may not be true. However, one thing that can be said with certainty is… “Time wounds all heels”!  Heel pain is one of the most common conditions that can affect the foot.  Weight bearing on the heel can cause extreme discomfort for many people.

The heel bone is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. The foot also has 33 joints and a network of over 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments.

Heal pain has many causes. Simply stated, heal pain is caused by using the foot too much, this over-use causes repetitive stress resulting in soreness from too much impact on this area of the foot.  “Heel pain syndrome”, can be caused by a sudden increase in activity, shoes that have a low heel, or a thinning of the fat pad in the heel that often comes with age. Heel pain may also result from injury,  or a bruise incurred while walking, running or jumping on hard surfaces;  wearing poorly constructed footwear; or being overweight.

Common Causes of Heel Pain

Plantar Fasciitisis a very common cause of heel pain. Plantar Fasciitis is a biomechanical problem, such as over-pronation or flat feet. The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom surface of the foot from the heel all the way to the forefoot.  Over-pronation can cause an “over stretching” of this band causing the soft tissue fibers to tear or stretch at points along its length resulting in inflammation and pain in the heel and arch of the foot. The pain is often most severe first thing in the morning or after prolonged periods of rest. The pain can gradually subside as the day progresses but returns once again the next morning.

Heel Spurs are another common cause of heel pain. People often confuse heel spurs and plantar fasciitis by thinking they are one and the same.  They are not the same. Plantar Fasciitis refers to the inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue that forms the arc of the foot. Heel spurs are a bony growth on the underside of the heel bone that is often associated with plantar fasciitis. About 70% of patients that have plantar fasciitis also have a heel spur that can be seen on an x-ray. The spur appears on x-ray as a protrusion that can extend as much as a half an inch. Most people think of something sharp when they think of a “spur”. In reality, a bone spur is just extra bone. Its smooth most often however, it can cause pain if it presses or rubs on the other bone or soft tissues such as tendons, ligaments, or nerves in the foot. Other common places in the body where bone spurs form include the shoulders, spine, hands, hips, knees, and certainly the feet.  A bone spur forms as the body tries to repair itself by building extra bone. This bone forms in response to pressure, rubbing, or stress that continues over a long period of time.

Treatment and Prevention

Dr. Reminga’s treatment for heel pain varies depending on the individual patient’s heel pain “story”. It is important to get a full and through evaluation by Dr. Reminga so he can prescribe the best treatment for the patient’s particular heel problem.As part of treating heel pain properly, shock to the heel must be absorbed. Providing cushioning and transferring pressure away from that area is also important. This can be accomplished with custom orthotics that are specifically prescribed by Dr. Reminga to accommodate the patient’s individual needs. These prescribed orthotic devices are engineered to absorb shock and shear forces to the heel area. Orthotics can be very effective if prescribed by an experienced foot specialist like Dr. Reminga at Northern Foot Care Center. Orthotics are one of the treatment options that a foot specialist can offer to patients. If the patient is diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis, an orthotic can control the pronation and prevent inflammation of the plantar fascia. In doing so, the patient experiences great relief from pain and discomfort. Footwear selection is another important criterion in treating heel pain. Shoes with a firm heel counter, good arch support, and an appropriate heel height are ideal choices. Dr. Reminga’s treatment for heel pain varies depending on the individual patient. It is important to get a full and through evaluation by Dr. Reminga so he can prescribe the best treatment for your particular heel problem. Pain is not normal; you don’t have to live with discomfort. If you are experiencing heel pain, call Dr. Reminga at Northern Foot Care Center. We are here to help. Call us today for a consultation.

 


By Daniel Reminga
March 05, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
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“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”– Lao Tzu

You may be planning a trip soon. Maybe you’re going somewhere warm and sunny, maybe you’re traveling for business, or just maybe… you’ll be sitting in a car for hours on your way to grandma’s house.

Whatever your travel plans, Dr. Reminga at Northern Foot Care Center, wants you to be aware of some important travel tips for your feet. During travel, while sitting for hours, swelling of the feet is common. Sitting can put pressure on the veins in your legs. This pressure can inhibit your legs ability to allow blood to flow back to the heart effectively. This causes more blood than usual to remain in those veins instead of swiftly returning to the heart. Another result is that prolonged sitting can also cause some fluid to leave the blood and enter the surrounding tissue. Dr. Reminga offers some tips to relieve swelling while traveling:

·         Wear loose fitting clothing.

·         Take a short walk every hour or so. Walking causes the veins to constrict which forces the blood back to the heart.

·         Elevate the legs and feet, if you are unable to elevate your legs, flex and extend your ankles and knees frequently while you're seated.

·         Stretching out the calves can also be helpful. Calf stretches should be done every half hour.

·         Shift your position in your seat as much as possible, being careful to avoid crossing your legs.

·         Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration especially during flights or in warm weather. Dehydration can be a contributing factor to deep vein thrombosis.

·         Avoid alcohol and sedatives, which could make you too sleepy to walk around the cabin.

Swelling of the legs or edema is usually harmless, however, it can be a sign of a blood clot in the leg (deep vein thrombosis). When swelling is considered “normal” it should subside after several hours of regular activity. If you notice that the swelling does not go down after you resume normal activity, medical attention should be sought immediately. This is important to rule out deep vein thrombosis. If the legs are painful or if the swelling is occurring in one leg, a trip to the emergency room or a call to emergency services is recommended immediately by Dr. Reminga. “These are not normal signs of swelling and may indicate a deep vein thrombosis”, says Dr. Reminga.

Dr. Daniel Reminga at Northern Foot Care Center also stresses, “If you are a patient that has an increased risk of blood clots, because you recently underwent surgery or you take medications that put you at risk, you may need to wear compression stocking during your flight. In some cases blood-thinning medications are prescribed to be taken before your flight departure.”

Dr. Daniel Reminga and his staff want you to have a safe and enjoyable trip. Please feel free to contact our office at 482-9950 to schedule your consultation. Your feet deserve special care! We’re here to provide you with the best possible care at Northern Foot Care Center.