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Most people have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, but not many are familiar with tarsal tunnel syndrome. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is the ankle’s equivalent to carpal tunnel syndrome. Both syndromes involve the trapping of a nerve. When tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs, the nerve stemming from the ankle to the foot becomes entrapped in a tunnel of bones and ligaments. This creates a pressure that sends sharp burning pain into the sole of the foot. Coupling over the counter pain medications, cushioning pads for arch support and abstaining from any activity that results in pain, can be used to lessen the pain initially. If the pain lasts for more than six weeks, then it is time to consult a podiatrist, so they can properly treat the condition.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna of Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Foot Soaks and Cracked Heels

If you have ever experienced the condition known as cracked heels, you are most likely aware of the pain and discomfort it may cause. It may be a result of wearing shoes or sandals that are backless, standing for extended periods of time, or medical conditions that may consist of athlete’s foot or psoriasis. There are methods that can be implemented, which may achieve a desired level of comfort, which may include soaking the feet in warm water with specific essential oils. This may aid in moisturizing the skin and reducing the cracks or fissures that are present. Additionally, many patients find it beneficial to exfoliate the skin on their heels, and this may be achieved by utilizing a loofah or pumice stone. If you have severely cracked heels, it is recommended to consult with a podiatrist who can offer additional treatment and preventative methods.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

Preventing Falls in Cold Weather

Research has shown the unnatural act of falling may be common among senior citizens. According to a portion of an AARP bulletin, deaths from falling is among the highest in the cold states of Wisconsin and Minnesota. In places where there may be an accumulation of snow, it may be beneficial to wear shoes that have traction or cleats, and this may aid in preventing any falls that may occur. If you must walk outside for extended periods of time, it may be helpful to look at your pathway a few steps in advance, and this may prevent any slipping on black ice. In addition to properly preparing your trek outside, it is important to check the condition of your home and remove items that may cause tripping. These may include repairing or replacing any loose carpeting and moving any extension cords that may be a falling hazard. If you have endured a fall and have injured your ankles or feet, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist so proper treatment can begin.

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 Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna 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 Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention
Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

Are Foot Massages Effective?

Research has shown that a popular form of therapy for the feet are foot massages. It is suggested there may be several benefits why this form of therapy is practiced, including strengthening the bones and muscles, increasing rejuvenating energy in the body, in addition to possibly helping with neurological diseases. The most common form of foot massages is known as the Swedish foot massage, and many patients enjoy this type of therapy for the relaxation and increased energy it may bring. Patients who have experienced ankle pain or arthritis may choose to have a reflexology foot massage performed, and this will typically focus on that specific part of the body. If you would like additional information about the effective types of foot therapy, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

Foot therapy is often necessary for those recovering from either foot deformities or foot injuries. If you have concerns regarding therapy, Dr. Harry I. Zirna of Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Most Common Injuries

People who are active or athletes are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is often important to take part in physical therapy in order to quickly get back on the right track. 

What to Do When Injured

Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.

During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. Physical therapy often involves:

Basic stretching and twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.

Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate the muscles and relax them.

Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.

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

Read more about Foot Therapy for Sports Injuries
Wednesday, 02 January 2019 00:00

Where Do Stress Fractures Occur?

If running and jumping are frequent activities that you participate in, you may experience stress fractures in your feet. It may typically occur as a result of repeated impact the feet endure and will appear as tiny cracks in the bone. The bones in the feet absorb the weight of the body, and this type of fracture is most likely to appear in the lower extremities. Stress fractures may happen to individuals who suddenly increase the intensity or change the type of sport they are engaging in, in addition to having certain medical conditions that may include osteoporosis, which can weaken the bones. There are several symptoms that are associated with this condition, including severe pain and discomfort, swelling, or possible bruising. Research has shown there may be methods than can be implemented, which may prevent a stress fracture from occurring. These may include ingesting a diet that is rich in calcium, which may aid in strengthening the bones, gradually increasing the power of your workout or chosen sport, in addition to wearing shoes that fit correctly. After a proper diagnosis is performed, which will typically include having an X-ray or MRI performed, recovery may begin. If you feel you may have endured a stress fracture, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist, to discuss correct treatment options.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

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