Our Services Include:

Podiatrists are professionally trained to treat many conditions relating to foot and ankle pain. Some common disorders we treat include:

Shockwave Therapy for Heel Pain Relief

Heel Pain Treatment in Seminole & St. Petersburg, FLWhen you’re having heel pain, you’ll try anything to get rid of the pain. One technique that is rapidly gaining popularity today is shockwave therapy for heel pain.

This therapy works on the proven theory that creating micro-trauma on a cellular level causes the blood vessels and bone cells within your body to regenerate so that they heal faster. As such, it is a safe, non-invasive way to treat many chronic conditions.

What some people find funny is the paradox here that when you damage your foot, you actually heal it. The technique used here involves a series of movements that place tension on the area of your heel that’s causing the pain. Your technician then uses a shockwave hand piece transmitting shock waves to this area for four or five minutes.

These shocks feel like a small baseball bat that’s hitting your heel’s tissue causing the microbleeding and bruising that aren’t too painful and thus don’t require any anti-inflammatory drugs or icing. The bruising is actually a necessary part of the repair process that takes place over the next few months.

So, while the process is uncomfortable, it isn’t painful. Even the minimal amount of discomfort you feel diminishes as the treatment goes on. Therefore, there’s no reason you wouldn’t want to undergo the treatment again in the future. In fact, considering that you’ll experience between a 70% and 90% reduction in your pain, you’ll want to have at least three or four more treatments so that you can walk on your heels once again.

Foot Types and Selecting The Right Running Footwear

Tips to Prevent Running Knee InjuriesIf running is part of your exercise regimen, then you need to understand the importance of a well-fitting running shoe. The right shoe will make the difference betweenprolonged injury, or an enjoyable running experience. The problem lies on the fact that some runners are not informed – they just select the most popular shoes or brands. Not many realize that they are different foot types and shapes, and it’s important that they select a shoe that accommodates their foot shape to prevent running injuries.

Ноw dо уоu determine уоur foot type? Іt’s rеаllу quіtе simple. Gеt а piece оf dark paper аnd thеn soak уоur feet аnd step оn thе paper. Lооk closely аt thе imprint. Тhеrе аrе generally three types оf feet.

1) Іf уоur imprint covers mоst оf thе feet (nоt muсh arch аt аll) thеn уоu hаvе flat feet. Yоu аrе аmоng thе 60% оf thе population іn America wіth flat feet.
2) Іf уоu shоw а wide arch аnd narrow lіnе оf уоur outer foot thеn уоu hаvе high arches. Yоu аrе аmоng thе 30% оf thе population оf іn America.
3) Іf уоur imprint hаs а medium arch thеn congratulations. Yоu аrе аmоng thе fеw wіth thе ideal foot shape.

Rеgаrdlеss оf whаt foot type уоu hаvе, thеrе аrе running shoes thаt аrе rіght fоr уоu. Wіth аll thе pressure оnе gеts frоm TV adds оr whаt іs popular tо wear nоw, уоu rеаllу nееd tо рut thе health aspect fіrst. Моst lіkеlу уоu will bе аblе tо find а shoe thаt іs rіght fоr уоur foot type аnd stіll hаvе style.

То determine thе shoe tо buy, hеrе аrе sоmе guidelines:

1) Fоr thе flat-footed person, уоu will wаnt tо buy а shoe thаt іs rigid аnd stable. Тhіs will prevent уоur ankles frоm bending іnwаrd оr outward аnd іt will protect you.
2) Іf уоu hаvе high arches, уоu will wаnt tо lооk fоr а vеrу cushioned shoe. High arched feet don’t absorb shock vеrу well sо you’ll wаnt thаt cushion tо help іn absorbing thе shock fоr you.
3) Fоr thе medium arch оr ideal foot, уоu wаnt thе combination оf bоth stability аnd cushioning fоr уоur feet.

Whеn уоu trу оn а shoe іt shоuld bе snug but nоt tight аnd thеrе shоuld bе аррrохіmаtеlу а 1/2-inch bеtwееn уоur longest toe аnd thе front оf уоur running shoe. Тір: Shop fоr уоur shoes late afternoon whеn уоur feet аrе а lіttlе mоrе spread. Іf іt іs nоt comfortable whеn уоu аrе іn thе store, imagine whаt іt will bе lіkе whеn уоu аrе оut оn а run. Ѕо test thеm well whіlе уоu’rе thеrе.

Іn summary, thоsе shoes уоu bought thаt wеrе suсh а bargain mау bе саusе fоr concern іn thе future, sо pick wisely аnd mау уоur running experience bе smooth аnd wonderful. Yоur feet will bе mоst grateful.

Understanding Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Sports-InjuriesDo you have numbness, tingling, shooting pains or a burning sensation in your foot? If that’s the situation, you may have developed tarsal tunnel syndrome. As you may have guessed, it is a health problem that is connected to the tarsal tunnel. Here’s an overview of the condition and how it is treated:

For those unfamiliar with the tarsal tunnel, it is a section of the foot that is located on the inside of the ankle adjacent to the ankle bones. Within that area are several key components. They include the flexor retinaculum, posterior tibial nerve, veins, arteries and tendons. The two main elements involved in tarsal tunnel syndrome are the flexor retinaculum and the posterior tibial nerve.

The flexor retinaculum is a ligament that is designed to protect the posterior tibial nerve from compression. The nerve’s function, on the other hand, is to assist in muscle control and provide sensation to certain areas of your foot. It is situated behind the ligament and stretches from the sole to the medial malleolus. The medial malleolus, in case you were wondering, is that little outcropping that exists on the inside of your ankle.

Even though the posterior tibial nerve is generally protected by the ligament, there are situations that can cause it to become compressed. That list of situations includes ankle injuries, the development of systemic diseases, fallen arches, obesity or other health concerns.

When those situations arise, symptoms like the ones we mentioned earlier may start to appear. If they do, it is very important to schedule a visit with your St. Petersburg podiatrist right away. Otherwise, the prolonged compression may cause irreversible damage.

Once tarsal tunnel syndrome is officially diagnosed, there are several courses of action that your St. Petersburg foot doctor may recommend. They include, but are not confined to, the use of orthotic devices, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, a foot brace and custom footwear. In some instances, ankle surgery may also be prescribed.

To learn more about tarsal tunnel syndrome and the myriad of treatment options available, please contact one of our St. Petersburg foot clinic today.

At Heel & Foot Pain Center of Tampa Bay we pride ourselves on providing you with the highest quality treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome available in the St. Petersburg, FL area. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

Dealing with Foot Fractures

Foot-FractureAccording to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, foot fractures are small cracks in the bone. The cause is usually overuse in high impact sports such as tennis, track and field, gymnastics, dance, and basketball. Muscles can become overtired and rendered less capable of cushioning shocks, transferring the stress to the bones. Hence, a stress fracture can result. Lack of conditioning, improper sports equipment, bad technique, and bone insufficiency such as caused by osteoposis can increase the possibility of a stress fracture.

The fracture can manifest itself by pain, inflammation, swelling, and tenderness. The pain especially can be felt when doing weight bearing activities.

If you suspect that you have a stress fracture in the foot or ankle, stop vigorous physical activity and perform first aid, such as applying an ice pack, even before seeing a St. Petersburg foot doctor. Otherwise, the fracture can become a complete break.

The podiatrist will take your medical history and perform a physical examination. He or she might also take an X-Ray or a bone scan to confirm the diagnosis.

Depending on the location and the severity of the fracture, the doctor will recommend keeping off your feet or switching to less stressful exercises like swimming and bicycling. Your podiatrist may advise you to wear protective footwear or even, in some cases, a cast. In more severe cases, surgery may be indicated. The doctor will also advise on any diet and lifestyle changes you might want to do in order to avoid further fractures. Once the pain is gone and the fracture healed, your foot doctor will advise you to return gradually to your previous exercise regime.

Best Post-Foot Surgery Recovery Tips for Nervous Podiatry Patients

FeetFoot surgery is often followed by a long recovery process that may be helped or hindered by a patient’s actions. The list of common actions that may waylay a podiatrist patient’s road back to foot health includes, but is not restricted to tobacco use, weight-bearing too soon, comorbidities, secondary infections, age, poor nutrition and medication regiments that include immunosuppressants. With that said, we’ve assembled some general, post-surgery recovery tips for podiatry patients of all ages:

  • Stop smoking at least one month prior to the scheduled surgery, if at all possible. To do that effectively, speak to your doctor about which smoking cessation products may be best for your unique situation. In addition, make sure that if medications are involved in the smoking cessation plan, they won’t interfere with bone remodeling, bone production and blood clotting.
  • While you are at it, speak with all members of your healthcare team to ensure that the medications you are on for unrelated comorbidities won’t interfere with the healing process either. If the products are prone to inhibiting the mending process, ask if it is safe to change medications, reduce dosage or stop taking those pharmaceuticals until your bones have sufficiently healed. Should making changes to existing medication regimens be impossible, ask what may be done to counteract the products’ negative effects and promote bone health.
  • Contemplate investing in mobility aids that are in line with your existing comorbidities, physical abilities, age and recovery environment too. There are many non-weight bearing options to choose from including knee walkers, rollators, motorized wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, shower chairs and crutches. As long as they are deemed medically necessary, the cost of purchasing or renting the items may be covered by insurance plans. It may also be wise to make a few home modifications and hire an aide to at least run outside errands.
  • Furthermore, work with your doctor, in advance, to purchase additional items needed to keep your foot clean, dry and healthy during the recovery process. For example, people that have comorbidities which negatively impact circulation may need to wear compression stockings or inflatable boots. Others may have to don custom orthotics like walking boots or adjustable sandals. However, don’t buy any of them until you’ve spoken with your podiatrist and had the items fitted. Otherwise, the mobility aids could end up doing more harm than good.
  • Finally, work with a nutritionist to come up with post-foot surgery menu options that are conducive to speeding up or supporting healthy bone production and remodeling. Such diets generally require an increase in calories, protein, minerals, anti-inflammatory nutrients and vitamins. Some of the ones podiatry patients typically need to bulk up on are vitamins K, C and D as well as calcium, zinc, copper and phosphorous. Oh, and by the way, ask about taking dietary supplements too.

  • Image courtesy of Tiverylucky/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus: There’s New Proof it Really Works

    Toenail Fungus Treatment in Seminole & St. Petersburg, FLWhen you glance down at your feet, do you see a series of yellow and white blotches on your bare toenails? Have the edges of those nails seemingly thickened over the last few weeks? Do they have rough edges and emit a funky odor, especially when you try to clip your nails? If so, it could be onychomycosis that’s the cause of it all.

    It’s an unpleasant condition that has a tendency to creep up on people when they least expect it. That’s because it’s caused by a fungus that’s too small to be seen by the naked eye. So by the time it’s noticeable, damage has already been done to the nail bed and exposed nail.

    Many people who find themselves in such unpleasant straits try a series of home remedies at the outset. They may cut their nails down to a painful size and slather on a wide variety of creams. Although those actions may provide some relief, they can be messy, costly and ineffective in the long run.

    Good thing there are other ways to return one’s toenails back to normal. One of the most effective, affordable options is scheduling laser treatments designed to target toenail fungus. It’s FDA approved and has been used by podiatrists for years.

    In April 2014, the Journal of the German Society of Dermatology published the results of a study that demonstrated the value of laser treatment for stubborn toenail fungus problems. The publication, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, also published an article on the subject in February 2014.

    They noted the value as well but also recommended that additional studies should be completed. Many are hoping that those additional studies will help narrow down treatment options and establish a list of best practices for physicians seeking to use lasers to treat fungal infections. To learn more about the treatments and how they may resolve your toenail fungus dilemma, please contact us.

    Professional Athletes’ Broken Ankles Capture Headlines in Early 2015

    Sports Injury Treatment in Seminole & St. Petersburg, FLIn early 2015, a number of professional athletes were temporarily put out of commission thanks to broken ankles. Among them were University of Kentucky’s Janee Thompson and Los Angeles Kings’ Tanner Pearson.

    Thompson reportedly broke her tibia and Pearson, as it later turned out, actually broke his fibula. Both are two of the three bones that make up the top ankle joint. The other is the talus. It should also be mentioned that there is another joint in the foot that connects the ankle bone to the heel bone. It’s called the subtalar joint but apparently neither athlete broke that one this time around.

    When the tibia, fibula or talus breaks, it can be quite traumatic for athletes and everyday Joes alike. In most cases, swelling and severe pain are immediately present and the injured person can no longer stand up without assistance. As time goes on, bruising is also likely to appear on and around the broken bones. After the injury, it is extremely important that the accident victim’s broken ankle is examined and repaired. Otherwise, the deformities could become permanent, thereby rendering the person disabled.

    Furthermore, if the person who sustains the broken ankle hasn’t finished growing yet (e.g. child), he or she will need to be closely monitored for bone or joint weakness and deformities long after the initial injury has been treated. The extended monitoring period is crucial to ensure that the broken ankle doesn’t interfere with the leg and foot bones’ normal growth as time goes on. In most instances, the extended period will last at least two years, maybe more depending on the individual’s normal growth rate and unique circumstances.

    The severity of the injury will dictate which treatment methods are used. Options often include, but are not limited to emergency surgery, casting and post-surgery rehabilitation. Depending on the situation, full recovery from broken ankles may take two months or more. As such, the two athletes that we mentioned earlier are likely to be off of their respective courts for at least part or all of a full season. To speak with a St. Petersburg podiatrist about broken ankles and best practices to ensure the bones heal properly, please click here.

    The Treatment, Causes, and Facts about Gout

    Menopausal Women at Risk for GoutGout (Gouty Arthritis) is a painful arthritic disease that causes severe inflammation, pain, redness, and swelling. Patients attest that, without treatment and care, gout is debilitating, often leading to an inability to work or live life normally.

    Gout occurs when too much uric acid (human waste-a byproduct of normal metabolic function) builds up in the body and isn’t excreted normally. A problem that, in and of itself, can lead to many other problems, including crystal build-up and kidney stones.

    Here are some other facts about gout:

    • Though uric acid is normally absorbed by the blood, in the case of gout, it is not. This occurs when the body ups the levels of uric acid it makes, when the kidneys fail to excrete it, and with a diet consisting of foods with too many purines.
    • Your chances of gout increases when: you are male, if it runs in your family, if you are overweight, if you drink too much alcohol, or if you have had an organ transplant.
    • Gout has the potential to cause under-skin nodules called tophi.
    • Another large contributor to whether you will get gout is related to the amount of sugary drinks you consume. A recent study found that people who consume at least two sugary soft drinks a day increase their risk of gout by 85%.
    • Scientists have also found that those who consume cherries may slightly lower their risk of getting gout.
    • Visiting a doctor may only take you so far. While a rheumatologist can diagnose and prescribe treatment, those who suffer multiple attacks of gout a year need to set up their own prevention plan to curb the onset of acute attacks themselves.

    If you are living with the pain caused by gout, you don’t have to. Visit a doctor today to help eliminate and treat your gout symptoms, and live a life free from pain.

    Image courtesy of Marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    Ask a Foot Care Expert: What’s Up With All of This Intense Itching?

    Ask a Foot Care Expert: What’s Up With All of This Intense Itching?When the majority of Americans hear that someone has itchy feet and ankles, thoughts of tinea pedis tend to immediately come to mind. Although it is often one of the chief causes of intense itchy, it by far, isn’t the only one. There are actually many conditions that may be behind the intense itching and home foot care may not be enough to solve the problem. Here’s a look at just some of the other podiatry issues that could be spurring on a person’s overwhelming need to scratch:

    Xerotic Eczema

    If the temperatures have already started to dip and relative humidity is low, a person’s feet could show signs of xerotic eczema. It could also be caused by dehydration, malnutrition, allergic reactions to soap and taking too many hot showers in the winter months. In addition to the itching, people affected by the condition may experience redness, scaling, peeling and cracked skin too. Foot care may involve the use of washing powders, non-steroidal creams, steroidal creams, medicated oils and other thick emollients.

    Dyshidrotic Eczema

    If a person has many of the symptoms mentioned above but their feet and ankles also happen to be covered with clusters of little blisters, it could be dyshidrotic eczema instead. Although both genders have the potential to develop the skin problem, it tends to affect women more often than not. Podiatrists frequently attribute its cause to seasonal allergies. Therefore, it typically shows up on the feet and ankles during the spring, summer and fall. Treatment for the condition involves many of the foot care products used to resolve xerotic eczema.


    Itchy feet and ankles may be caused by scabies mites as well. It is one of those podiatry problems that require professional care. Sometimes it is accompanied by crusty patches of skin, rashes, blisters and discolored lines that run near those items. Foot care to kill off the mites tends to last a month and requires the use of prescription medications. So anyone that feels he or she may be suffering from the condition should contact a St. Petersburg podiatrist right away.

    Foot Orthotics: Will They Help Seasonal Athletes Recover from Shin Splints?

    RunningAlthough shin splints can happen at any time of the year, they tend to spring up more often when people begin returning to the tennis courts and running tracks. The reason behind the increase is easy to understand. As people try to get back into the swing of their favorite sports, they inadvertently put undue pressure on their tibias, tendons and muscles.

    That added pressure sparks inflammation, mild soreness and eventually severe pain that may interfere with their exercise routines or daily ambulation. Thankfully, wearing foot orthotics and taking over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medications frequently helps them feel better quicker.

    First, podiatrists must identify whether the person’s pain is emanating from the medial, lateral or anterior area of the shin. Then, it is common to watch the patient walk and determine if there is excessive pronation, forefoot valgus, supination or other biomechanical problems that may be contributing to the person’s shin splints.

    Afterward, custom foot orthotics may be ordered and designed to suit the patient’s needs. Ideally, whichever foot orthotics are prescribed, they’ll correct the biomechanical issue, thereby reducing stress on the lower leg during routine ambulation or running.

    So which foot orthotic devices are used to help ease the pain of shin splints? As you can guess, it will depend on the person’s foot and the contributing biomechanical problem at hand. Sometimes supportive, foam inserts with cut-away areas may help relieve the pressure. In other situations, it may be wise to include a supportive wrap or bandage that helps to hold the foot, ankle and lower leg into the proper position for running or walking.

    Understandably, the cost and amount of time it generally takes to make custom foot orthotics for people suffering from shin splints varies as well. To learn more about treating seasonal shin splints with customized foot orthotics, please contact one of our knowledgeable podiatrists today.

    Image courtesy of Stockimages/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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