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Posts for: April, 2015

Popular sandals causing foot problems in men?

Wrong sandal can cause heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, other ailments

(Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg, VA – 4/24/15) Footwear has come a long way since Roman armies conquered an empire wearing only sandals on their feet. But what’s old is new again. Recent market research reveals sales of men’s sandals jumped 20 percent between 2005 and 2007.

Along with the growing popularity of men’s sandals come more aches and pains for male feet. Steven Gordon, DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon with offices in Northern Virginia, says the wrong sandal could cause men problems including heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, pain in the big toe and even breaks and stress fractures in some of the foot’s 26 bones.

Dr. Gordon recommends men shopping for a man sandal – or “mandal” as some people call it – look for sturdy, cushioned, supportive soles and padded straps. Men with diabetes should consult their foot and ankle surgeon before wearing sandals.

Despite what many men may tell themselves, foot pain is not normal. Contact Dr. Gordon’s office in Reston at 703-437-6333, Manassas at 703-368-7166, and Leesburg at 703-777-2101 to have your painful foot checked out by a surgeon who is educated, trained and experienced in treating foot and ankle conditions. Dr. Steven Gordon belongs to the 6,000 member American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), a national medical association of foot and ankle surgeons. For more information on foot and ankle conditions, visit the ACFAS Web site FootHealthFacts.org.


Wrong sandal can cause heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, other ailments
 

 Footwear has come a long way since Roman armies conquered an empire wearing only sandals on their feet. But what’s old is new again. Recent market research reveals sales of men’s sandals jumped 20 percent between 2005 and 2007.

Along with the growing popularity of men’s sandals come more aches and pains for male feet. Steven A. Gordon, DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon with offices in Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg, says the wrong sandal could cause men problems including heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, pain in the big toe and even breaks and stress fractures in some of the foot’s 26 bones.

Dr. Gordon recommends men shopping for a man sandal – or “mandal” as some people call it – look for sturdy, cushioned, supportive soles and padded straps. Men with diabetes should consult their foot and ankle surgeon before wearing sandals.

Despite what many men may tell themselves, foot pain is not normal. Contact Dr. Gordon’s office at (703) 437-6333  to have your painful foot checked out by a surgeon who is educated, trained and experienced in treating foot and ankle conditions. Dr. Gordon belongs to the 6,000 member American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), a national medical association of foot and ankle surgeons. For more information on foot and ankle conditions, visit the ACFAS Web site FootHealthFacts.org.


Foot pain ruining your golf swing?

(Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg, VA – 4/10/15) The barrier to a perfect golf swing could lie in your big toe. Or your heel. Or on the ball of your foot. Shaun Hafner, DPM, FACFAS, a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), says these are the three areas of your feet most likely to cause pain that can ruin your golf swing.

Behind these pain-prone spots can lie stiff joints, stretched-out tissues and even nerve damage. But pain relief is possible and frequently does not require surgery.

According to Dr. Hafner, the three most common painful foot conditions that can ruin your golf swing are heel pain, arthritis and pinched nerves.

  • Arthritis can cause pain in the joint of your big toe that makes it difficult to follow-through on your golf swing.
  • Heel pain typically results from an inflammation of the band of tissue that extends from your heel to the ball of your foot. People with this condition compare the pain to someone jabbing a knife in their heel. Heel pain can make it uncomfortable for golfers to maintain a solid stance during crucial portions of their golf swing.
  • Neuromas, according to FootHealthFacts.org, are nerves that become thickened, enlarged and painful because they’ve been compressed or irritated. A neuroma in the ball of your foot can cause significant pain as your body transfers its weight from one foot to the other in a golf swing.

Several other painful conditions can also cause instability during your swing. Some athletes and former athletes develop chronic ankle instability from previous ankle sprains that failed to heal properly. Motion-limiting arthritis and Achilles tendonitis can also affect your balance. Ill-fitting golf shoes may cause corns and calluses that make standing uncomfortable.

For the majority of golfers and other patients Dr. Hafner recommends simple treatments such as custom orthotic devices (shoe inserts), stretching exercises, changes to your shoes, medications, braces or steroid injections and physical therapy. However, if these conservative measures fail to provide adequate relief, surgery may be required.

“Foot pain is not normal. With the treatment options available to your foot and ankle surgeon, a pain-free golf swing is clearly in view,” says Hafner. “When your feet aren’t in top condition, your golf swing won’t be either.”
 


Northern Virginia foot and ankle surgeon shares advice

Reston, VA; As millions of avid golfers get ready for another season of pars and bogeys, they should be aware of potentially serious foot problems that can result from years of playing the game.

Although golf is not considered a rigorous sport, the physical act of repeatedly swinging a golf club in practice and on the links can lead to a condition known as hallux limitus, a jamming and deterioration of the big toe joint.

According to Steven Gordon, DPM, FACFAS, the movement and weight transfer that occur during the swing’s follow through can cause this problem and other chronic foot ailments. Dr. Gordon is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons with offices in Reston, Manassas and Leesburg.

“When golfers follow through on their swing, they can overextend the big toe joint on the back foot,” says Dr. Gordon. “Those who have played the game avidly for several years eventually can wear out the cartilage or jam the big toe joint. The likely outcome, if left untreated, is painful arthritis in the big toe, which would make it very difficult to continue playing golf.”

Golfers who have pain and swelling around the big toe joint or have less mobility in this area than other parts of the foot should visit a foot and ankle surgeon for an examination and appropriate treatment. A history of trauma to the big toe area and bone structure also can precipitate the condition. Individuals with a long first metatarsal bone (big toe), for example, are more susceptible to joint compression and hallux limitus.

“If golfers experience pain in the big toe area when playing, they should consider it a warning sign that intervention is necessary before the joint becomes arthritic,” says Dr. Gordon. “In most situations, orthotics can be prescribed to provide relief, but others with advanced cases may require surgery.”

Another foot problem that is common in golfers is a neuroma or pinched nerve at the bottom of the foot. The weight transfer to the front foot that occurs in the follow through applies pressure that, over time, can cause a pinched nerve.

Dr. Gordon also advises golfers not to wear shoes that have a spike located directly beneath the ball of the foot.

“The pressure from that single spike, magnified by the several thousand steps taken during an average round, can cause intense pain and swelling in the ball of the foot,” he says.

Dr. Gordon says any pair of golf shoes can be made more foot friendly without sacrificing traction by removing the poorly located spikes.

For more information on foot conditions that affect athletes, contact Dr. Gordon's office at (703)437-6333, or visit the ACFAS consumer Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.