Tuesday, 13 February 2024 00:00

Exploring the Muscles and Bones of the Feet

The feet, intricate structures that are comprised of numerous bones and muscles, play a vital role in mobility and stability. Among the key bones are the tarsals, metatarsals, and phalanges, forming the arches and providing support for the body's weight. Ligaments connect these bones, offering stability and flexibility during movement. The muscles of the feet, categorized into intrinsic and extrinsic groups, facilitate intricate movements necessary for walking, running, and balancing. Intrinsic muscles, found within the foot, control fine movements of the toes and arches, while extrinsic muscles, originating in the lower leg, aid in broader movements such as dorsiflexion and plantarflexion. Together, these muscles and bones work harmoniously to absorb shock, distribute pressure, and maintain proper alignment during various activities. Understanding the anatomy and function of the feet is essential for preventing injuries and optimizing performance in everyday tasks and physical activities. By nurturing foot health through wearing proper footwear, stretching, and strengthening exercises, individuals can ensure the longevity and functionality of their feet for years to come. If you would like additional information about how the bones and muscles in the feet work in harmony, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can provide you with the knowledge you are seeking.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

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Have your feet inspected by a professional before starting a new sport or physical activity. Taking charge of your foot health will keep you in good physical condition and can help you avoid a potential injury, such as a fracture or sprained ankle.

Prevent injuries and see a foot specialist.

Tuesday, 06 February 2024 00:00

Symptoms and Varieties of Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains come in various forms, each accompanied by distinct symptoms that highlight the complexity of this injury. The lateral ankle sprain is the most common, occurring when the foot turns inward,which stretches or tears the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle. Individuals experiencing a lateral sprain may encounter pain, swelling, and difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot. Medial ankle sprains, less frequent but equally impactful, involve damage to the ligaments on the inner side of the ankle, often leading to tenderness and swelling. High ankle sprains affect the ligaments that connect the tibia and fibula, causing pain above the ankle and potentially affecting stability. Regardless of the type of sprain, common symptoms include bruising, limited range of motion, and a feeling of instability. If you have endured an ankle sprain, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can determine which type it is and offer appropriate treatment solutions.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

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

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Tuesday, 30 January 2024 00:00

How to Recognize Charcot Foot

Charcot-Marie-Tooth, or CMT disease, is a genetic condition that affects the peripheral nerves. It can be recognized by progressive muscle weakness, particularly in the arms and legs. The condition is named after Jean Charcot, Pierre Marie, and Howard Henry Tooth, the physicians who first described it. Symptoms of Charcot foot often begin in adolescence or early adulthood and may include weakness and wasting of muscles in the foot and lower leg, as well as a loss of sensation in toes, and lower limbs. Additional symptoms can include abnormalities in foot muscles, unstable ankles, cramping in lower legs, and reduced reflexes. Over time, symptoms may worsen, leading to increased muscle and joint pain, neuropathic pain, and walking and mobility problems. Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, leg braces, special shoes, or orthopedic devices, play an essential role in managing Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of CMT, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for a comprehensive assessment and personalized care planning.

Some foot conditions may require additional professional care. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Rare Foot Conditions

The majority of foot conditions are common and can be treated by a podiatrist.  Standard diagnostic procedures are generally used to identify specific conditions and treatment can be rendered. A podiatrist also treats rare foot conditions which can be difficult to diagnose and may need extra attention and care. 

There are many rare foot conditions that can affect children. Some of these can include:

  • Freiberg’s disease
  • Kohler’s disease
  • Maffucci syndrome

Freiberg’s disease - This can be seen as a deterioration and flattening of a metatarsal bone that exists in the ball of the foot. It typically affects pre-teen and teenage girls, but can affect anyone at any age. Symptoms that can accompany this can be swelling, stiffness, and the patient may limp. 

Kohler’s disease - This often targets the bone in the arch of the foot and affects younger boys. It can lead to an interruption of the blood supply which ultimately can lead to bone deterioration. The patient may limp or experience tenderness, swelling, and redness.

Maffucci syndrome - This affects the long bones in a child’s foot leading to the development of abnormal bone lesions. They are benign growths and typically develop in early childhood and the bones may be susceptible to breaking. 

A podiatrist can properly diagnose and treat all types of rare foot conditions. If your child is affected by any of these symptoms or conditions, please don’t hesitate to call our office so the correct treatment method can begin.

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

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