Posts for: October, 2012
October 10, 2012
Falls and fall-related injuries are a major epidemic for seniors 65. Over two million nonfatal fall injuries were reported for seniors treated in emergency departments and more than 600,000 were hospitalized during 2011. Over 20,000 seniors died from unintentional fall injuries and direct medical costs for falls were over $30 billion. In most cases, falls result in impaired function and quality of life and often lead to early admission in a nursing home. There is a variety of causes and risk factors associated with falls that are documented; however, the correlation between of foot and ankle pain, poor balance, and falls is significant.
The good news is that a new custom-made ankle foot orthotic device has been developed to effectively reduce the risk of falls by 30-60%. It is particularly beneficial for patients who have difficulty walking, who are at risk of falling because of weak ankles, instability, or arthritis. It can be a benefit to a person who has suffered a stroke or other neurological problems that result in weakness, dizziness, or numbness. It also benefits anyone dependent on a cane, walker, or assistive device.
The new device improves balance and prevents falls by reducing the body’s postural sway. It stabilizes the foot and ankle when weakness and fatigue exists. It also improves foot clearance and reduces the risk of tripping.
This cost of the device is covered by Medicare and most major commercial insurances. To determine if you are a candidate for the new device and qualify for reimbursement, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sigle at the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois. Take action now to prevent a fall or fall-related injury from happening.
Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the long, dense band of connective tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot.
Repeated strain on the plantar fascia can cause tiny tears in the ligament. As tension and tearing increases, so does inflammation and irritation of the affected area. Risk factors of plantar fasciitis include foot arch problems (flat foot and high arches); excess weight; running; and a tight Achilles tendon.
The most common complaint of plantar fasciitis is pain in the bottom of the heel that develops gradually. The pain is usually worse in the morning and after sitting or standing for a long period of time. For some, the pain subsides after walking or stretching.
To reduce pain associated with plantar fasciitis:
- Rest. Limit and/or avoid activities that make your heel hurt.
- Ice. Reduce pain and swelling by icing the affected area each day.
- Stretch. Stretch your heel throughout the day, especially when you first wake up in the morning.
- Footwear modifications. Wear shoes that provide good arch support and a cushioned sole. Ask your podiatrist about pads and shoe inserts to relieve your heel pain.
When conservative treatments aren't effective or your pain persists for more than a few weeks, schedule an appointment with Foot & Ankle Center Of Illinois to discuss your symptoms and treatment options. A podiatrist can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs. This may include, stretching exercises, shoe padding, orthotic devices, night splints or therapy. Most patients respond to non-surgical treatments, but for pain that won't go away, surgery may be considered.
With proper rest and treatment, recovering from plantar fasciitis can take just a few months. Visit us at Foot & Ankle Center Of Illinois when you first experience pain for a proper diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs.