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Other than ingrown nails, plantar fasciitis is probably one of the more common podiatry conditions we see on a regular basis. I would bet that you know at least one person who has been plagued with this condition. Plantar Fasciitis will turn a strapping male into a limping puppy!

So let’s go over some of the common symptoms. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

Do you have severe pain in your heel first thing in the morning when you get out of bed that decreases after you’ve limped on it for a while?

  • Do you have similar pain when you are sitting at your desk during the day and then have to stand up again?
  • Does your heel ache and throb at the end of the day like a bad headache in your foot?
  • Have you noticed that when you wear a shoe with at least a one inch heel that you feel somewhat better?
  • Have you noticed that the onset of pain seems to align with having been on your feet more, or that you gained weight recently, are barefoot more (maybe you recently moved to Florida!), or that you have new flooring at home– tile rather than carpet?

If you can say yes to the majority of the above – you probably have Plantar Fasciitis. So now that we’ve gotten the symptoms down – let’s talk about what the condition actually is and then how we can get rid of it. Ouch!

Your Plantar Fascia is a thick band of tissue connecting the ball of your foot to the heel bone and helps to maintain the arch of your foot.In addition, your calf muscle which turns into your Achilles tendon attaches to the back of your heel bone and connects to the Plantar Fascia. So if your calf muscles are tight you are going to put a lot of strain on you fascia. That’s why many folks feel more comfortable in a slight heel when they have this condition.

If your Plantar Fascia has been stressed for many years you might even develop heel spurs. But don’t panic – not all heel spurs require surgery and in most cases Plantar Fasciitis can be treated conservatively.

The most common treatments are:

Stretching the calf muscle and Achilles tendon
Cortisone shots
Strapping the foot (athletic tapping)
Physical therapy
Orthotics (custom arch supports)
Oral anti-inflammatories

Changing shoe gear

Obviously surgery is a last resort for any condition and you want to make sure you go through all the conservative therapies first before thinking about surgery. But when needed it can be an amazing relief!

So if you or someone you know is suffering from these symptoms don’t forget to let them know that relief is possible and to get into our office ASAP! We would love to help end the limping.

By Dr. Fred Kussel
August 24, 2012
Category: Doctor notes
Tags: New Podiatrist  

Many of you are familiar with Sheri's smiling face since she's been with us a year now - helping Dr. Kussel in the back office.  You might be aware that for the past 6 years she's been working in the travel business and has her own travel agency. Her business had slowed down quite a bit in this economy and so Dr Kussel asked her to come help in the office while her office was slow (they've been friends for years).

But what you might NOT know is that Sheri is a podiatrist too!  When Dr. Sheri started her travel agency she retired her podiatry license, but on Dr. Kussels' urging - she asked the state board for her license back and it was granted on April 1st!

This is really exciting because Dr. Sheri will be having her own office hours on Thursdays and Fridays and sharing office time with Dr. Kussel on Wednesdays. That means if you want to see her specifically - you can by letting Alyce or Licia know at the front desk. We are very excited to make it easier for you to book an appointment, especially if you are having a problem on a Friday, right before the weekend (doesn't everything typically go wrong on a Friday afternoon!). 

Dr. Sheri used to practice in St. Petersburg right by St. Pete General Hospital on 66th St N. Back then, she was the director of the surgical residency program at the hospital and taught surgery for 5 years. She was the first double boarded podiatrist in both surgery and orthopedics in St. Pete and served her profession as secretary, treasurer and then president of the Pinellas Country Podiatry Association. When she left the profession she was sadly missed.

Dr. Sheri loves all aspects of podiatry but especially enjoys children (of all ages), sports medicine, orthotics, holistic & alternative medical treatments (for those who dislike traditional medications), and aesthetic foot care (she likes using the fillers we use in the face in the feet). She will also be offering laser treatment for fungus nails and the usual podiatric care for our esteemed senior patients and diabetics. However, she will not be doing hospital surgery and will be referring all those cases to Dr. Kussel.

So - we need your help in getting the word out that Dr. Sheri will be seeing patientssince we need to keep her very busy! Feel free to take our newsletter home and give it to a friend whose feet are in need of some loving care. If you have any questions about Dr. Sheri, please ask us!