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Top Tips to Avoid Painful Gout Flare-Ups

Gout is arthritis that often strikes without warning, causing excruciating pain and discomfort. For those who have experienced it, the intense throbbing and swelling in the joints can be debilitating. The good news is that you can avoid painful gout flare-ups and keep this condition at bay. According to research, over 8 million Americans have been diagnosed with gout. 

This blog will discuss tips for preventing gout attacks and living pain-free lives. We have covered you with the best advice for managing gout, from dietary changes to lifestyle modifications. So, read on and discover how you can take control of your health and prevent those dreaded gout flare-ups.

What is gout and its causes?

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis caused by high uric acid levels in the blood. This condition typically affects the joints in the feet, particularly the big toe, but it can also impact other joints, such as the ankles, knees, wrists, and fingers. The onset of gout can be sudden and debilitating, with intense pain and discomfort lasting for several days or even weeks.

The leading cause of gout is excess uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a byproduct of purines, a compound in some foods and drinks. In a healthy individual, uric acid is filtered by the kidneys and eliminated from the body through urine. However, in people with gout, the body produces more uric acid than it can eliminate, or the kidneys cannot effectively filter it.

What triggers gout to flare up?

While gout can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes, people with gout often experience frequent flare-ups triggered by various factors, including:

  • Diet: Food choices can impact gout flare-ups. High purine foods and fructose can elevate uric acid levels. Avoiding trigger foods can help prevent attacks.
  • Dehydration: Dehydration is linked to gout attacks as it hinders the body's ability to control uric acid, causing joint crystals.
  • Medications: Cautiously taking medications is vital in managing gout as some, like diuretics, can elevate uric acid levels, causing flare-ups. Consult doctor/pharmacist for possible side effects and alternative medicines.
  • Stress: Stress can worsen gout attacks by increasing cortisol levels and uric acid production. Managing stress with relaxation, exercise, and therapy can decrease flare-ups.
  • Illness or injury: Diseases or injuries can lead to gout attacks by increasing uric acid levels. Rest and self-care are vital in preventing such attacks during times of stress.
  • Genetics: Genetics contribute to gout flare-ups, especially for those with a family history. Lifestyle changes are essential to reduce triggers.
  • Sudden changes in uric acid levels: Uric acid fluctuations from factors like crash diets and alcohol consumption can trigger gout attacks. Stable levels are crucial for prevention.

Tips to prevent gout flare-ups

While there is no cure for gout, several effective ways exist to manage and prevent flare-ups. We will share some important information to help you avoid gout flare-ups and enjoy a better quality of life.

  1. Stay hydrated

One of the most important things you can do to prevent gout flare-ups is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps to flush out excess uric acid from the body, reducing the likelihood of crystal formation. Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily is recommended, even more if you are physically active or live in a hot climate.

  1. Follow a healthy diet

Eating a healthy and balanced diet prevents gout flare-ups. Foods high in purine, such as red meat, organ meats, and seafood, can increase uric acid levels in the body. On the other hand, foods with low purine content, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, can help to keep uric acid levels in check. It is also essential to limit your intake of sugary and alcoholic beverages, as they can also trigger gout flare-ups.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of gout and flare-ups. Excess weight can put extra pressure on your joints, leading to inflammation and pain. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the strain on your joints and decrease the frequency and severity of gout flare-ups. Aim for a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 24.9, and if you need to lose weight, do so gradually and in a healthy way through a combination of diet and exercise.

  1. Avoid trigger foods

While high-purine foods are common gout triggers, certain foods and beverages may trigger flare-ups in some individuals. These include foods with high levels of fructose, such as soft drinks and fruit juices, and foods with high levels of yeast, such as beer and baked goods. Pay attention to your body and avoid foods or beverages that worsen your gout symptoms.

  1. Take your medications

If you have been prescribed medication for gout, it is essential to take it as directed. These medications work to reduce uric acid levels and prevent gout flare-ups. Skipping doses or not taking them regularly can increase your risk of a painful explosion. If you experience any side effects or have concerns about your medication, discuss them with your doctor.

  1. Be mindful of your alcohol consumption

Alcohol can increase uric acid levels in the body and trigger gout flare-ups. If you have gout, it is best to limit your alcohol intake or avoid it altogether. If you choose to drink, opt for low-purine options like wine or light beer, and always stay hydrated by drinking water between alcoholic beverages.

  1. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is beneficial for overall health and can help prevent gout flare-ups. It helps to maintain a healthy weight, improve joint mobility, and reduce inflammation. Low-impact exercises, such as swimming, biking, and walking, are great options for people with gout, as they put less strain on the joints.

  1. Seek treatment for other health conditions

Several health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, are associated with an increased risk of gout. It is essential to manage these conditions with proper treatment and regular monitoring to help prevent gout flare-ups.

When to seek medical help for gout?

If you experience intense joint pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness in the affected area, it could be a sign of a gout flare-up, and medical intervention may be necessary. It is also advisable to seek medical help if you have a history of gout or other medical conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease. 

Do not ignore the warning signs of gout, and consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Seek relief from the Florida foot specialist at Florida Foot & Ankle! Our team of board-certified doctors specializes in treating gout and other conditions, including:

We have locations throughout South Florida, and our specialists serve the Greater Miami Area, including: 

  • Miami-Dade (Miami, Kendall, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Coral Gables)
  • Broward County (Hollywood, Pembroke Pines)
  • Palm Beach County (Boca Raton)

Find your expert podiatric specialist here!

Say goodbye to limited mobility, and hello to a pain-free life! Book your appointment now and experience Florida's best foot and ankle care.


The material on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Flat feet refer to a condition in which the arches of the feet collapse and can flatten when weight is applied, leaving the entire sole in complete contact with the ground. Around 26% of adults are estimated to suffer from flat feet. Though flat feet are generally not a concern, they can be uncomfortable and even lead to additional issues unless addressed.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to provide your children with relief from flat feet pain. In this blog post, you'll learn eight ways to relieve your children of the discomfort of flat feet. Read on to discover simple solutions for this common condition.

What is flat feet (pes planus)?

Flat feet, also known as Pes Planus, are where the arch collapses, and the foot appears flattened when standing. This condition is most common in children but can also develop in adults. Common symptoms include pain and swelling in the feet and ankles. 

Flat feet can cause problems such as bunions, shin splints, and even back pain if left untreated. Taking preventative measures to improve foot strength and stability may also help reduce the symptoms of flat feet.

What are the causes of flat feet?

The causes of flat feet are varied but can include underlying medical conditions, improper footwear, weakened muscles, and other lifestyle factors. Let's take a look at the various causes of flat feet.

  1. Congenital/genetic factors

Flat feet can be inherited from genetic influences that cause the foot to have decreased arch support. In this case, flat feet are usually present at birth or develop shortly afterward. 

  1. Injury

Injury to the tendons that run along the inside of the foot and ankle can cause tearing and weaken the arch, resulting in flat feet. 

  1. Overuse/strain

Strenuous activities that place a lot of stress on the feet, such as running, dancing, or participating in sports, can result in muscle fatigue and a potential arch collapse.

  1. Age 

As people age, they can lose the elasticity in their tendons, leading to flat feet. This is because the tendon, which supports the arch, decreases its ability to stretch as people age.

  1. Footwear

Wearing improper footwear, such as shoes that are too flat and have inadequate arch support, can contribute to flat feet and cause the arch to collapse over time. 

  1. Obesity 

Obesity can cause extra weight and strain on the foot, which may lead to arch collapse and the development of flat feet. 

  1. Diseases 

Flat feet can be caused by diseases or conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or a neurological problem. Flat feet are usually not inherited in these cases but can develop due to the condition. 

What are the common signs and symptoms of flat feet?

A flat foot is a condition in which the arch on the inside has flattened and the entire sole of the foot is in contact with the ground. Common signs and symptoms of flat feet include:

  1. Pain in the heel and arch and, at times, in the ball of the foot.
  2. Pain in the ankle, knees, hip, or back and strain in the surrounding muscles and bones.
  3. Reduce range of motion, making walking difficult.
  4. Difficulty standing for long periods of time due to pain and discomfort.
  5. Difficulty wearing shoes due to flat feet.
  6. Discomfort when climbing or descending stairs
  7. Poor posture, creating a stooped-over or hunched-over appearance.
  8. Stress and strain on the feet lead to swelling in the feet.
  9. Painful deformities like hammer toes or bunions may develop due to flat feet. 

If you experience any of these symptoms, you must consult with a doctor to get a complete examination and determine an appropriate treatment plan. Flat feet can be managed and treated effectively with conservative measures such as rest, stretching, orthotics, lifestyle changes, and exercises.

8 Solutions for flat feet in kids

Flat feet in kids can be a source of frustration and even worry for parents. However, some solutions may help relieve discomfort and improve their child’s mobility. Here are eight solutions for flat feet in kids:

  1. Orthotics

Orthotics, specifically arch supports or insoles, can provide extra cushioning and arch support for their little feet. Orthotics may be recommended by your doctor.

  1. Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy can help strengthen the muscles around the feet, improving their tone and flexibility. This, in turn, can help improve the feet' alignment.

  1. Regular exercise

Regular exercise can help improve the feet' strength, tone, and alignment. Swimming, walking, or cycling are all excellent exercises to try.

  1. Footwear

Choose footwear that offers support and cushioning for your child’s feet. Look for supportive shoes with flexible soles, as well as supportive sandals.

  1. Spine alignment

If your child has flat feet, there may be an issue with the alignment of the spine and/or pelvic area. Visiting a chiropractor for adjustments may help to resolve this issue and ease the flat feet.

  1. Massage and stretch

Light massage on the feet can be a beneficial way to ease tightness and improve circulation. Having your child stretch their feet regularly can help keep their arches healthy.

  1. Footwear inserts

If you don’t want to purchase orthotics, inexpensive foam inserts can be placed inside the shoe to provide extra cushioning.

  1. Arch support

Wearing arch support insoles can help provide arch support and decrease pain. You can find these at most drugstores and some major retailers.

Discover foot relief in Florida

If you’re looking for the best and most trusted podiatrist in Miami, look no further than Florida Foot & Ankle! Our highly-trained team of podiatrists provides the best care and treatment options to help your kids maintain healthy feet. From orthotic shoe inserts to custom foot braces, we understand the unique needs of successfully treating flat feet in children. 

We have locations throughout South Florida, and our specialists serve the Greater Miami Area, including:

  • Miami-Dade (Miami, Kendall, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Coral Gables)
  • Broward County (Hollywood, Pembroke Pines)
  • Palm Beach County (Boca Raton)

Here are just some of the many services we offer:

  • Routine foot care, injury, and trauma
  • Foot and ankle surgery
  • Heel pain
  • Children's feet
  • Nail and foot fungus
  • Diabetic foot and ulcer care
  • Sports medicine

Visit our office today and give your kids the best chance at keeping their feet healthy and strong!


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

If you’ve ever experienced the sharp pain and crippling discomfort of a sprained ankle, you’re not alone. This condition is one of the most common injuries in the world, affecting millions of people of all ages, and the causes are surprisingly varied. In 2010, the rate of ankle sprains seen in US emergency departments was 3.29 per 1,000 people per year.

In this blog, we'll explain why you should never ignore a sprained ankle, and how to best diagnose and treat it. With the right guidance and medical care, a sprained ankle can heal, so don't delay in seeking out the best treatment for your injury.

What is a sprained ankle?

A sprained ankle is an injury to the ligaments in the ankle joint, typically caused when the ankle is twisted or turned in an unnatural way. It is a very common injury, especially among athletes. With proper treatment and a gradual return to physical activity, a sprained ankle can usually be healed within several days or weeks.

What are the symptoms and signs of a sprained ankle?

The symptoms and signs of a sprained ankle depend on the severity of the injury. The common symptoms include: 


Pain is one of the most common symptoms and can vary in intensity depending on how severe the sprain is. Pain may range from mild to severe and can be accompanied by swelling, bruising, and joint instability.


Swelling is a common symptom of a sprained ankle. Without proper treatment, swelling can cause lasting damage, so it's important to seek medical attention.


Bruising—or contusions—occur when the thin layers of tissue underneath the skin are damaged and the small blood vessels leak blood. The damaged blood vessels cause the skin to discolor with red, blue, or purple spots. Bruising can quickly become large and worsen if not treated properly.

Limited mobility

Limited mobility is a common symptom of a sprained ankle. It occurs when the ligaments of the ankle are damaged, affecting its range of motion. Typical signs of limited mobility include pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness, and reduced strength.


After an ankle sprain, the damaged ligaments don't always heal perfectly, leaving the ankle less stable and more prone to further injury. To prevent further sprains, ankle stabilizing exercises and bracing can be useful preventative measures.

Popping or snapping sensation

If you feel a snapping, popping, or ripping sensation when you sprain your ankle, it could be caused by a tear of the ligaments or taken as a sign of serious sprains. 


When you touch the injured area, you may feel extreme tenderness or pain in the area of the sprain.

How a sprained ankle can worsen if left untreated?

If you've suffered a sprained ankle, leaving it untreated can have serious long-term consequences. Not only will it leave you in extreme agony and immobility, but an untreated sprained ankle can worsen and cause further injuries.

When an ankle is sprained, the ligaments in the ankle joint stretch and tear, causing extreme pain and swelling. If left untreated, the ligaments can become permanently weakened, creating an unstable joint and preventing the joint from functioning properly. This weakens the entire lower leg, making it difficult to walk properly.

With inadequate treatment, the swollen tissues around the joint can also turn into scar tissue and cause chronic pain. This can lead to a person having to modify their walking technique, making them more prone to future injuries. In some cases, a person with an untreated sprained ankle can develop severe osteoarthritis over time. The combination of a loose joint and inflammation can cause severe joint damage. 

A sprained ankle should be taken seriously. If you first receive proper care, such as immobilizing the joint, applying ice, and taking anti-inflammatory medication, your recovery will be quicker and your joint will be more stable. 

By seeking medical care immediately and following any prescribed rehabilitation program, you significantly reduce your chances of developing any long-term consequences. In the end, it’s important to recognize the risks of leaving a sprained ankle untreated and to seek proper medical care as soon as possible.

What can you do to help heal a sprained ankle?

No one likes the pain and discomfort of a sprained ankle. Taking the necessary steps to help heal your sprained ankle can help ease the pain and discomfort and get you back to your high-energy lifestyle in no time. 

Here are some tips on what you can do to help heal a sprained ankle:

  1. Rest and elevate: Resting your sprained ankle and keeping it elevated with a pillow or cushion when you sit or lie down can help reduce the swelling and assist in the healing process. 
  2. Reduce swelling: Apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables to the sprained ankle to help reduce swelling. Do this for 20 minutes several times a day.
  3. Compression: Wrap a bandage or other material around the ankle to help reduce swelling. Make sure to keep it tight but still adjustable to ensure that your circulation is not disrupted. 
  4. Take pressure off of the area: Wear a lighter-weight shoe that doesn’t hit the height of standard footwear (e.g., no heels). If possible, keep the injured foot in a brace or special shoe designed to stabilize and protect it.
  5. Pain relief: Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help reduce inflammation and pain. 
  6. Stretching: Once the swelling has reduced, slowly start to stretch the injured area. This will help restore the flexibility and strength of the ankle joint.

How can you reduce your risk of spraining your ankle?

Spraining an ankle can be extremely painful and may take weeks to heal. Luckily, there are a few simple tips to help reduce your risk of spraining an ankle.

  1. Wear well-fitting and supportive shoes. Make sure your shoes are the correct size and securely fit your foot. Running shoes should provide extra ankle support and be replaced regularly.
  2. Strengthen your ankles. Exercises such as ankle circles, heel raises, wall push-ups, and single-leg stances can help build the muscles and tendons that surround your ankle and reduce the risk of an ankle sprain.
  3. Warm up and stretch. Before any physical activity, warm up your body by doing some light cardio and dynamic stretching. Stretching before exercise can help reduce the risk of an ankle injury. 
  4. Wear braces or splints. Braces and splints provide extra stability to your ankles and can help protect them from sprains.

Take action now for a rapid, successful recovery!

Are you living in or near Florida and suffering from a sprained ankle? Get the treatment you need fast and effectively at your local Florida Foot and Ankle clinic! From diagnostic services to surgical and non-surgical treatments, our team of podiatrists in Miami can get you back on your feet in no time. 

We have locations throughout South Florida, with our specialists serving the Greater Miami Area, including: 

  • Miami-Dade (Miami, Kendall, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Coral Gables)
  • Broward County (Hollywood, Pembroke Pines)
  • Palm Beach County (Boca Raton)

Find a location closest to you! 

We also provide medical treatment for: 

podiatrist miami


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Athlete's foot is a highly prevalent issue, with an estimated 3 to 15% of the population dealing with this uncomfortable condition. Though anyone can develop it, men and older folks are particularly prone to it. Fortunately, with proper care and preventive measures, this common condition can be managed effectively.

In this blog post, we will discuss 7 simple yet effective tips that you can start using today to prevent athlete's foot and keep your feet free from fungal infections. Learn what simple lifestyle changes you can make to ensure that your feet stay healthy and free of fungus. So, if you are worried about athlete's foot, make sure you check out these tips!

What is athlete's foot? 

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that affects the skin of the feet as well as the toenails, fingernails, and other areas of the body. This common problem is caused by contact with an affected person or a contaminated surface. It can be spread by other skin infections on the feet, such as a blister or broken skin. So it is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent it from spreading further.

The symptoms of athlete's foot can be quite uncomfortable; peeling, cracking, redness, and itching are some of the most common signs of the infection. In more severe cases, athlete's foot can also cause blisters and increased sensitivity or pain in the infected area.

Athlete’s foot can be treated with antifungal medications, but these may not be needed if the condition is mild. For best results, it is important to identify the cause and eliminate any possible sources of infection. Taking the necessary precautions to prevent athlete’s foot will help ensure that your feet stay healthy and free from infection.

Why is it important to prevent athlete’s foot?

Neglecting to prevent or appropriately treat athlete's foot can have serious implications for your health and wellbeing. Here’s what can happen if you don’t prevent or treat athlete’s foot:

  • Spread of infection

One of the most concerning effects of athlete's foot that can occur if the condition is left untreated is the spread of infection. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be spread easily through contact with an infected person or by walking barefoot in contaminated areas. Left to its own devices, an untreated athlete’s foot can spread to the hands, creating an even more uncomfortable experience. 

  • Painful skin lesions

Athlete’s foot can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, such as an itchy, burning sensation and painful cracks and fissures in the skin. The extreme discomfort caused by athlete's foot can be exacerbated if the condition remains untreated. Untreated athlete’s foot can lead to painful open sores and even bleeding.

  • Secondary infections

Another potential complication of athlete’s foot that can occur if the condition is left untreated is that it can create an environment that is friendly for the growth of bacterial infections. When the already irritated and cracked skin caused by athlete's foot becomes secondary infected, it can become even more uncomfortable and painful. Furthermore, if the bacterial infection spreads to other vital organs in the body, then a course of antibiotics may be required.

Don’t let athlete's foot take its toll. Take steps to both prevent and treat the condition in order to keep your feet healthy and happy. 

7 Tips to help prevent athlete's foot

Characterized by itching, stinging, burning, and scaling of the skin, athlete's foot can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, and even painful. While it can’t always be prevented, there are several steps you can take to reduce the risk. Here are some tips to help prevent athlete's foot.

  1. Keep your feet clean and dry

Bacteria and fungus thrive in warm, wet environments, making it important to keep feet clean and dry. Wash feet regularly with a mild soap, and be sure to dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.

  1. Change socks often

Socks and other foot coverings can trap moisture and create the perfect environment for bacteria and fungus growth, so it’s important to change them out regularly. Wear clean, dry socks daily, and avoid synthetic materials that retain moisture.

  1. Wear shoes in public area

To maintain good hygiene and avoid picking up fungus, bacteria, or other germs, wear shoes when entering public areas such as gyms, locker rooms, or public showers.

  1. Don’t share shoes or socks

Sharing shoes makes it easier to spread fungus and bacteria, so don’t lend out your shoes or socks to anyone else.

  1. Keep your feet and shoes dry

In addition to avoiding sweat and moist environments, use fans, dehumidifiers, or other methods to draw out and circulate air to keep feet and shoes as dry as possible.

  1. Keep your toenails trimmed

Keeping your toenails trimmed helps the feet breathe and keeps bacteria and fungi from gathering around the nails.

  1. Use an antifungal foot powder

Sprinkle antifungal foot powder on socks and shoes to keep them dry and reduce the chance of fungus and bacteria growth.

What is the best way to treat athlete's foot?

The first step in treating athlete's foot is to keep the feet clean and dry. While this may sound simple, it is one of the most effective ways of treating and preventing athlete's foot. Additionally, wear sandals or other open-toe shoes whenever possible to allow air to circulate freely around the feet.

Next, you should treat the affected area with an antifungal cream or ointment. The cream or ointment will help reduce inflammation and kill any fungal infection present on the toes, arches, and soles of the feet. Make sure to follow the directions on the product packaging carefully to get the most effective results.

To help prevent recurring athlete's foot infections, it’s also important to practice proper hygiene and wear clean and breathable shoes. Also, avoid walking barefoot in public places, such as swimming pools and gyms. If you have to walk in a public area, wear shoes or sandals that provide a barrier between your feet and the ground.

Finally, if athlete's foot persists or becomes severe, seek medical advice. Your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication that may be more effective at treating your particular case of athlete's foot.

Say goodbye to athlete's foot with the help of Florida Foot & Ankle Associates

Are you experiencing athlete’s foot? Or, you may be searching online for a “foot and ankle specialist near me”. Don't suffer any longer; turn to the amazing team of professionals at Florida Foot & Ankle Associates for help. Our experienced and board-certified podiatrists in Miami are here to guide you through your foot care needs.

We have locations throughout South Florida, with our specialists serving the Greater Miami Area, including: 

  • Miami-Dade (Miami, Kendall, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Coral Gables)
  • Broward County (Hollywood, Pembroke Pines)
  • Palm Beach County (Boca Raton)

Let us help you stay one step ahead of athlete's foot with our comprehensive treatments. Contact us today to get started on the road to healthy feet!

We also provide other treatments, including: 


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Are you recovering from a high ankle sprain? If so, you are not alone. Acute ankle sprains affect 1.7 million people worldwide, and high ankle sprains are one of the most common ankle injuries. They can be incredibly painful and have a long recovery period. Fortunately, there are ways you can speed up your recovery process and even prevent it in the future. 

In this blog, we’ll look at high ankle sprains—what they are, how to differentiate them from other ankle injuries, and how you can effectively treat them. If you're ready to learn more about this very common ankle injury, let's jump in!

What is a high ankle sprain?

A high ankle sprain is a type of injury to the ligaments that connect the two bones of the lower leg (the tibia and fibula). It occurs when the ligaments in the upper ankle are severely stretched or torn. High ankle sprains can be incredibly painful and significantly limit mobility, making them a major concern for athletes.

High ankle sprains, also known as syndesmosis sprains, differ from more common inversion or eversion sprains of the ankle, in which the ligaments on the side and front of the ankle are damaged. These types of sprains generally occur when the ankle twists or rolls too far over itself. High ankle sprains, on the other hand, occur when the two bones of the lower legthe tibia and the fibulaare pulled apart, stretching or tearing the tissue that connects them.

How do I know if I have a high or low ankle sprain?

For many people, knowing whether they have a high or low ankle sprain can be a confusing task. Some may think that a higher degree of pain means they have a more serious injury, while others may believe that a low ankle sprain is no big deal. 

To help you determine if you have a high or low ankle sprain, it’s important to understand the differences between these two types of injuries.

High ankle sprainLow ankle sprain
- Causes high levels of pain that can become excruciating.
- High ankle sprains occur when the ankle is bent backward beyond its normal range of motion.
- Has a lesser degree of pain but can become bothersome if left untreated.
- Low ankle sprains happen when the ankle is bent sideways or twisted too far

If you aren’t sure whether you have a high or low ankle sprain, it is best to see your doctor or healthcare provider for an evaluation. They can make a proper diagnosis and recommend the right treatment for your injury. With proper medical attention, your ankle sprain should heal quickly, and you can get back to your regular activities soon. Florida Foot & Ankle Associates provides the best quality care and support for your medical needs, including ankle injuries. 

What are the symptoms of a high ankle sprain? 

A high ankle sprain is a serious type of ankle injury that involves the ligaments connecting the lower leg and ankle bones. Signs and symptoms of a high ankle sprain include:

  1. Swelling of the joint
  2. Tenderness in the affected area
  3. Bruising or discoloration in the area
  4. Sharp or intense pain in the joint
  5. A popping sensation sounds when the ankle is twisted.
  6. Burning sensation in the area surrounding the joint
  7. Limited range of motion
  8. Inability to bear weight
  9. Numbness or tingling in the toes
  10. Sensitivity to cold, wet, or hot temperatures

What are the different types of high ankle sprains? 

There are three main types of high ankle sprains: catastrophic, syndesmotic, and medial. Read below to get a better understanding of each type: 

  • Catastrophic high ankle sprain

It is the most severe type of high ankle sprain as it involves a complete rupture of the ligaments, resulting in instability of the ankle joint. It requires prompt medical attention and is usually managed with immobilization, physical therapy, and sometimes, surgery.

  • Syndesmotic high ankle sprain

It is a stretch or partial tear of the ligaments located between the tibia and fibula, at the same level of the foot. Symptoms such as swelling and pain felt on the outside of the ankle are common. Treatment for this type of high ankle sprain usually consists of rest combined with physical therapy.

  • Medial High ankle sprain

It is a tear of the ligament located on the inner side of the ankle. It is usually caused by a blow to the outer side of the ankle and results in pain and instability of the ankle joint. Treatment may include immobilization, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery to repair the ligament.

What are the common causes of high ankle sprains?

High ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in sports and athletics. While it’s not as serious as a fracture, a sprained ankle can still be quite painful and take weeks to heal.

One of the most common causes of high ankle sprains is sharp changes in direction or repeated pivoting on an unstable surface. This could be due to uneven ground, a low-grip surface such as astroturf, or anything else that doesn’t provide solid support for your foot. To prevent this from happening, you should always wear shoes that provide good cushioning and support and avoid surfaces that don’t look like they provide a secure base.

Another common cause is an impact or collision with the ankle. This is especially common in contact sports such as football and rugby, where there could be a lot of pressure and stress applied to the ankle. To prevent this, make sure you always wear the proper protection and use the correct technique when tackling and running.

Finally, muscle or tendon imbalances can also be a cause of high ankle sprains. This is when one leg is working harder than the other, leading to excess tension on the more powerful ankle. To prevent this, do exercises that strengthen both sides and create a balance between your legs.

High ankle sprains are a common injury, but taking measures to prevent them is essential to staying healthy and in the game. Make sure you wear the correct protection, avoid unstable surfaces, and use the correct form when running and tackling. Additionally, doing balance exercises to create an even muscle structure can prevent imbalances and help keep your ankle safe.

How do I treat a high ankle sprain?

High ankle sprains are a common injury that can range from mild to severe. The good news is that high ankle sprains can be treated with a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation, along with physical therapy, to help you get back to normal as soon as possible.

  • Rest

In the first few days after the sprain, it's important to rest your ankle and avoid activities that may aggravate the injury, such as jogging, walking, or jumping. Immobilizing your ankle by wearing a brace or support can help reduce pain and swelling.

  • Ice

Applying an ice pack to the hurt ankle for 15-20 minutes, several times a day, can help bring down swelling and reduce pain. 

  • Compression

It's important to wear a snug elastic wrap or bandage around your ankle to provide support and reduce swelling. Make sure the wrap is not too tight, as this can further harm your ankle. 

  • Elevation

Elevate your ankle above the level of your heart in order to reduce swelling, help the ankle heal faster, and reduce pain.

  • Physical therapy

After the inflammation has gone down, physical therapy can help you strengthen your ankle to help you gain back your range of motion, decrease swelling, and improve circulation. Physical therapy exercises may include stretching, balancing, and working on your ankle's range of motion.

By following these tips, and following your doctor's or physical therapist's instructions, you can help reduce your ankle's pain and swelling and get back to your normal activities as soon as possible. 

Get the best treatment for high ankle sprains at Florida Foot & Ankle!

If you are searching online for the “best foot and ankle surgery near me”, Florida Foot and Ankle Associates is your perfect choice! 

Florida Foot and Ankle Associates proudly offers specialized treatments to help heal your high ankle sprain. We understand how important it is to treat your high ankle sprain in a timely and effective manner so that you can be sure you are on the road to recovery as soon as possible. 

We are committed to delivering the highest level of care and expertise, so you can trust that you are in good hands with us at Florida Foot and Ankle Associates.

Our specialized team of podiatrists in Miami will assess your injury, listen to your concerns, and then develop a personalized treatment plan to help treat and heal your high ankle sprain. Our comprehensive approach to treating your high ankle sprain involves focusing on your individual lifestyle, overall health, and well-being, as well as preventive care and post-care instructions. 

We strive to provide the best quality of care and support possible to ensure your success as you work through the recovery process. We also offer care and treatments for other cases, including: 

We have locations throughout South Florida, our specialists serving the Greater Miami Area, including Miami-Dade (Miami, Kendall, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Coral Gables), Broward County (Hollywood, Pembroke Pines), and Palm Beach County (Boca Raton).

To find out more about our specialized treatments for high ankle sprains, get in touch with us now and treat your injury with the care and expertise it deserves.


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Toenail fungus is a common and persistent problem that can cause discomfort and embarrassment. Fortunately, various treatment options are available, including topical medications and laser therapy. 

In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of each treatment method to help you determine which one may be right for you.

What is toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a common fungal infection caused by various types of fungi, including dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds. These fungi thrive in warm and moist environments, such as sweaty shoes or public areas like locker rooms and showers.

Toenail fungus can enter the nail through small cracks or cuts in the skin around the nail or through the opening between the nail and the nail bed. Once inside, the fungi begin to multiply and grow, leading to an infection. 

Some of the most common indicators of a fungal infection in the toenail include the following:

  • Discoloration (yellow, brown, or white)
  • Thickening of the affected toenail
  • Brittle or crumbly texture
  • Distorted shape
  • Lackluster appearance
  • Separation from the nail bed
  • Foul odor

Toenail fungus can be challenging to treat and may require long-term management. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist, for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

It's worth noting that these symptoms are not exclusive to toenail fungal infections and can also be present in other nail conditions or infections. 

Proper diagnosis by a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist in Miami, is vital to differentiate fungal infections from other nail disorders and determine the appropriate treatment.

How does topical treatment work for toenail fungus?

Topical treatments are commonly used as a first-line approach for treating toenail fungal infections, especially in cases where the disease is mild to moderate and localized. Here’s how it works against different kinds of fungal infection in the toenails:

  • It works by inhibiting or killing the fungi responsible for the onychomycosis. Different topical antifungal agents work in various ways, such as disrupting the fungal cell membranes or inhibiting fungal enzyme activity.
  • Topical treatments require a regular and consistent application to ensure that the medication remains in contact with the infected area for an extended period, increasing its effectiveness.
  • Along with targeting the nail, topical treatments often treat the surrounding skin and nail bed, which may also be affected by the fungal infection. This comprehensive approach helps prevent the spread of the fungus and promotes overall healing.

Topical treatment for fungal infection in the toenails is typically a long-term process. It can take several months or longer to achieve visible improvements as the new healthy nail grows out and replaces the infected portion. 

It is important to continue the treatment until the recommended duration, even if the symptoms improve, to ensure complete fungus removal and reduce the risk of recurrence.

What are the different types of topical antifungal medications?

Several types of topical antifungal medications are available to treat toenail fungus. Some examples include azoles, allylamines, polyenes, ciclopirox, and amorolfine. These medications work to inhibit the growth of fungi responsible for the infection.

It's important to note that the specific formulation and concentration of these antifungal medications may vary among different brands or products. 

The choice of topical antifungal medication depends on factors such as the severity of the infection, individual response, and the healthcare professional's recommendation.

When is topical treatment recommended?

Topical treatment for onychomycosis is often recommended in cases where the infection is mild to moderate and localized. Here are some situations where your podiatrist may prescribe topical treatment:

Early-stage infections

If the infection is in its early stages and the infection is not severe, topical treatment may be the first line of defense. Starting with topical treatment can effectively prevent the spread of the condition and promote healing.

Limited nail involvement

When the fungal infection is limited to a small portion of the nail or only affects a few nails, a topical treatment can be an appropriate option. This is especially true if the infection has not spread to the nail bed or surrounding skin.

Medical contraindications

In some cases, individuals may have medical conditions or take medications that make systemic antifungal drugs less suitable. In such situations, topical treatment may be recommended as a safer alternative.

Combination therapy

Topical treatment can also be combined with other methods, such as oral antifungal medications or laser therapy. This combination approach can enhance the effectiveness of treatment and improve outcomes.

Recurrence prevention 

After successful treatment of toenail fungal infection, continued use of topical antifungal medication may be recommended to prevent recurrence and keep the nails protected from reinfection.

How does laser therapy work for toenail fungus?

Laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment option for toenail fungus that uses focused laser beams to target and eliminate the fungal infection. Here's how laser therapy works for such a condition:

  • During laser therapy, the laser device emits focused beams of light that generate heat. The laser light is absorbed by the pigments in the fungal cells, causing a localized increase in temperature.
  • The heat generated by the laser penetrates the nail and reaches the underlying fungal infection. The elevated temperature effectively destroys the fungal cells, including the spores, without causing damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Laser therapy also stimulates the body's immune response. The heat generated by the laser can trigger an immune reaction, enhancing the body's ability to fight off the fungal infection and promote healing.

Laser therapy for toenail fungal infection typically requires multiple treatment sessions. The number of sessions needed may vary depending on factors such as the severity of the condition and individual response. Each session is usually spaced several weeks apart to allow for nail growth and repeated targeting of the infection.

Visible improvement in the appearance of the affected toenail may not be immediate. As the new healthy nail grows out, the infected portion of the nail is gradually replaced. It can take several months for the full effects of laser therapy to become noticeable.

Additionally, laser therapy for toenail fungal infection is generally considered safe, and most individuals experience minimal discomfort during the procedure. 

When is laser therapy recommended?

Laser therapy for onychomycosis may be recommended in certain situations, depending on the severity of the infection and individual factors. Here are some scenarios where laser therapy may be considered:

Persistent or recurrent infections

If topical treatments or oral antifungal medications have been ineffective in treating the condition or if the infection keeps recurring, laser therapy may be recommended as an alternative treatment option.

Allergy or intolerance to antifungal medications

Some individuals may have allergies or intolerances to oral antifungal medications or topical treatments. In such cases, laser therapy can be a suitable alternative for treating the infection without the need for systemic medications.

Medical contraindications

Certain medical conditions or medications may pose risks or limitations for the use of antifungal medicines. Laser therapy can be considered as a safer treatment option in such cases.

Moderate to severe infections

Laser therapy may be recommended when the toenail fungus infection is moderate to severe, involving a significant portion of the nail or multiple nails. 

Combination therapy

Laser therapy can also be combined with other treatment methods, such as topical antifungal or oral antifungal medications. This combination approach may enhance the effectiveness of treatment and improve outcomes.

Where to find the best Florida foot specialists?

Are you struggling with conditions like toenail fungus, plantar fasciitis, or bunions? If so, then Florida Foot and Ankle Associates are ready to help!

Our highly skilled and experienced podiatrists are dedicated to providing exceptional care. With their extensive knowledge and expertise, they can accurately diagnose and treat a wide range of foot and ankle conditions.

We specialize in providing top-notch care for all your foot and ankle needs. Some of the services we provide include the following:

Don't let foot and ankle problems limit your mobility and quality of life. Take the first step towards healthier feet by contacting us or visiting our offices.

We have locations throughout South Florida, our specialists serving the Greater Miami Area, including Miami-Dade (Miami, Kendall, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Coral Gables), Broward County (Hollywood, Pembroke Pines), and Palm Beach County (Boca Raton). Click here to find the ones nearest to you!

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Hammertoe is a condition where the toe joints become fixed in a bent or curled position, causing the toe to resemble a hammer. Symptoms typically include pain and discomfort in the affected toe or toes, especially when walking or wearing shoes. 

Furthermore, hammertoe can cause the affected toe to develop corns, calluses, or blisters due to the constant rubbing and pressure from shoes. Over time, it can become increasingly rigid and difficult to treat, potentially leading to permanent deformity or disability. 

You can learn more about hammertoe here.

If you suspect you have a hammertoe, you should see a Florida foot specialist for an accurate diagnosis and to discuss your treatment options. With proper care and attention, many cases of hammertoe can be effectively managed and relieved, allowing you to continue enjoying an active and healthy lifestyle. 

6 treatment options for hammertoe pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for hammertoe pain. The best treatment technique for you will depend on the severity of your condition and your individual needs. Some of the most effective treatments for hammertoe pain include the following:

  1. Footwear changes

Changing your footwear is one of the easiest and most effective ways to treat hammertoe pain. Tight, narrow, or pointed-toe shoes can exacerbate hammertoe and cause significant pain and discomfort. 

Instead, opt for shoes with a wider toe box, low heels, and good arch support. This will help to reduce pressure on your toes and alleviate pain.

  1. Toe exercises and stretches

Exercises and stretches can help to strengthen the muscles in your feet and toes, improving your flexibility and reducing pain. Some effective practices include the following:

  • Toe Raises

Sit with your feet flat on the ground. Lift your toes off the ground and hold for 5-10 seconds, then lower them back down. Repeat 10-15 times.

  • Walking on your tiptoes

Walk around on your tiptoes, lifting your toes off the ground with each step. This helps to strengthen the muscles in your toes and improve their flexibility.

  • Marble Pickups

Place a marble or small object on the ground in front of you. Use your toes to pick up the object and hold it for a few seconds, then release it back to the ground. Repeat 10-15 times.

  • Toe Stretches

Sit on the ground and stretch your legs out in front of you. Loop a towel around your toes and gently pull the towel towards your body, stretching your toes and the bottom of your feet. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then release. Repeat 3-5 times.

  • Arch Stretches 

Sit flat on the ground and place a tennis ball or rolled-up towel under the arch of your foot. Roll the ball or towel back and forth with your foot, massaging and stretching the arch. Repeat for 1-2 minutes on each foot.

Always consult your doctor or foot specialist before beginning any new exercise regimen, especially if you have other foot conditions.

  1. Use orthotics

Orthotics are specialized shoe inserts designed to help alleviate foot pain and correct abnormal foot mechanics. 

For hammertoe, orthotics can help distribute pressure evenly across your foot, reducing pain and discomfort. Additionally, these customized devices will also provide extra cushioning and shock absorption, thus reducing the stress and impact on your feet when walking or standing. 

  1. Medications

Taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication can effectively manage pain and discomfort associated with hammertoe. Some examples include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. NSAIDs can help to reduce inflammation and swelling in the affected toes, while acetaminophen can help to relieve pain.

OTC pain medication can be combined with other hammertoe treatments, such as shoe inserts, orthotics, or physical therapy. Combining treatments can help to provide complete pain relief and improve your overall foot health.

However, it's important to consult with your doctor or foot specialist before using any medication, especially if you have an existing medical condition or are taking other medications. They can help you determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs and ensure that you're using these medications safely and effectively.

  1. Get corticosteroid injections

Corticosteroids are a type of anti-inflammatory medication that can be injected directly into the injured or affected body area. They work by reducing inflammation and swelling, which can help alleviate pain and discomfort caused by a hammertoe condition. 

Foot doctors or podiatrists only recommend corticosteroid injections during severe cases, usually in conjunction with other conservative treatment options. 

The frequency of corticosteroid injections will depend on the severity of your condition and your individual response to treatment. In some cases, a single injection may provide long-lasting relief, while in other cases, multiple injections may be needed over a period of time.

  1. Consider surgery

Surgery may be necessary for more severe cases of hammertoe, especially if other treatments have been ineffective. Several types of surgery can be performed for hammertoe, depending on the severity of your condition, the number of toes affected, and your individual needs. This includes the following:

  • Tendon transfer
  • Joint resection
  • Fusion
  • Arthroplasty
  • Arthrodesis

Your doctor will evaluate your condition and discuss the right surgical procedure that will benefit you the most. They will also help you understand the risks and benefits of each method and help you make an informed decision about your treatment.

foot and ankle surgery near me,

Where to find the best foot and ankle surgeon near me?

If you're experiencing hammertoe pain, don't suffer in silence. There are several treatments available for hammertoe pain, including foot exercises, shoe inserts, pain medication, corticosteroid injections, and surgery.

Our board-certified podiatrists at Florida Foot and Ankle Specialists can help determine the best treatment option available to restore foot function and improve overall mobility. Our foot doctors also specialize in other practice areas, such as:

And more!

Contact us at 786 662 3893 to get in touch with the best podiatrist or visit our facility.

We have locations throughout South Florida, including the Greater Miami Area (Miami, Kendall, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Coral Gables), Broward County (Hollywood, Pembroke Pines), and Palm Beach County (Boca Raton). Find a location closest to you! 

 You can also a submit a form to schedule an appointment. 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

A painful, reddish, and swollen toenail can be the result of cutting your toenail too short or sustaining an injury from a ball game. The injured toenail can become hard and tender to the touch as the nail embeds and grows into the skin.

Over time, this initially harmless foot condition can become a full-on infection that can spread in the body. This type of foot condition is known as ingrown or onychocryptosis, or unguis incarnates.

Here at Florida Foot & Ankle, our Florida foot specialists and podiatrist are experienced in diagnosing and treating ingrown toenails. However, some cases can be treated at home using simple remedies and non-surgical options.

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a common foot problem wherein the sides of the toenail abnormally grow and dig into the skin. Over time, it will soon pierce the skin and soft tissues underneath, causing severe pain and infection. 

Ingrown toenails can happen to any of the toenails but more so to the hallux or big toe. An ingrown toenail typically has three stages of symptoms, and they are as follows:

  • Stage 1 - the toe is inflamed, hard, red, and tender to the touch.
  • Stage 2 - infection will set in, causing severe redness, inflammation and secretions (pus) to come out.
  • Stage 3 - formation of granulation tissue

Toenails can become ingrown when you taper the nail corners too short, wear ill-fitting shoes, have a toenail injury, or have an underlying medical condition. Other factors that can increase your risk of developing an ingrown include bad foot hygiene, active participation in foot-related activities, and disorders like diabetes.

What are home treatment options for ingrown toenails?

Some cases of ingrown toenails may be managed and treated at home. However, if the ingrown toenail starts to become infected and secrete pus, then that’s the time that you should visit your podiatrist.

Prevent infection and other complications as early as possible by doing some of these evidence-based home remedies.

Soaking the feet

One of the easiest yet effective ways to manage pain and swelling is to soak the affected foot in one of the liquid mixtures outlined below. These mixtures can help soften the curved nail and the skin around it, thus reducing pressure, pain, and swelling. 

You can combine a basin of warm water with soap, apple cider vinegar, or Epsom salt to prevent infection and relieve pain and inflammation. Here’s how you can prepare each one:

  • Warm soapy water - prepare a tub of warm water and mix a small amount of soap (e.g., Castile).
  • Apple cider vinegar - prepare a tub of warm water, then add ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to it. 
  • Epsom salt - prepare a tub of warm water, then mix two tablespoons of Epsom salt. 
  • Hydrogen peroxide - prepare a tub of warm water, then add hydrogen peroxide solution. The ratio is one part hydrogen peroxide for every three parts of water.

You can perform foot soaking 2 to 3 times daily for at least 20 minutes. Make sure to dry the feet thoroughly after each soak. 

Comfortable footwear

Wear socks and shoes that do not cramp your toes. Choose those that fit well but have lots of room for your toes to avoid putting too much pressure on your injured toe. Consider wearing comfortable, open-toed sandals while you wait for your ingrown to get better.

Use a toe protector

Another way to help manage your painful symptoms is by using different toe devices, such as a toe protector and toe brace. A toe protector is a soft, padded tube that covers the individual toes to cushion the ingrown toenails. Some may have a medicated jelly mixed inside the tube to provide relief and comfort and protect the toe from other injuries, such as blisters and corns.

Oral and topical medications

An ingrown toenail can cause significant discomfort, especially when moving or during an activity. So if the pain becomes unbearable, then you can always take over-the-counter medications to reduce the symptoms. This includes the following:

  • Acetaminophen 
  • Ibuprofen
  • Paracetamol
  • NSAIDs

There are also OTC topical pain relievers that you can apply to the injured toe to provide comfort and promote healing. Some examples of ointments and creams include mupirocin, bacitracin, and neomycin. 

Additionally, these ointments can aid in decreasing your risk for infection, as well as augment the healing of the injured soft tissues.

If the ingrown toenail starts manifesting the symptoms of infection, then your doctor may prescribe antibiotic medications and ointment. You should get medical help if the ingrown is infected or if the above-mentioned home remedies fail to improve your condition after 3 to 4 days.

When to visit a podiatrist?

An ingrown toenail that does not get better with home remedies and other non-surgical options should be seen by a foot specialist. You should also skip the home remedies and go straight to a doctor if you notice signs of infection, such as:

  • Fluid build-up in the affected nail
  • Foul smell
  • Oozing yellow discharge or pus
  • Thick, hard, and cracked yellowing nails
  • Swelling, hardening, redness, and throbbing
  • Pressure and severe pain when touched

Furthermore, patients with an underlying medical disorder, such as diabetes and circulation problems, should not underestimate an ingrown toenail. Once detected, it’s best to seek the help of the best podiatrist right away.

Your podiatrist will inspect the ingrown toenail first to see what kind of treatment to utilize. They may perform a partial or complete surgical removal of the infected nail, skin, and adjacent soft tissues. 

After the procedure, you will feel mild pain and discomfort, but also immediate relief since the ingrown is now gone. Your doctor will instruct you about proper aftercare and prescribe the right medications to augment healing.

foot and ankle surgery

Visit the best foot and ankle doctors in the Miami area to get the proper treatment you need

If you are currently enduring such a condition, then the best option is to visit one of the best podiatrists at Florida Foot & Ankle Associates.

If you need foot and ankle surgery, Florida Foot and Ankle Associates is the right place for you. We have locations throughout South Florida, with our specialists serving the Greater Miami Area, including Miami-Dade (Miami, Kendall, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Coral Gables), Broward County (Hollywood, Pembroke Pines), and Palm Beach County (Boca Raton). Find your doctor here!

Our board-certified foot doctors can properly diagnose, manage, and treat various foot conditions一from simple ingrown to traumatic foot injuries. Our facility also specializes in other practice areas, such as:

Contact us now to learn more about ingrown toenails and other foot conditions.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

A heel spur is a common foot problem that plagues many adults and aging seniors. It is one of the most common causes of chronic heel pain, but most people don’t realize this until it’s too late. 

According to research, about 38% of the general adult population have been diagnosed with a heel spur, and a third have spurs occurring at two sites. Research also found a high incidence rate of heel spurs in seniors 70 years and up, which means a possible correlation between age and its prevalence.

Unfortunately, heel spurs become permanent once they develop. There’s also no definite cure besides surgery, which may not be a possible option for every patient. The next best form of treatment is prevention or early diagnosis.

So, here is everything you need to know about heel spurs一what they are, how they occur, and what to do about them. 

What is a heel spur?

Heel or “calcaneal” spurs refer to a foot condition wherein there’s a bony protrusion growth on the underside of the heel bone or calcaneus. This outgrowth is a calcium deposit that extends from the back of the heel bone to the arch, which can grow up to half an inch. It can occur in the back, plantar, and Achilles parts of the feet.

Heel spurs are often associated with plantar fasciitis. However, these two medical conditions are not the same, but they do have close relations. Here’s how they are associated with each other:

Plantar fasciitis vs Heel spurs 

  • Plantar fasciitis is a medical condition wherein the plantar fascia一a ligament that runs underneath the foot and attaches the heel bone to the base of the toes一gets inflamed. It causes stabbing pain near the heel portion of the foot during movement. 
  • Heel spurs can have a variety of causes, and one of them is due to plantar fasciitis. They often develop as a result of repetitive stress to the heel area, causing bony tissues to form as a defense mechanism. 

Plantar fasciitis doesn’t necessarily result in heel spurs if given the right treatment and management techniques. Such conditions can also subside on their own, unlike heel spurs which are usually permanent unless surgically removed. 

What causes heel spurs?

Generally, heel spurs develop as a response to repetitive stress and strain on the ligaments and tendons in the foot. It can also be due to overstretching and repeated tearing of these structures.

Heel spurs develop over time and result from excessively performing specific activities, such as running and jogging on hard surfaces. Other risk factors that can eventually cause you to develop a bony protrusion include:

  • Gait abnormalities
  • Flat feet or high arches
  • Excessive body weight
  • Poorly fitted shoes
  • Wearing worn shoes or flip-flops too often.
  • Untreated bruising in the heel portion
  • Medical conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and diabetes.

What are the symptoms of heel spurs?

Heel spurs are often associated with intermittent or chronic pain caused by the spur that presses on the inflamed soft tissue. That’s why individuals with calcaneal spurs often experience worsening pain during movement. Other symptoms include:

  • Soft tissue inflammation
  • Visible swelling at the front of the heel
  • Mobility problems

However, some heel spurs do not cause any pain at all due to the spur’s different angle growth. Some also do not cause any changes in the soft tissues near the bony outgrowth. Asymptomatic individuals can only typically find out about their heel spur after an X-ray procedure.

How does a Florida foot specialist diagnose a heel spur?

Chronic heel pain and inflammation are generic symptoms that can point to several other foot conditions. That’s why patients should schedule an appointment with a foot specialist or podiatrist who can effectively diagnose the disorder and rule out other medical conditions. 

Physicians usually perform the following diagnostic procedures to confirm a calcaneal spur diagnosis:

  • Physical examination includes palpation of the plantar fascia and checking for signs of tenderness.
  • Medical history evaluation
  • Radiologic imaging exams, such as X-ray, to view the calcification.

Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, your doctor will create a treatment plan based on your condition’s severity.

What are the treatment options for heel spurs?

Treatment and management options for heel spurs will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Your podiatrist will recommend a combination of non-surgical treatment techniques to eventually reduce your symptoms. 

You’ll be under a specific treatment plan for at least 6 weeks. If your condition shows promising progress, then your doctor will continue with it for at least 6 months or more. 

Non-surgical treatment options for heel spurs

Some examples of conservative methods include the following:

  • Rest and activity modification 

these two practices prevent the heel spur condition from worsening, which can hasten your recovery time. 

  • Cold compress  

putting a cold compress in the heel area for at least 15 minutes to temporarily numb the area and relieve pain and swelling. 

  • Orthotic shoe inserts 

these assistive devices will help cushion the plantar fascia and provide heel and arch support. However, this is preferably done if the heel spur is associated with plantar fasciitis.

  • Physical therapy 

physiotherapy helps strengthen the foot muscles and reduce pain in the long run. A physical therapist will utilize various stretching exercises to aid the plantar fascia and heel muscles.

  • Pain medications  

your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications to help relieve acute pain in the heel area. Some examples include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin.

  • Anti-inflammatory injections 

if it does not get better with OTC medications, your podiatrist can administer corticosteroid shots to battle both pain and swelling.

Surgery for heel spurs

Most patients (90%) get better after months of combined conservative methods. However, if non-surgical options fail to improve your condition, then your physician will recommend surgery.

The surgical treatment option involves the removal of the spur and the release of the plantar fascia. Patients who undergo such a technique typically experience a significant reduction in pain and an improvement in mobility. 

However, surgical methods rarely happen, and when they do, patients will need to undergo pre-surgical tests to see if they’re good candidates. 

heel pain doctor

Where to find the best heel pain doctor in Florida?

A heel spur may seem like a minute condition, but it can actually cause disabling symptoms for a lot of people. So if you are currently experiencing heel pain, then don’t hesitate to contact Florida Foot and Ankle Associates.

We are a team of board-certified podiatrists specializing in treating various foot-related conditions. We are also an expert in other podiatric practice areas, such as:

Contact us or visit one of our facilities! We have locations throughout South Florida, our specialists serving the Greater Miami Area, including Miami-Dade (Miami, Kendall, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Coral Gables), Broward County (Hollywood, Pembroke Pines), and Palm Beach County (Boca Raton. 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

If you are experiencing persistent foot pain or discomfort, you may have a condition called Morton's neuroma. Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of the foot and can cause pain, tingling, and numbness. This article explains everything you need to know about Morton’s neuroma. Continue reading to check and confirm if you have Morton’s neuroma, and how to treat it.

What is Morton’s Neuroma?

The name "Morton neuroma" comes from Thomas Morton, a doctor who wrote about the compression of nerves between the metatarsal heads in 1876. Despite the name, it is not a true neuroma, but rather a condition in which chronic irritation of the interdigital nerve causes neuropathic pain.

Morton’s neuroma occurs when the tissue around a nerve, usually between the third and fourth toes, becomes thicker and presses on the nerve. This pressure irritates the nerve and causes the pain and other symptoms associated with Morton’s neuroma.

Image from National Library Medicine

Morton’s neuroma is most commonly seen in middle-aged women, although it can affect men and people of any age. It is most often caused by wearing shoes that are too tight or have high heels, excessive physical activity such as running, and having an abnormal foot structure such as bunions or hammertoes.

Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma

If you have Morton’s Neuroma, you may be experiencing some of the following symptoms:

  • Feeling of having a pebble in the shoe
  • Tingling sensation or numbness in the toes
  • Seems like your sock has a bulge that you cannot seem to straighten
  • Burning sensation in the ball of your foot
  • Pain that increases when wearing tight footwear
  • Discomfort thats increases during vigorous activities
  • Difficulty walking

Causes of Morton’s Neuroma

The exact cause of Morton's neuroma is not known, but it is believed to be caused by a combination of factors. Common causes of Morton's neuroma include:

  • Wearing tight, narrow shoes or high heels
  • Participating in activities that involve repetitive motions of the foot
  • Increase in physical activity or an injury to the area
  • Trauma to the foot, bunions, or flat feet
  • Foot deformities, high arches, or hammertoes

How is Morton's neuroma diagnosed? 

Morton's neuroma is typically diagnosed based upon the patient's symptoms, medical history, and a physical examination. During the physical examination, the doctor may press on the affected area of the foot to determine if pain is present. If pain is present, the doctor may order imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI to rule out any other potential causes such as a stress fracture or arthritis. 

The doctor may also perform a nerve conduction study to measure how quickly electrical signals travel through the affected nerve. If the nerve conduction study confirms the presence of Morton's neuroma, the doctor may recommend treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, or an injection of local anesthetic and corticosteroid. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the neuroma.

How to relieve the pain associated with Morton's neuroma?

There are several ways to ease the pain of Morton's neuroma yourself, and allow the nerve to heal. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Rest your feet  

Give your feet a break from activities that put pressure on the affected area. Limit the amount of time you spend on your feet and avoid activities such as running or wearing high heels.

  1. Ice the area 

In order to provide relief, it is recommended to use an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables on the affected area for 15 minutes. This will help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.

  1. Stretch your feet 

Stretching your feet can be a great way to help reduce the pain. By stretching the muscles and tendons in the feet, tension in the area can be relieved and the discomfort of the condition can be minimized. Regular stretching can help to keep the muscles and tendons in the feet loose and relaxed, helping to reduce the pain.

  1. Use a cushion 

To help reduce the discomfort, place a cushion or pad in your shoe. Make sure the cushion or pad you use is specifically designed for Morton's Neuroma and fits comfortably in your shoe. This can help to provide the necessary support and alleviate the pain associated with the condition.

  1. Wear shoes with a wide toe box 

Having extra space in the toe area of your shoe allows your toes to move more freely and reduces the amount of pressure put on the affected area. This can help to prevent pain and discomfort that can be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow. If you're looking to make sure your feet are comfortable, then investing in shoes with a wide toe box is a great option.

  1. Take over-the-counter pain medications 

To reduce inflammation and discomfort, one can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) available without a prescription. Popular examples of these medications include ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.

If the pain does not improve, it is important to see a heel pain doctor for further evaluation and treatment.

Treatment Options for Morton’s Neuroma

Treatment options for Morton’s neuroma depend on the severity of the condition and the individual patient’s needs, and may include:

  • Non-Surgical Treatment: Non-surgical treatment options for Morton’s neuroma include rest, icing the area, wearing wider shoes, using arch supports or orthotics, and taking medications such as anti-inflammatory medications and corticosteroids. Non-surgical treatments are often successful in relieving the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma.
  • Surgical Treatment: If non-surgical treatments are not successful, surgery may be necessary to treat Morton’s neuroma. Surgery may involve removing the swollen nerve, cutting the surrounding tissue, or releasing pressure on the nerve. Surgery typically results in a significant reduction of pain and improved function of the affected foot.
  • Alternative Treatments: In addition to traditional treatments, some people with Morton’s neuroma may find relief with alternative treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and massage therapy.

No matter what treatment option is chosen, it is important to seek medical advice from a qualified heel pain doctor in order to determine the best course of action for your particular situation.

Where to Get Foot and Ankle Surgery in South Florida?

Florida Foot and Ankle Associates have been treating patients for decades, building trust and a reputation for providing the best care for foot and ankle conditions. Our caring and compassionate healthcare professionals will accompany you through every step of the way, and we are using the most modern practices and equipment in podiatry, from regular foot care to more complex treatments.

Some areas in which we specialize include: 

We serve in South Florida, including the Greater Miami Area, all surrounding Miami-Dade communities as far north as Broward County and Palm Beach County. Do not hesitate to find the doctor's office closest to you. Find your doctor here

If you require podiatry services, do not hesitate to contact us today or call 786 662 3893 to book an appointment. 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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