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Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Proper Foot Care Techniques for the Elderly

Research has shown foot health may influence the overall well-being of the body. It’s common for many patients to ignore the health of their feet until an uncomfortable foot condition arises. This is especially true of the elder population, and taking proper care of their feet may be difficult as the aging process occurs. There may be noticeable symptoms, which may indicate potential concerns, and these may include the presence of open sores, burning pain and discomfort, or discoloration of the feet. When specific techniques are implemented, which may aid in proper foot care, many uncomfortable foot conditions may be avoided. These may include trimming the toenails straight across, elevating the feet frequently during the day, in addition to wearing shoes that are comfortable and fit correctly. If you would like additional information on how to properly take of elderly feet, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can guide you with the correct knowledge.

 

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Elderly Foot Care
Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

Intense Pain May Be Associated with Gout

Gout is known to be a painful and uncomfortable condition that typically affects the big toe. This part of the foot may be so sensitive that the weight of a bed sheet may cause intense pain. There are additional symptoms that may be associated with gout, including redness, swelling and extreme heat that may radiate from it. This ailment is said to be caused by excess uric acid in the blood levels that originate from ingesting foods that are laden with purines. Many patients notice these severe symptoms in the big toe, although it may occur in other parts of the body. Specific medications may be prescribed once an attack of gout has occurred, and there may be preventative measures that can be implemented which can possibly avoid this painful condition from occurring. If you feel you may have gout, it is advised to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to learn more about this condition, in addition to beginning the correct treatment.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout
Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

A red, tender, and swollen area will appear on the side of the big toe if you are experiencing an ingrown toenail. This uncomfortable condition is typically a result of wearing shoes that fit too tightly, enduring an injury to the toe, or trimming the toenails incorrectly. In more severe cases, there may be an excess of fluid that builds up surrounding the affected area, or the toe could bleed or have pus draining from it. Ingrown toenails develop when the nail grows into the skin on the side of the toe, and pain generally accompanies this ailment. It is suggested to seek treatment as quickly as possible, and this may prevent infection. There are several ways to prevent ingrown toenails from developing, including wearing shoes that fit properly, wearing clean socks, and washing the feet daily. Research has shown that a common treatment method is referred to as a partial nail avulsion, and this involves removing a portion of the infected toenail. If you feel you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is advised to counsel with a podiatrist, so the best treatment option can be determined.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenails
Wednesday, 02 January 2019 00:00

Can Cracked Heels Be Prevented?

Many people who enjoy walking barefoot or wearing flip-flops during the summer months may be surprised to learn that there may be consequences that can follow as a result of this. The skin may become dry, calluses may possibly form, and fissures in the skin of the heels, known as cracked heels, may develop. If the cracks in the skin should bleed, severe pain, discomfort, and infection may accompany this condition. There may be remedies that can be practiced to prevent and relieve extremely dry skin, and these may include washing and drying the feet thoroughly followed by utilizing a good moisturizer. At this point, it is suggested to wear socks while sleeping for the night, and this may aid in healing painful fissures. If you would like additional information about how to treat cracked heels, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can discuss the best options for you.

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 00:00

The Importance of Choosing the Right Type of Shoe

People who enjoy the sport of running understand the importance of choosing the right type of running shoe. This may aid in keeping the muscles and joints healthy and may maximize the benefits of running. The feet have different functions when walking and running are practiced and it’s important to choose the correct shoe. Running is a high impact exercise and the feet will generally absorb three times the weight of the body. People who enjoy walking will notice the body’s weight is much more evenly distributed between the feet and the legs and may benefit by choosing shoes with adequate arch support. When deciding on a running shoe, you may notice the sole is stiffer and there is more cushioning in the heel area. Additionally, they tend to be generally lighter in weight than walking shoes, which may aid the runner to have faster mobility. If you would like additional information about the differences between walking and running shoes, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist.

For more information about walking shoes versus running shoes, consult with one of our podiatrists from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors can measure your feet to determine what your needs are and help you find an appropriate pair of footwear.

Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes

There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.

You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.

Differences

Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.

Flexibility – Walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Walking Shoes vs. Running Shoes
Monday, 17 December 2018 00:00

Common Causes of Blisters

Research has shown blisters to be the most common medical condition among marathon runners. This may be a result of continued friction caused from the sock or shoe that is worn while running. As the skin becomes gradually damaged, the body creates a bubble containing fluid to act as a natural protectant. Research has shown similarities between people who commonly get blisters. These similarities may include performing vigorous activities that may consist of repetitive force, such as jumping and running; shoes that may fit incorrectly; or possibly from feet that have an unusual shape. There are measures that may be taken to possibly prevent blisters, including wearing shoes that are comfortable and fit properly, applying powder in shoes and socks, or taping the feet where a blister may occur. If you have a blister that is recurring and causes pain and discomfort, speak with a podiatrist who can offer proper prevention and treatment solutions.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact one of our podiatrists of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Blisters

Research has shown there are over 26 bones and several ligaments and tendons that are in each foot. If an injury is experienced in any portion of the foot or if a medical ailment develops, foot pain or difficulty in walking may be indicative of a serious foot condition. A source of uncomfortable foot pain may originate from a condition that is referred to as plantar fasciitis, and this will typically affect the heel of the foot. If you engage in running or jumping activities for extended periods of time, you may develop metatarsalgia. If you have this type of foot pain, you may notice discomfort in the middle of the foot. Additionally, foot pain that comes from tarsal tunnel syndrome will affect the nerves of the foot. If you have any type of foot pain, it is advised to seek the counsel of a podiatrist that can determine the cause of the pain and recommend proper treatment options.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Foot Pain

If you have consistent pain and discomfort in the heel of your foot, you may have a medical condition that is referred to as plantar fasciitis. It will typically target people who are active in running sports, or for those who stand for the majority of the day. This ailment is a result of inflammation that occurs in the long portion of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, which links the toes to the heel, and this is known as the plantar fascia. A common symptom of this ailment is severe heel pain, which may often be worse in the morning when the first steps are taken. Some patients have specific tendencies that may encourage the development of this condition, including being overweight, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or are born with flat feet or high arches. There are possible techniques that may offer moderate relief, and these may include performing proper foot stretches, resting your feet as often as possible, or wearing shoe inserts. If you have developed this condition, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist to understand what treatment options are correct for you.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affects people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

Hammertoe May Be Preceded by a Bunion

If you notice a sizable bump on the second toe of your foot, you may have what can develop into a hammertoe. Many people experience a bunion first, and this will typically occur on the side of the big toe. As this condition develops, the toes push against each other causing the middle toe to bend downward, and this may cause pain and discomfort. Research has shown this condition may be more apt to develop in people who are experiencing arthritis in the bones of the feet. There may be preventive measures to halt this ailment from happening, including wearing shoes that have adequate room for the toes to move about it in. Moderate relief may be found by performing specific exercises that can stretch the toes. One example would be to try soaking the feet in warm water daily, followed by pointing the toes. This may benefit in stretching the tendons of the toe. If you feel you are developing this condition, please consult with a podiatrist for treatment options that are correct for you.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe

There are many women who enjoy wearing high heels despite knowing foot pain may develop from wearing these specific type of shoes. Research has shown that when the heel is high, the arch in the foot may become inflamed and this may typically cause pain and discomfort. If high heels are worn on a frequent basis, the toes may undergo stress, and this may possibly cause corns and calluses to develop. The likelihood of incurring a fall may increase as a result of the line of gravity being altered by the height of the heel. There are several ways to enjoy wearing high heels while keeping your feet as comfortable as possible. These may include slipping off your shoes at an appropriate time and performing gentle stretching exercises, including pointing, flexing and rolling your ankles. Additionally, circulation in the feet may be increased by wiggling the toes. Your feet may benefit by wearing shoes that are more comfortable the following day, which may allow the foot muscles to rest. Please speak to a podiatrist if you would like additional information concerning the dangers of wearing high heels.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
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