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Fairhope, Brewton, Atmore, Jay Phone (251) 928-6768

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Monday, 21 September 2020 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

If you are experiencing pain, weakness, soreness, or a lack of flexibility in your feet or ankles, you may want to start practicing certain stretches. Stretching the feet and ankles can help to benefit the overall health of your lower extremities. One simple stretch you can practice allows you to sit comfortably in a chair. Once seated, begin by raising your toes, point them, and then curl them under. You’ll want to repeat this motion 10 times to help strengthen your mobility and build flexibility. Another stretch you can perform is called the marble pick-up, and is more focused on strength. Sit with your back straight and your feet in front of you. Place marbles in front of you and begin to pick them up with your toes. Start by using the toes of the right foot, then switch to your left. For more suggestions on what stretches you can practice to help the overall health of your feet, please speak with a podiatrist.

Why Stretching Is Important for Your Feet

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first to determine if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous exercise, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising to ice and rest the foot. It is advised that you then see a podiatrist for help.

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 How to Stretch Your Feet
Monday, 14 September 2020 00:00

Why Live with Pain and Numbness in Your Feet?

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Monday, 14 September 2020 00:00

Signs of a Broken Ankle

A broken ankle can involve the breaking of any of the 3 bones in the ankle joint, as well as damage to the surrounding tissues. Ankle fractures can occur to the tibia, fibula, or talus and can happen due to a variety of traumas. Common signs of a broken ankle include a popping sound at the moment of injury, limited ankle movement, tenderness, swelling, pain, and bruising. In extreme cases, there may be an open wound that also occurs with the injury. If you believe that you have broken your ankle, it is important to consult with a podiatrist. A podiatrist will assess your symptoms and take X-rays of the injured ankle to determine the extent of the injury. Once the ankle is diagnosed as a fracture, the ankle will be immobilized. The severity of the injury will determine the time table and management plan for the injury.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, contact Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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 All About Broken Ankles
Tuesday, 08 September 2020 00:00

Do I Need Hammertoe Surgery?

A hammertoe, as its name suggests, is a condition that affects the joints of the toe, causing it to bend in a downward shape, resembling a hammer. To help improve the toe’s flexibility, lessen the pain caused by the hammertoe, and to straighten the affected toe, surgery may be a good option for you. Surgery for a hammertoe will typically be suggested by a professional after conservative treatments, such as splints or orthotics, have failed to improve the condition. To help prepare for surgery, your podiatrist may suggest seeing a physical therapist, keeping weight off of your toe, and practicing certain exercises to help improve your overall balance in order to prepare you for moving around post-surgery. To help decide if surgery is the best treatment option for you, please consult with a podiatrist.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please 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 Hammertoe
Monday, 07 September 2020 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

What Is Causing My Heel Pain?

Heel pain when first getting out of bed in the morning, a burning or sharp sensation in the heel, and increased pain while walking, can all be indicative of the foot condition known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can be an uncomfortable foot condition to deal with, especially if it is left untreated. Common causes of this condition can include ill-fitting footwear, poor foot structure, certain exercises like long distance running, and occupations that require you to be on your feet for the majority of the day. Obesity may also lead to the development of plantar fasciitis, due to the excess pressure put on the foot. If you have heel pain, please seek the care of a podiatrist immediately for a proper diagnosis.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Brent Harwood, DPM  from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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 Plantar Fasciitis
Monday, 24 August 2020 00:00

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

Monday, 24 August 2020 00:00

The Location of the Achilles Tendon

The portion of tissue that is known as the Achilles tendon is located in the back of the leg, and connects the heel to the calf muscles. If an injury occurs to this part of the foot, it is often accompanied by severe pain and discomfort. An injury can happen for several reasons, including wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, suddenly twisting the foot while abruptly changing direction, and pursuing running activities without properly warming up or cooling down. A common symptom can include pain that is felt in the heel and back of the leg upon arising in the morning, and it may swell as the day progresses. Mild relief may be found when the activity that caused the injury is stopped, and it may help to wear custom made orthotics. If you have endured an Achilles tendon injury, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this condition.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Brent Harwood, DPM of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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 tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
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