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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.

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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.

 

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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
Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

What Causes Poor Circulation?

The medical condition referred to as poor circulation is a result of restricted blood movement through the vessels. This generally occurs when the arteries are blocked, and the blood has difficulty flowing through the body. General causes for this condition to develop may include indulging in unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, lack of exercise, or being overweight. Research has shown that medical conditions may play a significant role in developing poor circulation, including high blood pressure, having diabetes, or Raynaud’s syndrome. The latter condition will cause the feet to turn white while exposed to cold temperatures. There are known to be several symptoms associated with poor circulation, which may include cramping in the legs and feet, experiencing a tingling or numbing sensation, or having cold feet. If you have any of the above symptoms, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist, so a proper diagnosis can be performed.

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms:

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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 Causes Symptoms and Treatment for Poor Circulation in the Feet
Monday, 05 November 2018 00:00

Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Common?

One of the most common types of arthritis is referred to as rheumatoid arthritis. Many people may experience symptoms of this condition in the feet and are aware of the pain and discomfort that typically exists with this ailment. There are specific symptoms that may accompany this type of arthritis, including swelling and soreness in the feet, difficulty waking, which may be a result of unstable joints, or the foot possibly changing shape. Research has shown the part of the foot that may be affected the most are the toes, which consist of smaller joints. They may begin to look deformed and may have difficulty in moving or bending. There may be additional foot conditions that may arise including the development of corns and calluses. This may be a result of changes in the foot shape. If you are afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can offer proper treatment techniques.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist  if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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 Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet

Research has shown that wearing shoes that fit properly may aid in preventing uncomfortable foot conditions from developing. Ingrown toenails may occur if the shoes that are worn fit too tightly, possibly causing the toenails to grow into the skin. It’s important to have your feet measured before purchasing shoes, and it may be beneficial to do this at the end of the day when the feet are typically at their largest. The shoe may feel comfortable when the ball of the foot fits properly in the widest portion of the shoe and there is adequate room for the longest toe to move about in. Many people make the mistake of expecting the shoes to stretch and become broken in as they are worn, and this may produce foot conditions such as corns or blisters. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about what to look for when buying shoes.

It is important to find shoes that fit you properly in order to avoid a variety of different foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

Shoes have many different functions. They cushion our body weight, protect our feet, and allow us to safely play sports. You should always make sure that the shoes you wear fit you properly in order to avoid injuries and deformities such as: bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more. It is important to note that although a certain pair of shoes might be a great fit for someone else, that doesn’t mean they will be a great fit for you. This is why you should always try on shoes before buying them to make sure they are worth the investment. Typically, shoes need to be replaced ever six months to one year of regular use.

Tips for Proper Shoe Fitting

  • Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot
  • Don’t buy shoes that fit too tight, expecting them to stretch to fit
  • Make sure there is enough space (3/8” to ½”) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up
  • Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right
  • Don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe, but by how the shoe fits your foot

The shoes you buy should always feel as good as they look. Shoes that fit properly will last longer, feel better, and improve your way of life each day.

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.

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Monday, 22 October 2018 00:00

The Location of the Sesamoid Bones

The bones that are found surrounding the joints in the foot are referred to as sesamoid bones. Research has confirmed the big toe contains different types of these particular bones and they have specific functions, which includes providing stability while walking. If an injury should occur to one or more of these bones, inflammation is likely to develop and this typically results in severe pain and discomfort. This is referred to as sesamoiditis, and generally occurs from repetitive activity that may be associated with dancing, basketball, or tennis. Patients who experience this condition often notice gradual pain developing in the foot, in addition to swelling and tenderness surrounding the affected joint. The first phase of treatment will often include rest and cessation from the activity that has caused this ailment. It’s suggested to speak to a podiatrist if you are afflicted with sesamoiditis for further treatment options that are correct for you.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact one of our podiatrists of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

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 Sesamoiditis

Many people are afflicted with several types of foot conditions, and these may be indicative of additional health issues that may be present in the body. Some people may experience muscle spasms and this may be a result of dehydration. If these spasms should occur while walking or running, it could be a symptom of a circulatory ailment. Additionally, a condition that is referred to as gout may be a result of excess uric acid that is present in the blood. Gout is a form of arthritis, which affects the big toe and typically produces extreme pain and discomfort. Patients who experience cold feet for the majority of the time may be aware that it may be a symptom of diabetes, thyroid concerns, or anemia. If you are experiencing any foot conditions, please consult with a podiatrist to learn how this may be a sign of other health issues.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact one of our podiatrists from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

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.

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Monday, 08 October 2018 00:00

Are Most Babies Born with Flat Feet?

When babies are born, many first-time parents do not pay particular attention to their babies feet other than to notice how cute they are. Most babies feet are extremely flexible, and are constructed of several bones and joints with additional support coming from the ligaments. Twelve months of age is typically when most children begin to walk, and flat-footedness is a common condition among these new walkers. As their walking skills develop, the muscle strength will improve and a normal arch will develop. Toddlers will benefit by walking barefoot indoors as often as possible, which will allow the sole of the foot to touch the floor. This will aid in strengthening the tendons and ligaments in addition to the muscles of the foot. When the proper time comes for your child to wear shoes, it’s important to have their feet correctly measured. Please consult with a podiatrist if you would like additional information on how to care for your children’s feet.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, 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.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of intoeing or outtoeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water, and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

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 Care for Your Child's Feet
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