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

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Monday, 27 April 2020 00:00

Different Forms of Neuropathy

There are many diabetic patients who experience the painful condition that is known as neuropathy. It can be a bothersome side effect that can cause severe pain and discomfort, in addition to creating a numbing or tingling sensation. A common form of this condition is known as peripheral neuropathy, which is generally the result of high blood sugar levels. There are other forms of neuropathy, which include autonomic, motor, and sensory neuropathy. The former can affect the digestive process and possibly the organs. The muscles in the feet can be damaged by motor neuropathy, and may lead to foot conditions such as a hammertoe. When the blood sugar levels are elevated for a long period of time, sensory neuropathy may develop, and the nerves in the feet may be impacted. If you are experiencing any form of neuropathy, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can determine the cause of your condition.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in 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 for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

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 Neuropathy
Monday, 20 April 2020 00:00

How to Safely Treat a Corn on Your Foot

If you notice you have formed a thickened layer of skin either on the bottom of your foot or on your toes, you may have developed a corn. Corns are similar to calluses, but are sore to the touch and can make simple activities, like putting on shoes, very painful. They may develop due to excess friction, typically caused by ill-fitting footwear. If you believe a corn has formed, it’s very important that you safely remove it. You should not use razor blades or knives in an effort to cut the corn off. Instead, soak your feet in a foot bath with warm water to soften the skin. Once soaked, use a pumice stone to file it down and apply lotion. For professional help and to remove your corn safely and properly, it’s suggested to seek the counsel of your local podiatrist.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact Brent Harwood, DPM of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? and How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctor to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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 Understanding Corns and Calluses
Monday, 13 April 2020 00:00

Where Are the Sesamoid Bones Located?

The pain and discomfort that is often experienced with the medical condition sesamoiditis is generally felt under the big toe. Two sesamoid bones are found inside the tendons of the big toe, and can become injured if shoes that are worn do not fit correctly. These types of shoes can include high heels, which typically have inadequate room for the toes to move freely in. A common symptom that many patients experience with this condition can consist of a dull pain that can become stronger as walking and running activities are pursued. It is beneficial to perform exercises that can strengthen the feet, as this may help the foot to generally feel better. If you have pain on the bottom of your foot near the big toe, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If you think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact Brent Harwood, DPM of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor 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
Monday, 06 April 2020 00:00

Is MLS Effective?

Patients who have chronic pain from specific foot conditions may be interested in learning about a treatment that is known as MLS laser therapy. It is defined as using wavelengths of light to possibly treat joint conditions, and injuries that have occurred to the tendons and ligaments. Additionally, it may help to reduce inflammation. After several treatments of approximately eight minutes each, swelling and pain may be diminished. Research has indicated the benefits of using MLS therapy may include faster healing of sprains, wounds, foot ulcers, and blood circulation may be improved. If you have chronic foot pain and are interested in learning more about MLS therapy, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

MLS Laser Therapy is a successful alternative for treating any pain you may be experiencing related to certain podiatric conditions.  If you are interested in MLS Laser Therapy, consult with Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

MLS Laser Therapy

Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Laser Therapy is a patented, FDA-cleared technology that helps relieve pain and inflammation from a number of podiatric conditions, including:

  • Heel Pain
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Sports Injuries
  • Wounds
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Arthritis
  • Neuropathy
  • Neuromas

MLS Laser Therapy is an ideal alternative to surgery and prescription medication, as it has no negative side effects and encourages accelerated healing. Among its many clinical benefits, MLS Laser Therapy also:

  • Reduces swelling due to bruising or inflammation
  • Blocks pain
  • Reduces formation of scar tissue
  • Improves nerve function

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 MLS Laser Therapy
Monday, 30 March 2020 00:00

What Is ESWT?

The medical procedure that is known as extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) has been successfully used to treat specific types of chronic foot conditions. These may include heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, and tendonitis. It's defined as a treatment administered by a machine that transmits sound waves directly into the affected tissue and may be helpful in forming new blood vessels. This may help to diminish a portion of the pain which is often associated with these types of ailments. Research has indicated there are some patients who would not be eligible for this type of treatment. This group of people can include patients who have pacemakers, are pregnant, or who may have tumors. If you're considering this type of treatment, it's strongly suggested that you're under the care of a podiatrist who can properly guide you toward an effective treatment method that's correct for you.

Shockwave therapy is a treatment commonly used to treat various injuries and conditions, particularly plantar fasciitis in the feet. To learn more, consult with Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is a new treatment option designed to treat bone conditions such as tennis elbow, shoulder pain, and others. Shockwave therapy uses high intensity sound waves that are directed to the affected tissues of the body with pinpoint accuracy. The effects are very beneficial, leading to a production of collagen fibers, eliminating inflammation.

Who Benefits from Shockwave?

Shockwave is recommended for patients suffering from heel pain and associated problems. Heel pain is a common condition which can be caused by obesity, overexertion, and spending a substantial amount of time on hard floors with your feet exposed and unsupported.

Fast and Easy

The therapy is actually a simple process that can leave patients feeling better the very next day. Shockwave therapy is not as dramatic as it sounds. It enables more blood flow to effected areas, addressing the source of the problem and allowing treatment to last for a long time.

Treatment & Recovery Time

Shockwave treatment will enable your feet to recover quickly. This is especially important since surgery is not required. It is cost effective and does not require the use of anesthesia. This treatment is a better option to surgery, since it is proven safe.

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 Treating Heel Pain with Shockwave Therapy
Monday, 23 March 2020 00:00

Where Is The Tarsal Tunnel?

There is a portion of the foot that contains a narrow space which is located on the inside of the ankle. This is referred to as the tarsal tunnel. If this area becomes inflamed as a result of an injury, tarsal tunnel syndrome may develop. The symptoms that are often associated with this condition can include swelling, pain and discomfort surrounding the ankles, and patients may feel a tingling or burning sensation. Moderate relief may be found when the affected foot is taped, as this may help to keep it from moving. Additionally, wearing orthotic inserts may provide adequate cushioning as the healing process occurs. If you feel you have developed this condition, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer you the correct treatment.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Brent Harwood, DPM of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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 Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Monday, 16 March 2020 00:00

Are You Considering Bunion Surgery?

Patients who experience the uncomfortable foot condition that is known as a bunion may be interested in having it permanently removed. Bunion removal involves a procedure that is referred to as a bunionectomy, and may be helpful in alleviating the pain and discomfort this condition often brings. Complications that can arise from having this type of surgery performed may involve the healing process. This may be a result of poor circulation, and the desire to walk on the affected foot. Additionally, research has indicated that it is beneficial to stop smoking several weeks before and after surgery, as this may help to increase the oxygen supply that is needed for healing. If you are considering having bunion surgery, it is strongly suggested that you seek the advice of a podiatrist, who can help you to determine if this is the correct choice for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Brent Harwood, DPM of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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 Foot Surgery
Monday, 09 March 2020 00:00

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail is a painful condition that consists of the nail growing into the flesh of the toe. This can be incredibly painful, and may also make it difficult for someone with this condition to go about their daily activities. If an ingrown toenail is left untreated, it may run the risk of developing an infection. If this occurs, the affected area might start to bleed or drain pus. To help prevent an ingrown toenail from forming, it is recommended that you trim your toenails properly. To best do this, it’s important that you cut your toenails  straight across, instead of on an angle. It’s also advised not to trim your toenails too short, as doing so may also cause an ingrown toenail to develop. For more information on how to prevent and treat this condition, please consult with a podiatrist for professional care.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Brent Harwood, DPM of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenails
Monday, 02 March 2020 00:00

Possible Causes of Flat Feet

The medical term that is referred to as flat feet occurs when there is no visible arch, or a significantly small arch, as the foot lies flat on the floor. Genetic factors may be a cause of this condition, as well as wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. This ailment may cause a general feeling of achiness in the feet, and it is possible that strained muscles in the calves can develop. Mild relief may be found when gentle stretching techniques are performed that are specifically designed to strengthen the arch area of the foot. Additionally, many patients find it beneficial to wear orthotics inside of their shoes, as this may provide the support that is needed to complete daily activities. If you have flat feet, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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 Flat Feet
Monday, 24 February 2020 00:00

Who Does Sever’s Disease Affect?

The medical condition that is known as Sever’s disease can generally affect adolescents who participate in running and jumping activities. This ailment impacts the growth plate, and may occur as a result of the heel bone and surrounding muscles growing at different rates. There may be existing medical conditions that precede the onset of Sever’s disease. These can include flat feet, high arches, obesity, or having one leg that is shorter than the other. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition can consist of red skin around the affected area, swelling, and difficulty walking. Mild relief may be found when supportive shoes are worn, and gentle exercises are performed that may strengthen the foot. If you think your child may have Sever’s disease, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist for professional care and treatment.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their 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 injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease
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