Blog

Shockwave Therapy for Heel Pain Relief

Posted by on 7:44 pm in Heel Pain, Plantar Fasciitis, Shockwave Therapy | Comments Off on Shockwave Therapy for Heel Pain Relief

When you’re having heel pain, you’ll try anything to get rid of the pain. One technique that is rapidly gaining popularity today is shockwave therapy for heel pain. This therapy works on the proven theory that creating micro-trauma on a cellular level causes the blood vessels and bone cells within your body to regenerate so that they heal faster. As such, it is a safe, non-invasive way to treat many chronic conditions. What some people find funny is the paradox here that when you damage your foot, you actually heal it. The technique used here involves a series of movements that place tension on the area of your heel that’s causing the pain. Your technician then uses a shockwave hand piece transmitting shock waves to this area for four or five minutes. These shocks feel like a small baseball bat that’s hitting your heel’s tissue causing the microbleeding and bruising that aren’t too painful and thus don’t require any anti-inflammatory drugs or icing. The bruising is actually a necessary part of the repair process that takes place over the next few months. So, while the process is uncomfortable, it isn’t painful. Even the minimal amount of discomfort you feel diminishes as the treatment goes on. Therefore, there’s no reason you wouldn’t want to undergo the treatment again in the future. In fact, considering that you’ll experience between a 70% and 90% reduction in your pain, you’ll want to have at least three or four more treatments so that you can walk on your heels once...

read more

Menopausal Women at Risk for Gout Should Seek a Podiatrist’s Care

Posted by on 6:48 pm in Gout | Comments Off on Menopausal Women at Risk for Gout Should Seek a Podiatrist’s Care

Have you ever been awoken by the sensation of incredible pain coursing through your ankles and toes? Did those same areas appear swollen and red? Perhaps they felt hot and sensitive to touch as well. If so, you may have developed a type of incurable arthritis in your feet and ankles. Known as gout, it is a progressive disease that typically afflicts certain segments of the population. Among those that may find themselves in such situations are post-menopausal women. Researchers believe that the condition tends to occur in females, in a small part, due to the hormonal changes associated with menopause. The condition also tends to be associated with comorbidities like diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia, alcoholism and kidney disease. The disease is generally accepted by those in the podiatry community to have four stages. The first is known as asymptomatic hyperuricemia. The subsequent stages are acute, intercritical and chronic tophaceous. Preventive measures may be taken to help reduce a woman’s chance of developing gout. If it does form, aggressive treatment is generally given during the second and fourth stages when the body’s uric acid levels are at their greatest. It may also be given during the third stage when the disease is less active. Because the condition is caused by excessive levels of uric acid, two types of tests are commonly used to confirm a gout diagnosis. The first type involves a blood draw. The second type consists of removing and analyzing a person’s synovial fluid. However, some members of the medical community may also request a urinalysis, X-rays and a synovial biopsy be completed as well. Once a gout diagnosis has been made, there are quite a few treatment options that may be prescribed by your Seminole podiatrist. Some of the standard methods used early in the disease’s progression are the adoption of medication routines, lifestyle and dietary changes. In the mid to final stages, a podiatrist may recommend surgery. The formation of something known as “tophi” tends to be the main impetus for such recommendations to be issued. Tophi are actually pockets of uric acid crystals that can be drained to alleviate some of the person’s discomfort and minimize his or her risk of irreversible joint damage. We should also mention that the pockets’ drainage may also help to improve a person’s range of motion and ambulation. To learn more about gout in women and how it may be treated, please contact our Seminole podiatry office today. Image courtesy of Marin/...

read more

Plantar Warts and Foot Wart Removal: Helpful Information

Posted by on 6:38 pm in Plantar Warts | Comments Off on Plantar Warts and Foot Wart Removal: Helpful Information

Plantar warts are annoying little things that occur on the bottom of your foot. Unfortunately, they are quite common, but that does not mean they are any more enjoyable. If you find yourself or someone you care about with plantar warts, there is no doubt you want them gone. So, how do you go about dealing with plantar warts or foot wart removal? What is a Plantar Wart? A plantar wart is a small skin growth caused by the virus, HPV or human papillomavirus. Since they are caused by a virus, they can be spread, directly or indirectly. For example, someone with a wart touches the handle of the grocery cart. Another person touches the handle and the wart, or virus, has spread. Most warts are harmless and will go away in a couple years, even if you don’t do anything to them. Warts, however, can be unsightly, an irritation, and slightly painful. How to remove plantar warts Unless it is bothersome, a plantar wart will most likely go away on its own eventually. Luckily, there are some easy ways to treat the wart if you want it gone sooner. Over-the-Counter Treatments-You can find different options at your local pharmacy. These treatments work by basically peeling off the wart. This option only works about half the time. Duct Tape-You can use basic duct tape by placing a strip over your wart. Leave it there for about a week. When it’s time, take off the tape and soak your plantar’s wart in warm water. Then, use a file or pumice stone to gently rub away the wart. You may have to repeat this process several times over the course of 2-3 months. Doctor Treatment-A Seminole podiatrist can remove the wart, too. They can remove it via surgery, laser, or by freezing it off using liquid nitrogen. You don’t have to live with a plantar wart when there are effective removal...

read more

Podiatrists Provide Ball of Foot Pain Relief

Posted by on 7:38 pm in General Foot Care, Heel Pain | Comments Off on Podiatrists Provide Ball of Foot Pain Relief

Having a strong foundation is just as important to humans as it is houses. Without one in place, structural damage and collapse are possible. In humans, the feet are our foundation and ball of foot pain is one of the many things may cause it to weaken. Thankfully, ball of foot pain may be resolved by visiting a Seminole podiatrist office. Podiatrists know that ball of foot pain is often brought on by damage to the sesamoids. These are small, round bones that are located underneath a person’s big toe joint. Like other bones in our feet, sesamoids are connected to tendons and serve several functions. In this case, they help our big toes move and function similar to shock absorbers every time we put pressure onto the balls of our feet. That said, excessive pressure and overuse may cause the bones to fracture. It may also cause the surrounding tendons, muscles and soft tissue to become inflamed or otherwise injured. The only way that your podiatrist is going to know the exact cause of the pain and the extent of the damage is to conduct a series of tests and examinations. For instance, a podiatrist may order a scan of the sesamoids to look for fractures and visually examine the patient’s foot for any deformities or fibrous tissue growths. Afterward, your podiatrist might ask about your lifestyle and footwear choices as well review your health history. That’s because certain activities, footwear choices and preexisting health problems have a tendency to impact the sesamoids, soft tissue, muscles and tendons too. Examples of comorbidities that may contribute towards ball of foot pain are obesity, displaced metatarsal heads, avascular necrosis and inflammatory diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis). How podiatry office staff chooses to treat a patient’s ball of foot pain will depend on several factors. Take someone who has displaced metatarsal heads, very little fatty pad left, and hairline fractured sesamoids. The podiatrists may order rest and medications to address the hairline fractures, pain and inflammation. Then, they may recommend that the patient wear custom-made orthotics to rebalance the metatarsal heads and bolster the foot’s padding. To learn more about ball of foot pain and the various ways that podiatrists deal with it, please contact a Seminole podiatry office near...

read more

Bunion Treatment Options

Posted by on 5:17 pm in Bunion Treatment | Comments Off on Bunion Treatment Options

Bunions are deformities of the MTP (metatarsophalangeal) joint, which lies at the base of your big toe. This condition can severely affect your foot from functioning properly, as well as cause discomfort and damage your other toes. If you have a bunion, you need to get a professional diagnosis and receive treatment from a Seminole podiatrist. Diagnosing Bunions It can be obvious that you have a bunion from the pain and the odd shape of your big toe. However, you still should get a professional diagnosis. X-Rays—In most cases, a podiatrist will x-ray your foot to evaluate the severity of the condition. Blood Tests—These are done to determine if a particular form of arthritis is the cause of the pain. Nonsurgical Treatments Fortunately, most bunions can be treated at home, without needing surgery. The goal of any bunion treatment is to alleviate toe pain, as well as stop the bunion from growing worse. OTC (over-the-counter) pain medications, as well as medicines designed to relieve inflammation, can help relieve symptoms Warm foot baths and heating pads can be effective in easing discomfort Ice packs are another way to treat bunions. They should be applied to your toe joints for 10- to 20-minute intervals. Splints, bunion pads and shoe inserts are also used in treating symptoms. Wearing “roomy” shoes that have deep and wide toe boxes (the area surrounding the toes) can help. Don’t wear narrow, tight shoes or high heels that place pressure on our big toe joint. Prescription shoes, which are made with specially designed insoles that help relieve pressure from affected joints, is another treatment. These shoes also are effective in helping the foot become restored to its correct shape. Bunion Surgery Sometimes surgery is necessary when severe symptoms are involved. This type of surgery, known as a bunionectomy, is done to realign the bone located behind the big toe. To do this, a podiatrist cuts the ligaments at the joint. In severe cases, an osteotomy may be needed in which the bone is cut. This surgery involves using screws and wires to secure the bones. It also entails shaving or removing the excess bone. Warnings As with most surgeries, there’s always the chance of side effects. Complications may occur, such as bunion recurrence, limited toe motion and pain. Bunions generally develop by your feet being continually squeezed into pointed-toe and narrow footwear. Ignoring bunions only intensifies the condition. Don’t hesitate to contact our Seminole foot clinic today if you have...

read more

Dealing with Foot Fractures

Posted by on 8:26 pm in Foot & Ankle Surgery, Foot Fractures | Comments Off on Dealing with Foot Fractures

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, foot fractures are small cracks in the bone. The cause is usually overuse in high impact sports such as tennis, track and field, gymnastics, dance, and basketball. Muscles can become overtired and rendered less capable of cushioning shocks, transferring the stress to the bones. Hence, a stress fracture can result. Lack of conditioning, improper sports equipment, bad technique, and bone insufficiency such as caused by osteoposis can increase the possibility of a stress fracture. The fracture can manifest itself by pain, inflammation, swelling, and tenderness. The pain especially can be felt when doing weight bearing activities. If you suspect that you have a stress fracture in the foot or ankle, stop vigorous physical activity and perform first aid, such as applying an ice pack, even before seeing a Seminole foot doctor. Otherwise, the fracture can become a complete break. The podiatrist will take your medical history and perform a physical examination. He or she might also take an X-Ray or a bone scan to confirm the diagnosis. Depending on the location and the severity of the fracture, the doctor will recommend keeping off your feet or switching to less stressful exercises like swimming and bicycling. Your podiatrist may advise you to wear protective footwear or even, in some cases, a cast. In more severe cases, surgery may be indicated. The doctor will also advise on any diet and lifestyle changes you might want to do in order to avoid further fractures. Once the pain is gone and the fracture healed, your foot doctor will advise you to return gradually to your previous exercise...

read more

Best Post-Foot Surgery Recovery Tips for Nervous Podiatry Patients

Posted by on 8:56 pm in Foot & Ankle Surgery | Comments Off on Best Post-Foot Surgery Recovery Tips for Nervous Podiatry Patients

Foot surgery is often followed by a long recovery process that may be helped or hindered by a patient’s actions. The list of common actions that may waylay a podiatrist patient’s road back to foot health includes, but is not restricted to tobacco use, weight-bearing too soon, comorbidities, secondary infections, age, poor nutrition and medication regiments that include immunosuppressants. With that said, we’ve assembled some general, post-surgery recovery tips for podiatry patients of all ages: Stop smoking at least one month prior to the scheduled surgery, if at all possible. To do that effectively, speak to your doctor about which smoking cessation products may be best for your unique situation. In addition, make sure that if medications are involved in the smoking cessation plan, they won’t interfere with bone remodeling, bone production and blood clotting. While you are at it, speak with all members of your healthcare team to ensure that the medications you are on for unrelated comorbidities won’t interfere with the healing process either. If the products are prone to inhibiting the mending process, ask if it is safe to change medications, reduce dosage or stop taking those pharmaceuticals until your bones have sufficiently healed. Should making changes to existing medication regimens be impossible, ask what may be done to counteract the products’ negative effects and promote bone health. Contemplate investing in mobility aids that are in line with your existing comorbidities, physical abilities, age and recovery environment too. There are many non-weight bearing options to choose from including knee walkers, rollators, motorized wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, shower chairs and crutches. As long as they are deemed medically necessary, the cost of purchasing or renting the items may be covered by insurance plans. It may also be wise to make a few home modifications and hire an aide to at least run outside errands. Furthermore, work with your doctor, in advance, to purchase additional items needed to keep your foot clean, dry and healthy during the recovery process. For example, people that have comorbidities which negatively impact circulation may need to wear compression stockings or inflatable boots. Others may have to don custom orthotics like walking boots or adjustable sandals. However, don’t buy any of them until you’ve spoken with your podiatrist and had the items fitted. Otherwise, the mobility aids could end up doing more harm than good. Finally, work with a nutritionist to come up with post-foot surgery menu options that are conducive to speeding up or supporting healthy bone production and remodeling. Such diets generally require an increase in calories, protein, minerals, anti-inflammatory nutrients and vitamins. Some of the ones podiatry patients typically need to bulk up on are vitamins K, C and D as well as calcium, zinc, copper and phosphorous. Oh, and by the way, ask about taking dietary supplements...

read more

Debunking Podiatry-Related Myths About Barefoot Running

Posted by on 3:36 pm in Running Injuries | Comments Off on Debunking Podiatry-Related Myths About Barefoot Running

“Minimalist Style” or barefoot running is an increasingly popular trend among active adults today. Along with its growing popularity comes a surging debate: Does minimalist running cause or prevent injuries for running enthusiasts? Podiatry experts around the world have weighed in on this topic, and an overwhelming majority of them have encountered a series of myths, both good and bad, about barefoot running that they would like to officially debunk. A few of these mistruths follow in the list below: Stress Fractures – This is the number one public concern regarding the trend of barefoot running. Does it really cause stress fractures? The prevailing opinion is that stress fractures are a result of a change in activity without gradual adaptation. Therefore, they are not directly related to the concept of minimalist shoes or barefoot running. Plantar Fasciitis – Some sufferers of this condition believe that the idea of barefoot running would be impossible for them because it would be too painful. Actually, just the opposite may be true. Many podiatrists have reported that some patients with plantar fasciitis have seen their symptoms dissipate by adopting a minimalist running technique. Flat Feet – If you think that you have been cursed by your genetics and given flat feet your whole life, making it virtually impossible for you to run without hugely beneficial arch support and/or orthotics in your shoes, think again. The concept of barefoot running actually encourages a more natural pronation with the forefoot or mid-foot areas of your feet striking the ground first, resulting in better shock absorption. Therefore, flat footed people of the world should rejoice because they can now save some money on a pair of really supportive running shoes by simply letting their flat feet do the running for them all on their own. In conclusion, minimalist running, whether its with a minimalist running shoe or completely barefoot, is intended for you to use your feet the way nature intended; as a maximum shock absorber, rather than using a shoe that compromises the anatomical position of your foot and actually puts you at greater risk for injury. As with any new regimen or workout routine, do your research first, try it out, perhaps consult a podiatrist, and maybe you’ll like the way it feels and see less injury as an added...

read more

Ask a Foot Care Expert: What’s Up With All of This Intense Itching?

Posted by on 9:09 pm in General Foot Care | Comments Off on Ask a Foot Care Expert: What’s Up With All of This Intense Itching?

When the majority of Americans hear that someone has itchy feet and ankles, thoughts of tinea pedis tend to immediately come to mind. Although it is often one of the chief causes of intense itchy, it by far, isn’t the only one. There are actually many conditions that may be behind the intense itching and home foot care may not be enough to solve the problem. Here’s a look at just some of the other podiatry issues that could be spurring on a person’s overwhelming need to scratch: Xerotic Eczema If the temperatures have already started to dip and relative humidity is low, a person’s feet could show signs of xerotic eczema. It could also be caused by dehydration, malnutrition, allergic reactions to soap and taking too many hot showers in the winter months. In addition to the itching, people affected by the condition may experience redness, scaling, peeling and cracked skin too. Foot care may involve the use of washing powders, non-steroidal creams, steroidal creams, medicated oils and other thick emollients. Dyshidrotic Eczema If a person has many of the symptoms mentioned above but their feet and ankles also happen to be covered with clusters of little blisters, it could be dyshidrotic eczema instead. Although both genders have the potential to develop the skin problem, it tends to affect women more often than not. Podiatrists frequently attribute its cause to seasonal allergies. Therefore, it typically shows up on the feet and ankles during the spring, summer and fall. Treatment for the condition involves many of the foot care products used to resolve xerotic eczema. Scabies Itchy feet and ankles may be caused by scabies mites as well. It is one of those podiatry problems that require professional care. Sometimes it is accompanied by crusty patches of skin, rashes, blisters and discolored lines that run near those items. Foot care to kill off the mites tends to last a month and requires the use of prescription medications. So anyone that feels he or she may be suffering from the condition should contact a Seminole podiatrist right...

read more

Foot Ulcers May Create Problems for More Than Just Diabetics

Posted by on 8:27 pm in Diabetic Foot Care, General Foot Care | Comments Off on Foot Ulcers May Create Problems for More Than Just Diabetics

When many people think of foot ulcers, thoughts of uncontrolled diabetes often come to mind. Although there is a strong connection between diabetes and foot ulcer formation, it is not the only health condition associated with such problems. That’s partially because there are more than one type of foot ulcer. The ones that typically befall diabetic foot care patients are known as neurotrophic ulcers. They are called that because they often form due to nerve damage. The nerve damage causes the feet to become desensitized, which in turn allow everyday lacerations and puncture wounds to enlarge and become grossly infected. For diabetics, their nerve damage is caused by chronic, elevated blood sugar levels. However, there are additional medical conditions that are affiliated with nerve damage. They include, but are not confined to traumatic spinal injuries, syphilitic myelopathy, transverse myelitis and certain forms of spina bifida. The other two types of foot ulcers that Seminole podiatrists often treat at their podiatry offices are arterial and venous stasis ulcers. Both are associated with an interruption in blood supply. The first one concerns itself with arterial blood flow and the second one is affiliated with the blood that courses through a human’s veins. Diabetics are prone to have circulation problems too, hence why they often end up with venous stasis and arterial foot ulcers as well. The list of additional comorbidities that may lead to such foot ulcers includes, but is not limited to the following: Lymphedema and Inflammatory Diseases Peripheral Arterial Occlusive Disease Renal Disease and Kidney Failure Hypertension and Heart Disease Chronic Venous Insufficiency Unresolved Varicose Veins Deep Vein Thrombosis Thankfully, whether podiatrists in Seminole, FL specialize in diabetic foot care or not, they are capable of treating all three types of foot ulcers. To learn more about those various treatments and how to reduce one’s risk of developing foot ulcers in the first place, please contact a podiatrist...

read more