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Monday, 02 January 2017 16:04

Winter Coming, Cracked Heels Abound

corns2As winter approaches, we all know how important it is to make sure to keep our skin from getting too dry. Just as we use balms and moisturizers for our face and hands, there are many ways to protect against dry and cracked feet and heels. Glycerin lotions are some of the best remedies for combatting dryness. Hydrogenated oils are also very effective moisturizers, and can be used not only on your feet, but your ankles and legs too. In addition, fruits such as bananas and pineapples have plentiful amounts of helpful enzymes to ensure smooth and crack-free feet and ankles.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are unappealing, and make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Not only may they look bad, but they can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How do you get them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief, or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – wearing socks with medicated creams, helps lock in moisture so it can stay on longer.

Moisturizers – applying it both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – these remove dead skin, and then you can massage cream onto your foot. This way the cream will be absorbed. The skin needs to be exfoliated; therefore the outer layer dead skin needs removal.

Change in Diet

Eating healthy, with a well-balanced diet, will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to what kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements will also help with skin tissue.

Most importantly seek a health professional for foot care if something is wrong or doesn’t seem to be working. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about cracked heels.

achilles tendon6Known as the thick tendon that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone, the Achilles tendon allows you to do everyday activities such as walking and running. Insertional Achilles tendonitis is a condition of the Achilles tendon in which pain is experienced at the heel, and which can become chronic if left untreated. Non-insertional Achilles tendonitis can be described as a microscopic tearing of the fibers in the tendon. If the problem becomes chronic, a bone spur can eventually develop as the tendon thickens. If severe, the condition may require surgery.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

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 cause severe 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 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 Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles tendon injuries.

Monday, 19 December 2016 17:13

How to Tell If You Have Plantar Fasciitis

toenail fungus7If you’re experiencing stiffness and pain in the soles of your feet that typically becomes more prominent during the mornings, you may have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can be described as a foot condition that results from overuse of the plantar fascia, the tissue that runs along the soles of your feet. Excessive stress on this area can lead to inflammation. Being overweight, having flat feet or high arches, pregnancy and improper footwear such as flip flops are also factors in the development of plantar fasciitis. Treat your condition by icing your feet, stretching your muscles and having proper rest by avoiding any strenuous activity.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

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 Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

Monday, 12 December 2016 17:13

Burning Sensation in the Feet

working feet2If you have symptoms of a burning sensation in your feet, you may have any number of conditions. The sensation of burning in the feet can be either minor or severe, affect people over 50, and occur most frequently during the night. Nerve damage from diabetes, vitamin deficiency or alcoholism, obesity, strain on the feet, overheated feet, eczema or dermatitis, blood disorders, or any other impairment of the feet’s nerves can all lead to the described burning sensation. Seeing your podiatrist is vital to understanding any underlying causes. Make sure that you are wearing properly-fitting shoes as well.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, 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 Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle 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 Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Monday, 05 December 2016 12:45

CDC Releases Report on Arthritis

Arthritis5Arthritis is a condition that affects not only the hands and wrists, but feet and ankles as well.  There are more than 50 million people in the US that are currently diagnosed with arthritis and there are a lot of different opinions on how to effectively treat the disease.  Frequently it is difficult to parse through what does work and what doesn’t.  Arthritis can be painful, especially when it affects the foot and ankle area.  When trying to manage this pain, it is important to be informed on what types of treatments are effective, keeping in mind that some can actually be harmful.  The CDC has recently released a report that outlines some good and bad treatments for this chronic ailment.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Arthritic Foot Care

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves inflammation of different joints in your body, such as in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. On top of this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help to temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about arthritic foot care

broken foot4The fifth metatarsal is the long bone that connects to the pinky toe on the outside of the foot.  This bone is especially prone to fracture for people involved in any sort of prolonged physical activity, especially team sports.  A stress fracture is one of the most common injuries in soccer, but many other athletes also suffer this injury.  It is vitally important to never ignore any type of foot pain, on the field or off.  Professionally, there is immense pressure to perform, which can lead to dependency on prescription painkillers.  But the truth is, we all need our feet, not just star athletes. The best course of action is always to contact a podiatrist and get to the root of the problem.

Activities in which too much pressure is placed on the feet can cause stress fractures. If you have any concerns about your feet contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

The Stress Fractures occur on the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use. Then the feet and ankles lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection the bones receive the full impact of each step. The stress on the feet causes cracks to form in the bones, thus called stress fractures.

What are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Play tennis or basketball
  • Gymnastics
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures, and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity that involves in high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Monday, 21 November 2016 20:43

Arch Support and Your Feet

orthotics5It is no secret that high heels are bad for the feet. The human foot is not designed to wear extremely high heels, forcing the foot to adjust to the unnatural height difference when heels are worn. Additionally, women who have flat feet are more susceptible to foot problems due to a lack of arch support in high heels. Examples of such foot problems include arch pain, foot cramps, tired feet, and leg fatigue. Over-the-counter arch products are a solution to the lack of arch support in many types of footwear and may help prevent foot problems in the future.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain, but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct over arched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you, or if you have a more severe foot issue, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and more severe heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses, and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist on the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain free.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Orthotics

Monday, 14 November 2016 17:17

What Do Podiatrists Treat?

fungal toenail2While most people understand that podiatrists are foot doctors, many people still may not comprehend a podiatrist’s work and the various conditions a podiatrist treats. Various foot problems that many people experience and that a podiatrist can treat include plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and flat feet.

Among the group who sought podiatric help, 88% reported a quick diagnosis and 76% received treatment that eliminated the problem. A third of the group said that their visits to the podiatrist exposed other health concerns, such as diabetes, circulatory issues, and nerve issues.

"It's not surprising to see how many people are affected by foot pain, when survey results show that we view our feet as the least important body part in terms of our overall health and wellbeing," said AMPA President Frank Spinosa. "Our feet are literally and figuratively the furthest things from our minds."

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek care of a podiatrist when they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as: heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • physical therapy
  • drugs
  • perform surgery on lower extremity fractures
  • orthotic inserts or soles

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What is a Podiatrist.

Monday, 07 November 2016 16:35

Diabetes Affects Over 29 Million Americans

elderly feet 3Diabetes is a pervasive disease that affects over 29 million Americans. One of the major concerns for diabetic patients is the short and long-term health of their feet.  Low blood circulation and nerve damage can lead to sores and infections on the feet and ankles. Because of varying degrees of this nerve damage, you might not be able to feel that you have a problem. This is why it is important to routinely inspect the foot and ankle area for any signs of cuts, sores or lesions. Make sure to keep your feet clean and dry. Any perpetual redness, blisters or bruises should be noted and discussed with your podiatrist immediately.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. Diabetes can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels because blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care

running shoe9Preventing running injuries involves several things, including being mindful of your own feet’s health. Conditions such as plantar fasciitis can result from too much stress on your feet or factors such as improper footwear. Make sure to replace your shoes every 500 miles and to wear properly-fitting shoes that provide support. Socks can also influence your foot health. Make sure to choose lightweight, breathable socks. Proper hygiene and foot massages can both help alleviate pain in your feet experienced from injuries.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber, this will help you gain better flexibility.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries

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