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Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

Barefoot Babies

The foot is comprised of several bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments, which provide us with the ability to balance and stand upright. When babies are born, their feet consist of cartilage and will gradually form into bones as the child gets older, which is typically at eight years of age. Research has shown the importance of babies going barefoot until walking commences, which is generally at approximately twelve months old. This is suggested because the feet can properly stretch without wearing shoes, which may promote stronger foot muscles. Once your child begins to walk, it is important to measure their feet properly, which will determine the correct size shoe to purchase. These shoes should consist of a lightweight and flexible material, and any heel is strongly advised against. If you would like additional information about the health of your child’s foot, please speak with a podiatrist.

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 Carolina Foot & Ankle. 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 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 How to Care for Your Child's Feet

Research has shown that the importance of buying the correct shoes for running may be based on the amount of mileage that is covered and the type of running that is practiced. Additionally, many runners recognize that the shape of the foot may play a significant role in the style of shoe that is chosen. When purchasing shoes, it may be beneficial to try them on later in the day when the feet are typically at their largest. The toes must have enough room to move within the shoe, and the ankle and foot can maintain stability when the heel is solid. When socks that are worn for running are dusted with baby powder, excess moisture that may come from excess sweat may be absorbed and uncomfortable blisters may be avoided. If you would like additional information on how to choose the proper running shoe, please speak with a podiatrist.

You should always make sure your running shoes fit properly in order to avoid injury. For more information, 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.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

Improper shoe sizing can cause a myriad of problems for your feet. Shoes that don’t fit you properly can lead to muscular imbalances in your body which can result in foot, knee, and hip injuries.

Tips for finding the right running shoe

  • Make sure you have a thumb’s width of wiggle room between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe.
  • There should be little to no slipping at the heel
  • Don’t assume your size in one shoe brand will be your size in another
  • Do not lace up your shoes too tightly
  • Walk around in the store with your new shoes before you buy them

 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our 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 Choosing the Right Running Shoe
Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

High Heels and the Achilles Tendon

Many women enjoy wearing high heels despite having the knowledge that the feet may be negatively affected. Research has shown the Achilles tendon may become shorter and stiffness may occur as a possible result of frequently wearing high heels. Additionally, balance and posture may become affected as the center of gravity changes, and the muscles surrounding the ankle may be compromised. There may be solutions that can be implemented to protect the feet from wearing high heels, and these may include choosing to wear shoes that have a lower heel, reducing the amount of days and time spent wearing high heels, or wearing soft insoles, which may provide adequate cushioning for the feet. If you would like additional information about the effects high heels can have on your feet, please speak with a podiatrist who will be able to suggest proper foot strengthening exercises.

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 Carolina Foot & Ankle. 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 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 Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Monday, 19 November 2018 00:00

Symptoms of a Broken Foot

Research has shown that one out of ten broken bones happens in the foot. If tripping, falling, or dropping a heavy object on your foot occurs, you may experience a painful condition known as a broken foot. You will immediately notice symptoms that may include severe pain and swelling, possibly hindering the ability to walk, and bruising or tenderness. Additionally, the toes may be deformed if the bones appear to be dislocated. If you have fallen and you think your foot may be fractured, a proper diagnosis must be performed that will confirm the broken foot. This is typically accomplished by having an X-ray taken, followed by a discussion of proper treatment methods. These may include keeping the foot stable by wearing a supportive boot. Other options may include the use of a splint or cast, and crutches would generally accompany this. If you feel you have broken your foot, it is strongly advised to speak to a podiatrist, so the correct treatment can be chosen.

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, 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.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

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 and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot
Monday, 12 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.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

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

Symptoms

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

Causes

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

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

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

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

Treatment

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

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

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

If you have any questions please contact 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 Hammertoe

Many people mistake a stubbed toe with a broken toe. This may be a common error because they both produce considerable pain and discomfort. If a toe is broken, it’s important to obtain proper treatment as quickly as possible. If the toe is left untreated, it may affect walking and running ability in addition to experiencing chronic pain. There is known to be a few differences between a broken toe and a sprained toe. These may include bruising, pain in the exact area of the break, or a possible dislocation, which may accompany a fractured toe. A sprained toe may have more generalized pain in the surrounding area where the injury has occurred, although there may be considerable bruising. If you feel you have broken or sprained your toe, it may be beneficial to seek the counsel of a podiatrist to obtain a correct diagnosis and offer the best course of treatment.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. 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.

What is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include: worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

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 and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
Monday, 29 October 2018 00:00

Causes of Heel Spurs

If you are experiencing a sharp pain in the heel of your foot while standing after a night’s sleep, you may have what is referred to as a heel spur. It is generally defined as a hooked or pointy portion of bone that grows outward into the heel.  Additional symptoms of this condition would be swelling and tenderness in the heel and surrounding area, a small, hard protrusion under the heel, or a constant dull ache for the majority of the day. A proper diagnosis typically includes having an X-ray performed and this will aid the doctor in viewing the protrusion. There are known to be several causes why heel spurs may develop. These may include participating in running and jumping activities, age progression, or a possible injury to the heel. Research has shown partial relief may be obtained by wearing cushioned shoes that provide adequate support for the heel, reducing pressure on the feet by getting plenty of rest, or possibly taking anti-inflammatory medication. If you feel you have a heel spur, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist, so the correct treatment can begin.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main conditions spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville, and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about How to Treat Heel Spurs
Monday, 22 October 2018 00:00

Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma

If you experience pain and discomfort between the third and fourth toes, you may have a condition that is referred to as Morton’s neuroma. The pain originates from tissue that has been affected as a result of a swollen nerve on the bottom of the foot. Research has shown that being involved in specific sports or wearing high heels may play a significant role in the development of this uncomfortable condition. Patients often notice a burning sensation in the ball of the foot. This may intensify as weight is put on the foot, in addition to a numbness or tingling feeling. Relief may be obtained by wearing correct footwear or gently massaging the affected area. If you feel you may have Morton’s neuroma, it’s advised to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly inform you of correct treatment techniques.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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 and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Morton's Neuroma
Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

There Are Several Causes of Heel Pain

Many people experience heel pain at some point in their lives. Research has shown the most common type of this uncomfortable condition is referred to as plantar fasciitis. This affects the band of tissue known as the plantar fascia, which connects the heel to the toes. Inflammation may gradually develop as a result of high or low arches or if an injury to the foot has occurred. Bursitis in the heel is another form of foot pain, and may be a result of wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. This type of inflammation originates in the fluid-filled bursa, which is located at the back of the heel.  Additionally, a condition known as heel bumps typically affect teenagers. This may be a result of wearing shoes that cause friction on the underdeveloped heel bone. If the Achilles tendon should endure an injury, severe pain is generally felt in the back of the heel and may gravitate to the back of the calf. If you are experiencing heel pain, it’s suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can determine the cause and begin proper treatment as quickly as possible.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact 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 Heel Pain

If you experience any level of pain on the outside of your foot, it is possible that you may have injured your cuboid bone. You may begin to notice an uncomfortable sensation when you try to bear weight on the outer edge of the foot or your toes may become weak. The condition that is known as cuboid syndrome may be a result of this particular bone in the foot becoming torn or damaged. There may be several symptoms associated with this ailment including swelling and redness surrounding the affected area, loss of strength in the ankle, or extreme tenderness on the side of the foot. One of the main causes of cuboid syndrome are sprains that are incurred to the ankle. This can happen as a result of falling, repeated strain from frequent jumping or running, or from an activity such as misjudging a  step off a curb. If you feel you have injured this portion of your foot, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment technique that is correct for you.

Cuboid syndrome, also known as cuboid subluxation, occurs when the joints and ligaments near the cuboid bone in the foot become torn. If you have cuboid syndrome, consult with one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Cuboid syndrome is a common cause of lateral foot pain, which is pain on the outside of the foot. The condition may happen suddenly due to an ankle sprain, or it may develop slowly overtime from repetitive tension through the bone and surrounding structures.

Causes

The most common causes of cuboid syndrome include:

  • Injury – The most common cause of this ailment is an ankle sprain.
  • Repetitive Strain – Tension placed through the peroneus longus muscle from repetitive activities such as jumping and running may cause excessive traction on the bone causing it to sublux.
  • Altered Foot Biomechanics – Most people suffering from cuboid subluxation have flat feet.

Symptoms

A common symptom of cuboid syndrome is pain along the outside of the foot which can be felt in the ankle and toes. This pain may create walking difficulties and may cause those with the condition to walk with a limp.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cuboid syndrome is often difficult, and it is often misdiagnosed. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans often fail to properly show the cuboid subluxation. Although there isn’t a specific test used to diagnose cuboid syndrome, your podiatrist will usually check if pain is felt while pressing firmly on the cuboid bone of your foot.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are ice therapy, rest, exercise, taping, and orthotics.

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 and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Cuboid Syndrome
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