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Tuesday, 13 August 2019 00:00

Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful condition that can affect the feet. There are numerous bones, joints, and ligaments that the feet are comprised of, and arthritis may limit their mobility. Patients who are afflicted with this uncomfortable condition may notice a change in the structure of their feet, frequent pain and discomfort, and a change in skin color. There are several types of arthritis which can affect the feet. Gout is noticeable in the big toe, and causes severe inflammation and swelling in the surrounding joints. People who are diagnosed with reactive arthritis will typically see symptoms in the heel or ankle area. Another common form of arthritis is referred to as rheumatoid arthritis, and generally affects the joints in the feet. It is beneficial to wear shoes that fit properly, in addition to losing excess weight which can put pressure on the feet. If you have any form of arthritis in the feet, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, 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.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
Tuesday, 06 August 2019 00:00

Wounds that Don't Heal Need to be Checked

Your feet are covered a good part of the day. If you are diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often another sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

When children’s feet are properly cared for, specific foot problems may be avoided as they get older. One of the first things parents can do for their children is to wash and dry their feet daily, especially between the toes. It is encouraged for toddlers to walk barefoot while indoors, and this may be helpful in strengthening the overall foot as the toes grasp the floor. When children are walking outdoors, it is beneficial to have your child’s feet measured, as this can help in determining that the correct size shoes are purchased. It is important that the toes have adequate room to move freely in, and socks should be made of breathable materials. Additionally, trimming your child’s toenails correctly may prevent ingrown toenails. If you would like more information about how to take care of children's feet, it is suggested that you speak to 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 in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. 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

There can be many different causes of ankle pain, ranging from an ankle sprain or fracture to chronic conditions such as arthritis. The degree of the ankle pain can vary and it can come on suddenly or slowly over time. The ankle joint consists of bones, muscles, cartilage, and tissues called ligaments and tendons. Any injury or disease that were to affect these structures, could very well lead to ankle pain. Some causes of ankle pain include sprains, tendonitis, arthritis and a bruise or break of the bone. It is important to know that you should visit a doctor if there is an inability to bend the ankle, swelling of the joint, signs of an infection, an inability to walk comfortably on the affected side and if you have ankle pain that occurs at night or while resting. Ankle pain can be diagnosed with an X-ray, medical exam or thorough physical examination. The RICE protocol is a 4-step process in which you may be able to treat your injury from the comfort of your own home. The first step is to rest. This will allow for the joint to relax and for any inflammation to subside. The next step is to ice. Ice should be applied at least 3 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes. This will allow for any swelling to go down and it will also soothe the pain. The third step is to add compression. Compression bandages, such as an ACE wrap will help support and immobilize the ankle joint. Be sure not to add too much compression as this can lead to numbness, tingling and swelling at the site of the pain. The final step is to elevate the ankle. Raising the ankle above the level of the heart, by way of propping your foot up on pillows, will help reduce any swelling for the first couple days after the injury has occurred. If you are suffering from any ankle pain, visit your podiatrist to see what treatment may be right for you.


 

Read more about Ankle Pain
Monday, 22 July 2019 00:00

Being Overweight Can Hurt Your Feet

Since your feet feel the pressure of most of your body weight, being overweight can cause a variety of foot problems. Extra weight tends to bring the knees together, putting stress on the insides of the feet and arches. There are also several specific conditions that are known to be affiliated with additional weight. Gout causes severe pain in the big toe. It begins with an accumulation of uric acid in the body, which is more common for overweight individuals. You are also more likely to develop diabetes, which reduces blood flow to the feet. When you accumulate too much plaque in the arteries, you could develop peripheral arterial disease, which reduces blood flow to the feet as well. Losing weight is a practical way to avoid foot and ankle complications. If you feel that your weight may be affecting your feet, it is recommended that you consult with a podiatrist.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, 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.

Obesity and Your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Obesity and the Feet
Tuesday, 16 July 2019 00:00

Woes for Your Toes from Flip-Flops

Flip-flops are fun to wear when lounging out by the pool or when going to the beach. At the same time, they could be causing major stress and injury to the feet. Without any protective outer covering on your flip-flops, it can be easy for the feet to get cut or bruised. Also, due to the feet not being protected by socks in flip-flops, the skin on the feet is more prone to sunburn, as well as blisters from rubbing against the thong of the flip-flop. Flip-flops may seem easier to slip on than shoes, but this isn’t actually the case. The feet work a lot harder in order to keep the flip-flops on. This causes the toes to involuntarily curl up and the muscles on the feet to strain which can lead to bunions or hammertoes. In addition, the base of the flip-flop that is meant to support the foot isn’t doing that at all and instead is overworking the foot’s tendons and ligaments. This can cause overuse injuries such as shin splints, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. Activities that aren’t meant to be done in flip-flops include hiking, biking, working with tools and sporting activities. Consult a podiatrist to get a better idea of when you should wear flip-flops. 


 

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216.  We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Poor circulation is a common ailment among a variety of people. Existing medical conditions that include diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Raynaud’s disease may be a cause of this condition. Additionally, people who are overweight or frequently smoke may find poor circulation has developed. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this ailment may include tingling and a loss of sensation in the feet, coldness in the extremities, and the feet may appear swollen. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, a proper diagnosis is typically performed before starting a treatment regime. This generally consists of a blood sugar test being administered for diabetes, and an ultrasound or cat scan may be necessary to determine if there are existing blood clots. It is suggested to consult with a podiatrist if you think your feet are affected by poor circulation.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

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

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes Symptoms and Treatment for Poor Circulation in the Feet
Sunday, 07 July 2019 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet.

Want to wear open toe shoes again? ...Special occasion? Vacation? ...You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails.

Tuesday, 02 July 2019 00:00

Common Types of Foot Pain

If you have pain in the foot or ankle area, some conditions are likely to be expected. Seven specific ailments are very common among patients. The first is plantar fasciitis. Signs of this include soreness in the arch or heel that is severe in the morning, and fades throughout the day. Another infliction is a stress fracture, which consists of tiny cracks in the bones that cause pain and tenderness. Additionally, if you twisted your ankle, and then it swells, you may have a sprained ankle. For pain near the toes, a bump at the base of the big toe could indicate the presence of a bunion. If you are an athlete, you may have “turf toe,” which occurs when the big toe is pulled back too far. For suffering near the heel and calf, Achilles tendonitis could be the source. Finally, a heel spur could be creating extra discomfort. These seven conditions may be the cause of your foot or ankle issue. Please consult with a podiatrist to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Foot and ankle trauma is common among athletes and the elderly. If you have concerns that you may have experienced trauma to the foot and ankle, 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.

Foot and ankle trauma cover a range of injuries all over the foot; common injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Muscle strains
  • Injuries to the tendons and ligaments
  • Stress fractures

Symptoms

Symptoms of foot and ankle injuries vary depending on the injury, but more common ones include:

  • Bruising
  • Inflammation/ Swelling
  • Pain

Diagnosis

To properly diagnose the exact type of injury, podiatrists will conduct a number of different tests. Some of these include sensation and visual tests, X-rays, and MRIs. Medical and family histories will also be taken into account.

Treatment

Once the injury has been diagnosed, the podiatrist can than offer the best treatment options for you. In less severe cases, rest and keeping pressure off the foot may be all that’s necessary. Orthotics, such as a specially made shoes, or immobilization devices, like splints or casts, may be deemed necessary. Finally, if the injury is severe enough, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Foot and Ankle Trauma
Tuesday, 25 June 2019 00:00

Are Plantar Warts Contagious?

A plantar wart is defined as a wart that forms on the bottom of the foot. They can develop on the heels or on the balls of the feet, and can cause considerable pain and discomfort. Many of these types of warts have tiny black dots in the center, and can appear disfigured. As this type of wart develops, it grows into the sole of the foot as a result of standing or walking for the majority of the day. Plantar warts are considered to be contagious, and the virus that causes this condition thrives in moist and warm areas. Research has indicated that it is beneficial to wear appropriate shoes while in public pools, locker rooms, and surrounding areas. There are several treatment options that are available which can provide relief. If you feel you have developed a plantar wart, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you towards proper treatment.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Plantar Warts?
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