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Patients who experience nighttime foot cramps are aware of the pain and discomfort these may cause. When stretching techniques are performed, the muscles contract to hold the stretch, and cramps may occur if they remain in this position. Relief is found when the specific stretch is avoided for several days, and this will give the muscles a chance to properly heal. If it is possible to point and flex the foot, it may help the foot to feel better. Many patients find comfort in gently massaging the area or soaking the foot in warm water. If you have cramps in your feet at night, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can recommend proper stretching techniques.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet 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.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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.

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Wednesday, 08 May 2019 00:00

Reminder: When was the last time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Monday, 06 May 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Blisters

If you have ever experienced a blister, you are most likely familiar with the pain and discomfort that is generally caused from this condition. It can develop from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly.   Friction happens as a result of a portion of the foot rubbing against a part of the shoe. This may damage the top layer of skin, and a blister will form as the body’s natural defense mechanism against a skin injury. It looks like small bubble, and is filled with a fluid that protects the raw skin. Once the skin has healed, the blister will naturally drain as new skin grows. Additional reasons why blisters occur can include severe burns, frostbite, or an allergic reaction to an insect bite. If you have a blister that is not healing, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can advise you on proper care.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, 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.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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.

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Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

What Is Gout Caused By?

If the joint surrounding your big toe becomes inflamed and irritated, you may have a condition that is known as gout. Gout is considered to be a form of arthritis and typically causes severe pain and discomfort. Many patients experience gout attacks, which can occur suddenly and can last for extended periods of time. Some of the symptoms that are associated with gout may include heat emanating from the affected toe, redness, and swelling. Gout is generally caused by a condition that is known as hyperuricemia. This is the medical term given when there is excess uric acid in the blood levels. Uric acid comes from purines, which can be found in certain foods. If there is too much uric acid in the body, crystals may form in the joints of the big toe. This causes gout to develop. Gout can be managed when certain lifestyle changes are made, including making healthy eating choices and following a light exercise program. If you have gout, it may be considered to speak to a podiatrist.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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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Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

Swollen Feet and Pregnancy

As pregnancy progresses, the body’s natural response is to produce additional fluids that accommodates the needs of the growing fetus. Most women experience swollen feet as a result of this, which can be uncomfortable. Research has indicated this accounts for approximately twenty-five percent of the weight that is gained during pregnancy. There are additional reasons why the feet become swollen. These include standing for extended periods of time, drinking large amounts of caffeine, or eating foods that are high in sodium content. There are methods that can be implemented to help reduce possible swelling. These consist of elevating your feet frequently throughout the day, wearing shoes that are comfortable, and spending limited time outside in the warmer weather. If you would like additional information about how pregnancy affects the feet, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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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Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

The Complexity of the Human Foot

The human foot is comprised of several bones, ligaments, and muscles. It is important that our feet are flexible and stable so everyday activities can be completed with ease. Children may benefit at an early age from walking barefoot while indoors. This may help develop the grasping action in the toes, which can promote stability and muscle strength. Research has indicated the importance of measuring your child’s feet on a regular basis, and this is helpful in determining the correct shoe size. When choosing shoes for your child, it is important to ensure the foot is held firmly in place. This may be accomplished by choosing shoes that have laces or Velcro, which can hold the foot securely in the shoe. If you would like additional information on how to care for your child's feet, speak with your podiatrist. 

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, 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.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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 to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

What Is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the posterior tibial nerve. This nerve runs along the inside of the ankle and foot, and when it becomes compressed and damaged it will become inflamed. This damage can be caused by continuous overuse of the foot and ankle. This might happen while participating in strenuous physical activities. Tarsal tunnel syndrome can also occur after a traumatic injury, and sometimes it develops suddenly without any obvious cause. Luckily, this is considered a rare condition. If it goes untreated, however, it can cause permanent nerve damage. If tarsal tunnel syndrome is caught early, then it is relatively easy to treat. If the condition becomes severe, then more aggressive treatments may need to be performed. Examples of treatment for severe cases include corrective devices, therapies, and sometimes surgery. If you believe you might have tarsal tunnel syndrome, then it is strongly recommended you consult with a podiatrist.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, 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.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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

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

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in 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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Monday, 13 August 2018 00:00

Warning Signs for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that affects over 40 million Americans. Unfortunately, many people brush off their RA symptoms as less severe injuries. Many people with RA in their feet, notice the feeling of stiffness when they wake up in the morning. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, you may even start to notice joint stiffness throughout the day. Another common symptom is joint swelling due to inflammation. Those with arthritis will also notice pain in their joints that can potentially make walking difficult. Often, this pain appears when you are not putting the joints to use. If you suspect you have rheumatoid arthritis in your feet, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist to seek treatment immediately.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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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Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

Different Types of Peripheral Nerves

Patients who have a type of neuropathy that is referred to as peripheral neuropathy may often notice a numbing or tingling sensation in their toes. As this condition worsens, there may be a burning pain that is felt, and this may be more noticeable at night. Additional symptoms may include weakened muscles or cramping, and balance and coordination may be affected. Research has shown there are three types of nerve groups, which may be distressed. Impulses that are sent from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles in the body are known as motor nerves. If damage to this group of nerves occurs, the result may be difficulty in walking. The function of the sensory nerves is to help people determine if an object is hot or cold, or rough or smooth. Tingling and numbness may happen if these nerves are affected by neuropathy. Additionally, the heart rate and blood pressure are controlled by autonomic nerves, and a patient who is afflicted with this type of neuropathy may experience dizziness or may have difficulty in swallowing. If you have any of these symptoms, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward beginning the proper treatment.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What is Neuropathy?

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

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

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

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

Treatment

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

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

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in 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.

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Monday, 25 March 2019 00:00

Causes of Hammertoe

The medical condition that is known as hammertoe will typically affect the second, third, or fourth toe. If you notice a downward bend in the middle joints of those toes, it may often resemble the shape of a hammer. It typically causes pain and discomfort and wearing shoes may be difficult. The causes of hammertoe may include having a genetic trait, or wearing shoes that do not have adequate room in the toe area for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, if an injury has occurred to the toes, this may be a reason for this condition to develop. The toes may be unable to bend, and surgery may be required to permanently straighten the toes. If you are noticing symptoms of hammertoe, it is advised to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can guide your toward proper treatment.

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

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work 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 What Are Hammertoes?
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