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Monday, 08 January 2018 00:00

Causes of Hammertoe

Weakened muscles in the toe may cause the tendons to become shorter, enabling the middle joint in the toes to protrude. There may be several causes of this particular condition, referred to as hammertoe, including an inherited predisposition. Symptoms may include experiencing difficulty in walking or not being able to flex and point your toes. Wearing proper footwear is important, especially keeping the heels to 2 inches or less.  If the toes are not able to stretch, surgery may be an option. A consultation with a podiatrist is recommended for a proper diagnosis and the best treatment options.

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

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 What Are Hammertoes?
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00

How to Treat Corns

When the skin on the foot rubs against a shoe, there is a chance a corn will develop. Typically, the pressure from this causes the skin to thicken; this may produce extreme pain, affecting the deeper layers of the skin. Hard corns are generally caused by poorly fitted shoes and may develop on the top of the toes. Corns that affect the area in between the toes are referred to as soft corns, and moisture from the toes may be the underlying reason for this condition. Occasionally, corns may develop on the soles of the feet, most likely caused by running or walking. There may be several treatment options available, including having a podiatrist trim the corn down, which will ease the pressure. Wearing shoes that fit properly, in addition to applying a moisturizer regularly will help to manage the corn once it’s trimmed. Chemical treatments may also be effective, which may help  the corn to be less painful. Please consult with a podiatrist, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation, for a recommendation for the best treatment options.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctors to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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 Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them
Tuesday, 26 December 2017 00:00

The Importance of Standing During the Work Day

A sedentary lifestyle may be linked to numerous health issues, including diabetes and high blood pressure.  For these individuals, it may be necessary to increase the amount of time standing during the day; this may be helpful in easing potential back problems and improving posture and strength.  There are many ways to incorporate standing throughout the work day, such as portioning your lunch time to include walking.  Meetings that consist of walking instead of sitting around a table may be beneficial as well. Standing desks may be another option, which can help increase alertness and therefore increase productivity.  Another helpful habit to acquire is using the stairs instead of an elevator, in addition to parking your car further away from the building you are entering to promote walking.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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 Working on Your Feet
Monday, 18 December 2017 00:00

How to Keep Diabetic Feet Healthy

Many diabetics incur nerve damage, often making it difficult to feel sores, blisters, or cuts. Checking the feet nightly can be helpful in preventing infections; however, it may be difficult for the diabetic patient to check their feet due to arthritis, diminished eyesight or possible back problems. Having someone check the feet daily or using a small mirror may be beneficial in observing the soles of the feet. Symptoms to look for include any type of irritation, redness, or callus; additionally, paying extra attention to the toes and the ball of the foot is crucial in noticing foot ulcers. Moisturizing is necessary in preventing dry skin, which may cause cracked heels that can become infected. If an electric blanket is used, it may be wise to not use it because of reduced feeling in the feet. Additionally, ice packs can cause numbness in the feet and may not be recommended for this reason. Trimming the toenails is important to do with clippers that are designed for toenails, thereby preventing injuries to the foot. Please consult your podiatrist for advice in keeping your feet healthy

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. 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. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially 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, as 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 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 How to Care for Diabetic Foot
Monday, 11 December 2017 00:00

Blisters and Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetics need to take proper care of their feet due to their condition. Diabetes often causes poor blood circulation and neuropathy, which causes sensation loss in the extremities and lower limbs. If a diabetic gets a blister on his or her foot, he or she may not even realize it exists. If left unchecked, a blister can become infected and potentially infect the rest of the foot; in worst cases, this may then require amputation. Prevention is key, so wearing well-fitted shoes, conducting everyday foot exams, maintaining proper foot care, and visiting a podiatrist every several months can all help prevent a foot ulcer. If you have a foot ulcer and are diabetic, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist who can provide proper care and attention to the wound.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. 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 develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often 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.

How do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

 

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 Blisters on the Feet
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

Preventing Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that occurs on the feet. Typically, it’s contagious between people and can spread to the toenails as well. The fungus can thrive on the foot because it prefers areas that are warm and moist. People who wear poorly ventilated shoes, such as those that are plastic-lined, or wear socks that do not absorb sweat are more likely to develop athlete’s foot. It’s important to wear shower shoes while in public showers or locker rooms to help prevent infection. Diabetics should be wary as they may have a harder time dealing with the infection because of poor blood circulation. Prevention is key; wearing well-ventilated shoes and moisture wicking socks can help keep the feet dry. Especially be sure to keep the space between your toes dry, as this area can harbor fungus. Another way to keep the feet dry is using a talcum powder on the foot. Athlete’s foot can be a difficult condition to deal with, but podiatrists can offer a number of effective treatment options.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle.  Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

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 Athlete's Foot 101
Monday, 27 November 2017 00:00

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

If you are experiencing pain, redness, and swelling near the toenail, chances are you may have an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails occur when the corner of the nail grows into the flesh, which can be very painful. Diabetics may be at a greater risk for ingrown toenails due to poor blood flow which can lead to the wound not healing. Trimming toenails properly is an excellent way to help prevent ingrown toenails. Wearing well-fitted shoes can help too; keeping pressure off the toes may keep the nail from growing into the surrounding tissue. Soaking the feet in a warm bath may relieve tenderness and reduce swelling, and applying antibiotic cream and bandaging the toe can also be beneficial. If the toenail becomes infected or the pain is severe, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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 Ingrown Toenail Care
Monday, 20 November 2017 00:00

Symptoms of Gout

If you experience sudden attacks of swelling and severe pain, you may have gout. Gout is a form of arthritis in which small crystals form around the joints and may lead to kidney stones. A buildup of uric acid in the blood leads to inflammation and is the cause of gout. Gout typically affects the toes and ankles, in addition to the knees and fingers.The joints become swollen, and the skin in the affected area may appear red and shiny. Gout occurs in attacks and can be debilitating and extremely painful. Lowering uric acids levels may provide a long-term solution, which is commonly done through change of diet and medication. Ice packs are generally used during an attack for relief. Please consult a podiatrist if you have difficulty walking or have severe pain in your feet.

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 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 Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Sunday, 12 November 2017 00:00

What Heel Pain Can Tell You

There are several ways to experience heel pain. The heel can be tender, may hurt upon waking up in the morning, or may possibly have a burning sensation. A few common causes of this type of pain include being overweight, standing for long periods of time, and running for exercise. One diagnosis may be plantar fasciitis, which may make it difficult to be on your feet all day. Resting the feet and applying an ice pack may aid in the reduction of pain. Stretching the foot on a daily basis is also an effective form of pain relief. Another way of treating heel pain is to consult a podiatrist and see if you need to be fitted for orthotics. The chances of recovery are generally good when using a combination of these heel pain therapies.

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
Monday, 06 November 2017 00:00

Toenail Care for the Elderly

Geriatric (elderly) people may be prone to foot problems, which may include ingrown toenails, corns, and calluses. A reason for this may be their inability to cut their own toenails due to poor eyesight or loss of mobility. A qualified caregiver should be able to cut toenails properly. Ideally, toenails should be kept short, as more problems tend to arise if the nails are too long. The shorter they are, the less risk there is of breaking a nail. As we age, it’s beneficial to stay healthy and active. However, it’s important to remember to practice proper foot care. A podiatrist should be consulted to learn the best options for correct maintenance and treatments.

If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists  of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and provide you with quality treatment.

Geriatrics and Podiatry
When people age, some common issues that may occur are bone density loss, dry skin, poor circulation, and rough brittle nails. These issues may also affect your foot health if the necessary steps are not taken to alleviate the problems.

It is important to take care of your feet because feet that are injured or diseased can affect your overall health. Having painful feet hinders your ability to do daily activities or may decrease your willingness to do the things that you need to do.

Visiting Your Geriatrician
As we age, health problems become more likely, so it is essential to visit your doctor for check-ups to ensure that you are doing the best you can to take care of your health. It is recommended to check your feet frequently for any possible cuts, bruises, swelling, corns or any other irregularities. 

Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Cracked or dry feet can be treated by applying moisturizer often. It is also important not to wear old socks because the older the sock is, the higher the possibility there will be that there is bacteria there. Wear fresh socks and make sure they fit properly.

Proper foot health means that you can have a more active lifestyle and you will not be bogged down by pain. Foot health also leads to good circulation, which is paramount for overall health.

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 Geriatrics and Podiatry
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