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Tuesday, 21 February 2017 00:00

How to Avoid Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder that occurs frequently in diabetics, typically in the feet.  The symptoms include: numbness, tingling, throbbing, freezing/burning sensation, and pain.  Not all those with diabetes will get peripheral neuropathy, and not all suffering from it will have the exact same symptoms.  This neuropathy occurs when the walls of the capillaries, or tiny blood vessels, are damaged by high sugar levels in the blood.  Due to the damage they are not able to carry enough blood to the nerves, which then leads to the aforementioned symptoms.  In order to avoid peripheral neuropathy there a few things that can be done.  First, and perhaps most importantly, monitor your blood sugar level, and keep it in balance.  Exercise and diet can help keep your weight down, as well as your blood sugar.  If you are suffering from numbness in your feet, and you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes, it is essential that you see a doctor immediately.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. 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 Diabetic Foot Care
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 00:00

Relieving Cracked Heels

If you have dried, cracked heels, you may also suffer from pain, especially when wearing tight footwear that puts stress on the heels. The following are some home remedies that can be used to treat cracked heels. Cocoa butter and shea butter can both be applied and left on overnight to help nourish dry skin. Additionally, castor oil, another natural moisturizer, contains omega fatty acids that help provide extra hydration. Coconut oil is another remedy that is ideal for any type of dry skin. Vitamin E oil and petroleum jelly are also great for hydrating cracked skin.

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

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How do you get them?

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

Promote Healing

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

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

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

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

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

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Tuesday, 07 February 2017 00:00

Athlete's Foot a Problem at Gyms

Anyone that has ever had athlete’s foot knows how much of a nuisance it is.  It itches and itches and no amount of scratching will make it relent.  The foot gets red, and pain can quickly ensue.  Athlete’s foot is a fungus, and like most fungi, thrives in warm, moist environments.  The gym is a perfect place for this fungus, so it is important to remember to wear sandals when showering after your workout.  Keep your feet dry, make sure to clean them well, and change your socks daily.  If your feet are prone to sweating you may have an increased risk of athlete’s foot, so double your efforts in this regard.  If you do contract the disease, over the counter treatment options are available, and are quite effective.

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
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 00:00

Diets Healthy for Gout

If you are currently living with gout, knowing how to keep your uric acid levels down is absolutely vital in maintaining good overall health.  Eating a low-purine diet is something that needs to be done to stay healthy.  High fiber and low fat foods are ideal.  For instance, drink 1% milk instead of whole milk.  Also, eat low-purine fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and kiwi.  These fruits produce less uric acid than others.  Limiting carbohydrate intake is  important as well.  Instead of drinking fruit juices, drink vegetable juice. Low-purine vegetables include: cucumber, kale, cabbage, carrots, and beets.

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
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 00:00

What Are Plantar Warts?

There are over 100 different varieties of HPV, or human papilloma virus.  Nearly 12% of the global population have had warts at one time, and plantar warts are but one of these types.  They all share one basic characteristic, they have the ability to infect skin cells.  Many people, when they hear the term HPV, think that it refers to genital warts.  But this is not the case, and HPV can manifest itself in many different forms.  Plantar warts occur on the feet, typically on the palms or the soles.  They can be flat or raised, and usually occur in dry, cracked areas of the foot.  Treatments vary in scope and effectiveness.  If you think you may have a plantar wart, talk to your podiatrist and go through the treatment options available.

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 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 All About Plantar Warts

obesity4The holidays would not be complete without the endless gathering of family and friends, enjoying vast amounts of delicious food, decadent sweets, and festive cocktails. However, self-indulging in these treats go hand-in-hand with a heightened risk of health problems. Not only does weight gain increase your risk for things like heart attack and stroke, but it affects your body on a musculoskeletal level. Individuals who may be overweight or obese must also take into account the extra pressure they are placing on their feet, in particular, their arch. The amount of force placed on our feet can cause much pain and damage to the ankle, leg, and hip due to improper weight distribution. It is important to always keep yourself on a good exercise routine to lower your risk of weight-gain, especially around the holiday season.

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

Read more about Obesity and Your Feet

Monday, 09 January 2017 15:17

Managing Your Morton’s Neuroma

feet3Morton’s neuroma is a foot condition that often affects middle-aged women, especially those who wear narrow shoes. While benign, the condition can be very painful; pain typically affects the front of the foot and extends to the toes. Pain flare-ups tend to occur in response to irritation, trauma, or excessive pressure. Morton’s neuroma pain can be made worse by continual walking, especially while wearing narrow shoes. Morton’s neuroma can be diagnosed through a number of methods including clinical examinations, MRIs, or ultrasound. If you suspect you have Morton’s neuroma, be sure to contact your podiatrist.

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

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 one of our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Morton’s neuroma.

Monday, 02 January 2017 16:04

Winter Coming, Cracked Heels Abound

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

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

Cracked Heels

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

How do you get them?

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

Promote Healing

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

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

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

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

Change in Diet

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

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

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

Read more about cracked heels.

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

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

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can cause severe difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

- Inflammation

- Dull to Severe Pain

- Increased blood flow to the tendon

- Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

- Extreme pain and swelling in the foot

- Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

- Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise

- Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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

Read more about Achilles tendon injuries.

Monday, 19 December 2016 17:13

How to Tell If You Have Plantar Fasciitis

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

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

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

·     Excessive running

·     Non-supportive shoes

·     Overpronation

·     Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

·     Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices

·     Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis

·     Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

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