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Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

How to Care for Your Child's Feet

It is never normal for a child to experience pain in his or her feet. Foot pain that lasts more than a few days and limits a child’s ability to walk should be examined by a podiatrist. Many adult foot ailments originate in childhood and may be present at birth. Common foot issues that are experienced by children are pediatric flat foot, Sever’s disease, ingrown toenails, and plantar warts.

A child’s foot grows rapidly during the first year, allowing it to reach almost half of their adult foot size. Consequently, foot specialists consider the first year to be the most crucial point in the foot development process. There are ways you can help ensure that your child’s foot develops properly. One way is to carefully look at your baby’s feet. If you notice any deformities, you should immediately seek professional care. You should also loosely cover your child’s foot, since tight coverings may prevent movement and inhibit normal development. Another tip is to change the baby’s positioning throughout the day. If your baby lies down in one spot for too long, it may put an excess amount of strain on the feet and legs.

It is best that you try not to force a child to start walking. Children will begin to walk when they are both physically and emotionally capable to do so. You should also avoid comparing your child’s walking progress with other children because the age range for independent walking may range. When your child’s feet begin to develop, you may need to change both their shoe and sock size every few months to allow room for their feet to grow.

Kids are sometimes prone to splinters, cuts, and severe injuries because they tend to walk around barefoot. This also makes them more susceptible to developing plantar warts which is a condition caused by a virus that invades the sole of the foot through breaks in the skin. These ailments can be avoided by making sure your child wears shoes in unsanitary environments. You should also wash any minor cuts or scrapes on your child’s feet. It is a myth that exposure to fresh air will heal injuries; fresh air will only expose your child’s cuts to germs.

As a parent, you should ensure that your child’s feet are developing properly and are being properly maintained. Consequently, it is important that you perform routine inspections on his or her feet to detect any injuries or deformities in their early stages. Early detection and treatment will help to ensure that your child does not develop any serious foot conditions.

The importance of keeping your child’s feet healthy is crucial in possibly preventing potential foot problems later in life. There are simple tasks that can be accomplished daily that will promote healthy feet and may positively affect the overall health of the body. These may include washing and drying the feet daily, which may aid in avoiding athlete's foot from developing, in additional to choosing comfortable socks and shoes to wear. Research has shown that if shoes, which are worn have become too tight, bunions may develop if there is a pre-existing case present. This is known to be a painful condition in which a hard, bony growth develops on the side of the big toe and will typically make it necessary to wear larger size shoes that can accommodate the bunion. If you would like additional information about how to keep your child's feet healthy, it is recommended that you speak to a podiatrist who can provide the proper answers to your questions.

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 Piedmont Foot & Ankle Clinic. 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 Cary, Apex, Dunn, and Benson, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 19 November 2018 00:00

Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body; it is a tough band of fibrous tissue that stretches from the bones of the heel to the calf muscles. This tendon is what allows us to stand on our toes while running, walking, or jumping, it is common for this tendon to become injured. In severe cases, the Achilles tendon may become partially torn or completely ruptured. However, this tendon is susceptible to injury because of its limited blood supply and the high tensions it endures.

The people who are more likely to suffer from Achilles tendon injuries are athletes who partake in activities that require them to speed up, slow down, or pivot. Consequently, athletes who engage in running, gymnastics, dance, football, baseball, basketball, or tennis are more likely to suffer from Achilles tendon injuries. Additionally, there are other factors that may make you more prone to this injury. People who wear high heels, have flat feet, have tight leg muscles or tendons, or take medicines called glucocorticoids are more likely to have Achilles tendon injuries.

A common symptom of an Achilles tendon injury is pain above the heel that is felt when you stand on your toes. However, if the tendon is ruptured, the pain will be severe, and the area may become swollen and stiff. Other symptoms may be reduced strength in the lower ankle or leg area, and reduced range of motion in the ankle. When the Achilles tendon tears, there is usually a popping sound that occurs along with it. People who have acute tears or ruptures may find walking and standing to be difficult.

If you suspect you have injured your Achilles tendon, you should see your podiatrist to have a physical examination. Your podiatrist will likely conduct a series of tests to diagnose your injury including a “calf-squeeze” test. Calf squeeze tests are performed by first squeezing the calf muscle on the healthy leg. This will pull on the tendon and consequently cause the foot to move. Afterward, the same test will be performed on the injured leg. If the tendon is torn, the foot won’t move because the calf muscle won’t be connected to the foot.

The largest tendon in the body is referred to as the Achilles tendon. The purpose of this particular tendon is to connect the heel to the toes, and if this should endure an injury and become torn or inflamed, severe pain and discomfort may be an unfortunate repercussion. There are different types of pain that is associated with the Achilles tendon, which may include Achilles tendonitis and Achilles tendinosis. The latter condition consists of chronic pain that may originate from improper treatment of Achilles tendonitis. This original ailment may occur in people who participate in running and jumping activities, and severe pain and burning may often accompany this type of tendonitis. There may be additional reasons why this tendon may become inflamed, including running in cold weather or having flat feet, or if one leg is significantly shorter than the other. If you are experiencing pain that involves the Achilles tendon, it’s suggested to speak to a podiatrist, so a proper diagnosis can be obtained, and treatment can begin.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Piedmont Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

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 create immense 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 injuries 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 Cary, Apex, Dunn, and Benson, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

How to Get a Proper Shoe Fit

Many people suffer from foot problems because their shoes are poorly fitted. When shopping for a new pair of shoes, fashion usually triumphs over comfortability. A pair of well fitted shoes is essential in preventing foot problems and potential injuries.

Poorly fitted shoes can cause foot issues such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and foot pain. Shoes such as high heels and sandals may cause problems for your feet. These shoes put the foot in an unnatural position for long periods and fail to provide good foot support. It is recommended to not wear either one for an extended period.

When you are trying on shoes, make sure they have enough space for your toes to move around. Shoes shouldn’t be cramped but also shouldn’t have too much room that your foot moves around in them. A snug shoe is a good choice. They should also provide good arch support and cushioning. Athletic shoes tend to offer both good support and cushioning. A degree of flexibility is necessary so they aren’t too stiff or too unsupportive.

If you can wear your shoes for a long period of time without experiencing any discomfort, this is a sign that your shoes fit properly. Do not be too dismayed if the shoe isn’t a perfect fit at first; many shoes take a few days to weeks to properly break in. However don’t expect an uncomfortable shoe to become fitted to your foot.

For those with foot conditions such as flat feet or pronation, orthotics may be helpful or even necessary to prevent foot pain. Orthotics are inserts that are placed in the shoe and provide support and cushioning for the foot. While there are many types of orthotics out there, custom-made orthotics may be necessary depending upon your foot and foot conditions.

Feet change in size over time. It is important to check your foot size over time so that you can make sure you have the perfect fit for your feet. A podiatrist can provide more information on proper shoe fitting and foot orthotics.

Most people have feet that are two different sizes. It’s important to use proper techniques for determining the correct shoe size, and this may aid in preventing uncomfortable foot conditions from developing. This often includes ensuring there is adequate room for the toes to move about freely in, and the feet will benefit by wearing shoes that bend at the ball of the foot. Research has shown the best time of day to purchase shoes is at the end of the day when the feet may be the largest. An accurate shoe measurement can be obtained by tracing your foot on a piece of paper, while wearing socks that you would most likely wear daily. When the foot is traced with a pencil that is held in an upright position, the measurement may be more accurate than if the pencil is angled as this process occurs. After completing this, the shoe size to be determined is by the foot that is the largest and longest. If you would like additional information about how to properly measure your feet so the correct size shoes can be worn, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist.

It is important to find shoes that fit you properly in order to avoid a variety of different foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Piedmont Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

Shoes have many different functions. They cushion our body weight, protect our feet, and allow us to safely play sports. You should always make sure that the shoes you wear fit you properly in order to avoid injuries and deformities such as: bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more. It is important to note that although a certain pair of shoes might be a great fit for someone else, that doesn’t mean they will be a great fit for you. This is why you should always try on shoes before buying them to make sure they are worth the investment. Typically, shoes need to be replaced ever six months to one year of regular use.

Tips for Proper Shoe Fitting

  • Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot
  • Don’t buy shoes that fit too tight, expecting them to stretch to fit
  • Make sure there is enough space (3/8” to ½”) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up
  • Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right
  • Don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe, but by how the shoe fits your foot

The shoes you buy should always feel as good as they look. Shoes that fit properly will last longer, feel better, and improve your way of life each day.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Cary, Apex, Dunn, and Benson, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 05 November 2018 00:00

Neuropathy

Neuropathy is the weakness, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet due to damage to the peripheral nerves. The peripheral nerves are responsible for sending information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. Causes of Neuropathy include: traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, exposure to toxins, and diabetes.

Diabetes is the most common cause, with more than half of the diabetic population developing some type of neuropathy. There are several types of neuropathy and they vary based on the damage of the nerves. Mononeuropathy is classified as only one nerve being damaged. When multiple nerves are affected, it is referred as polyneuropathy. One of the types of polyneuropathy is distal symmetric polyneuropathy. It is the most common for people with diabetes and starts when the nerves furthest away from the central nervous begin to malfunction. The symptoms begin with pain and numbness in the feet and then they travel up to the legs. A rarer form of polyneuropathy is acute symmetrical peripheral neuropathy, which is a severe type that affects nerves throughout the body and is highly associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the peripheral nervous system and can be fatal. Although there are many types of neuropathy, most of them share the same symptoms such as pain, extreme sensitivity to touch, lack of coordination, muscle weakness, dizziness, and digestive problems. Since neuropathy affects the nerves, those affected should be careful of burns, infection and falling, as depleted sensations disguise such ailments.

The best way to prevent neuropathy is to manage any medical conditions such as diabetes, alcoholism, or rheumatoid arthritis. Creating and managing a healthy lifestyle can also go a long way. Having a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein can keep the nerves healthy. These types of food have the nutrients to prevent neuropathy. Regularly exercising can help as well, but it is best to consult with a doctor about the right amount. In addition to diet and exercise, avoiding risk factors will also prevent neuropathy. This includes repetitive motions, cramped positions, exposure to toxic chemicals, smoking and overindulging on alcohol.

Monday, 05 November 2018 00:00

Neuropathy and Diabetes

A common reason why tingling and loss of sensation may occur in the feet may be due to peripheral neuropathy. Additional symptoms that patients can notice may be instability in balance, muscle weakness in the feet, or possibly a burning feeling in the surrounding areas of the feet. Research has shown that diabetes plays a significant role as to why this type of neuropathy may be experienced, and is often the result of nerve damage caused by elevated blood sugar levels. There may be other causes of peripheral neuropathy, including viral infections, nerve damage incurred by an injury, or possible side effects from specific medications that may be ingested. Preventative measures for this ailment may include adopting lifestyle changes that may combine limiting the use of alcohol and tobacco. If you are have diabetes, it’s suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly diagnose your symptoms and begin an effective course of 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 Piedmont Foot & Ankle Clinic. 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 Cary, Apex, Dunn, and Benson, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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