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December 2019

Monday, 30 December 2019 00:00

The Function of the Achilles Tendon

The portion of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel is referred to as the Achilles tendon. This tendon makes it possible to walk, in addition to participating in running and jumping activities. If this should become inflamed as a result of an injury or damage that has happened gradually, it may develop into tendonitis. Symptoms of this condition can consist of pain and discomfort surrounding the heel. It can occur if the wrong shoes are worn during exercising, if a new sport is started, or if walking and running take place on an uneven surface. When this tendon is injured, it may be difficult to walk, and the pain may be intense upon arising in the morning. Relief may be found when the affected leg is elevated, and this may help to diminish a portion of the swelling. If you have endured an Achilles tendon injury, it is strongly suggested that you seek the advice of a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

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, 30 December 2019 00:00

What are Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the human body. Its purpose is to connect the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. This tendon is responsible for facilitating all types of movement, like walking and running. This tendon provides an enormous amount of mobility for the body. Any injuries inflicted to this tissue should be immediately brought up with a physician to prevent further damage.

The most common injuries that can trouble the Achilles tendon are tendon ruptures and Achilles tendinitis. Achilles tendinitis is the milder of the two injuries. It can be recognized by the following symptoms: inflammation, dull to severe pain, an increased flow of blood to the tendon, thickening of the tendon, and slower movement time. Tendinitis can be treated via several methods and is often diagnosed by an MRI.

An Achilles tendon rupture is trickier to heal, and is by far the most painful injury. It is caused by the tendon ripping or completely snapping. The results are immediate and absolutely devastating, and will render the patient immobile. If a rupture or tear occurs, operative and non-operative methods are available. Once the treatment begins, depending on the severity of the injury, recovery time for these types of issues can take up to a year.
 

Simple preventative measures can be taken as a means to avoid both injuries. Prior to any movement, taking a few minutes to stretch out the tendon is a great way to stimulate the tissue. Calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses are all suggested ways to help strengthen the lower legs and promote Achilles tendon health.

Many problems arise among athletes and people who overexert themselves while exercising. Problems can also happen among those who do not properly warm up before beginning an activity. Proper, comfortable shoes that fit correctly can also decrease tendon injuries. Some professionals also suggest that when exercising, you should make sure that the floor you are on is cushioned or has a mat. This will relieve pressure on the heels. A healthy diet will also increase tendon health.

It is very important to seek out a podiatrist if you believe you have an injury in the Achilles region. Further damage could result in severe complications that would make being mobile difficult, if not impossible.

Monday, 16 December 2019 00:00

How Does Gout Occur?

A condition that causes the big toe to become painful may be referred to as gout. Additional symptoms can include swelling, redness, and extreme discomfort. Patients who are afflicted with gout may find that their toe is so painful, it may be uncomfortable to have anything touch it. This condition is generally caused by elevated uric acid levels in the bloodstream. This can occur as a result of genetic factors, or by ingesting foods that have high purine levels. These can include shellfish, red meat, alcohol, and foods and drinks that have large amounts of sugar. There are measures that can be implemented which may help to prevent painful gout attacks. These typically consist of incorporating healthy eating habits into your daily routine, and practicing a gentle exercise regime. If you feel you have developed gout, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Piedmont Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

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, 16 December 2019 00:00

Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. This considered to be one of the most frequently recorded medical illnesses throughout history. Gout occurrences in the US have risen within the past twenty years and the condition now affects 8.3 million people which is 4% of all Americans. Researchers have found that gout affects men more than women and African-American men more than white men. 

Symptoms of gout are warmth, swelling, discoloration, and tenderness in the affected joint area. The small joint on the big toe is the most common place for a gout attack to occur.

People who are obese, gain weight excessively, drink alcohol heavily, have high blood pressure, or have abnormal kidney function are more likely to develop gout. Furthermore, certain drugs and diseases are likely to increase levels of uric acid in the joints which eventually leads to gout. You are also more likely to develop gout if you eat a lot of meat and fish.

Many who experience gout attacks will experience repeated attacks over the years. Some people who have gout symptoms, may never have them again, but others may experience them several times a year. If you have gout symptoms throughout the year, you may have recurrent gout. Those who have gout should also be careful about their urate crystals collecting in their urinary tract, because this may lead to kidney stones.

Diagnosis for gout is done by checking the level of uric acid in the joints and blood. Your podiatrist may also prescribe medicine to reduce uric acid buildup in the blood, which will help prevent any gout attacks.

To treat gout, your podiatrist may also prescribe you Anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) which will relieve the pain and swelling of a gout episode and it can also shorten a gout attack. Maintaining a healthy diet is also a proven method to prevent gout attacks. 

Wearing high heels can be a fashion statement. They can provide additional height, and can make the foot and leg appear slender. As desirable as they are to wear, there may be consequences that come with wearing this type of shoe. Common foot injuries that may result from wearing high heels can include sprained ankles, blisters on the toes or heels, or bunions. Additionally, patients may develop plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the tendon that connects the heel to the toes. There are methods that can be implemented which may help the feet to feel better when high heels are frequently worn. These can include stretching the calf muscles which may help to protect against Achilles tendon injuries, and wearing shoes that have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, it may be beneficial to alternate between wearing heels and flats. If you would like additional information about how high heels affect the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Piedmont Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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 and ankle needs.

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Monday, 09 December 2019 00:00

Effect of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are uncomfortable, but many women sacrifice comfort to be stylish. There are many problems that stem from wearing high heels, however these issues can be avoided by wearing proper shoes.

Heels are bad because they push your weight forward toward the fall of the foot. The higher the heel is, the more weight and pressure get shifted. This process causes the back to hyperextend backwards to counterbalance which may cause pain in the leg, hip, and back. Consequently, major posture problems may occur, and these issues may eventually become permanent.

Wearing high heels is one of the leading cause of ingrown toenails. Heels create a great deal of pressure on the big toenails which disrupts proper toenail growth. This may eventually lead to the big toenail growing into the skin.  Another common problem that stems from high heels is bunions. If bunions go untreated, they can cause serious scar tissue to form along with severe pain.

However, there are ways to minimize the harmful risks associated with wearing heels. You should try to massage and stretch your legs and feet after wearing heels for an extended time. Stretching helps prevent the Achilles tendons and calf muscles from becoming too tight. A good substitute for heels are platforms which provide a better surface area to evenly distribute the body’s weight.

If you are experiencing any painful foot conditions from wearing high heels, you should consult with your podiatrist right away.

Wednesday, 04 December 2019 00:00

Are You Suffering from Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to greater issues. Give us a call, and get treated!

Sunday, 01 December 2019 00:00

What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine who treats the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. If you are having any pain, injuries, or abnormalities in these areas, it is best that you seek help from a podiatrist.

Podiatrists complete four years of training in a podiatric medical school. Their training is like that of other physicians, and they may go on to complete a fellowship training after a residency training. Some podiatrists are board certified meaning they have advanced training, clinical experience, and have taken an exam to prove their skills. Certifying boards for podiatry are the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and the American Board of Podiatric Medicine. Podiatrists may work in private practices, hospitals, clinics, or they may even become professors at colleges of podiatric medicine.

While in college, those who want to be podiatrists often take biology, chemistry, and physics classes in preparation for podiatry school. In podiatry school, students study how the bones, nerves, and muscles work together to help you move around. Additionally, they study injuries and how to properly diagnose and treat them. Admittance into podiatric medical school requires the completion of 90 semester hours of undergraduate study with a good grade point average, and acceptable scores on the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

Podiatrists treat many different conditions such as: aching feet, ankle pain, bunions, corns, hammertoes, fungus, ingrown toenails, plantar fasciitis, sprains and more. Common forms of treatment for these conditions are physical therapy, drugs, or surgery. Podiatrists may also recommend corrective shoe inserts, custom-made shoes, plaster casts, and strappings to correct deformities.

Even if you are someone whose feet are in generally good condition, you should still visit a podiatrist to have your feet properly exfoliated and maintained, or to make sure you are looking after your feet properly.

Sunday, 01 December 2019 00:00

Podiatry As A Career

The growing need for foot care can be seen in all age groups across the globe. Podiatrists specialize in ailments that affect the feet and ankles, in addition to performing surgery. They generally finish a four year program, followed by completing a hospital residency. The choice of a working environment can range from private practice to long-term care facilities. Research has indicated the number of podiatrists will increase significantly in the future, which may be a result of people becoming more aware of specific foot conditions, and the necessity of receiving proper treatment. If you would like to pursue a career in podiatry, please consult with a podiatrist who can help you to determine if this is a correct career path for you.

If you are dealing with pain in your feet and ankles, you may want to seek help from a podiatrist. Feel free to contact one of our podiatrists from Piedmont Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine who diagnoses and treats conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Your podiatrist may specialize in a certain field such as sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care. Podiatrists have the ability to become board certified through training, clinical experience, and then taking an exam.

What Do Podiatrists Do?

On a daily basis, a podiatrist may perform the following activities:

  • Diagnose foot ailments such as ulcers, tumors, fractures, etc.
  • Use innovative methods to treat conditions
  • Use corrective orthotics, casts, and strappings to correct deformities
  • Correct walking patterns and balance
  • Provide individual consultations to patients

It is very important that you take care of your feet. It’s easy to take having healthy feet for granted, however foot problems tend to be among the most common health conditions. Podiatrists can help diagnose and treat a variety of feet related conditions, so it is crucial that you visit one if you need assistance.

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 and ankle needs.

 

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