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November 2021

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 00:00

Plantar Fasciitis: A Common Form of Heel Pain

Plantar fasciitis is the most common type of heel pain that podiatrists treat. This condition occurs in the plantar fascia, which is a long band of tissue on the sole of the foot that spans from the heel through the arch to the front of the foot. Because of its location and key role in walking, running, and jumping, the plantar fascia can become overly stretched, stressed, and even torn, causing it to become inflamed and painful. This is known as plantar (sole of the foot) fasciitis (inflammation of the fascia). Some factors that contribute to plantar fasciitis include obesity, working on your feet or standing for extended periods of time on a regular basis, having tight calf muscles, flat feet, or high arches. Contact a podiatrist for relief from the pain of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Scott Matthews, DPM, MD from Salem Foot Care . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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

 

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 23 November 2021 00:00

Elderly Foot Care Basics

Helping take care of an elderly person’s feet is very important for their overall health and well being. Toenails should be trimmed and filed, and feet should be moisturized. A warm foot bath will not only be relaxing, but relieve achy feet and help increase blood flow. Be sure to keep any foot hygiene tools and equipment sanitized. Never share these tools and equipment with anyone. Socks and shoes need to fit properly, and never be too tight. Socks should always be washed after every use to avoid fungi or infections from developing. Feet should be checked daily for wounds, cracked skin, bleeding sores and discolored nails. These can all be indicators of an infection. A podiatrist should be part of any elderly person’s health care team, and regular check ups and examinations can help avoid problems in the future.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Scott Matthews, DPM, MD from Salem Foot Care . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Wikesboro, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

Getting to the Bottom of Cracked Heels

When you have dry, thickened, callused skin around the edges of your heels, they can crack due to the fat pad under your heels expanding while you walk. There are several factors that can cause dry, cracked heels or exacerbate the problem. These include standing for prolonged periods of time, wearing shoes with open backs or walking around barefoot, taking long, hot showers, using harsh soaps, and living in a cold or dry climate. Certain medical conditions, such as a fungal infection, psoriasis, or a vitamin deficiency, can also cause cracked heels. While cracked heels are typically not painful, those who have particularly deep cracks may experience pain and bleeding, and people with underlying health conditions, like diabetes, should always be monitoring the health of their heels. To learn more about cracked heels and to help find the right treatment for yours, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Scott Matthews, DPM, MD from Salem Foot Care . Our doctor 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 office located in Wikesboro, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic progressive disease that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints. It often emerges first in smaller joints such as those in the feet and hands. Left untreated, this painful condition may cause erosions in the affected joint, changes in the foot’s shape, and mobility issues. A podiatrist can help manage the pain of rheumatoid arthritis while helping maintain and improve the foot’s functionality and mobility. The treatment options a podiatrist may utilize include custom orthotics, physical therapy, bracing, compression, pain relievers, steroid injections, and even surgery to correct extensive damage. If you have pain in any joint in your foot or ankle make an appointment right away with a podiatrist. Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the chances of future deformity and disability.

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 Scott Matthews, DPM, MD of Salem Foot Care . Our doctor 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 our office located in Wikesboro, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 02 November 2021 00:00

What Are Hammertoes?

When the toes are forced to curl downwards due to the middle joints of the toes tightening up, they form what is known as a hammertoe. Hammertoes, which can affect any toe but the big toe, are often most uncomfortable at the top of the toes where they rub against shoes. There are two types of hammertoes and they are both affected by the toe’s mobility. Flexible hammertoes can be manually straightened out, but rigid hammertoes can not be straightened out and they are very painful and limited in movement. Patients who are struggling with a hammertoe should make sure their shoes have a high and wide toe box to give the toes enough space. Persistent hammertoes should be checked by a podiatrist for possible treatment options that may include surgery.   

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Scott Matthews, DPM, MD of Salem Foot Care . Our doctor 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 our office located in Wikesboro, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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