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Wednesday, 30 January 2019 00:00

Wounds that Don't Heal Need to be Checked

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

Monday, 28 January 2019 00:00

Children and Blisters

If you notice an area of skin on your child’s foot in the shape of what appears to be a small bubble, you are most likely looking at a blister. They are typically caused by excess friction that is placed on that portion of the skin, and this generally originates from wearing shoes or socks that are too tight. There may be additional reasons why blisters might occur, which may include allergic reactions, extreme burns, or insect bites. The body creates a natural defense mechanism to protect the affected area, and it’s important to tell your child to refrain from touching or popping the blister. If it should burst as a result of pressure that is applied to it, it is beneficial to wash the area with clean water, and this may possibly promote healing. If pain is caused by a blister that forms on your child’s foot, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Eric Simmons of InStride Foot & Ankle Center of Durham. Our doctor 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 office located in Durham, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Blisters

The medical condition that is referred to as hammertoe is considered to be a deformity of the joints in the toes. It most often occurs in the second toe, and will cause the toe to resemble a hammer, which is a result of the top of the toe turning downward. Many patients may develop this condition if they are flat-footed or born with the second toe that is longer than the first. There are several reasons why this uncomfortable condition may occur, and these may include wearing shoes such as high heels, which may provide inadequate room for the toes to move freely in, arthritic conditions that are present in the feet, or a predisposed inherited gene. There are noticeable symptoms that are often associated with this condition, including toes that curl, difficulty in wearing shoes that fit properly, or possible pain in the ball of the foot. When specific toe stretches are performed frequently, it may help the tendons in the foot to relax. Additionally, if the toe is splinted, this technique may aid in stretching the tendons and ligaments in the foot, which may bring a moderate level of relief. If you notice the formation of a hammertoe, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist, so the correct treatment can begin.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Eric Simmons of InStride Foot & Ankle Center of Durham. 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 Durham, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe
Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet.

Want to wear open toe shoes again? ...Special occasion? Vacation? ...You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails.

Despite the ease and simplicity of wearing flip flops, they may be detrimental to the health of your feet. This may be a result of the absence of an arch and support in this type of shoe, and this may cause pain and discomfort in your ankles and feet. The toes will naturally curl to stabilize and support the foot, and this may negatively affect the mechanics of walking. Many patients have noticed chronic pain in their heels, which may be a result of a lack of cushioning. Heel pain may lead to the painful and uncomfortable condition known as plantar fasciitis or possibly a heel spur, which may be caused by excess calcium if the former is left untreated. If you would like additional information about how wearing flip flops can affect your feet, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Eric Simmons from InStride Foot & Ankle Center of Durham. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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

Read more about Flip Flops and Feet

If you are standing or walking for the majority of the day as a result of your working activities, you may be familiar with the pain and discomfort your feet may experience. Specific foot conditions may amplify and become worse by standing on your feet for most of the day, including pain that may originate from corns, calluses, or certain foot deformities. There may be several options that can be enforced to alleviate a portion of the discomfort, which may include executing changes in the working environment, wearing different types of shoes or using shoe inserts, and standing on suitable floor mats instead of hard floors. Research has shown that moderate relief may be attained by performing simple foot stretches throughout the day. It may also help to elevate the feet when the work day is over, and this may aid in reducing any swelling that may be present. If you would like additional advice on how your feet may feel better while working, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist who will be able to provide the correct information.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact Dr. Eric Simmons from InStride Foot & Ankle Center of Durham. Our doctor 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 office located in Durham, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Working on Your Feet
Wednesday, 02 January 2019 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning?

Wednesday, 02 January 2019 00:00

Ankle Sprains May Take Time to Heal

Research has shown that several athletes endure injuries to the ankles, and many of these are ankle sprains. It may also be common among the general population, and many people will experience this type of injury at some point in their lives. It generally occurs when the ankle rolls inward, and severe pain and discomfort may often accompany ankle sprains. It may happen as a result of suddenly stepping off a curb or falling from an extended height. This type of injury requires patience and time to heal properly, and walking on it must be executed gently. Once the ankle sprain has occurred, it’s important to rest the foot, which allows pressure to be taken off the ankle. Applying ice to the affected area may be helpful in alleviating a portion of the swelling that may be present, in addition to wrapping the foot in a bandage, which may be useful in applying pressure. If you have sprained your ankle, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible, so the correct treatment can begin.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Eric Simmons from InStride Foot & Ankle Center of Durham. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

Read more about Ankle Sprains
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