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August 2019

Tuesday, 27 August 2019 00:00

What Do Podiatrists Do?

People who are interested in providing care for the feet and ankles may want to pursue a career in podiatry. This can include diagnosing injuries to the feet, ankles, and lower leg, and treating them accordingly. After completing a three year program as a resident, many podiatrists can choose to work in their own practice, or may share a practice with other podiatrists. Research has indicated that there is likely to be a ten percent growth rate of people joining this field between 2016 and 2026. This may be indicative of longer life spans and patients with increased medical issues concerning the feet. If you are considering starting a career in this field of medicine, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

If you are dealing with pain in your feet and ankles, you may want to seek help from a podiatrist. Feel free to 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.

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 our office located in Durham, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

 

Read more about What is a Podiatrist?

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

If there are weakened muscles in your toes, a medical condition that is referred to as hammertoe may develop. This can cause the tendons in the toes to become shorter, and they may bend downward, resembling a hammer. The toes that are typically affected are the second and third toes, but it may occur on any toe. It can be caused by genetic factors, or may happen from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Patients who have hammertoe can experience difficulty in walking and flexing the feet, and corns and calluses may develop on top of the toes. When shoes that are worn fit properly, this condition could be prevented. Additionally, some patients find mild relief when shoe inserts or toe pads are worn. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this uncomfortable condition.

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
Tuesday, 13 August 2019 00:00

Swollen Feet Are Common During Pregnancy

Many pregnant women experience swollen and achy feet during their pregnancies. This is a result of the growing fetus, in addition to the body producing excess fluid. There are methods that can be implemented which can help to reduce discomfort in the feet that is often experienced during the latter stages of pregnancy. These include elevating your feet as often as possible throughout the day, limiting your sodium intake, and stretching the calf muscles and toes. Some women find it helpful to wear compression stockings, as these may be beneficial in controlling persistent swelling. If you would like additional information about how pregnancy can affect the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. Eric Simmons from InStride Foot & Ankle Center of Durham. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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 Pregnancy and Foot Health
Tuesday, 06 August 2019 00:00

Symptoms and Causes of Poor Circulation

Poor circulation occurs when blood flow to a specific part of your body is reduced. Several conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, can all lead to poor circulation. Unhealthy behaviors can be attributing factors, including smoking cigarettes, lack of exercise, and having high cholesterol. Poor circulation in the feet can be caused by peripheral artery disease, or PAD. PAD is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Poor circulation is also known to cause muscle pain, stiffness, skin discoloration, and erectile dysfunction. People who have diabetes and smoke are at the greatest risk for poor blood circulation, as well as those who are over the age of 50. Exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can drastically improve conditions. If you are experiencing complications from poor circulation in your lower extremities, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist.


 

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Eric Simmons of InStride Foot & Ankle Center of Durham. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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 Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
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