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June 2020

Diabetic patients are often at a higher risk of developing the condition known as peripheral neuropathy. This condition affects the peripheral nerves, which are the longest nerves in the body, and may develop when these nerves become damaged. Peripheral neuropathy is known to target the feet, which can cause  a great deal of discomfort. Common symptoms may include pain, as well as numbness and tingling in the feet. Since patients who are diabetic are more likely to develop this condition, typical forms of prevention may include regularly exercising and monitoring your overall diet. For more advice on how to find relief from the symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy, it is suggested that you seek the professional advice of a podiatrist.

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 Dr. Eric Simmons from InStride Foot & Ankle Center of Durham. Our doctor 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 our office located in Durham, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Neuropathy
Monday, 22 June 2020 00:00

How Did I Get a Hammertoe?

Hammertoes, as its name suggests, are toes that bend in a downward fashion, resembling a hammer. This condition is considered to be a deformity of the toe joints. The second, third, and fourth toes are more likely to be affected, causing them to take an abnormal shape. Toes affected by this condition will often have trouble straightening, and will need professional help to treat the hammertoe. Overuse, or damage to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the foot and toes may cause a hammertoe to develop. Other risk factors may include arthritis, trauma, and ill-fitting footwear. In severe cases, a hammertoe may require surgery to be permanently fixed. For a proper diagnosis and advised treatment plan, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

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, 17 June 2020 00:00

Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Monday, 15 June 2020 00:00

Gout Can Cause Walking To Be Painful

There are many patients who experience the painful condition that is known as gout. It is a form of arthritis, and in severe cases, this ailment can cause the inability to walk. It develops as a result of elevated uric acid levels in the blood, and can occur because of genetic factors. Additionally, eating specific foods can contribute to developing gout. These can consist of shellfish, red meat, and drinks that have a high sugar content. The symptoms that are experienced with gout include redness and swelling in the joints of the big toe, and the pain may be noticed more often in the morning. If you have gout, it is advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist, who can recommend correct treatment options.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Eric Simmons from InStride Foot & Ankle Center of Durham. Our doctor 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 our office located in Durham, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 08 June 2020 00:00

Who Does Sever’s Disease Impact?

Heel pain may be a common ailment among active children. It can be indicative of a condition that is known as Sever’s disease, which impacts the growth plate in the heel. You may notice that your child is limping, and this is a normal symptom of this condition. A proper diagnosis can consist of performing what is referred to as a squeeze test, and additional tests may be needed to confirm the results. Relief may be felt when the foot is elevated, which may reduce a portion of the swelling that can accompany this condition. As the foot gains strength, stretches and specific exercises can be performed that can increase the range of motion. If you think your child may have Sever’s disease, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this ailment.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Eric Simmons from InStride Foot & Ankle Center of Durham. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their 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 injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease
Monday, 01 June 2020 00:00

Risk Factors Associated With Running

Many athletes are aware of the risk factors that can develop from running. Many running injuries can cause serious lower extremity issues. It is important to be aware of prevention methods that can help you to avoid such an injury. Common risk factors can include training beyond your skill level, poor sleep and nutritional habits, poor postural control, and over stressing your body. Not properly stretching before or after a run can severely increase your risk of obtaining an injury. Stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and sprained ankles, are a few conditions that are commonly associated with running injuries. For additional information on prevention methods, as well as treatment options if you do become injured while running, it is recommended that you consult with a podiatrist for proper care.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Eric Simmons of InStride Foot & Ankle Center of Durham. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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 Preventing Running Injuries
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