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Tuesday, 07 March 2017 17:08

How to Avoid Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder that occurs frequently in diabetics, typically in the feet.  The symptoms include: numbness, tingling, throbbing, freezing/burning sensation, and pain.  Not all those with diabetes will get peripheral neuropathy, and not all suffering from it will have the exact same symptoms.  This neuropathy occurs when the walls of the capillaries, or tiny blood vessels, are damaged by high sugar levels in the blood.  Due to the damage they are not able to carry enough blood to the nerves, which then leads to the aforementioned symptoms.  In order to avoid peripheral neuropathy there a few things that can be done.  First, and perhaps most importantly, monitor your blood sugar level, and keep it in balance.  Exercise and diet can help keep your weight down, as well as your blood sugar.  If you are suffering from numbness in your feet, and you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes, it is essential that you see a doctor immediately.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Pennsylvania. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 00:00

Tips to Prevent Injury for Child Soccer Players

Children’s soccer has become an increasingly popular sport in the United States, making children more prone to foot and ankle injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that injuries can occur when players collide and even when running, twisting or landing. Boys are more likely to incur ankle injuries especially when turning or stopping. Since children are constantly growing, some may experience irritation on the growth plate of the heel resulting in heel pain. Anti-inflammatories, ice, and stretching can help reduce this pain. However, consulting a healthcare professional is always the best bet when injuries occur. Participating in conditioning exercises, wearing proper cleats, teaching proper techniques, and maintaining field conditions can assist in preventing injury.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact one of our podiatrists of PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Pennsylvania. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
Saturday, 13 February 2016 15:43

Frostbite & Frostnip - the danger is lurking

FrostnipWe’re in a Polar Vortex which is downright cold for all of us but especially dangerous for Diabetics, small children and the elderly. With the incredibly low temperatures, it’s important to be aware of Frostbite and Frostnip and how to treat it if you or a loved one is affected.

Frostbite is tissue damage caused by cold and is rated according to severity; first, second, and third degree. Skin turns white, blue or mottled and feels frozen. Frostnip is the mildest level of frostbite. Skin will look pale and feel cold, numb and stiff.

Frostnip can easily be treated at home. If you think you may have the symptoms of frostnip, get out of the cold as soon as possible. Immerse the affected area in warm water (100º to 105º Fahrenheit) to thaw the frozen tissue. As an alternative, use your own body heat to warm the area. Do not use vigorous (rubbing) or high heat methods (heating pad, stove, water hotter than 105 º, etc.) to avoid burning the skin.

If the skin tingles and burns as it warms, your circulation is returning. The skin may turn red, but should not blister or swell. If the skin does not seem to warm, if it remains numb, or if it blisters or swells, seek immediate medical attention as you may be suffering from Frostbite.

Frostbite requires emergency medical care. If you think you may have frostbite, get out of the cold as soon as possible. If you cannot get medical help immediately and there's no risk that the area might be re-frozen before you get help, warm the affected area as you would for frostnip.

Protect your feet and toes by wearing two pairs of socks and choosing appropriate footwear. The first pair of socks, next to your skin, should be made of moisture-wicking fabric. Wear a pair of wool or wool-blend socks on top of those. Your boots should also provide adequate insulation. They should be waterproof and cover your ankles. Make sure that nothing feels tight, as tight clothing increases the risk of frostbite. And limit your time outdoors as an extra precaution.

Thursday, 04 December 2014 17:52

10 At-Home Exercises to Relieve Bunion Pain

A bunion is a deformity which occurs when the head of the first metatarsal bone behind the big toe angles out from the foot, pushing the toe toward the adjacent toes (in most cases). The protruding metatarsal head irritates the soft tissue, causing soreness on the side, top and bottom of the foot. Additionally, muscles and tendons in the foot become cramped, tired, and fatigued.

[caption id="attachment_4734" align="alignleft" width="225"]Hallux Valgus bunion Yep, that's a bunion.[/caption]

In most cases, a bunion develops due to faulty biomechanics in the foot. You'll read a lot of info online that blames high heels and even ballerina shoes for bunions, and while they might contribute to the condition, the root cause is usually genetic. Any podiatric surgeon whose been at it for a decade or more will tell you that he or she has corrected bunion deformities in members of the same family - usually mothers and daughters, but a few sons thrown in for good measure. Faulty arches, flat feet, and loose ligaments, tendons, and muscles are inherited from our parents. We stuff our feet into too-tight shoes, high heels which shift our body weight to the front of the foot, and inexpensive shoes which offer no support to our arches. Combine all of these factors, and voila! A bunion!

Once a bunion starts forming there is absolutely nothing you can do to reverse it, as the metatarsal bone is already out of alignment. But you can slow the progression of the bunion and strengthen the toe and foot muscles to relieve pain and discomfort and increase flexibility. If one of your parents or older siblings have bunions and you don't, proper shoes and strengthening exercises may help delay the onset of your bunions.

Here are some exercises to relive bunion pain:

Sitting exercises for bunion pain relief

  • Stretch your big toe. Using your fingers, pull your big toe into proper alignment and hold for ten seconds. Repeat 4 times.
  • Flex, stretch, and contract your toes to keep them limber and reduce foot pain and fatigue. Point your toes straight ahead for 5 seconds and then curl your toes under for 5 seconds, as if you're trying to grab something with your toes. Repeat 10 times.
  • Resistance. Wrap a towel around your big toe. Use the towel to pull your toe gently towards you while simultaneously pushing against the towel with your toe.
  • The ball roll. Place a golf ball or tennis ball under your foot and roll it around for a few minutes. The ball gently massages your arch, which will help to relieve cramping in the muscles.
  • Pick up a towel. Spread a small towel flat on the floor in front of you. Then try and pick it up with your toes. This is fantastic for strengthening your toes and improving flexibility.
  • Play with marbles. Place 12 marbles on the floor in front of you. Pick them up with your toes and move them to a basket. This gripping exercise improves strength in a similar way to the towel exercise above.

Standing exercises for bunion pain relief

  • Walk in sand. If you can, walk barefoot on the beach. This gives your feet a gentle massage and strengthens them in the most natural fashion. Stroll the beach sans sandals whenever possible.
  • The tennis ball lift. While standing, squeeze a tennis ball between your ankles. Then raise up on the balls of your feet, keeping your ankles level. Slowly lower yourself back to the floor. This strengthens the muscles which help to align your foot and ankle.
  • A little toe exercise. While standing, curl all of your toes up off the floor. Then, touch only your little toe to the floor. Raise the little toe back up again until it's even with the other toes. This exercise strengthens the muscles that run from the little toes up the sides of your legs.
  • Yoga Toe. Stand straight up and curl all of the toes on one foot off the floor. Hold the three middle toes in the air, then lower the big toe AND the little toe to the floor simultaneously. Then lift the little toe and big toe back up together. This is incredibly difficult, but will balance the muscles in your feet, as taught in yoga.

Click here to download our free guide to reducing your bunion pain at home.

We recommend that you perform each of these exercise twice a day, morning and night, to releive your bunion pain. If your discomfort continues, make an appointment with PA Foot and Ankle Associates. One of our podiatrists will assess your condition and recommend a treatment plan for your bunions.

 

arthritis2To counter any holiday weight gain, many runners will be fighting the cold to keep on exercising through the winter months. Exercising is also a great way to improve your mood and keep your energy throughout the day. Runners should keep in mind, however, the possibility of hypothermia while running. Prolonged exposure to cooler temperatures can decrease blood circulation to the hands, arms, legs, and particularly the feet. Keep in mind warning signs such as paleness, pain, or numbness of the affected area.  

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Podiatry. Our podiatrists will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs 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. It usually restricts 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 from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

-muscle pain    -numbness in legs
-cramps            -skin discoloration
-weakness        -slower nail & hair growth
-stiffness         -erectile dysfunction

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

Consult a podiatrist or doctor to help determine a regime that suits you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about poor circulation in the feet.

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