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There are a variety of health issues that can occur throughout the body that podiatrists are often the first to discover. This is because foot related issues can be an indicator of a more severe issue. For example, if your feet are too cold or turning blue, it can mean that there are issues with how the blood is circulating throughout the body. Diabetes is another condition that can affect the feet by causing wounds to heal slower. Heart disease or high blood pressure is another issue that can present itself in the feet by causing the feet to swell. Frequently occurring fungal nail infections can also indicate an auto-immune disorder or a weakened immune system. Patients who notice anything unusual with their feet should visit with a podiatrist to have the issue examined. 

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Foot
Tuesday, 08 February 2022 00:00

Top 4 Conditions That Cause Cold Feet

If your feet always feel cold, it may be due to one of the following four reasons. 1) You may have poor circulation. Feet need a steady flow of blood to keep them warm. Poor circulation causes blood vessels to constrict which limits the amount of blood traveling to the feet. 2) You may have Raynaud’s syndrome. This is a condition where blood vessels that supply the skin with blood constrict and spasm temporarily, thereby limiting blood flow. This may even cause your skin to change colors temporarily as blood flow is cut off and then returns. 3) You may be overly stressed or anxious. The body’s reaction to extreme stress or anxiety may trigger a “fight or flight” response which can direct blood flow towards larger organs—which are more critical to survival—and away from the extremities. 4) You may have anemia, which is an insufficient amount of red blood cells. Anemia reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, sometimes causing cold feet. If you are concerned about your feet always feeling cold, contact a podiatrist to determine what the underlying cause may be and to get the appropriate treatment.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact the podiatrists of InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors 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 offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you . 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
Monday, 07 February 2022 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.

Tuesday, 01 February 2022 00:00

Is It Plantar Fasciitis or a Bruised Heel?

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury that occurs when the plantar fascia ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot is inflamed. This causes stabbing heel pain. Plantar fasciitis may be confused for a bruised heel, an injury to the fat pad surrounding the heel bone, as well as nearby tissues. Both conditions share several symptoms, such as heel pain with a gradual onset, pain directly under the heel, and pain that worsens with pressure. However, unlike a bruised heel, plantar fasciitis causes pain that is worse first thing in the morning or after a long period of rest. Plantar fasciitis pain may also radiate outwards to the arch of the foot, which doesn’t happen with a bruised heel. If you are suffering from heel pain, you can find out what is causing it and get the proper treatment by visiting a podiatrist. 

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact the podiatrists  from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs can often be associated conditions affecting the heel. Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammation of the long, fibrous tissue that extends across the sole of the foot (plantar fascia) when this tissue becomes damaged or torn. Heel spurs can be a result of plantar fasciitis, where damage to the plantar fascia causes tiny calcium deposits to form on the heel bone. These deposits can build up on the inside of the heel bone and reach up to 1/2” in length. An X-ray may be necessary to diagnose heel spurs as they often do not produce symptoms. When symptoms are present, they present typically as a stabbing pain in the heel, caused by the spurs sticking into the heel’s fat pad. Podiatrists have a great deal of experience with plantar fasciitis and heel spurs and have a variety of treatments to promote healing and relieve pain. Don’t live with heel pain: have your condition diagnosed and treated by a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact the podiatrists of InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
Saturday, 08 January 2022 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022 00:00

Can Osteoarthritis Occur in the Ankles?

Osteoarthritis in the ankles is a very painful condition which causes the cartilage that protects bones in the ankle to deteriorate. This leads to bones rubbing against each other, swelling, stiffness, tenderness and intense pain in the ankle, and a decreased ability to walk or bend and flex your ankles. Several factors can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis (OA) in the ankles, such as previous ankle injuries, recurrent high-impact stress on the ankles, misaligned joints, genetics, obesity and age. Your podiatrist can diagnose OA with a physical exam to test joint tenderness and swelling, X-rays, a gait analysis to assess your stride and foot and ankle biomechanics, and blood tests to distinguish OA from other forms of arthritis. There are many ways a podiatrist can help you manage the symptoms of OA, from lifestyle changes and physical therapy to various braces and orthotic devices, topical creams, pain relievers, and steroid injections. In severe cases of OA, surgery may be beneficial to remove spurs and loose cartilage, fuse the ankle to reduce pain, or replace damaged cartilage and bone with prosthetic parts (arthroplasty). If you believe you may have osteoarthritis in the ankle, it is suggested that you make an appointment as soon as possible to begin treatment.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Arthritic Foot Care
Tuesday, 11 January 2022 00:00

Three Steps to Smooth Feet

Dry or cracked heels are a common foot problem. Though the condition is often cosmetic, in some cases the heels can develop deep, painful cracks. To prevent this and keep your heels smooth and supple, there are three things that you can do at home. First, periodically soak your feet in warm, soapy water for 10 minutes and gently exfoliate them with a loofah or wet pumice stone. After this, dry your feet and apply moisturizer. You should moisturize your feet regularly, up to three times per day. Apply moisturizer in a circular motion to the heels and avoid putting moisturizer between your toes. Finally, wear thin cotton socks after moisturizing your feet. If home treatment does not improve your dry, cracked heels, or if they are painful, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment. 

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors 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 offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Tuesday, 04 January 2022 00:00

Ways Seniors Can Maximize Foot Care

As one ages, it becomes harder to reach down to the toes and keep toenails trimmed properly. In some cases, just gripping the clippers is difficult, if not impossible. At the same time, toenail growth decreases with age, resulting in thicker nails that are more difficult to trim. One way to soften the thicker nails and make them easier to cut is by soaking the feet for about 10 minutes in warm water. Thoroughly dry the feet, and use a clipper to make small cuts straight across the nail to lessen the chance of an ingrown toenail. If your toenails have both hardened and become discolored, you may also have developed a fungal infection. Such a condition can worsen rapidly and become painful. For that reason, it would be wise to contact a podiatrist immediately, as fungal infections may take months to eliminate. It is also suggested that seniors make regular appointments with a podiatrist for proper foot-care treatment as needed.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors 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 offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Tuesday, 28 December 2021 00:00

Tips for Preventing Blisters

Foot blisters are a common but very annoying problem. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent them. First, you should look for a shoe that fits well, holds your heel firmly in place, and leaves some wiggle room for your toes. Avoid buying shoes with rough seams or edges along the inside, as these can irritate the skin. Socks are important too. Look for socks that are made with a moisture-wicking material. These will help keep your feet dry. You can also use an antiperspirant or talcum powder. Toughen the skin on your feet by slowly increasing the distance of your walks or runs and by moisturizing your heels if they are dry. If you have certain areas of your feet that are prone to blistering, cover them with sports tape, moleskin, or special patches to protect them. For more information about how to prevent foot blisters, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact the podiatrists of InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors 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 offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Blisters
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