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Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Treating Fungal Nails with Laser Treatment

Fungal nail infection (onychomycosis) is one of the most common nail disorders among adults. It is a mycotic infection that occurs underneath the nail plate. The nail can become deformed, lifted, brittle, and discolored. These symptoms may lead to acute pain in the toenail area. There are various types of fungal nail infections and various types of treatments. One form of treatment is laser therapy, which also consists of varying methods. Photodynamic therapy uses light irradiation and a photosensitizing drug to find specific cells and destroy them. Other laser therapies that involve neodymium yttrium-aluminum-garnet or low-level lasers aim to selectively hinder fungal growth. Laser therapies are selective to the localized infection, which decreases the chance of systemic side effects. If you are interested in laser treatment for a fungal infection, consult with a podiatrist for further guidance.

Laser treatment can be an effective way to get rid of toenail fungus. If you have any questions about laser treatment, consult with the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment for fungal nails.

What Are Toenail Fungal Infections?

Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nail, is a relatively common and non-serious condition. Around 10 percent of U.S. citizens are afflicted with fungal nails. Common forms of fungus that infect the nail include dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungal Infections Include:

  • Nail thickening
  • Brittleness of the nail
  • Discoloration of the nail

Diagnosis for Fungal Nails

Fungal infections are diagnosed by fungal culture and microscopy. This will rule out any other conditions such as nail trauma, psoriasis, lichen planus, and onychogryphosis.

What Is Laser Treatment?

Laser treatment is a non-invasive, safe, quick, and painless procedure that uses the heat from a laser to kill fungus in the nail. Each infected nail is targeted with a laser for several minutes. The treatment is usually utilized several different times over a select period. During this time, a podiatrist will keep an eye on the infection.

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 Laser Treatment for Fungal Nails
Monday, 19 November 2018 00:00

Plantar Warts Cause Pain in the Heel

The medical name for a condition that is commonly known as plantar warts is called verrucae warts. It is a result of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that typically enters the foot through small cracks in the heel and will affect the skin on the bottom of the feet. If you are afflicted with this painful foot condition, you may experience symptoms that include pain while walking as a result of pressure the heel must endure, and a yellow and hardened area on the skin, possibly with small black spots in the center. This virus lives in areas that are consistently moist and humid, which may include swimming pools and the surrounding areas or locker rooms. There are several different treatment options that can be implemented, which may provide the desired relief, and it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist to discuss which is the best one for you.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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 All About Plantar Warts

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 the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors 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 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 Working on Your Feet
Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

Effective Toe Stretches

When the feet are properly stretched, running and jumping activities may be easier and safer to perform. Painful injuries may be avoided if correct foot and ankle stretches are frequently practiced, and the overall health of the body may be positively affected. An effective foot stretch that is known as toe curling is effectively done by raising one foot and curling the toes, then repeating on the other foot. Some people find it beneficial to stretch one toe at a time, and this is referred to as toe yoga. Lifting and lowering the heels will help to strengthen the Achilles tendon, in addition to making the joints in the ankle stronger. If you would like more information on how to perform foot stretches, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can properly assist you.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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 Stretching Your Feet

There are many patients who are afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis who may experience discomfort in the big toe, in addition to painful ankles and joints. This may result in difficulty in walking, which may hinder completing daily activities. There are specific conditions that may develop if rheumatoid arthritis is present, and these include the formation of bunions, hammertoe, or plantar fasciitis. Additionally, it may be beneficial to wear shoes that fit properly which have adequate room for the toes to move about in. This may put less pressure on the joints in the toes, and a moderate level of relief may be attained. Research has indicated there may be measures that can be implemented to reduce a portion of the pain and discomfort that is associated with this condition, and these include maintaining a healthy body weight, avoiding standing for the majority of the day, and engaging in a massage or warm foot bath. If you have symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, it is strongly advised to speak to a podiatrist who can properly guide you toward proper treatment.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact the podiatrists of InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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 Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
Monday, 28 January 2019 00:00

Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Ankles

Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects small joints first, but it can move to larger joints, such as ankles. If this condition spreads to the ankles, then it can hinder one’s ability to walk, and cause extreme discomfort. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis usually come in flares that can last anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks. These symptoms include inflammation and stiffness in the joints of the ankle. If this goes untreated, then this condition has the potential to permanently change the structure of the ankle joints. Rheumatoid arthritis also breaks down cartilage in the ankle that protects the bones from rubbing together, so this may create friction that will cause further weakness and instability. Oftentimes, people with rheumatoid arthritis in the ankles also experience symptoms in their feet. If you feel that you may have rheumatoid arthritis in either your feet or ankles, then it is strongly recommended that you consult with a podiatrist to receive treatment.

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

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 Ankle Pain
Monday, 25 March 2019 00:00

Understanding Your Foot Pain

Foot pain is a broad term that covers many different types of pain. The foot is a complex part of the body that is comprised of many bones, ligaments and muscles; therefore, pain can be felt in various parts of the feet. The degree of pain or discomfort felt can highly differ. Pain can present itself as throbbing, aching, stabbing, or mild tenderness. Understanding and learning about your foot pain is key in figuring out what the underlying issue is. Some of the most common foot conditions that cause pain are plantar fasciitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, metatarsalgia, Morton's neuroma, and Achilles tendinitis. All of these conditions cause pain in different locations and result in different types of pain. If you are experiencing any foot pain, speak with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat the ailment.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

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 Foot Pain

Research has shown the importance of taking care of your feet, and this is especially true if you are a diabetic patient. Many diabetic people have neuropathy, and this may cause a lack of feeling in the feet. Small cuts or bruises may go unnoticed as a result of this condition and may take longer to heal. Foot ulcers may affect up to twenty-five percent of diabetic patients, and it is important to properly take care of your feet. This can be accomplished by checking the feet daily, which may help you to notice any blisters, ingrown toenails, cuts or swelling that may exist. Additionally, the feet should be washed in lukewarm water on a daily basis, gently dried, and followed by using a good moisturizer. This may help to keep the skin soft, which may prevent dry skin. Wearing shoes that fit properly will help the overall health of the feet and choosing seamless socks may aid in preventing cuts in the skin. If you have diabetes, it is strongly suggested that you should seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly guide you in learning how to take care of diabetic feet.

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 the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 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 Diabetic Foot Conditions
Monday, 25 February 2019 00:00

Spotting Cuboid Syndrome

Cuboid syndrome is caused by partial dislocation of bones in the middle of the foot. Someone with cuboid syndrome usually feels pain around the middle of the foot or at the base of their toes. There are some symptoms of this condition that, when coupled together, can help to identify cuboid syndrome. Pain on the lateral side of the foot or the side of the little toe is an initial indicator. Pain also tends to worsen when weight is placed on the foot, so activities like walking or jumping may trigger discomfort. It is also possible for the foot to swell and for there to be a reduced range of motion in the foot or ankle. If you suffer from any of these symptoms and think you might have cuboid syndrome, it is highly recommended that you speak with a podiatrist to begin treatment.

Cuboid syndrome, also known as cuboid subluxation, occurs when the joints and ligaments near the cuboid bone in the foot become torn. If you have cuboid syndrome, consult with the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Cuboid syndrome is a common cause of lateral foot pain, which is pain on the outside of the foot. The condition may happen suddenly due to an ankle sprain, or it may develop slowly overtime from repetitive tension through the bone and surrounding structures.

Causes

The most common causes of cuboid syndrome include:

  • Injury – The most common cause of this ailment is an ankle sprain.
  • Repetitive Strain – Tension placed through the peroneus longus muscle from repetitive activities such as jumping and running may cause excessive traction on the bone causing it to sublux.
  • Altered Foot Biomechanics – Most people suffering from cuboid subluxation have flat feet.

Symptoms

A common symptom of cuboid syndrome is pain along the outside of the foot which can be felt in the ankle and toes. This pain may create walking difficulties and may cause those with the condition to walk with a limp.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cuboid syndrome is often difficult, and it is often misdiagnosed. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans often fail to properly show the cuboid subluxation. Although there isn’t a specific test used to diagnose cuboid syndrome, your podiatrist will usually check if pain is felt while pressing firmly on the cuboid bone of your foot.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are ice therapy, rest, exercise, taping, and orthotics.

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 Cuboid Syndrome
Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

Understanding Blisters

Blisters are a common annoyance caused by friction. They usually appear on the back of the ankle and are visible bubbles filled with fluid. The fluid inside of a blister varies. A blister can be filled with pus, blood, or serum. This condition causes itching, pain, or discomfort. Discomfort is usually unavoidable when the blister is located on the back of the ankle, because it will rub against any footwear. Blisters shouldn’t be popped because exposing the skin underneath could easily lead to an infection. If a blister does pop, then stay away from alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and iodine. It is best to clean the skin with warm water and a gentle soap. After washing the area, apply antibiotic ointment and cover loosely with a clean bandage. There are situations when blisters should be drained, but it is best to let a professional drain the bubble. If you have an uncomfortable blister and would like to learn more about how to properly treat it, then it is suggested you 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 on the Feet
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