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Monday, 18 March 2019 00:00

Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury

The Achilles tendon is considered to be the largest tendon in the body. Its function is to connect the heel to the calf muscles, and it is important for this tendon to maintain its flexibility and strength. It is typically put under pressure for the majority of the day as walking or running and jumping activities are completed. If an injury should occur to the Achilles tendon, it may become swollen and inflamed. This type of injury is known as tendonitis. A common symptom that can be associated with this condition may be pain in the heel and surrounding areas. If a rupture should occur, you may hear a popping sound emanating from the back of the heel. This is typically indicative of a serious injury, and medical attention should be sought as quickly as possible. If you have any pain in the back of the calf or in the heel, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat an Achilles tendon injury.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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 Achilles Tendon Injuries
Tuesday, 11 June 2019 00:00

Types of Foot Pain

The foot is comprised of several bones, ligaments, and tendons, and may undergo stress throughout the day. Conditions that include bunions, plantar fasciitis, and ingrown toenails are common ailments that many patients experience. These may occur as a result of wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Additionally, diabetic patients may notice there are cuts on their feet that are not healing properly, and this may lead to foot ulcers. Another potential cause of foot pain is from the contagious foot condition known as athlete’s foot, or when a fungal infection enters the body through small cracks in the skin on the feet. Symptoms that often accompany this ailment include itchiness between the toes, or on the soles of the feet. If you are experiencing any type of foot pain, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat a foot condition.

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

You use your feet differently when you walk than you do when you run. When you walk, your feet do not experience too much impact. Conversely, when you run, you feel almost three times more impact in your feet. Therefore, having different shoes for the different types of exercise is vital to the overall health of your feet and legs. There are four factors to remember while buying shoes. First, a running shoe should have a more flexible sole than a walking shoe. Next, the heel of a running shoe should be slightly elevated, while the heel of a walking shoe should be flat. A running shoe should additionally give you less motion control than a walking shoe, as your foot moves more while running. Finally, a running shoe should be lighter than a walking shoe, so you can move quickly. If you have any questions about what shoe to use, be sure to contact a podiatrist.

For more information about walking shoes versus running shoes, consult with the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can measure your feet to determine what your needs are and help you find an appropriate pair of footwear.

Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes

There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.

You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.

Differences

Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.

Flexibility – Walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.

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 Walking Shoes vs. Running Shoes
Tuesday, 25 June 2019 00:00

The Dangers of Wearing Flip Flops

Research has indicated that many flip-flops do not provide adequate support nor shock absorption that the feet need for comfort. The function of flip-flops is to cover the bottom of the feet, but arch support is not present in many of these types of shoes. While flip-flops are being worn, the muscles and ligaments in the feet may change slightly, and this can negatively affect the joints next to them. This can produce a chain effect that may be harmful to the rest of the body. It is suggested to wear flip flops in moderation, or if you are going to be sitting for the majority of the day. If you would like additional information about how flip-flops can affect the feet, it is advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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 Flip Flops and Your Feet

Many elderly people who have fallen may find it difficult to get up. This often happens if there are existing medical conditions or if a serious injury has occurred. There are methods that can be implemented that can help reduce the risk of falling. These include installing grab bars in the bathroom and shower area, improving lighting in the house, and removing any clutter that may be present. Research has indicated that it is beneficial for seniors to practice a gentle exercise routine, as this is helpful in developing balance and flexibility. Additionally, seniors who have their vision checked regularly may be less likely to experience falling. If you would like more information about how falling can affect the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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 Falls Prevention
Tuesday, 06 August 2019 00:00

Toe Stretching Can Help Strengthen the Feet

The toes play an important role in maintaining balance in the body. When you take your shoes off and stand up, it is natural for the toes to turn upward. It is said when toes are held in one position too often, the muscles tighten and don't return to normal length. When the toes have adequate room to move freely, specific foot conditions may be prevented such as athlete’s foot, hammertoe, and corns. Research has shown that it is beneficial to frequently stretch the toes, and this can be accomplished in a variety of ways. One effective toe stretch happens when the toes are bent downward, this stretches the top of the foot. Additionally, you can pull the big toe and the little toe away from each other at once, restoring healthy width to the front of the foot. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of stretching your toes, please consult with your local podiatrist. 

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

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

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 How to Stretch Your Feet
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 00:00

The Definition of a Heel Spur

A small and hard protrusion that forms in the heel of the foot is referred to as a heel spur. They can have different shapes that can include being flat, hooked, or pointy. It begins in the heel, and typically grows toward the arch of the foot. It generally produces pain and discomfort while walking, standing, or running. Some patients experience swelling, and the heel may feel achy for the majority of the day. As the aging process occurs, the heel pads may become thinner, and may fail to provide adequate shock absorption. Calcium deposits may gradually develop, the deposits form bony protrusions, which are heel spurs. Patients who are overweight or walk on hard surfaces could be prone to developing this type of foot condition, in addition to wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Relief may be felt when the foot is elevated, and it is beneficial to wear shoes that have additional cushioning. If you have developed a heel spur, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Heel Spurs
Sunday, 01 December 2019 00:00

Contagious Athlete’s Foot

The uncomfortable condition that is known as athlete’s foot is considered to be contagious. The fungus that causes this ailment lives and thrives in warm and moist environments that often include communal shower rooms, locker rooms, and surrounding areas. The symptoms are often noticed between the toes, and on the soles of the feet. They can consist of severe itching, oozing blisters, and burning or stinging sensations. Additionally, the skin may also appear red. Mild relief may be found when an antifungal powder or cream is applied to the affected area. Athlete's foot may be prevented by washing and drying your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes, and wearing appropriate shoes while in public areas. If you have this condition, it is advised that you speak to a podiatrist who can prescribe the medication that is needed for relief.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists.  Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

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 How to Deal with Athlete's Foot
Monday, 09 December 2019 00:00

Who Is Prone To Stress Fractures?

Many runners experience the pain and inconvenience a stress fracture causes the foot. Additionally, people who stand on hard surfaces for the majority of the day may be prone to this condition. When a stress fracture forms, gradual cracks in the bone may occur, caused by repetitive overuse. Symptoms many patients notice consist of pain and swelling surrounding the affected area, and difficulty walking. Research has indicated that women may be more susceptible to developing a stress fracture. This may be a result of bones that have been weakened by osteoporosis. After a proper diagnosis is performed, which generally involves having an X-ray taken, correct treatment can begin. This may include wearing a protective boot while performing daily activities, in addition to elevating the foot as often as possible. If you have a stress fracture that affects the foot, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, 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.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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 Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Monday, 08 February 2021 00:00

Diabetic Feet Need Frequent Exams

Diabetic feet are prone to developing infections and foot ulcers. This is generally a result of the inability to feel cuts or bruises that may develop on the feet. This is caused by elevated insulin levels in the blood that can come from obesity and eating unhealthy foods. It is important to maintain proper foot care by trimming the toenails correctly, and keeping the feet clean and moisturized. Checking the feet daily may help to notice any discoloration that can accompany diabetes, in addition to abnormal swelling. If you have diabetes, it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist on a frequent basis, and have routine foot examinations performed.

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 Care
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