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January 2020

Those with peripheral artery disease, or PAD for short, may experience chronic ischemia, better known as a lack of blood supply. When this occurs, you may experience a dull, cramping pain in the affected area, commonly the feet, when exercising. The pain often stops when resting. This kind of symptom is referred to as claudication. For a proper diagnosis, a podiatrist may suggest taking an ABI, or ankle brachial index. This exam consists of using ultrasound images that will measure the blood pressure in your feet. This type of test is common for diagnosing PAD, and is painless. PAD is likely to develop among adults over the age of 50, and is especially common for those with diabetes. For more information about peripheral artery disease, and to discuss a plan for treatment, we recommend you consult with a podiatrist for professional care.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heel
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

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.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 20 January 2020 00:00

Two Types of Ankle Sprains

If you have endured an ankle sprain, it may have happened as a result of suddenly rolling your ankle. This can occur from stepping off of a curb unexpectedly, or from tripping on an unseen object. An eversion sprain generally targets the inner part of the ankle, and may affect the arch of the foot. If the ankle rolls outward, it is known as an inversion sprain, and may cause the ligaments to stretch or tear. There are common symptoms that are associated with ankle sprains. These can include severe pain and discomfort, swelling, and it may be difficult to move or bend the ankle. Moderate relief can be found if the affected foot is taped with an elastic bandage, and this may help to provide the support that is needed as the healing process takes place. If you have sprained your ankle, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can guide you toward the correct treatment.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, 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 Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further 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.

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Published in Blog
Sunday, 19 January 2020 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Published in Blog
Monday, 13 January 2020 00:00

How Do Cracked Heels Develop?

Severe cases of the condition known as cracked heels can cause extreme pain and discomfort. They are deep cracks in the skin that are known as fissures, and generally occur on the outside of the heel. It is an ailment that develops gradually, and will be manageable with prompt treatment. Some of the symptoms of cracked heels can include flaky and peeling skin, hardened and red skin, and the area may itch. Common causes of this condition can consist of standing for extended periods of time throughout the day, and wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Additionally, certain medical conditions such as psoriasis and thyroid disease may play a significant role in developing cracked heels. Relief may be temporarily felt when a good moisturizer is applied to the affected area. If you would like more information about how to treat and prevent cracked heels from developing, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist.

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.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 06 January 2020 00:00

Possible Causes of Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail is a foot condition that can cause severe pain and discomfort. It occurs as a result of the nail growing into the skin instead of over it. This ailment typically happens to the big toe, and may make the area look red and swollen. A common cause for ingrown toenails to develop can include wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, this condition may develop from improperly trimming the toenails. Patients may find mild relief when the affected foot is soaked in warm water several times per day. This may be helpful in lifting the nail away from the skin with a small piece of cotton. For severely infected ingrown toenails, it is suggested that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can provide the necessary treatment for recovery.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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.

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Published in Blog