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Blog | Foot Doctor Gilbert, PA 18331

Monday, 29 October 2018 00:00

Is Hammertoe Uncomfortable?

If you have ever worn narrow, pointed-toe shoes, you may be a candidate to develop hammertoe. The characteristics are a noticeable deformity that affects the middle toes, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. The toes may be bent at the middle joint and face downward, giving the appearance of a hammer. The surrounding muscles may become unbalanced, and this may cause difficulty in straightening the toes. This condition may become worse if prompt treatment is not administered, which may consist of performing simple exercises that may strengthen the foot and toes. Research has shown the most common cause of hammertoe is related to incorrect shoes that are worn. Additionally, there may be other reasons why this ailment may develop, including having an elongated second toe, incurring an injury to the toes, or genetic traits may play a significant role. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it’s strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist for a complete diagnosis and to gather information about proper treatment options.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Barbara Davis from Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Gilbert, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Monday, 22 October 2018 00:00

The Benefits of Stretching the Feet

Research has implied that walking is the most effective way to stretch your feet. When this is accomplished on a frequent basis, the feet and overall health of the body may benefit. The foot undergoes a full range of motion while walking occurs, and this will typically stretch the entire foot. To maintain proper foot health, there are additional foot stretches that can be performed. When the feet are flexible, the possibility of incurring an injury may be diminished and this may be accomplished by incorporating gentle foot stretches into your daily routine. Additionally, your feet may become stronger when resistance exercises are practiced, and this added strength may provide protection and better support for the foot and body. If you would like more information about the benefits of practicing foot stretches, it’s suggested to speak to a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Barbara Davis from Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor 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 office located in Gilbert, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Stretch Your Feet
Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

Different Types of Foot Surgery

There are several reasons why it may be necessary to have foot surgery performed. These may include having a foot deformity corrected, relieving severe pain and discomfort, or to have normal function returned to your foot or ankle. A common surgery that involves having the toenail removed may be a suitable cure for specific foot conditions such as ingrown toenails. Additionally, for people who suffer from the constant pain of an ankle disorder, a procedure that is known as open ankle fusion surgery may be a viable option to obtain moderate or full relief. Bunion surgery may be necessary for the permanent removal of painful bunions if all other options should fail. If you are contemplating foot surgery, it’s advised to speak with a podiatrist who can properly inform you of any information you need to know, so a proper decision can be reached.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Barbara Davis of Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gilbert, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot and Ankle Surgery

Research has shown the importance of stretching the ankles, feet, and toes if you frequently participate in sporting activities. The benefits of performing proper foot stretches may include added mobility and speed, in addition to possibly preventing injuries from occurring. Many athletes wear specific shoes that may aid in preventing foot and ankle injuries, and stretching may help to eliminate some of these conditions from developing. There are several conditions that may develop as a result of weak feet and ankles, and these may include sprains, fractures, shin splints or a ruptured Achilles tendon. All of these conditions are painful and uncomfortable and may be avoided when the proper stretching techniques are performed.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries and build strength. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Barbara Davis from Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Exercise for Your Feet

Exercise for your feet can help you gain strength, mobility and flexibility in your feet. They say that strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body. Your feet are very important, and we often forget about them in our daily tasks. But it is because of our feet that are we able to get going and do what we need to. For those of us fortunate enough to not have any foot problems, it is an important gesture to take care of them to ensure good health in the long run.

Some foot health exercises can include ankle pumps, tip-toeing, toe rises, lifting off the floor doing reps and sets, and flexing the toes. It is best to speak with Our doctor to determine an appropriate regimen for your needs. Everyone’s needs and bodies are different, and the activities required to maintain strength in the feet vary from individual to individual. 

Once you get into a routine of doing regular exercise, you may notice a difference in your feet and how strong they may become.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gilbert, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Exercise for Your Feet
Monday, 01 October 2018 00:00

Causes of Gout

If you ever have experienced gout, you may be well aware of the severe pain and discomfort that is typically associated with this condition. It generally occurs when a build-up of uric acid develops in the blood, and may lodge in the joints of the big toe. There are several symptoms that are indicative of gout, including an intense level of pain, swelling, and tenderness. Research has shown there are specific foods that may be ingested, which may cause gout. These may include eating an excess of red meat or shellfish, overindulging in alcoholic beverages, or drinking sugary beverages. Additionally, there may be a genetic factor that may cause gout, or taking certain medications may be a reason for this ailment to occur. There may be options you can perform, including practicing a healthy dietary lifestyle, ceasing smoking or losing any additional weight. It’s suggested to seek the counsel of a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and to begin the correct treatment.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Barbara Davis from Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gilbert, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout
Monday, 24 September 2018 00:00

Signs You May Have Athlete’s Foot

If you have noticed that your feet are scaling and itchy, you may have a condition that is referred to as athlete’s feet. The most common place of discomfort may occur in between the toes, and this may lead to the formation of blisters. This contagious fungal infection typically thrives in moist places including public pools and shower floors. There are several symptoms that are associated with this uncomfortable condition including peeling skin, a burning sensation on the soles of the feet or in between the toes, in addition to severe itching. To prevent the onset of athlete's foot, it is suggested that appropriate shoes are worn in locker rooms, public pools, showers, and surrounding areas. Additionally, choosing to wear shoes that consist of breathable materials may aid in controlling this condition. Cotton socks may absorb any excess sweat that exists, and this may help to maintain a level of comfort. Please consult with a podiatrist if you are afflicted with athlete’s foot to learn about correct treatment techniques that are right for you.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Dr. Barbara Davis from Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gilbert, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about How to Deal with Athlete's Foot
Monday, 17 September 2018 00:00

Wounds on the Feet May Lead to Foot Ulcers

If you are a diabetic patient, you are most likely aware of the importance of taking proper care of your feet. Cuts and scrapes have a tendency to not heal promptly as a result of a compromised immune system. An uncomfortable and painful condition known as a foot ulcer may occur, and this may possibly lead to a serious infection. If this type of wound is not treated quickly, the possibility of developing gangrene may increase, which may lead to amputation. There may be several reasons why wounds can develop, and these may include cracked and dry skin, ingrown toenails, which may cut the skin of the toe, or blisters. Additionally, there may be noticeable symptoms including extreme tenderness, redness, discomfort and pain. If you have wounds on your feet, the importance of speaking with a podiatrist promptly is crucial for the discussion and implementation of correct treatment options.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Barbara Davis from Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gilbert, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care

Most women who choose to wear high heels are aware of the possibility of injuring their feet or ankles. Common injuries that are endured may be sprains, broken ankles, or stress fractures. This may be a result of the difference in balancing the body on these types of shoes as opposed to wearing flat shoes or sneakers. Additionally, if these types of shoes are worn frequently, the foot is limited in performing the natural motion of flexing and pointing, which may aid in strengthening the foot. If wearing high heels is necessary for work, it’s important to wear flats to and from the work environment, in addition to slipping them off and gently flexing the feet every few hours. If you would like additional information about how your feet may be affected from wearing high heels, please speak with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Barbara Davis from Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gilbert, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Tuesday, 04 September 2018 00:00

Symptoms of Poor Circulation in the Feet

A condition known as poor circulation may often be a result of other health issues the body may have. These may include obesity, certain heart conditions, and diabetes. There are symptoms that are indicative of poor circulation in the feet, including experiencing a tingling sensation, total numbness, moderate to severe pain, or muscle cramps. There is a condition that is referred to as peripheral artery disease, or PAD, which can lead to poor circulation. The arteries and blood vessels become smaller, and this may restrict blood flow to the feet. The patient may experience nerve and tissue damage as a result of this condition not being treated. People who are obese may develop poor circulation and daily activities including walking and sitting that puts excess pressure on the feet, may possibly contribute to this ailment. If you are experiencing symptoms of poor circulation in the feet, please consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Barbara Davis of Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor 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 office located in Gilbert, PA. 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
Tuesday, 14 August 2018 00:00

What Are Heel Spurs?

If you experience sharp pains in your heels when you wake up in the morning, there is a chance you could have a heel spur. Heel spurs are calcium deposits that cause a bony protrusion beneath the heel bone. This ailment is typically associated with another heel condition called plantar fasciitis. There are often no symptoms that accompany having a heel spur. Nevertheless, there are factors that may make some people more likely to suffer from heel spurs than others. Those who run often, have gait abnormalities, are obese, or wear poorly fitting shoes are more likely to develop a heel spur.

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 Dr. Barbara Davis from Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor 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 office located in Gilbert, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about How to Treat Heel Spurs
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