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August 2020

Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

Do I Have a Heel Spur?

Heel spurs are bony protrusions that develop on the bottom of the heel, and typically form due to an underlying issue such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. Heel spurs tend to form over a long period of time due to damage that pulls on the heel bone. Those who wear high heels, are older, or are very active are at a higher risk for heels spurs. Those who are experiencing heel pain, and possibly a heel spur, should visit a podiatrist right away. A podiatrist can check to make sure that the heel pain isn’t caused by an underlying condition and then provide treatment to manage the pain. In extreme cases, surgery may be required.

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 one of our podiatrists from Eastern Carolina 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 office located in Greenville, NC. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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Sunday, 30 August 2020 00:00

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

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Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that causes poor blood flow to the lower extremities. This is due to a buildup of plaque along the walls of the arteries, causing them to narrow and become stiff and thus restricting blood flow. According to a recent study, people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disorder that affects the joints, appear to be at an increased risk of developing PAD. Fortunately, both PAD and RA can be managed. A podiatrist can screen for PAD and recommend treatment options for both conditions. If you have poor circulation to your lower limbs or arthritic joint pain in your feet and ankles, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

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 one of our podiatrists from Eastern Carolina 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 office located in Greenville, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 17 August 2020 00:00

Strengthening Flat Feet

Flat feet often don’t cause any symptoms, however, they can make you more likely to develop foot problems over time. If you want to keep your feet healthy and in good condition, there are many stretching and strengthening exercises that you can try. Toe Scrunches work out the small muscles of the feet, making them stronger and more flexible at the arch. To do Toe Scrunches, place a towel on the floor and put your feet directly on top of it. Using only your toes, scrunch up the towel by moving your toes inward towards the balls of your feet. Another exercise you can do is called Can-Rolling. Sit on a chair and place a can lying down on the floor in front of you. Put your foot on top of the can so that the can is under your arch, then roll the can back and forth using your foot. This exercise stretches your feet while relieving tension and pressure. For more exercise ideas and information on strengthening flat feet, consult with a podiatrist.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Eastern Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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

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Monday, 10 August 2020 00:00

What Causes Hammertoes?

Hammertoes are a deformity of the joints in the toes that can cause them to bend abnormally. This may result in pain in the affected toes and can lead to an increased risk of developing corns and calluses. Hammertoes have a variety of causes. Some of the most common causes include biomechanical dysfunction, intrinsic muscle imbalances, toe injuries, and wearing high heels or ill-fitting shoes. Other conditions, such as bunions, flat feet, arthritis, diabetes, and certain neuromuscular disorders, are associated with developing hammertoes. You may also have an increased risk for hammertoes if you are older, a woman, or if you have unusually long toes. If you notice a hammertoe developing, it is recommended that you consult with a podiatrist.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Eastern Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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

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Plantar fasciitis refers to a painful inflammation of the plantar fascia, a tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the ball of the foot. The most common cause of this condition is overuse, making it a frequent injury among runners and other athletes. Certain people may be predisposed to plantar fasciitis, including people with flat feet, tight calves or tight Achilles tendons, and those who wear low-quality running shoes. Resting, stretching, doing strength exercises, and wearing the appropriate footwear can help alleviate symptoms. However, it is strongly recommended that you visit a podiatrist if you are prone to this injury. A podiatrist can determine the cause of your recurrent plantar fasciitis, provide you with treatment options, and help you find appropriate running shoes or prescribe orthotics.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from Eastern Carolina 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 office located in Greenville, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
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