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Dr. Christopher J. Gauland
Dr. Jonathan C. O’Quinn
Dr. Kenneth Rosenthal

(252) 830-1000

Greenville, North Carolina

December 2021

Tuesday, 28 December 2021 00:00

Are Bunions Genetic?

A bunion is a bony growth that occurs at the base of the big toe joint. Thought to be caused by faulty foot mechanics, bunions are often hereditary, meaning that they run in families. Wearing tight shoes with pointed toes can make bunions more likely to develop. Other than the deformity itself, symptoms of a bunion include pain, soreness, inflammation, redness, or a burning sensation around the bunion. It can become painful to wear certain shoes, walk, or stand for prolonged periods of time. Bunions progressively worsen without treatment, so it is strongly suggested that you see a podiatrist if you have a bunion that is bothering you. 

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of our podiatrists of Eastern Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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.

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Published in Blog
Tuesday, 28 December 2021 00:00

What Are Bunions?

Bunions are large bony bumps at the base of the big toe. Medically known as hallux valgus, a bunion is a misalignment of the metatarsophalangeal joint, or big toe joint. The misalignment will generally worsen with time if left untreated.

The exact cause of bunions is unknown, with genetics seen as a potential cause. High heels and poorly-fitted footwear, rheumatoid arthritis, and heredity all seem to be potential factors behind the exacerbation of bunions. Women have been found to be more likely to develop bunions in comparison to men.

Bunions do not always produce symptoms. The best way to tell is if the big toe is pushing up against the next toe and there is a large protrusion at the base of the big toe. You may or may not feel pain. Redness, swelling, and restricted movement of the big toe may be present as well.

Podiatrists use a variety of methods to diagnose bunions. If there are symptoms present, podiatrists will first consider that it is a bunion. If not, a physical examination will be conducted to check function of the big toe. Finally, an X-ray may be taken to view the extent of the bunion and confirm it is a bunion.

Typically, nonsurgical methods are used to treat bunions, unless the bunion has become too misaligned. Orthotics, icing and resting the foot, roomier and better fitted shoes, taping the foot, and pain medication are usually utilized first. If the bunion doesn’t go away or causes extreme pain, surgery may be required. Surgeons will either remove part of the swollen tissue or bone to straighten the toe out.

If you have a bunion, it is recommended to see a podiatrist. The longer it is left untreated, the worse it may get. Podiatrists can properly diagnose and treat a bunion before it gets worse.

Published in Featured
Thursday, 23 December 2021 00:00

Arthritis Can Cause Pain in the Feet and Ankles

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 21 December 2021 00:00

MLS Laser Therapy

MLS Laser Therapy is an FDA-approved technology designed to treat various painful conditions.  It is often sought out as a successful alternative to surgical treatment and prescription medication that may otherwise bring about negative side effects.  During MLS Laser Therapy, light energy enters the damaged cells to stimulate intercellular activity, reducing pain in the affected area and accelerating the recovery process.

MLS Laser Therapy is used in podiatry to treat various conditions.  These include heel pain, plantar fasciitis, sports injuries, wounds, Achilles tendonitis, arthritis, neuromas, neurological pain, musculoskeletal disorders, and sore muscles.  Aside from the specific conditions MLS Laser Therapy treats, patients can also gain from the treatment’s general benefits.  These benefits include a rapid relief of pain, the reduction of swelling caused by inflammation or bruising, faster healing, improved blood circulation, the reduction of scar tissue, and improved nerve function. 

MLS Laser Therapy is a non-surgical treatment with no side effects.  The treatment process is painless and typically takes a short amount of time to complete.  Several treatments may be required depending on the specific condition.

Published in Featured

MLS (Multiwave Locked System) Laser Therapy is a non-invasive method of treatment that uses two continuous therapeutic wavelengths of light that penetrate deep into the tissue to stimulate the regeneration of cells, decrease pain and inflammation, and improve circulation to the injured area. While there may be a slight warming sensation at the site of treatment, the combination of these two synchronized wavelengths minimizes the risk of thermal damage. Treatments generally take 10-15 minutes, and the typical course of treatment entails roughly 6 to 12 treatments. Many patients experience long-term positive results from MLS Therapy, as it addresses the cause of pain rather than simply masking symptoms. Podiatrists may use MLS therapy to treat plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon issues, bursitis, neuromas, arthritis, fractures, injuries, and more. If you have any of these conditions, talk to your podiatrist to see if you are a good candidate for MLS Laser Therapy.

MLS Laser Therapy is a successful alternative for treating any pain you may be experiencing related to certain podiatric conditions.  If you are interested in MLS Laser Therapy, 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.

MLS Laser Therapy

Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Laser Therapy is a patented, FDA-cleared technology that helps relieve pain and inflammation from a number of podiatric conditions, including:

  • Heel Pain
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Sports Injuries
  • Wounds
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Arthritis
  • Neuropathy
  • Neuromas

MLS Laser Therapy is an ideal alternative to surgery and prescription medication, as it has no negative side effects and encourages accelerated healing. Among its many clinical benefits, MLS Laser Therapy also:

  • Reduces swelling due to bruising or inflammation
  • Blocks pain
  • Reduces formation of scar tissue
  • Improves nerve function

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.

Read more about MLS Laser Therapy
Published in Blog
Tuesday, 14 December 2021 00:00

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the tendons, muscles, or ligaments that are responsible for holding the toes in their normal position. This condition may be caused by poor footwear, foot structure, trauma, and disease. The most common solution for hammertoe is to relieve the pain by changing your footwear and wearing orthotics. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

The shoes that are most likely to cause hammertoe are high heeled shoes or shoes that are too tight in the toe box. Tight shoes will force your toes to crowd together in a curled position. This position will likely continue when you take your shoes off. Another cause is trauma. When you stub your toe, you are increasing the chance that you will develop hammertoe.

There are risk factors that may make you more likely to develop this condition. Women are more likely to have the condition compared to men, and it is also more likely to appear in those who are older in age.

Many different foot problems can be avoided by wearing shoes that have adjustability, adequate toe room, and low heels. Furthermore, if you want to buy new shoes, you should look to purchase them at the end of the day and make sure you know your correct size. The importance of buying shoes at the end of the day is that your feet swell as the day progresses. You should also ensure that you are wearing your correct size because your shoe size may change as you grow older.

To diagnose someone with hammertoe, your podiatrist will need to conduct a thorough examination of your foot. Your doctor may even order an x-ray to evaluate the bones and joints of your feet and toes.

If you have hammertoe, your podiatrist may recommend that you wear shoes that fit you better along with inserts to place inside them. Additionally, he or she may suggest special exercises for you to perform to stretch your toes. One helpful exercise it to pick up marbles with your feet or crumple a towel with your toes.

Prior to meeting with your podiatrist, it will be helpful to make a list of all the symptoms you are experiencing. You should also make a note of medications you are taking and important personal information about your medical history.

Published in Featured
Tuesday, 14 December 2021 00:00

Info on Hammertoe

A muscle imbalance around the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints in the toes can cause hammertoe. Hammertoe is a common foot deformity in which one or more of the smaller toes bends upward at the middle joint. This causes the affected toes to have a hammer-like shape, in addition to causing pain, discomfort, stiff toe joints, and reduced toe mobility, as well as difficulty walking comfortably and finding shoes that fit properly. Treatments for hammertoe may include wearing shoes with a wide toe box, wearing a splint or other orthotic device, or getting surgery to correct the deformity if it is severe. If you are afflicted with hammertoes, it is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist as soon as possible. 

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.

Read more about Hammertoe
Published in Blog
Tuesday, 07 December 2021 00:00

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a connective tissue in the heel that stretches across the bottom length of your foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the connective tissue becomes inflamed, causing heel pain and discomfort during physical activity. Although the condition is completely treatable, traditional methods can take up to a year to start becoming effective.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by a number of everyday activities, so understanding the condition is important for managing and treating it. One of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis is excessive running, especially with improper fitting or non-supportive shoes. Too much exercise can lead to the plantar fascia being overworked and overstretched, which can cause tears in the tissue. Along with improper fitting shoes, pronation, the rolling of the feet inward, is a common cause of plantar fasciitis. If not treated properly, the plantar fascia becomes overstretched and starts to tear, causing inflammation.

Despite the common causes of plantar fasciitis, there are many different treatment options. For less severe cases, conservative home remedies include taking anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate pain, applying ice packs to the bottom of your foot and heel, slowly stretching and exercising your feet to re-strengthen the tissue, and using orthotic devices are all ways to help manage your plantar fasciitis.

For more severe cases, shockwave therapy has become a common solution for plantar fasciitis. Shockwave therapy can effectively break up the tissue on the bottom of your foot which facilitates healing and regeneration. This fights the chronic pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Even if this doesn’t work, surgery is always a final option. Surgery on the tissue itself can be done to permanently correct the issue and stop the inflammation and pain in your heels.

No matter what the case may be, consulting your podiatrist is the first and best step to recovery. Even the slightest amount of heel pain could be the first stage of plantar fasciitis. Untreated symptoms can lead to the tearing and overstretching of tissue. Because the tearing of tissue can be compounded if it remains ignored, it can evolve into a severe case. The solution is early detection and early treatment. Talk to your podiatrist about the possibilities of plantar fasciitis if you’re experiencing heel pain.

Published in Featured

If you have pain on the bottom of your foot in the heel/arch area, you may be experiencing plantar fasciitis. This is a condition where the connective tissue spanning the bottom of your foot (plantar fascia) becomes irritated and inflamed, and sometimes even torn. Plantar fasciitis can occur for a variety of reasons. Being obese, working on your feet all day, or wearing shoes with inadequate heel support can all put undue stress on the plantar fascia tissue. Also, with older age, both the plantar fascia tissue and fat heel pads wear down and may lead to plantar fasciitis. Other contributing factors such as wearing high heels, having flat feet, high arches, or problems with posture or gait may contribute to this painful condition developing. Podiatrists treat plantar fasciitis patients frequently and very successfully, as it is the most common form of heel pain. Treatments may include resting, icing, shoe modifications and custom orthotics, pain relievers, and possibly even night splints to keep the Achilles heel and plantar fasciitis stretched and the arch supported. A podiatrist may treat pain and help heal damaged tissue in more severe cases of plantar fasciitis with corticosteroid injections, sound wave or ultrasound therapy, or in worst case scenarios, surgical intervention.

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
Published in Blog
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