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August 2021

Tuesday, 31 August 2021 00:00

How to Tell if You Have a Hammertoe

If one of your toes is permanently bent at the middle joint, preventing it from laying flat like the other toes, it could be a hammertoe. Hammertoes can occur in any toe other than the big toe. This condition gets its name because your toe is bent into a shape resembling the head of a hammer. Hammertoe develops over time, and is typically caused by an imbalance in the foot’s tendons and muscles. If you have a genetic predisposition towards this condition, you may exacerbate its development by wearing pointy shoes or high heels, which place pressure on your toes and force them into a narrow space. Injuries and foot conditions such as bunions can also contribute to the formation of a hammertoe, as well as arthritis. Hammertoes are a progressive condition, meaning they worsen with time and, therefore, may become rigid. That is why it is important to get them diagnosed and treated by a podiatrist as early as possible—while they are still flexible and there is a greater chance to correct the deformity.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Eastern Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors 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 Greenville, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
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Wednesday, 25 August 2021 00:00

Why Live with Pain and Numbness in Your Feet?

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

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As we age, our feet experience the effects of age-related wear and tear. This can increase the risk of developing various foot and ankle problems, so it becomes increasingly important to take good care of the feet. One of the most important aspects of proper foot care is wearing the right shoes. Not only does wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes make a foot or ankle injury less likely, it also reduces the risk of falling. Look for shoes that have a firm, non-slip sole and adequate cushioning. You should avoid walking barefoot, in slippers or flip-flops, or with only socks on. Wearing shoes with high heels taller than one inch is also not suggested, as excessively high heels can put too much pressure on the toes and balls of the feet. To learn more about elderly foot care, please speak with a podiatrist. 

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, 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.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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 Elderly Foot Care
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Tuesday, 17 August 2021 00:00

How Can I Heal a Blister Quickly?

Blisters are fluid-filled bubbles that form between the top-most layer of skin and the layer beneath it. Blisters typically develop on the feet as a protective measure for your skin in response to friction. They often heal best when they are left alone, but some blisters can be quite painful or pop due to friction. You can help the blister heal by covering it loosely with a bandage or blister pad. Don’t touch or pop the blister, as this can expose the raw skin underneath it to germs and increase the risk of infection. If your blister continues to be very painful, does not seem to be healing well on its own, is showing signs of infection, or if you have diabetes, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, 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.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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 Blisters
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It might be difficult to know when your child has developed a foot or ankle issue. Because they may not be able to verbalize what’s wrong, or their symptoms may be hard to spot, you should keep an eye out for other warning signs. If your child struggles to keep up physically with their friends or their legs or feet get tired, this may be an indication of flat feet. Between the ages of 8 and 14 children may experience sever’s disease, where the Achilles tendon pulls on the growth plate at the back of the heel. This causes heel pain which may cause your child to shy away from physical activities. If your child is hiding their feet from you, they may have noticed some change and want to avoid going to the doctor. If your child seems clumsy or frequently trips or falls it may indicate a balance or neuromuscular issue, or that their feet point inward when they walk or run. Of course if they complain of any pain or discomfort in their feet, or you notice any of these warning signs, make an appointment for your child with a podiatrist for a full examination.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, 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.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

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 How to Care for Your Child's Feet
Published in Blog
Tuesday, 03 August 2021 00:00

Flip Flops Are Not Friendly to Your Feet

Flip flops may be an easy, breezy accessory for warm weather, but there are many reasons why they are not good for your feet. They offer little to no support or cushioning which can lead to heel pain and problems with your Achilles tendons. You are more likely to trip wearing flip flops, and they can lead to tired, achy feet. They offer no protection from injuries or sun exposure. The worst part is that they can change your foot biomechanics and posture. Your toe muscles need to continuously grip them to keep them on, and they shorten your gait and turn your ankles inward. Contact a podiatrist if you have any pain, instability, or other problems in your feet or ankles caused by flip flops.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Eastern Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

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 Flipping Out About Flip Flops
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