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

(252) 830-1000

Greenville, North Carolina

February 2022

Plantar fasciitis, an injury to the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot, is one of the most frequently diagnosed conditions at the podiatrist’s office. In many cases, conservative treatments are offered to the patient and are typically sufficient for treating the injury. These may include resting and icing the affected foot, wearing more comfortable shoes or orthotics, doing gentle stretching exercises, and taking over-the-counter pain medications. While conservative treatments work for many patients, they aren’t completely effective for everyone. If you have heel pain that is severe enough to stop you from doing your daily activities, gets worse or keeps coming back, or has not improved after two weeks of conservative treatments, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist. If you have diabetes, or any tingling or loss of sensation in the foot, it would be wise to seek the care of a podiatrist sooner, rather than later. 

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. 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 one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is 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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Published in Blog
Monday, 21 February 2022 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
Tuesday, 15 February 2022 00:00

Laser Therapy Treatment for Toenail Fungus

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail typically characterized by a thickening and discoloration of the nail, a separation of the nail from its bed, pain, and even permanent damage to the nail in severe cases. Because onychomycosis can be difficult to cure and is prone to reoccur, home remedies are typically ineffective, as are many topical and oral antifungal medications. Laser therapy treatments to eradicate toenail fungus have proved to be successful in many patients. This technology utilizes pulses of energy to create precisely targeted heat that kills the fungus living in the nail bed (under the toenail) and prevents it from growing back. The FDA has approved several types of laser devices for the treatment of onychomycosis. If you have a toenail fungus, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to see if you might be a good candidate for Laser therapy treatment.

Laser treatment can be an effective way to get rid of toenail fungus. If you have any questions about laser treatment, consult with one of our podiatrists from Eastern Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment for fungal nails.

What Are Toenail Fungal Infections?

Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nail, is a relatively common and non-serious condition. Around 10 percent of U.S. citizens are afflicted with fungal nails. Common forms of fungus that infect the nail include dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungal Infections Include:

  • Nail thickening
  • Brittleness of the nail
  • Discoloration of the nail

Diagnosis for Fungal Nails

Fungal infections are diagnosed by fungal culture and microscopy. This will rule out any other conditions such as nail trauma, psoriasis, lichen planus, and onychogryphosis.

What Is Laser Treatment?

Laser treatment is a non-invasive, safe, quick, and painless procedure that uses the heat from a laser to kill fungus in the nail. Each infected nail is targeted with a laser for several minutes. The treatment is usually utilized several different times over a select period. During this time, a podiatrist will keep an eye on the infection.

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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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 08 February 2022 00:00

Healing Cracked Heels

Cracked heels develop when the skin on the heels become dry and callused, and pressure from standing and walking create splits in the skin. Cracked heels can be caused by wearing shoes that expose the heels to the elements, aging skin, genetics, certain skin conditions or vitamin deficiencies, a lack of moisture in the skin, pressure from standing for prolonged periods of time, obesity, and more. Keeping your feet clean and moisturized, while improving the quality of skin through proper nutrition can help prevent cracked heels from occurring. If you have developed cracked heels that are not getting better or are deepening or bleeding, contact a podiatrist for treatment.

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, 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.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

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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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 01 February 2022 00:00

What Is “Pump Bump?”

Anyone who has ever worn high heels can probably attest to the fact that they are generally not the most comfortable shoes in the world. High heels can be damaging to the feet, increasing one’s risk of developing foot deformities like bunions and hammertoes. One type of deformity seen in people who are frequent or daily high heel wearers is a Haglund’s deformity, also known as “pump bump.” This condition occurs when an existing bony deformity that some people have on the back of their heel is irritated by habitual high heel wear. Pump bump can cause heel pain, blisters, bursitis, and Achilles tendonitis. If you are suffering from any type of heel pain, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or 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.

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 Greenville, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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