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February 2022

Tuesday, 22 February 2022 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.

Although the term plantar fasciitis sounds unusual, the condition it describes is the most common form of heel pain. “Plantar” has to do with the sole of the foot, while “fascia” is a fibrous band of tissue. “Itis” is a suffix used to indicate inflammation. Put those three things together and you are describing an inflammation of the fibrous tissue on the sole of the foot — otherwise known as plantar fasciitis. It can cause a stabbing pain near the heel, which is worst in the morning as you take your first steps, or after periods of rest. This pain can subside as your feet become warmed up. Although runners often develop plantar fasciitis, it can also be common in people who are obese or who wear shoes without adequate support. If you believe you have plantar fasciitis, it is a good idea to contact a podiatrist right away to receive an accurate diagnosis and begin proper treatment as soon as possible.

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 Florida Foot & Ankle Group, P.A.. 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 one of our offices located in Debary, Lake Mary, Orlando, and Oviedo, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Tuesday, 15 February 2022 00:00

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a skin disease caused by a fungal infection.  The infection typically occurs between the toes, and the feet are most subject to this disease because shoes best create the warm, dark, and moist environment in which fungus thrives.  Other areas that create a similar environment, such as swimming pools, public showers, and locker rooms; can also promote fungi growth. 

Symptoms of athlete’s foot include dry skin, itching, scaling, inflammation, and blistering.  Sometimes, blisters can evolve into the cracks or breaks in the skin.  The exposed tissue can then create pain, swelling, and discharge.  The spread of infection can cause itching and burning as well.

While athlete’s foot commonly occurs between the toes, it may also spread to the toenails or soles of the feet.  Other parts of the body, such as the groin or underarms, can also become infected if they are touched after the original area of infection is scratched.  Aside from physical contact, athlete’s foot can also spread through the contamination of footwear, clothing or bedsheets.

Proper foot hygiene is essential in preventing athlete’s foot.  You can prevent the fungus from spreading by frequently washing your feet using soap and water, thoroughly drying the feet between the toes, changing shoes and socks every day to reduce moisture, and ensuring that bathroom and shower floors are disinfected.  Other tips include using shower shoes, avoiding walking barefoot in public environments, wearing light and airy shoes, and wearing socks that keep the feet dry.

While treatment for athlete’s foot can involve topical or oral antifungal drugs, mild cases of the infection can be treated by dusting foot powder in shoes and socks.  Any treatment used can be supplemented by frequently bathing the feet and drying the toes.  If proper foot hygiene and self-care do not ease your case of athlete’s foot, contact your podiatrist.  He will determine if the underlying cause of your condition is truly a fungus.  If that is the case, a comprehensive treatment plan may be suggested with the inclusion of prescription antifungal medications.

Tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) is a very contagious, even sneaky, fungus. It can travel from an infected person’s foot onto a locker room floor, public shower or swimming pool area, and linger until it comes in contact with an unsuspecting pair of bare feet. Athlete’s foot can also transfer directly from person to person, or through contact with contaminated socks, towels and shoes. That is why it is very important to wear flip-flops in warm, moist communal areas and never share personal items with others. Tinea pedis loves to live in the dark, moist webbing between toes, causing a very itchy, scaly rash that can spread to other parts of the feet. These symptoms are often exacerbated by wearing tight shoes or sweaty socks for an extended period of time. A certain form of athlete’s foot can even produce painful blisters on the sole of the feet. As uncomfortable and itchy as these symptoms are, it is important to refrain from scratching, as the infection can spread to the hands and possibly lead to a bacterial infection. In some cases, this nasty infection will attack the toenails, causing them to thicken, crumble, become discolored and disintegrate. If your feet have been attacked by tinea pedis, it’s a good idea to seek the professional care of a podiatrist. They will provide prompt relief and help avoid the condition from worsening.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Florida Foot & Ankle Group, P.A..  Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Debary, Lake Mary, Orlando, and Oviedo, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Athlete’s Foot
Monday, 14 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!

Tuesday, 08 February 2022 00:00

Limb Salvage

Limb salvage is a procedure that involves saving a lower extremity from amputation. In podiatry, limb amputation often occurs as a result of diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, neuropathy, cancer, and severe crush injury. The fundamental goal of limb salvage is to restore and maintain stability and movement of the affected lower extremity.

The procedure typically involves removing the diseased tissue and a small portion of the surrounding healthy tissue, as well as the removal of any affected bone if necessary. If the bone is removed, it is then replaced with prostheses, synthetic metal rods or plates, or grafts from either the patient’s body or a donor. Limb salvage is typically the preferred choice of procedure over amputation, as the procedure preserves both the patient’s appearance and allows for the greatest possible degree of function in the affected limb.

Upon diagnosis and determining that limb salvage is the appropriate treatment, the podiatrist may enlist the help of a physical and/or occupational therapist to prepare the patient for surgery by introducing various muscle-strengthening, walking, and range of motion exercises. Such exercises may be continued as rehabilitation post-procedure.

Tuesday, 08 February 2022 00:00

LEAP May Help Save Your Limbs

When the feet suffer loss of protective sensation due to nerve damage from diseases such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy or Hansen’s disease, injuries can go undetected. These can worsen and develop into wounds that do not heal. Chronic wounds that do not heal (ulcers) can become infected and pose serious health risks, including amputation in severe cases. Individuals with a loss of protective sensation can reduce these risks by practicing the five steps in lower extremity amputation preventions (LEAP). Step 1: At-risk patients should have their feet screened four times a year. Step 2: Patients should be educated on self-management techniques to become an active participant in preventing foot problems. Step 3: At-risk patients should examine their feet daily to detect any foot injuries or toenail problems. Step 4: Shoes should be fitted properly to the foot with ample room to prevent most foot problems from occurring. Step 5: Reporting any injuries or wounds to a podiatrist immediately is strongly suggested.  

Limb salvage can be an effective way in preventing the need for limb amputation. If you have diabetes, cancer, or any other condition that could lead to foot amputation if left unchecked, consult with one of our podiatrists from Florida Foot & Ankle Group, P.A.. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Limb Salvage?

Limb salvage is the attempt of saving a limb, such as the foot from amputation. Podiatrists also try to make sure that there is enough function in the foot after the salvage that it is still usable. Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Those with diabetes experience poor blood circulation, which prevents proper healing of an ulcer. If the ulcer is left uncheck, it could become infected, which could result in the need for amputation.

However, there are other causes as well, such as cancer and traumatic injury. Links between higher mortality rates and amputation have been found. This translates into higher healthcare costs, and a reduced quality of life and mobility for amputees. Podiatrists have attempted to increase the prevalence of limb salvage in an attempt to solve these issues.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Limb salvage teams have grown in recent years that utilize a number of different treatments to save the infected limb. This includes podiatrists that specialize in wound care, rehabilitation, orthotics, and surgery. Through a combination of these methods, limb salvage has been found to be an effective treatment for infected limbs, and as an alternative to amputation. Podiatrists will first evaluate the potential for limb salvage and determine if the limb can be saved or must be amputated. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Debary, Lake Mary, Orlando, and Oviedo, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Limb Salvage
Tuesday, 01 February 2022 00:00

Falls Prevention

Elderly Americans are very susceptible to falls as they get older. Everyone experiences decreases in flexibility, balance, strength, and the senses as they age. This correlates to some eye-opening statistics. 1 in 4 Americans aged 65 and older fall each year. An elderly American is being treated for a fall in an emergency room every 11 seconds. In light of these striking statistics, one can see the importance of taking steps to prevent falls.

Finding an exercise program for the elderly is an excellent way to reduce the likelihood of falls. Look for an exercise program that improves strength and balance. Elderly people who live a more sedentary lifestyle, with little physical activity, are at an increased risk of falling. Wearing well-fitted footwear that provides good foot support and cushion will help prevent falls from poorly fitted shoes. Talking to a podiatrist about your susceptibility to falls and about inspecting your prescriptions will help to avoid any medication that could make falls more likely. Due to a decline in the senses among the elderly, having your eyes and hearing checked is recommended.

Around half of all falls occur in the household. Removing tripping hazards in the home and making it more accommodating to older persons can significantly reduce falls. Some notable household changes include increasing lighting around the house, installing grab bars in the shower and bathroom, and making sure the floor is clear of clutter. Other smart options include installing a shower chair, using rubber-bottomed rugs, and placing railings on both sides of stairwells.  

Finally, discuss with a doctor and your family about your fear of falling. This will help to increase awareness among the population on the need for fall prevention. A lack of awareness on the matter, and a downplaying of importance are what increase the risks of falling. Following these tips can help to reduce the risk for yourself and your loved ones.

Tuesday, 01 February 2022 00:00

How to Avoid Falling in Your Own Home 

Once you reach the age of 65, you are much more likely to fall and suffer a serious injury. With most people in this age group taking a tumble in their own home, it makes sense to keep your own dwelling as safe as possible to avoid “falling” into this category yourself. First, make sure there is an adequate amount of lighting throughout your home. You’ll also want to remove tripping hazards such as clutter, loose rugs, unsecured wires, and unstable furniture. Fix any uneven surfaces in and around your home. Install grab bars in the shower and next to the commode, as well as non-slip mats in the bathroom and kitchen. Keep stairs clear of clutter, make sure the handrails on your stairs are secure and that you use them, and always take your time walking up and down the stairs. Be mindful of your steps and try not to rush around. It is also important to identify any medically related risk factors such as gait abnormalities or other foot conditions that may affect your balance and sure-footedness. Make an appointment with a podiatrist who can offer advice on proper footwear, and fix any foot or ankle conditions that may be compromising your foot health.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Florida Foot & Ankle Group, P.A.. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Debary, Lake Mary, Orlando, and Oviedo, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention
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