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Tuesday, 20 September 2022 00:00

Plantar Fasciitis Risk Factors

Plantar fasciitis is an extremely common foot affliction that affects a wide variety of different individuals of different backgrounds. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue that runs through the arch of the foot. The plantar fascia can become swollen or inflamed when it is strained and overused. There are several risk factors of plantar fasciitis to be aware of that could increase the probability of developing this condition. For example, consistently wearing ill-fitting shoes, or footwear that offers little or no arch support, can increase your risk of plantar fasciitis. Additionally, if you are overweight or have gained a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time, this extra weight that you are putting on your feet could make the development of plantar fasciitis more likely. Lastly, running substantially long distances, particularly on uneven surfaces, can make one more susceptible to plantar fasciitis. Contact a podiatrist today for an appointment if you think that you have plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell  from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor 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 Wilson, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

Patients who have hard or flattened nodules on the bottom of their feet may have a foot condition known as plantar fibromatosis. A specific type of this ailment is referred to as Ledderhose disease and it is a rare foot condition. Patients may notice it affects both feet and typically is painless in the beginning stages. Pain and discomfort may gradually occur while walking and medical attention is often sought from a podiatrist who can treat this condition. There are several reasons why this condition may occur, including genetic history, long-term alcohol use, chronic liver disease, and diabetes. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition may be joint pain in other areas of the body and some people may experience a tingling or numbing sensation. If you have small bumps on the bottom of your feet, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and treat Ledderhose disease.

Some foot conditions may require additional professional care. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell of InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Rare Foot Conditions

The majority of foot conditions are common and can be treated by a podiatrist.  Standard diagnostic procedures are generally used to identify specific conditions and treatment can be rendered. A podiatrist also treats rare foot conditions which can be difficult to diagnose and may need extra attention and care. 

There are many rare foot conditions that can affect children. Some of these can include:

  • Freiberg’s disease
  • Kohler’s disease
  • Maffucci syndrome

Freiberg’s disease - This can be seen as a deterioration and flattening of a metatarsal bone that exists in the ball of the foot. It typically affects pre-teen and teenage girls, but can affect anyone at any age. Symptoms that can accompany this can be swelling, stiffness, and the patient may limp. 

Kohler’s disease - This often targets the bone in the arch of the foot and affects younger boys. It can lead to an interruption of the blood supply which ultimately can lead to bone deterioration. The patient may limp or experience tenderness, swelling, and redness.

Maffucci syndrome - This affects the long bones in a child’s foot leading to the development of abnormal bone lesions. They are benign growths and typically develop in early childhood and the bones may be susceptible to breaking. 

A podiatrist can properly diagnose and treat all types of rare foot conditions. If your child is affected by any of these symptoms or conditions, please don’t hesitate to call our office so the correct treatment method can begin.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Wilson, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.
 

Read more about Rare Foot Conditions
Wednesday, 07 September 2022 00:00

Balance Exercises for Seniors

Exercises to improve your balance as you age can also contribute to a healthier life in general. In addition to improving posture, stability, and coordination, balance exercises can lower the risk of being injured through falls. Studies find that after six weeks of balance exercises, seniors also improved their coordination, leg strength, and ankle mobility. Experts recommend that seniors perform two or three sets of exercises a week, but it is always wise to check in with a medical professional beforehand. Here are two simple balance exercises you can try. Weight shift: Stand with legs hip-width apart, shift the weight to one foot, and then lift the other foot. Hold for 30 seconds. You may wish to keep a chair nearby, or lightly touch the wall if needed. Repeat on the other foot. Do this three times. Even if you need a walker, there are some exercises you can do. Marching: Stand with hands on the walker and lift one knee, then lower and lift the other knee. Repeat 20 times. For more information on how to improve your balance and lower the risk of falling, please consult a podiatrist.

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 Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor 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 our office located in Wilson, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention
Monday, 05 September 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!

A common condition that can affect children and young teenagers who actively participate in sporting activities is known as Sever’s disease. This is an ailment that affects the heels, and can develop as a result of a heel growth spurt. The heel pain is caused by tight calf muscles or Achilles tendon, and the pain may increase when their chosen activities are pursued. You may notice your child is limping, walking on their toes, or experiencing swelling surrounding the heel. These symptoms may be indicative of Sever’s disease. It is beneficial to wear shoes that fit correctly, and this may help the affected foot to feel better. Effective treatment starts with stopping the activity that caused the condition. It is also important to elevate the foot as often as possible. The average recovery time for Sever’s disease is approximately 2-3 months. If your child has these symptoms, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and offer treatment solutions.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

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

Read more about Sever's Disease
Tuesday, 23 August 2022 00:00

Cracked Heels and Sandals

Cracked heels are an unsightly and unattractive affliction of the foot that primarily affects the skin surrounding the heels. If you have cracked heels, you might notice that the skin on the heels has become very dry and hard calluses have started to form. Although there are many potential causes of cracked heels, wearing flip flops or sandals without a back strap could be contributing to this problem. Despite the fact that these shoes can be convenient to wear during the summer time, they effectively expose your heels to the air in such a way that can dry out the skin, making cracked heels more likely. Additionally, the fact that these shoes offer little arch or heel support cushioning is problematic. The lack of cushioning forces the individual to exert more pressure on their feet when walking, sometimes causing the skin to break or crack. One simple way of preventing this from happening is by choosing to wear shoes that cover more of the skin on the foot, as opposed to flip flops or open-back sandals. Wearing shoes that cover more skin will provide the skin on the heel with the coverage that it needs to be protected. You might even consider preventing cracked heels by applying a daily moisturizer and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you wear flip flops or sandals, consider contacting a podiatrist to learn more about your risk of developing cracked heels.


 

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels

The plantar fascia tissue attaches to the heel bone and stretches out to connect with the toes. When this band of tissue gets excessively and repeatedly stretched, it can stress the heel bone and tear its lining. This type of wear and tear on the heel bone can prompt a response in the body where calcium deposits build up over time creating spurs on the bone that can grow up to half an inch. Heel spurs may or may not be painful. They may go undiagnosed or overlooked because they can occur in tandem with the inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis. If your heel spurs are symptomatic, they may create sharp pain, heat, tenderness, and inflammation in the heel. People who are obese or who have osteoarthritis are more prone to developing heel spurs. Older adults and those who wear improper footwear are also more at risk. If you are experiencing heel pain or believe you may have heel spurs, make an appointment with a podiatrist who may need an X-ray to diagnose your heel spurs. Once diagnosed, your heel spur may be treated with rest, cold compresses, anti-inflammatory injections, pain medication, physical therapy, stretching, and more.

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 Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor 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 Wilson, NC . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about How to Treat Heel Spurs

Common symptoms of the foot condition that is known as tarsal tunnel syndrome can include pain, numbness, and weakness in the toes and foot. There is a part of the foot that is called the tarsal tunnel, and is found between the ligaments that run across the foot and the inside of the ankle. Movement and flexibility are made possible by the nerves, arteries, and tendons that are within this tunnel, and repeated pressure on the nerves can cause tarsal tunnel syndrome. This can happen as a result of wearing tight shoes, an existing bony overgrowth in the ankle, or from a foot injury. Additionally, there may be current medical conditions that can cause this condition, such as diabetes, arthritis, or a thyroid disorder. Other symptoms that patients can experience include foot or toe pain, a sensation of an electric shock around the ankle or sole of the foot, and possible swelling. Relief may be found when compression stockings are worn, and specific medicine is prescribed. If you have developed this ailment, it is suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and treat tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell of InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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.

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

Fall Risk and Foot Problems in the Elderly

Foot problems in the elderly are a major concern because they contribute to balance and gait issues and lead to an increasing risk of falls. Seniors are physically weaker, have more mobility problems, and have reduced concentration than those that are younger. Their foot problems result from gait issues, poor posture, weakness of the bones, poor blood circulation, reduced sensation, inactivity, and fatigue. Since older people cannot always feel when they sustain an injury to their feet, they may develop wounds that are left untreated. Older people most often suffer from corns and calluses, bunions, foot fungus, hammertoe, toenail problems, and plantar fasciitis. If you are elderly or take care of one in this age group, it is suggested that you include a podiatrist on the health care team. If you, or the one you care for, notice ongoing problems or pain with feet and falling, a podiatrist can assess the situation and provide treatment.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor 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 Wilson, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Elderly and their Feet
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