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Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

Why Are Foot Exercises Important?

Exercising the feet may seem trivial, but in reality, it is very important. The feet are the foundation upon which the entire body stands, and they support your weight all day, allowing you to be mobile and complete your daily activities. Practicing foot exercises can keep your feet strong and flexible, which can reduce foot and ankle pain, decrease muscle soreness, prevent injuries, and keep you healthy and active. You may want to choose a foot exercise regime that focuses on increasing your range of motion, improving your flexibility, and strengthening the muscles of the feet. If you have existing foot pain, an injury, arthritis, diabetes, or any other foot condition, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist prior to starting an exercise program.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries and build strength. If you have any concerns about your feet, 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.

Exercise for Your Feet

Exercise for your feet can help you gain strength, mobility and flexibility in your feet. They say that strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body. Your feet are very important, and we often forget about them in our daily tasks. But it is because of our feet that are we able to get going and do what we need to. For those of us fortunate enough to not have any foot problems, it is an important gesture to take care of them to ensure good health in the long run.

Some foot health exercises can include ankle pumps, tip-toeing, toe rises, lifting off the floor doing reps and sets, and flexing the toes. It is best to speak with Our doctor to determine an appropriate regimen for your needs. Everyone’s needs and bodies are different, and the activities required to maintain strength in the feet vary from individual to individual. 

Once you get into a routine of doing regular exercise, you may notice a difference in your feet and how strong they may become.

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.

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Monday, 24 August 2020 00:00

What Are Flexible Flat Feet?

The term “flexible flat feet” refers to one of the most common types of flat feet. People with this condition have no visible arches when they are standing, but do have visible arches when they aren’t. This condition usually begins in childhood and continues into the adult years, getting progressively worse over time. The tendons and ligaments of the arch may eventually stretch or tear, becoming inflamed and painful. The typical symptoms of flexible flat feet include pain in the heel, arch, or ankle, feet that roll inward when you walk, pain along the shin, and a general aching or tiredness in the feet or legs. There are a variety of treatment options available for this condition, such as orthotic devices, or activity and shoe modifications. For more information about flexible flat feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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.

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Monday, 17 August 2020 00:00

What Causes Cracked Heels?

Cracked heels involves the splitting and cracking of skin, also known as fissures, around the border of the heel. These cracked heels primarily occur when the skin becomes dried out, causing it to lose its strength and elasticity. This causes the skin to crack under pressure which can be very painful. Some factors that can lead to cracked heels include walking barefoot, wearing flip flops, standing for long hours on hard floors, dehydration, a decreased blood supply to the leg, and diabetes. If you are suffering from cracked heels, it is important to consult with a podiatrist for treatment. Treatment options may include a heel balm, a pumice stone, wearing close toed shoes, staying hydrated, and using a topical antiseptic in sever cases when there is bleeding.

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.

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Sunday, 16 August 2020 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

The potential dangers of frequently wearing high heels may outweigh the appeal of the attractiveness these types of shoes can possess. There are uncomfortable foot conditions that can develop as a  result of wearing high heels, consisting of bunions, hammertoes, and corns. Many of these ailments may be prevented by choosing shoes that fit correctly, and the feet may feel better when the toes are exposed. It is beneficial to treat existing blisters with a protective covering as high heels are worn, and it may help to wear flatter shoes as the healing process occurs. If you would like additional information about how wearing high heels can affect your feet, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

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

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

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Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the skin on the feet. The types of fungus that cause athlete’s foot thrive in moist, warm, dark environments and multiply easily on irritated or weakened skin. Symptoms of this infection include itchy, sore, or scaling skin between the toes, and a burning sensation in the affected areas. Your feet may also develop an unpleasant smell. Left untreated, blisters may form on the feet and eventually break open, exposing raw skin and potentially leading to secondary bacterial infections. If you have athlete’s foot, it is recommended that you seek medical treatment, as this infection can also spread to other parts of the body. Consult with a podiatrist if you notice that you have symptoms of athlete’s foot.

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

Read more about How to Deal with Athlete's Foot
Monday, 27 July 2020 00:00

Arthritis and Gout

Excess uric acid in the bloodstream may cause crystals to form in the joints of the big toe. This can lead to a condition that is known as gout, which can cause severe pain and discomfort. Gout is considered to be a form of arthritis, and gout attacks have the ability to start and stop suddenly. The affected toe may become inflamed and swollen, and can cause difficulty in walking. There are specific foods that can cause the uric acid levels in your bloodstream to become elevated. These can include shellfish, red meat, and drinks that are made with a large amount of sugar. Research has indicated it is beneficial to implement healthy lifestyle habits into your daily routine, as this may help to prevent gout attacks from occurring. Drinking plenty of fresh water daily, eating fruits and vegetables, and performing gentle stretches may help to ease gout pain. If you are afflicted with gout, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist, who can determine the correct course of treatment for you as soon as possible.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

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.

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Monday, 20 July 2020 00:00

How Obesity Can Hurt Your Feet

Obesity can cause a variety of health problems throughout the entire body. One often overlooked area that is affected by obesity are the feet. Studies have found that general foot pain and plantar heel pain are strongly associated with an increase in body mass index. That is, the higher your weight, the more likely you are to develop pain in your feet. Furthermore, obese individuals are more likely to have flat feet, which can result in strained muscles and ligaments that bring about foot pain. Obese individuals are also at greater risk of developing poor circulation to the feet, peripheral artery disease, and peripheral neuropathy, all of which lead to decreased foot function. A podiatrist can help address concerns regarding your foot health, and provide advice regarding what you can do to improve it.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, 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.

Obesity and Your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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 How Obesity Affects Your Feet

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

Monday, 13 July 2020 00:00

What is a Bunion?

The medical term for a bunion is referred to as hallux valgus. It appears as a bony protrusion that forms on the side of the big toe and may cause wearing shoes to be uncomfortable. The big toe can become misaligned, and may affect the remaining toes. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition can include pain, inflammation, and the toe may appear red. If a bunion is left untreated, arthritis may develop, which can cause deeper joint pain. Genetic factors may play a significant role in developing a bunion, in addition to wearing shoes that do not have ample room for the toes to move freely in. If you notice a bump extending from your toe, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat bunions.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, 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.

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

Read more about Bunions
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