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The condition that is known as an ingrown toenail can cause severe pain and discomfort. It occurs as a result of the side of the nail on the big toe growing into the outer edges of the skin. It can happen from trimming the nail incorrectly, or from wearing shoes that do not have ample room for the toes to move freely in. One of the first symptoms that is noticed can be slight swelling and redness on the side of the nail. If this is not treated promptly, it can become infected, and a discharge may ooze from the impacted area. Some patients have found mild relief when the foot is soaked in warm water. This may help the skin surrounding the ingrown toenail to soften, which may make it easier to gently pull the nail away from the skin. If you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can perform the best treatment for this ailment.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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 Ingrown Toenail Care

When a hammertoe is observed, it looks like it is bent in an unusual position. It typically affects the second and third toe. The middle joint shifts upward, which forces the toe to bend downward. This condition can happen as a result of genetic factors, wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, or from specific medical conditions. Effective treatment and prevention techniques can include wearing shoes that are large enough to accommodate the hammertoe, and wearing a protective covering over the affected toe. In severe cases, performing surgery may be necessary which can permanently straighten the toes. If you notice signs you may have developed a hammertoe, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor 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 Wilson, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Monday, 01 June 2020 00:00

Are Foot Massages Effective?

An effective type of foot therapy is a massage. Many patients enjoy the benefits of receiving regular foot massages and are able to observe the benefits it can have on their general health. Certain types of foot pain may be relieved when the feet are gently squeezed, and muscles are stimulated. Muscle spasms may be diminished when pressure is repeatedly exerted on the surrounding tendons and ligaments. Research has indicated blood pressure may be lowered and circulation can improve when frequent foot massages are received. If you would like to learn about additional forms of effective foot therapies, please consult with a podiatrist.

Foot therapy is often necessary for those recovering from either foot deformities or foot injuries. If you have concerns regarding therapy, consult with 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.

Most Common Injuries

People who are active or athletes are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is often important to take part in physical therapy in order to quickly get back on the right track. 

What to Do When Injured

Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.

During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. Physical therapy often involves:

Basic stretching and twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.

Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate the muscles and relax them.

Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.

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 Foot Therapy for Sports Injuries

If your toe bone has broken into one or more pieces, you have experienced a broken toe. A broken toe can often be mistaken for a toe sprain, however during this type of injury, you may actually hear the bone break. If left untreated, a broken toe can alter your walking or running, and leave you in a great deal of pain. Common symptoms that often accompany a broken toe may include throbbing pain, swelling, bruising or discoloration of the surrounding skin, dislocation of the toe, and difficulty bearing weight on the affected toe. Stubbing the toe, or having an object dropped on it, are the most common causes of a broken toe. To treat a broken toe, a podiatrist may recommend a splint to help support the toe, or surgery for more severe cases. In order to distinguish a toe break from a sprain, it’s suggested you consult with a podiatrist for professional care and a proper diagnosis.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

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 What to Know About a Broken Toe

Believe it or not, many illnesses are often initially detected by podiatrists. Our feet can hint at a variety of issues that are occurring throughout the rest of our bodies. For example, problems with blood circulation can cause the feet to change color or feel cold. Simple toenail discoloration can indicate diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease. A podiatrist can also tell if toenail discoloration is actually a bacterial or fungal infection. Various kidney diseases can be shown in the feet through ankle swelling or toenail discoloration. Therefore, when experiencing unknown symptoms in the feet, it is important that you consult with a podiatrist to make sure that these symptoms are not indicating a more serious, underlying condition. 

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the 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 needs.

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Foot

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

The type of shoes that are known as flip flops are popular to wear during the summer months for a variety of reasons. These may include the ease of quickly slipping your feet into them, as well as the ability to choose from bright colors and various styles. If flip flops are frequently worn, foot conditions may develop, and shoes that offer more support may be an option to consider. Pain may develop in the arch area, and heel pain is a common ailment. The foot may feel generally fatigued, and this may be a result of the toes grasping the shoe to maintain stability. It is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist if you have developed foot pain from wearing flip flops.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor 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 Wilson, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Flipping Out About Flip Flops
Monday, 04 May 2020 00:00

The Definition of a Heel Spur

Heel spurs are small calcium deposits that develop on the heel of the foot. They can develop as a result of wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, and can generally cause severe pain and discomfort. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition can consist of difficulty in walking upon arising in the morning, and there may be an obvious protrusion on the heel. Abnormal foot structures may cause heel spurs to gradually develop, or they may come from consistently participating in running and jumping activities. Relief may be found when shoes are worn that can accommodate the heel spur, and it may help to support your foot while resting at night. If you have heel pain, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat heel spurs.

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
Monday, 27 April 2020 00:00

Foot Stretches for Seniors

It can be incredibly beneficial for elderly patients to regularly perform foot stretches. When a senior patient's feet are strong, as well as flexible, it may make them more likely to avoid accidentally falling. By performing stretches, you may increase your blood circulation, as well as improve your range of motion, muscle strength, and balance. One example of a foot stretch that is easily practiced is called an ankle rotation. This can be done by sitting up straight in a chair, and resting your ankle on the opposite knee. Begin rotating your ankle first clockwise, then counterclockwise, then you may switch ankles. For an additional stretch, make sure your toes are pointed straight during this exercise. For more advice on elderly foot care and low-impact exercises for the feet, it is suggested that you speak with your local podiatrist.

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.

Read more about Exercise for Your Feet
Monday, 20 April 2020 00:00

How Can I Tell If I Have a Hammertoe?

Research has found that the second toe, next to the big toe, is most likely to develop a hammertoe if an injury occurs, along with other causes. Hammertoes typically occur due to genetic factors, ill-fitting footwear, or from arthritis. This condition is most notably recognized by the appearance of the affected toe. Like its name suggests, a hammertoe will typically point downward, in a hammer-like fashion. Hammertoes can be incredibly uncomfortable and can make completing daily tasks difficult. To help ease the pain of mild hammertoes, a professional may suggest wearing custom orthotics. For more severe cases, it may be necessary to have surgery performed in order to correct this ailment. For more advice on how to treat and correct a hammertoe, please consult with a podiatrist.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell of InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work 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 care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe
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