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Friday, 01 September 2023 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Tuesday, 29 August 2023 00:00

Obesity, Diabetes, and Foot Conditions

Diabetes affects many people and may cause health conditions like foot ulcers to develop. If left untreated, foot ulcers can become gangrenous and in severe cases, lead to amputation. Type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes, is often linked to obesity and lifestyle factors. Obese individuals with diabetes are more apt to find it challenging to maintain healthy lifestyles, including proper eating and exercise, and may need assistance. In addition to the psychological distress this condition causes, it can also severely impact one’s overall health. If you are obese or have diabetes, and it is affecting your feet, it is strongly suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible to get the care and support needed to maintain your health.

The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. 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

People who are overweight are putting more pressure on their ankles, knees, and hips as well as their feet. This unfortunately can lead to variety of different issues.

Problems & Complications Stemming from Obesity

  • When the body is overweight, it tries to compensate by changing the way that it moves. An obese person may lean forward and put extra weight on the wrong part of the foot. This puts unnecessary stress on the feet.
  • Obese people are also more likely to develop type II diabetes which is a condition that causes a lot of foot problems. People with diabetes often don’t feel the cuts and sores that they may have on their feet, which can lead to more complicated and severe issues.
  • Plantar fasciitis is another foot condition that can be caused by obesity. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot, which causes pain and stiffness while walking and climbing stairs.

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 Obesity and the Feet
Tuesday, 22 August 2023 00:00

Dealing With High Arches in the Feet

Dealing with high foot arches, medically known as cavus foot or pes cavus, can present challenges and discomfort. Unlike flat feet, where the arch is too low, a cavus foot has a higher-than-normal arch. This can result in foot pain or more severe problems. The causes of cavus foot are diverse, including a genetic predisposition as well as biomechanical or neurological factors. Conditions like cerebral palsy, spina bifida, or stroke may contribute to its development, necessitating a professional diagnosis to determine the root cause. Symptoms include a conspicuous high arch while standing, inward heel tilting, and weight distribution that favors the ball of the foot and heel. Toe clenching, calluses, and pain in the top and middle foot areas during walking or standing are also common. Shoe fitting challenges and frequent ankle sprains due to imbalance also characterize high arches. Surgery is reserved for extreme cases when non-surgical remedies, such as custom orthotics, prove ineffective. If you believe that you have high foot arches that are causing problems, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for treatment options.

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.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to 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 The Importance of Biomechanics in Podiatry
Tuesday, 15 August 2023 00:00

Foot Injuries Linked to Playing Pickleball

Pickleball, the popular and fast-paced sport, has been gaining enthusiasts worldwide. While it can be an enjoyable activity, players must be cautious about potential foot injuries that can arise while playing. The quick lateral movements, sudden stops, and repetitive motions can put a strain on the feet, leading to various injuries. Ankle sprains are common due to side-to-side movements, while plantar fasciitis can result from the constant impact on the feet. Toe injuries, such as stubbed toes or jammed toenails, can also occur during intense gameplay. To protect the feet, it is beneficial for players to wear proper footwear with ample support and cushioning. Stretching before and after playing can help prevent muscle strains. Being mindful of foot positioning and using proper footwork techniques can significantly reduce the risk of foot injuries and ensure a more enjoyable pickleball experience. If you have foot pain from playing pickleball, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can provide you with correct treatment methods, in addition to prevention techniques.

Ankle and foot injuries are common among athletes and in many sports. They can be caused by several problems and may be potentially serious. If you are feeling pain or think you were injured in a sporting event or when exercising, consult with Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Common Injuries

The most common injuries that occur in sporting activities include:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Broken Foot
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Stress Fractures
  • Turf Toe

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending upon the injury and in some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. However, in most cases, some form of symptom is experienced. Pain, aching, burning, bruising, tenderness, tightness or stiffness, sensation loss, difficulty moving, and swelling are the most common symptoms.

Treatment

Just as symptoms vary depending upon the injury, so do treatment options. A common treatment method is known as the RICE method. This method involves rest, applying ice, compression and elevating the afflicted foot or ankle. If the injury appears to be more serious, surgery might be required, such as arthroscopic or reconstructive surgery. Lastly, rehabilitation or therapy might be needed to gain full functionality in the afflicted area. Any discomfort experienced by an athlete must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.  

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 Sports Related Foot And Ankle Injuries
Tuesday, 08 August 2023 00:00

How to Battle Athlete’s Foot

A common enemy that can bother athletes and people from all walks of life is athlete's foot. Despite this being an uncomfortable foot condition, there is essential information that can provide relief. Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that lives and thrives in warm, damp places, such as sweaty socks and locker rooms. It is considered to be contagious, so sharing shoes or walking barefoot in public areas can lead to trouble. Some methods can be implemented which can help to prevent athlete's foot. This can begin with washing the feet with soap and water, followed by keeping them clean and dry.  It is beneficial to change the socks and shoes often and opt for breathable materials such as cotton. Additionally, it is helpful to wear appropriate shoes such as flip-flops or water shoes while in public showers and locker rooms. If you suspect you have athlete's foot, do not hesitate to call a podiatrist. It is suggested that you visit this type of doctor who can prescribe antifungal creams or powders that can defeat the infection.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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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Wednesday, 02 August 2023 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, 01 August 2023 00:00

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects the Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints. Because the feet have numerous joints, they are often a target for this disease. Tenderness, swelling, and stiffness in the joints are the major symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis or RA. Loss of range of motion and joint deformity are other symptoms. Foot deformities, such as bunions or hammertoes, can be caused by the erosion of the joints from RA. Because there is such a high risk of damage to the feet because of rheumatoid arthritis, it is wise to get a diagnosis sooner than later. Treatment can include medication, low-impact exercises, customized orthotics, and footwear recommendations. A podiatrist can fit the patient with orthotics built to fit the foot precisely and provide the necessary support and cushioning. For more information on how to deal with rheumatoid arthritis that is affecting the feet, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell of InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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 Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
Tuesday, 25 July 2023 00:00

Foot Protection While at Work

Shoes are worn to protect the feet. Many working environments call for extra attention to be paid to the type of shoes that are worn during the workday. This is crucial in keeping the feet safe, as they can be exposed to dangerous circumstances. These can range from falling items to slipping on spills. Additionally, many people stand for the majority of the day, and this can put stress on their feet. Foot fatigue is common after a day’s work, and it is helpful if it is addressed. It may happen as a result of wearing shoes that do not fit well, which may cause the foot muscles to become tired. Research has indicated that lacerations, sprains and punctures account for about 10 percent of disabling injuries. The severity of these injuries may be reduced when boots are worn that have a steel toe. If you are interested in learning more about foot protection during the workday, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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 Handle a Long Work Day on Your Feet
Tuesday, 18 July 2023 00:00

Three Stages of an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail can be a potentially dangerous foot condition if medical attention is not promptly received. An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail grows into the skin instead of over it. It is a generally painful ailment, and severely ingrown toenails may bleed and become infected. This condition can be divided into three stages of development. The first stage causes mild inflammation, and it is often uncomfortable. A granuloma may form in the second stage, which can become more painful, and produce pus. This granuloma can grow over the nail in the third stage, and the entire toe may become inflamed. The most common cause of developing an ingrown toenail is improper foot care. This can range from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly to trimming the toenails in a curved fashion instead of straight across. If you have an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you seek counsel from a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can perform minor surgery for permanent relief.

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
Tuesday, 11 July 2023 00:00

Dealing With Achilles Tendon Pain

Experiencing pain in the back of the leg just above the heel may indicate an injury to the Achilles tendon. The pain may worsen with exercise and subside after resting. There may also be stiffness, swelling, and soreness in this area. A sudden pain in the back of the heel that feels like a kick in the ankle can be a sign of a torn or ruptured Achilles tendon. If this occurs, it is important to seek immediate medical help. A podiatrist will view imaging tests which can diagnose the exact cause of the injury, and determine its severity. A rupture is a full or partial tear in this tendon, which connects the heel to the calf muscles and allows you to walk. Ruptures to the Achilles tendon are more common among men between the ages of 30 and 50. They are also common among women who are 60 years or older. With an Achilles tendon rupture, it may be difficult to walk normally or to stand on tiptoe. This type of injury may be the result of falling, stepping into a hole, sprinting, or sustaining a cut in the back of the heel. Both surgical and non-surgical treatments are common for Achilles tendon injuries. For help in managing an Achilles tendon injury, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.  

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. 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.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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 What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
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