Posts for: November, 2015
November is National Diabetes Month. People with diabetes either don’t produce enough insulin or don’t use the insulin the body produces efficiently, and consequently sugar builds up in the blood. This creates many serious medical problems, several of which can have a negative impact on your feet. At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, we believe that your podiatrist is your partner in caring for your feet and helping you develop a regimen that will prevent diabetic foot problems. Here are 5 ways you can do your part in ensuring healthy feet for years to come:
- Inspect your feet daily. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 60-70% of all patients with diabetes have accompanying nerve damage, which can lead to a loss of sensation in your feet. This means that the pain from injuries, blisters, and other irritations that create entry points for infections may not be felt immediately. Visually checking your feet carefully every day will help you spot problems that you may not feel.
- Choose footwear that fits properly. One of the biggest causes of diabetic wounds and ulcers is shoes that rub or put pressure on some part of the foot. Toe boxes that are too tight or high heels that squeeze toes and can cause bunions, hammertoes, and other deformities that can become open wounds. Poor circulation, which is also prevalent with diabetics, makes the wounds slower to heal.
- Schedule regular podiatric check-ups. Seeing your foot doctor periodically means a greater chance of problems being caught and treated early. Your podiatrist can also provide you with information and techniques to help you develop healthy habits for your feet.
- Keep feet clean, dry. Washing your feet daily and drying them thoroughly (especially between the toes) will increase your chances of avoiding infections of the skin and toes which can ultimately lead to open sores or ulcers.
- Live a healthy lifestyle. The best way to prevent diabetic foot problems is to keep your diabetes under control. Watch what you eat, exercise, don’t smoke and follow all your doctor’s instructions to give yourself the best chance at a long and healthy life.
If you are diabetic and have any concerns about your feet or toes, our podiatrists, Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond will be happy to examine your feet and help you learn more ways to ensure good foot health. Schedule an appointment today at either our Reading office as soon as possible.
As foot size generally does get larger with age, it is important to remember several different pointers when shopping for shoes. Ensure that the uppers on shoes are made of a soft material that matches the shape of your foot. If you regularly walk on hard pavement, consider shoes with thick soles to cushion the feet. Make sure there is about a half-inch extra space for your longest toe when fitting shoes. Your heels should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slipping, and the shoes should not ride up and down while walking.
Finding a proper fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information contact one of our podiatrists of New England Foot and Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.
Proper Shoe Fitting
A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in properly fitting shoes:
- Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
- Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
- Even though they may look fashionable, improperly fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
- Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity
Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, keeping properly fit shoes is vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Reading, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technologies for your foot and ankle needs.
One of the more common problems we treat at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists is bunions. This painful condition occurs when the joint at the side of the base of the big toe gets enlarged and moves out of place. The bony protrusion becomes red and irritated by the friction and pressure caused as it rubs inside your shoe. Left untreated, the big toe will continue to push against the second toe and may eventually even overlap it, causing a debilitating deformity that can make it difficult to walk.
What Causes Bunions?
Bunions tend to run in families, although it’s not the bunion itself that is hereditary, but rather the faulty foot structure that leads to the joint displacement. One of the biggest causes of bunions is wearing shoes that are too tight in the toe box or high heels that force all the toes to be squeezed in the front of the shoe. Bunions can also be caused by injury, neuromuscular problems, and other foot conditions, such as flat and pronated feet.
The first step in developing a successful treatment plan for bunions is a thorough examination of the foot by one of our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond. The foot doctor will evaluate the bunion visually and may also order x-rays to determine the severity and full extent of the deformity. A custom treatment plan focused on relieving pain and stopping further growth of the bunion will be developed for you, which may include any or all of the following:
- New Footwear: Changing to shoes that are designed with roomy toe boxes and low heels that will accommodate the bunion and not encourage its growth
- Protective Padding: Carefully placed padding to eliminate inflammation and irritation of the skin by preventing friction and rubbing on the bunion from footwear
- Orthotics: Over-the-counter and custom-made orthotic devices can position the foot properly and help stabilize the joint of the big toe
- Exercise: Stretching and exercises can prevent stiffness and increase joint mobility.
- Splints: Often used overnight, splints can help properly re-align toes and joints.
- Surgery: In severe cases that don’t respond to the above methods, a bunionectomy may be necessary.
Delaying treatment will only cause the discomfort of bunions to increase. Without treatment, other conditions like bursitis and arthritis may set in as well, so don’t delay. Contact our Reading office today or request an appointment online to get the proper care for your bunion.
Because pregnant women put such stress on their feet, finding the right forms of exercise during their pregnancy is essential. One of those exercises is water aerobics, in which you perform aerobic activities in the water in tune with music, building stamina and endurance while also releasing endorphins to relax the mind. The use of water aerobics to remain active during pregnancy as well ease the soreness of swollen feet can be essential to pregnancy health
Swimming is a great way to exercise the feet. If you have any questions regarding the benefits of swimming on the feet, consider contacting one of our podiatrists from New England Foot and Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will explain the unique health advantages this activity has and recommend some simple exercises.
Benefits of Swimming and Foot care
Our feet receive the most stress on a daily basis. Walking, running, and long standing contribute to pain and stress on the feet. Swimming helps promote circulation and keep the body feeling great and healthy.
Benefits of swimming:
Improve blood circulation
- Swimming is a good, safe way to get in extra physical activity and improve circulation, without causing further trauma to the feet
Relieve aches or pains
- It takes all the pressure off of them, allowing the feet to relax and recover, and improves blood flow to them.
Circulation overall for diabetics
- Swimming contributes to blood flow, and increase oxygen levels within the body.
Reduce foot inflammation
- Swimming in warm water can increase blood flow and make it easier to move and stretch the afflicted foot. The feet are also exposed in water, giving them much needed air.
Swimming the helpful alternative:
Many people like the elderly and diabetics suffer from weakened muscles and joints. A water sport like swimming will support the body, thus allowing him or her to move freely. Blood flow circulation is a main trigger to tired inflamed feet.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Reading, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.
While most people get pedicures to wind down and relax, pedicurists want some of their customers to know a few things they should and should not expect from the process. While pedicurists will take care of your feet by removing dead skin and calluses, somethings they just cannot take care of. For example, plantar warts, ingrown toenails, and fungal should not be taken care of at home or at a nail salon, they should be taken care of by a podiatrist. “A podiatrist is qualified to take care of the problem as quickly as and pain-free as possible,” says pedicurist Alexandra Calle.
Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you have any concerns with plantar warts on your feet contact one of our podiatrists of New England Foot and Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.
About Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.
While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.
- Legions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
- Hard or thick callused spots
- Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
- Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing
- Electric tool removal
- Laser Treatment
- Topical Creams (prescription only)
- Over-the-counter medications
To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, will help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Reading, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.