Posts for tag: podiatrist

By Dr. Donna Barrese
February 10, 2017
Category: podiatrist
Tags: podiatrist  

If an individual has been suffering from Type 1 Diabetes or was recently diagnosed with Type 2, he or she may typically be most concerned with diet and insulin. While this is very important, people with diabetes may also lose sensitivity in their feet due to nerve damage and poor circulation, and in the worst case scenarios, they may require amputation. It is recommended that individuals adhere to frequent checkups with a podiatrist to prevent such drastic treatments.

Image of microscopic vasculitic neuropathy

What is Neuropathy?

When one suffers nerve damage, it can reduce the foot's ability to feel pain or secrete its natural oils to prevent dryness and cracking. The excessive levels of blood sugar in diabetes may cause this condition, which leads to a vicious cycle that can severely damage the feet.

While one may experience pain even with neuropathy, he or she may not feel fluid buildups, or even a sharp object inside the shoe, which can cause consistent damage. If a patient leaves this untreated, the effects of low blood circulation and potential infections may leave patients with no choice but amputation. However, one may take many preventative measures to avoid such a dire outcome.

How to Take Preventative Measures

Understanding the risk of diabetes and its effect on your feet is the first step to avoiding serious issues. Additionally, routine steps can help improve the health of feet.

- Find the right podiatrist and follow their recommendations for individual care.

- Wear quality compression socks or stockings to increase blood flow and reduce fluid buildup.

- If skin starts drying out and peeling, the individual should use a thin layer of hand cream or petroleum jelly to keep in the moisture after a shower. However, patients should not soak feet for extended periods of time or apply the cream to the area between toes.

- Check for calluses and use a pumice stone after showering to remove the dead skin. Do not cut calluses open as they may turn into ulcers or cause an infection.

- Engage in regular aerobic exercise to promote circulation, but avoid overly strenuous activities such as running and jumping. Focus on cleanliness and foot care to make the most of this routine.

Always double check and seek an appointment with a podiatrist to answer any additional questions and determine if there are other precautions to take.

If you notice pain or stiffness in your heel during activity, plantar fasciitis could be the culprit. Understanding the sources of plantar fasciitis can help ease the symptoms of this condition and prevent it from recurring.

 

Common Causes

Plantar fasciitis is caused by swelling of the fascia, a band of muscle tissue at the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes. This tendon can become inflamed with overuse, causing the symptoms associated with this condition. This injury is most common among: long-distance runners, especially those who run uphill or on uneven surfaces, people who are obese, particularly if they've gained weight suddenly, individuals who spend long hours on their feet, such as factory workers, and those who have started a new type of exercise, notably after a period of inactivity. Inflammation of the fascia can also be caused by poorly fitting shoes and by the natural anatomy of the foot, such as flat feet, high arches, or a tight Achilles tendon.

This condition is most common among those ages 40 to 60, although earlier onset may occur among athletes and others in high-risk categories.

 

Symptoms & Diagnosis

While there are many potential sources of foot pain, plantar fasciitis is often characterized by sharp pain that's worse first thing in the morning or upon standing after you've been sitting for an extended period. If you suspect you have this condition, it is recommended to have a full exam conducted to make a diagnosis. In some cases, X-rays are required to confirm the swelling of the fascia.

 

Treatments

The good news is that although painful, this condition is quite treatable. In many cases, patients see relief with a combination of over-the-counter pain medication to reduce inflammation, stretching exercises, splinting the foot at night, resting the foot whenever possible, and icing the affected area twice a day for 15 minutes. Wearing shoes with good support is also essential.

In more severe cases, casting, steroid shots, or custom-made orthotics may be required to relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms.

 

Photo Of A Woman Standing On Her Toes - Donna Barrese, DPM East Windsor Lawrenceville Foot & AnkleOne of the most common problems podiatrists see in patients is ingrown toenails. An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail curves and grows downward into the toe. People of all ages and backgrounds develop ingrown toenails, and while they sometimes resolve themselves, many patients will experience pain, inflammation, and infection in the toes. In these cases, patients should contact their physician to find out about ingrown toenail removal and treatment options.

 

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

There are a number of potential causes of the condition. It appears that some people’s tendency to develop ingrown nails may be inherited from their parents. Others may experience trauma to the foot that leads to ingrown nails. Still others develop the condition by cutting their toenails too short or wearing shoes that are too tight. People with certain medical conditions such as diabetes may have an elevated risk of developing an ingrown toenail because of poor circulation in the feet. Anyone experiencing pain, swelling, or other symptoms in the toe should contact their podiatrist about ingrown toenail treatment right away or risk developing infection or other complications.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

Some patients are prone to ingrown toenails, experiencing multiple over the course of their lives. These may be preventable by adopting some simple nail care procedures, like trimming the nails straight across instead of at an angle to keep nails from growing into the skin. Additionally, wearing comfortable and properly fitting shoes and socks can help prevent the problem.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment Options

Sometimes ingrown nails will resolve themselves. If the area is red and swollen, patients can try soaking their feet in warm water with Epsom salt to fight infection. If the problem doesn’t disappear, it’s imperative to see a doctor for ingrown toenail treatment options. Doctors often prescribe antibiotics to clear up any infection in the nail or surrounding skin. In the worst cases, the podiatrist may recommend an ingrown toenail removal procedure, a quick surgery that provides pain relief by removing the nail.

Ingrown toenails can lead to severe complications for people with existing medical conditions, so it’s extremely important that anyone who suspects that they have this condition contact their doctor right away for a quick, effective ingrown toenail treatment.

 

Photo Of A Woman Rubbing Her Leg - Donna Barrese, DPM East Windsor Lawrenceville Foot & AnkleAnyone who has ever experienced heel pain knows how debilitating it can be. Fortunately, plantar fasciitis, known to be one of the most common causes of heel pain, is usually treatable with a few visits to the podiatrist. Patients with this condition experience pain when standing or putting pressure on the feet. The condition is most common in older and middle-aged adults as well as young people who spend a significant amount of time on their feet.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is caused by irritation of the plantar fascia ligament, which is the band of tissue that supports the arch of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. Repeated strain on this ligament can cause it to tear, leading to pain and swelling. It’s unclear exactly what causes the condition, but certain people are more prone to developing it, especially those who are overweight, have high arches or flat feet, or are constantly on their feet. People who wear ill-fitting or worn out shoes may also experience heel pain. Sometimes, the natural aging process leads patients to develop plantar fasciitis.

Preventing Plantar Fasciitis

There are a few simple steps patients can take to reduce heel pain. Relaxing tension in the lower legs can reduce stress on the feet. This is an excellent habit for people of all ages to adopt. Making changes to walking form can also provide relief. When walking, make sure to land on the middle of the foot rather than the heel and lead with the upper body rather than the legs. Patients should always speak to their podiatrist before beginning an at-home plantar fasciitis treatment program.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Many people benefit from conservation treatment for plantar fasciitis, but patients should work with their podiatrist to find the best treatment for their situation. Some respond well to pain relieving or anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Other patients may need to undergo physical therapy to stretch and strengthen muscles or wear splints or orthotics to support the foot and heel. Patients who don’t respond to conservative treatment may need more advanced plantar fasciitis treatment, including steroid injections or, in the worst cases, surgery to detach the plantar fascia from the heel.

Anyone who experiences chronic heel pain should contact their podiatrist to find out which type of treatment for plantar fasciitis is best for them.