My Blog

Posts for: March, 2013

Other than ingrown nails, plantar fasciitis is probably one of the more common podiatry conditions we see on a regular basis. I would bet that you know at least one person who has been plagued with this condition. Plantar Fasciitis will turn a strapping male into a limping puppy!

So let’s go over some of the common symptoms. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

Do you have severe pain in your heel first thing in the morning when you get out of bed that decreases after you’ve limped on it for a while?

  • Do you have similar pain when you are sitting at your desk during the day and then have to stand up again?
  • Does your heel ache and throb at the end of the day like a bad headache in your foot?
  • Have you noticed that when you wear a shoe with at least a one inch heel that you feel somewhat better?
  • Have you noticed that the onset of pain seems to align with having been on your feet more, or that you gained weight recently, are barefoot more (maybe you recently moved to Florida!), or that you have new flooring at home– tile rather than carpet?

If you can say yes to the majority of the above – you probably have Plantar Fasciitis. So now that we’ve gotten the symptoms down – let’s talk about what the condition actually is and then how we can get rid of it. Ouch!

Your Plantar Fascia is a thick band of tissue connecting the ball of your foot to the heel bone and helps to maintain the arch of your foot.In addition, your calf muscle which turns into your Achilles tendon attaches to the back of your heel bone and connects to the Plantar Fascia. So if your calf muscles are tight you are going to put a lot of strain on you fascia. That’s why many folks feel more comfortable in a slight heel when they have this condition.

If your Plantar Fascia has been stressed for many years you might even develop heel spurs. But don’t panic – not all heel spurs require surgery and in most cases Plantar Fasciitis can be treated conservatively.

The most common treatments are:

Stretching the calf muscle and Achilles tendon
Cortisone shots
Strapping the foot (athletic tapping)
Physical therapy
Orthotics (custom arch supports)
Oral anti-inflammatories

Changing shoe gear
Surgery

Obviously surgery is a last resort for any condition and you want to make sure you go through all the conservative therapies first before thinking about surgery. But when needed it can be an amazing relief!

So if you or someone you know is suffering from these symptoms don’t forget to let them know that relief is possible and to get into our office ASAP! We would love to help end the limping.


It's amazing how many folks are coming into the office these days with toenail fungus!

Years ago the average age of a person with fungus nails was usually older. Now with the increasing popularity of nail salons - we're seeing teenagers with fungus.

So here's the scoop on fungus - anyonecan get it and it doesn't mean you are a dirty person. What is does mean is that you've been exposed to fungus and your immune system is not fighting it off. Factors that increase the chances of picking up a fungus and keeping it are:

-Having your feet in hot dark boots all day.
-Having your nails done in a salon.
-Living with a partner who also has a fungus infection.
-Damaging a toenail by dropping something on it.
-Having feet that sweat a lot.
-Hanging out around a swimming pool barefoot.
-Showering at the gym without flip-flops on.
-Sharing grooming tools (like nail files).

Many nail salons are sterilizing their instruments - that is not usually the problem. The issue is with the nail files they use. You cannot sterilize a nail file and they use them over and over again until they need to be trashed. So let's say they file a person's nail that has a fungus and then they work on you.

They file your nail with the contaminatedfile which grinds their fungus right into your healthy nail. Yuck! You're much better off creating your own spa day at home - it will cost you a lot less in the long run - believe me! So what can you do to get rid of these nasty beasts?

Well, oral antifungals are expensive and require you to have blood work drawn. At best they receive around a 70% cure rate, but they can be very hard on your liver and can conflict with many common medications making them pretty risky business.

The Cool Touch Laser that we use in the office is seeing higher cure rates than the oral meds - over 80% without the need for blood work or being concerned about the internal effects of the medication. This has us very excited to say the least! Granted it's not an inexpensive treatment either - but it's a lot healthier!

The key to this treatment is your cooperation.Topical medications must be used in tandem with the laser - along with creating an all-out assault on killing the fungus in your contaminated shoes, shower areas, and on your floors.

Think you might have a fungus?We offer a free consultation to give you the low-down on whether you are a laser candidate or not. So what are you waiting for? Come on in and make an appointment today!

 


Proper Podiatric Foot Care – Are you caring for your tootsies?
 
Most folks if I ask them if they clean their feet regularly look at me strangely and say: “Of course I am! I shower everyday!” Well, simply showering is not cleaning your feet.Think about this. Our feet are in closed shoes all day long sweating and then we shower letting all the soap, dirt, and bacteria from our bodies swirl around our feet.
 
Yuk! To properly clean our feet we should be sitting in the shower so that we are safe and don’t fall over.Then we can use a soft scrub brush or washcloth moving between each toe, scrubbing the bottoms, and the tops. Otherwise we are never really removing the dead old skin. When we get out of the shower, it is important to dry our feet well between each toe. You can even use the hairdryer if that makes it faster (but only if your do not have neuropathy).
 
However, if we only rinse in the shower we develop a build-up of dead skin – and it’s easy to get a fungal or bacterial infection between the toes. Those critters love feasting on dead skin and we are giving them the perfect environment to set up house! We expect our feet to last for a life time yet we don’t give them the same kind of care we give to our teeth or the rest of our bodies.
 
It would be great if folks made a habit of visiting their foot doctor every year just to make sure everything was fine. Especially if diabetes, or any other systemic disease runs in the family. Even kids benefit from a yearly visit to make sure they are not overly flat-footed, need orthotic support for sports, have warts or fungus's. After all – the school gym does not tend to be the cleanest place on the planet.
 
Another way we set ourselves up for trouble is around the pool. Once our feet soften up from being in the water we are especially susceptible to fungal infections and plantar warts. September and October are prime time for kids to come in the office with plantar warts from running around the pool barefoot all summer. But seniors using a communal pool are in the exact same situation – how many folks in the community have fungal infections and are walking barefoot? Plenty!
 
Feet are amazing, and to keep them in tip-top shape we need to give them more than a passing fancy. Take good care of your feet and they will take good care of you!