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Monday, 29 January 2018 00:00

How Do I Know If I Have a Bunion?

If you have a bump on the side of your big toe, there is a chance that you may have a bunion. It's common for the structure of the foot to change as a result of the big toe being pushed toward the other toes. This worsens misalignment in the toes, resulting in the bony protrusion developing. This progressive condition is commonly caused by a predisposed, inherited trait affecting the structure of the foot. Poor-fitting shoes do not cause bunions, although they may advance the progression of the disorder. Common symptoms may include experiencing numbness or a burning sensation, in addition to observing swelling and redness in the area. Some patients may notice calluses developing on the big toe, and movement may become restricted. A treatment option can include choosing the right shoes with enough room so the toes can be comfortable and move freely. Activities that irritate the bunion, such as standing for long periods of time, should be avoided. If you are experiencing pain from a bunion, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of Tri-State Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Wilmington and Hockessin, DE and St. Francis Hospital . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 22 January 2018 00:00

Common Foot Issues Affecting Seniors

As the aging process occurs, the cushioning in the feet becomes thinner and the nails can become brittle and dry. Sores on the feet may take longer to heal typically due to poor circulation, a common ailment in elderly people. Walking, stretching, and keeping the legs uncrossed are all beneficial in keeping the blood flowing freely. Feet generally become larger over time, and choosing shoes that avoid friction is necessary for a comfortable fit. There are several foot issues elderly people are most likely to experience, including athlete’s foot, dry skin, and ingrown toenails. These conditions may be prevented by washing and drying the feet thoroughly, especially in between the toes. When the toenails are properly trimmed, ingrown toenails may be avoided. Applying a moisturizer on the feet will not only feel good, but help keep the skin from getting dry. Please consult with a podiatrist if you have any questions regarding elderly foot care. 

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Tri-State Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Wilmington and Hockessin, DE and St. Francis Hospital . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 15 January 2018 00:00

Buying the Right Shoes for the Right Sport

Proper support is crucial while running and is typically obtained through purchasing running shoes as opposed to shoes designed for walking. Running is considered a high impact sport, and it’s important to have the correct cushioned shoes to help promote proper balance. A firmer sole is important to a runner for maintaining stability, and a sole that’s more flexible is easier for a walker to wear as it grips the toe and the heel. Thick heels are preferred in running shoes as they provide proper cushioning and support for the jogger. If a walker should wear shoes made for running, they may experience conditions such as shin splints or Achilles tendons injuries. This is often because the mechanics of walking and running are different. Running shoes offer features designed to keep the foot in a neutral position and may provide more stability than walking shoes. An additional difference between the two types of shoes may be that running shoes are made of lighter materials that are meant to enable a jogger to move faster.

For more information about walking shoes versus running shoes, consult with one of our podiatrists from Tri-State Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctors can measure your feet to determine what your needs are and help you find an appropriate pair of footwear.

Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes

There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.

You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.

Differences

Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.

Flexibility – Walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Wilmington and Hockessin, DE and St. Francis Hospital . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 08 January 2018 00:00

Techniques For the Aged to Prevent Falling

Falls among people aged 65 or older can be extremely serious and are considered a leading cause of injuries in that age group. A fall can be hard in lots of ways, and people may become depressed after experiencing one. This can result in lacking the desire to stay active. There are several things to be aware of in the aging person, including their vision becoming weaker, causing objects to become harder to see; this may possibly lead to a fall. Some medications may cause dizziness and dehydration, which may also be responsible for a fall occurring. It may be beneficial to ask older people when their last eye exam was and to ensure that their eyeglass prescription is current. Discussing medications currently being taken may be advised to identify any potential drug interactions; drug interactions can possibly cause an imbalance and contribute to a potential fall. Typically, checking the lighting in the home, in addition to having secure rails on the stairway and installing bars in the tub area, may all be effective ways in preventing falls in the home.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Tri-State Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Wilmington and Hockessin, DE and St. Francis Hospital . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00

What’s Causing My Heel Pain?

The heel is comprised of numerous tendons, ligaments, and fatty tissue. Common causes of pain in the heel may include possible stress fractures, bursitis, and obesity, and can typically be treated with ice packs, foot massages, and exercises designed to flex the foot. Probable diagnosis may include plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and Sever’s disease. Refraining from activities that may have caused the pain not only reduces the stress on the heel, but will help in healing the tendons. This pain is commonly avoided by choosing shoes with laces for a firmer fit, discarding shoes with heels that are worn, and stretching the foot by warming up before a sports related activity. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised in properly diagnosing the cause of the pain, in addition to discovering the best treatment options available.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Tri-State Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in North Wilmington and Hockessin, DE and St. Francis Hospital . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
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