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Monday, 11 March 2019 00:00

Are Bunions a Deformity?

If you have developed a bunion, you may be aware of a structural deformity of the foot. It is considered to be a bone disorder, and affects the big toe. Obvious symptoms that may accompany this condition can include a bony protrusion on the side of the big toe, pain and discomfort, and possibly limited mobility of the affected toe. Bunions typically cause the big toe to move toward the toe next to it, and this is the reason for the joint to extend outward. There are several reasons why bunions may occur, and these may include genetic traits, medical conditions such as arthritis, or foot injuries that may have happened. There are specific foot issues, which may develop as a result of having a bunion, including hammertoe, bursitis, or calluses. It is important to be under the care of a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis this condition, and offer correct treatment techniques.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. Tina Oliver of Astro Foot Care, PA. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Houston, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Monday, 04 March 2019 00:00

Can Exercise Help Sprained Ankles?

Research has shown treatments for ankle sprains may differ depending on how severe the sprain is. Mild relief may be found in resting and elevating the foot, in addition to protecting the injured area for the first several days. If the foot is wrapped in a supportive bandage, swelling may decrease.  As the resting period ends, it may be beneficial to perform exercises that may help to strengthen the ankle. This may aid in regaining stability and balance that is necessary to accomplish daily activities. There are several ankle stretches that may enhance range of motion and flexibility. These may include tracing letters of the alphabet with your toes and standing on one leg for several seconds. Both of these movements may help to improve strength and ankle movement. If you have sprained your ankle, it is suggested to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Tina Oliver from Astro Foot Care, PA. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Houston, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Monday, 25 February 2019 00:00

Edema and Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant are aware of the changes that are occurring in their bodies. These may include pain in the feet while walking or standing. The reasons for this is due to the amount of weight gain that happens, and pressure is exerted near the arch of the foot and surrounding areas. The muscles of the feet may be strained as a result of change in gait, and this may happen to accommodate wider feet. This can lead to wearing shoes that are too tight, which may cause ingrown toenails to develop. Many pregnant women experience edema, which is known as swelling of the feet. Mild relief may be felt when the feet are resting, and elevated above heart level. Many women may find it beneficial to wear orthotics, and to incorporate a gentle foot exercise regime into their daily routine. If you are experiencing severe pain and discomfort in your feet as a result of pregnancy, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can offer relief advice.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. Tina Oliver from Astro Foot Care, PA. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy, but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Houston, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Care for Pregnant Women
Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Those with diabetes are prone to foot ulcers and should make an active effort to check for them in order to avoid any further complications. People with diabetes can easily develop neuropathy, which makes them unable to feel if they have any wounds on their feet. So daily checks are vital in ensuring that no foot ulcers have formed. If a foot ulcer is found, then that wound should immediately be treated, so the healing process can begin. There are a few key components to keep in mind when caring for a foot ulcer. Taking pressure of the area, which is called “off-loading”, helps to keep blood flowing through the foot, so it can start to repair itself. Removing dead skin, then applying medication and dressing the wound will help fight infection. Preventing infection is one of the most important parts of caring for a foot ulcer, because an infection will make the wound much more complicated and dangerous. If you have a foot ulcer, then it is strongly recommended that you speak with a podiatrist to learn about how to properly care for it.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Tina Oliver from Astro Foot Care, PA. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a nondiabetic. 

What is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Houston, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care

Research has shown that feet may be an important way to determine the cause for many aches and pains that may be present in the body.  When correct stretching techniques are incorporated into a daily routine, the general health of the body may be positively affected. An effective stretch for the arch of the foot is called a toe stretch. This may feel good if the toes become cramped in poorly fitting shoes. This is performed by interlacing the fingers between the toes, rotating the ankle, and repeating on the other side. If the arches in your foot feel tired, it may be beneficial to roll the bottom of your foot on a tennis ball, which may help to relax any tight muscles in the feet. Foot spasms may be avoided when the toes are frequently pointed and flexed. If you would like additional information about the benefits of stretching the feet, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly guide you.

Why Stretching is Important for Your Feet

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Tina Oliver from Astro Foot Care, PA. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first to determine if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous exercise, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising to ice and rest the foot. It is advised that you then see a podiatrist for help.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Houston, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stretching Your Feet

Foot health is important for everyone, but it is particularly important for the elderly. Feet are a complicated part of the body and they go through a considerable amount of wear and tear over the course of one’s life. As we age, the cells in our feet begin to hold less water, which leads to tendons tightening while ligaments loosen. These shifts can lead to pain, internal growths, and other complications. Circulation in the feet also lessens over time, and that hinders the foot’s ability to heal. These two afflictions combined, make older adults more prone to infections and other issues. Some of the most common issues seen in in the elderly are bunions, hammertoes, arthritis, fungal infections, pain, and soreness. Unfortunately, in the later years of life, it is harder for the foot to battle these complications, so addressing them early on is essential for optimal foot health. If you are an older adult and have any concerns regarding your feet, it is highly recommended you consult with a podiatrist to find the best treatment.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Tina Oliver from Astro Foot Care, PA. Our doctor 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 our office located in Houston, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Elderly and their Feet
Friday, 01 February 2019 00:00

Do your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately?

Monday, 28 January 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Bunions

The medical term referred to as a bunion is considered to be a deformity of the big toe. The noticeable symptom is a bony protrusion on the side of the toe, and this typically occurs when the toe points inward. It may produce pain and discomfort as time progresses, in addition to a possible bump forming on the inside of the foot. Patients who are afflicted with bunions may find difficulty in wearing shoes, and may have to select larger shoes that can accommodate this condition. There are  reasons why bunions may develop, including genetics which can affect the structure of the foot, and wearing shoes that fit incorrectly or are tight. Some of these types of shoes may include high heels which may not provide adequate room for the toes to move freely. Additionally, enduring an injury may be the cause for a bunion to form. If you notice a bunion beginning to form, it is advised to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Tina Oliver of Astro Foot Care, PA. Our doctor 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 our office located in Houston, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions

Plantar warts are small growths that mainly appear at the bottom of your foot and are a common viral skin infection. Unfortunately, they spread easily and being cautious in certain public spaces is key to protecting your feet. One public space to be especially vigilant in is the gym. It is important to always wear shoes at the gym, specifically near pools, in locker rooms and showers. Simply keeping a pair of shower shoes or flip flops in your gym bag helps to keep your feet safe from the multitude of bacteria that they would otherwise be exposed to. Additionally, any cuts or small wounds should always be covered. If you have a cut, it is also a good idea to stay away from saunas and hot tubs until it is healed. Covering your feet in order to prevent contact with an infected area is the best way to avoid these uncomfortable warts. If you think you may have contracted plantar warts, it is recommended that you speak to a podiatrist to receive proper treatment.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Tina Oliver from Astro Foot Care, PA. Our doctor will assist you with all of 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.

Symptoms

  • Lesions 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

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • 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, can 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 office located in Houston, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Warts
Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

Before you start dancing...

 

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