My Blog

Posts for category: Foot Issues

By Step Alive Foot & Ankle Center
November 10, 2020
Category: Foot Issues
Bad Circulation and Your FeetAre you dealing with numbness, tingling, or muscle cramps in your feet? If so, you could be dealing with poor circulation. Your feet must be getting proper blood flow, as this can provide the tissue with the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. Unfortunately, as we get older, we’re more likely to deal with poor circulation. If you are experiencing symptoms of poor circulation in your feet, you must seek podiatry care from a qualified foot doctor.

Do I really have poor circulation in my feet?

It isn’t always easy to notice the warning signs of bad circulation. After all, it’s normal to feel a lack of sensation in your feet during cold winter days or to notice some aching and tiredness when standing for long periods of time; however, signs of poor circulation in the feet include:
  • A “pins and needles” sensation in your feet
  • Changes in the color of your feet
  • Swelling
  • Cold feet
  • Heaviness
  • Pain
  • Numbness or tingling
If these symptoms persist or keep coming back, it’s time to see a foot doctor. While circulation issues may only cause minor problems, it can also cause dangerous complications. Seniors must really pay attention to these symptoms and seek proper podiatry care right away if these symptoms appear.

What causes poor circulation in the feet?

There are many reasons that people may develop poor circulation in their feet as they get older. Some causes can’t be helped but others are due to health conditions or bad habits. Causes of poor circulation include:
 
  • Age: As we get older most people will deal with some degree of decreased blood flow.
  • Inactive lifestyle: If you lead a sedentary lifestyle you are more likely to deal with blood flow issues, especially as you get older. We see this most often in seniors who have mobility issues and can’t stay active.
  • Overweight or obese: Being overweight or obese also puts a lot of stress on the body, causing the heart to work harder to pump out blood to the rest of the body including the feet.
  • Smoking: Smoking restricts blood flow, which makes it more difficult for blood to reach the feet. Smoking can also increase your risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
  • Diabetes: Diabetes can increase your risk for inflammation, poor circulation, and even nerve damage in the feet (known as neuropathy). You must work with your doctor and a podiatrist to control your blood sugar to reduce your risk.
You must discuss your poor circulation with a qualified podiatrist, as these seemingly innocuous symptoms could be signs of an underlying problem that could require urgent medical attention.
By Step Alive Foot & Ankle Center
September 14, 2020
Category: Foot Issues
Common Foot and Ankle Injuries And How a Podiatrist Can HelpFoot and ankle injuries are fairly common and can happen to anyone, not just athletes. While minor strains and sprains can be nursed back to health by simply resting and icing your injury, it’s important to be able to discern when you need to see a podiatrist for care. Put your feet up and check out these signs that it might be time to schedule a podiatry appointment.

You are dealing with persistent heel pain

Heel pain is a common complaint and most often the result of an overuse injury such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. The good news is that heel pain will usually go away on its own with rest and home care; however, if the heel pain is severe or persists for weeks without getting better than it’s time to see a podiatrist and find out what’s going on.

You’re dealing with a sprained or fractured foot

If you are dealing with a new foot and ankle injury that you’ve never experienced before, then it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist who will be able to examine it to determine the extent and severity of the sprain or break. Since untreated or improperly treated injuries can lead to long-term foot and ankle pain and instability, it’s a good idea to get proper podiatry care when you sustain an injury.

You have been diagnosed with diabetes

People with diabetes know that they are also at an increased risk for other foot-related complications including neuropathy, ulcers, and infections. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes it’s a good idea to have a podiatrist that you can turn to for regular care, especially when problems arise. Even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms, you should still see your podiatrist once a year for a routine checkup.

You’re dealing with regular joint pain and stiffness

While there are many reasons why someone may deal with a bout of joint pain, if this is a persistent problem, you may be dealing with arthritis. Since arthritis is progressive, it’s important to diagnose this problem early when medications and treatments can help to slow the progression of joint damage.

If you are experiencing a foot or ankle injury or experiencing symptoms that have you concerned, it’s best to consult foot care professionals for comprehensive podiatry care.
By Step Alive Foot & Ankle Center
August 10, 2020
Category: Foot Issues
Tags: Swollen Foot   Swollen Ankle  
Foot and Ankle SwellingThere are many reasons why someone may be dealing with swollen ankles or feet. The most common reason is an injury such as a sprained ankle; however, not all causes are as obvious. If you aren’t dealing with a foot or ankle injury, then you may be wondering what could be causing your swelling. Along with. determining the cause of your swelling it’s also important to recognize warning signs of a potentially serious health problem.

Here are some possible reasons why you may be dealing with foot and ankle swelling,

You’re pregnant

It’s normal for there to be a little bit of swelling in the ankles and feet due to extra fluid and pressure placed on the body from the developing uterus. This is more common for women in their third trimester, especially the weeks leading up to delivery, or during hotter months. However, it’s important to keep an eye on your swelling to make sure it’s not severe or appearing suddenly. If you notice significant swelling of the feet and ankles along with stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or headaches, call your doctor right away, as this could be a sign of high blood pressure (known as preeclampsia).

You have a foot or ankle injury

This is a common reason why people often turn to a podiatrist. Everything from strains to sprained ankles and fractured bones in the foot can lead to sudden swelling after an injury. It’s a good idea to ice the injury to help reduce swelling. If your swelling is accompanied by severe pain or trouble walking on the foot then you should see a podiatrist immediately.

You could have a blood clot

A blood clot in the leg, often known as deep vein thrombosis, can stop blood from flowing through the legs back to the heart. As a result of the blockage, this can lead to swelling in the ankles and the affected leg. Since a blood clot can be particularly dangerous it is important that you seek immediate medical attention if your swelling is accompanied by leg pain, fever, and any color changes in your leg.

You may have heart or kidney disease

It is possible that swelling in your feet or ankles could be warning us of problems with your kidneys, liver, or heart. If you find that your ankles start to swell at night, your body could be retaining both salt and water (a possible sign of heart failure). When kidneys don’t function properly excess fluid can accumulate within the body and lead to swelling. If you notice swelling along with weight gain, loss of appetite, and fatigue then you should talk with your doctor.

These are only some of the reasons why you may be dealing with foot and ankle swelling. Other causes could be,
  • Consuming too much salt
  • Sitting or standing for too long
  • Side effects from certain medications
  • An infection (more common in those with diabetic neuropathy)
  • Weak or damaged veins in the legs
If you are dealing with severe or recurring foot and ankle swelling, it’s important that you see a podiatrist right away to find out what’s going on and to catch potentially dangerous problems as soon as possible.
By Step Alive Foot & Ankle Center
May 20, 2020
Category: Foot Issues
Tags: Morton's Neuroma   Neuroma  
Morton's NeuromaA podiatrist can help you with a variety of conditions that affect the feet, including Morton’s neuroma. A neuroma is the thickening of nerve tissue in the body, with Morton's neuroma specifically happening in the ball of the foot. It’s caused by an irritation in the nerve between the third and fourth toes. Patients experience pain while walking, with a burning, tingling, or numbness. 
 
Developing Morton’s Neuroma
 
There isn’t any known cause for Morton’s neuroma. There are a few factors that can increase your risk though. These include: 
  • Trauma or injury to the foot, damaging the nerve and resulting in swelling.
  • Improper footwear, like shoes that squeeze the foot together. High heels also increase pressure on the vulnerable areas.
  • Recurring stress to the feet through repeated physical activities or exercise. This is common with patients who are constantly on their feet due to their job. 
  • Deformities of the foot, like a high arch or flat foot. These lead to instability throughout the foot. 
The most important thing that your podiatrist recommends is wearing comfortable shoes. You don’t want anything that squeezes or hurts. Always wear athletic shoes when engaging in any physical activity. 
 
How to Treat Morton’s Neuroma at Home
 
Start by finding shoes that give your toes lots of room and are easily adjustable. The soles need to be shock-absorbent and thick. This keeps the pressure off the feet. You should also invest in shoe inserts or soles recommended by your podiatrist. Lastly, pay attention to your feet and their pain levels. When your Morton’s neuroma starts to act up, take a minute to rest. Take off your shoe and massage the area. An ice pack brings down the swelling too. 
 
Talking to Your Podiatrist
 
You should schedule an appointment with your podiatrist as soon as you experience foot problems. Morton’s neuroma gets worse without treatment. Identifying the neuroma early on can prevent needing aggressive treatment options like surgery. 
 
For early forms of Morton’s neuroma, changing your shoes is enough to relieve your symptoms. Your podiatrist’s goal for early treatment is to relieve pressure from the affected area. After going through a physical examination and having X-rays done, your podiatrist creates a treatment plan that works for you. 
 
There are a few different options that can work for you:
  • Taping and padding: This is a special type of tape and bandages that you place on the bottom of the foot. This helps with your symptoms. 
  • Orthotics: These are the custom shoes that your podiatrist can create for you. 
  • Medication: Cortisone injections reduce the pain and inflammation in the foot. Anti-inflammatory drugs also reduce your swelling. 
  • Surgery is the last resort for treatment. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis. The injured nerve is removed and recovery takes a few weeks.
By Step Alive Foot & Ankle Center
April 20, 2020
Category: Foot Issues
Tags: Arch Problems  

The arches of the feet play a role in supporting your body’s weight when standing or in motion. The tarsal and metatarsal bones make up the arches of the feet, also receiving additional support and stability from tendons and ligaments; however, our feet, like the rest of our body, can be affected by infections, disorders, and structural changes that can impact not only the health of our feet but also our mobility. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of arch problems so you know when you to see a podiatrist.

Arch Pain Causes

If you are dealing with arch pain it is most likely caused by an injury or by structural abnormalities in the foot. For example, those with very high arches as well as those with flat feet may experience arch problems due to these common structural issues.

As a result, there are other factors that could also lead to further arch problems including:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Aging
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Cavus foot
  • Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

It’s important to understand a little bit more about these common foot disorders and how they could affect the arches of your feet.

Plantar fasciitis

This condition that causes inflammation and microtears in the plantar fascia is also the most common cause of heel pain. Of course, because the plantar fascia (a ligament that connects the toes to the heel bone) also supports the arches of the feet this can also lead to arch pain. This condition is usually the result of overuse and is seen most often in runners. If you have plantar fasciitis it’s important to avoid physical activities until the fascia has fully healed.

Cavus foot

This condition, which affects the structure of the foot, leads to excessively high arches. People who’ve had a stroke, as well as people with certain conditions such as cerebral palsy may be more likely to develop cavus foot. This problem causes arch pain when standing or walking and can increase the risk for ankle injuries. Your podiatrist may choose to treat cavus foot through custom-made orthotics (shoe inserts), bracing, or by recommending specialized and supportive footwear.

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

The posterior tibial tendon runs from the calf muscles to the inner portion of the foot. This condition leads to changes in the tendon, which in turn affects its ability to support the arches of the foot. Flat feet can be caused by posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, and this is often the cause of flat feet that develop in adulthood. Like the other conditions above, treatment for PTTD usually involves bracing, orthotics, or providing custom devices that provide additional support to the arches of the feet.

If you are experiencing foot pain, swelling or other problems that affect mobility then it’s time that you turned to a podiatrist for care. Conditions and injuries that don’t respond to rest and at-home care may require more advanced treatments and therapies.