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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 New Tampa Foot & Ankle. 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 Wesley Chapel and South Tampa, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 22 January 2018 00:00

To Wear or Not To Wear High Heels

Wearing high heels may negate the fact that the feet act as shock absorbers. If proper shoes are worn, cushioning in the soles of the shoes generally protects the body from the constant battering incurred while walking and running. However, if the choice to wear high heels is made, the body’s weight shifts onto the balls of the feet, forcing the toes to be crammed into a small area and potentially resulting in all kinds of conditions. There are typically several reasons to avoid wearing high heels, one of which is abnormal movement occurring in the ankles. This can result from the foot being forced to bend forward, possibly restricting circulation in the feet. Additionally, the Achilles tendon is often affected which may cause pain in the calves. If high heels are consistently worn, the ankle and calf tendons may lose flexibility, making it difficult to walk. Good advice is to wear high heels as little as possible.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from New Tampa Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wesley Chapel and South Tampa, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Monday, 15 January 2018 00:00

How to Care for Feet Affected by Diabetes

A common ailment that many diabetics have are foot problems; managing blood glucose levels, however, may help to keep the feet healthy.  When nerve damage occurs in diabetics, it may cause pain and tingling, including possible numbness in the foot.  Serious infections may be the result of this and can possibly lead to gangrene.  It’s important to manage your diabetes; this may involve following a foot care plan.  It’s crucial to check your feet daily, which will enable you to notice problems before they get worse.  Some conditions to look for may be cuts, sores, or ingrown toenails. Washing your feet regularly will help you become aware of these issues.  Trimming the toenails straight across the toe with clippers can help prevent the skin from being cut and can keep the toenails healthy. Consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and to learn of the treatment options available for diabetic feet.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from New Tampa Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wesley Chapel and South Tampa, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care
Sunday, 14 January 2018 00:00

Wounds that Don't Heal Need to be Checked

Your feet are covered a good part of the day. If you are diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often another sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Monday, 08 January 2018 00:00

What Can Cause an Achilles Tendon Injury?

The purpose of the Achilles tendon is to connect the calf muscle to the heel bone. It is the longest tendon in the body, and walking or running would be impossible to accomplish without it. There are several causes for Achilles tendon pain, including inflammation of the tendon, known as tendonitis, or a tear occurring due to sudden movement, often causing severe pain. Surgery may be required to repair the tendon if the patient is unable to walk or stand. Other symptoms may include swelling, stiffness, and reduced strength in addition to experiencing a limited range of motion. There may be several factors which may increase the possibility of an Achilles tendon injury, including a change in the playing surface or an increase in training for athletes. If you think you may have this condition, a podiatrist will be able to help.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of New Tampa Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wesley Chapel and South Tampa, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00

The Benefits of Foot Massages

Foot massages are an effective way to transform painful, tired feet into feet that may feel brand new. It not only helps to increase blood flow, but may also help eliminate cramping or tenderness. The use of oils or lotions made for the feet are wonderful relaxation tools, in addition to helping the skin on the feet to feel soft. Massaging the toes can be done by pulling on each toe or by sliding between the toes. Using a firm circular motion with the thumbs on the foot, then using a lighter touch while moving toward the toes may be an effective way in helping to ease pain or achiness. Certain medical conditions may exist, such as gout or diabetes, and foot massages may not be recommended. Please consult with a podiatrist to see if foot massages will be beneficial to you.

Foot therapy is often necessary for those recovering from either foot deformities or foot injuries. If you have concerns regarding therapy, one of our podiatrists of New Tampa Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Most Common Injuries

People who are active or athletes are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is often important to take part in physical therapy in order to quickly get back on the right track. 

What To Do When Injured

Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.

During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. Physical therapy often involves:

Basic stretching and twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.

Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate the muscles and relax them.

Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wesley Chapel and South Tampa, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Therapy for Sports Injuries
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