When you are injured and have a hard time staying mobile, certain types of support devices can be used to help move you along. Support device use dates back to 2830 BC. A common type of support device that is used in the podiatric world is crutches. Crutches are a T shaped, lightweight aluminum brace that helps you walk or take weight off of an injured ankle, foot, or leg. They absorb shock and are slip resistant and act like a second foot when yours is not doing so great.
For lower-limb injuries such as a broken leg, broken ankle, sprained ankle, knee injuries, and other injuries, as well as after surgery on the leg, knee, ankle, or foot, crutches remain useful today to decrease discomfort, reduce recovery time, and assist walking. Often when you get a cast put on your leg or foot, you will be required to use crutches for a period of time. Crutches may also be used by amputees, and people with other disabilities that make walking difficult.
How Do Crutches Work?
A crutch is responsible for doing two things: reducing the weight load on one of your legs and broadening your support base to improve your balance and stability. A crutch allows people with paralysis or other disabilities the benefits of upright posture and lets them maneuver in places they cannot go with a wheelchair.
A crutch is necessary when a person cannot walk or walks with extreme difficulty. Any person with leg or foot pain or injury, weak muscles, or an unstable gait may benefit from using a crutch or crutches. A podiatrist will let you know if crutches are necessarily based on your injury and its severity.
Crutches shift the force of upright movement from your legs to your upper body. You must have sufficient arm strength, balance, and coordination to use them effectively. If they are not used the right way, they can injure you.
Breaking a foot or ankle, or undergoing a surgery can be scary, especially if it affects your mobility. Luckily, crutches are available to assist you when you need to get around. If you need a set of crutches or instructions on how to properly use them, call our office. Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. Don’t let a broken foot keep you from moving around.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, find out why your foot health is something you shouldn’t mess with.
When you find out you have diabetes it might feel like everything has suddenly changed. Now there is so much more to think about when it comes to your health. You’ll be given lifestyle changes to adhere to. You may need to exercise more. You may need to change your diet; lose weight. Of course, it’s also important that you consider your foot health in all of this.
“Why?” you may ask. Well, seemingly innocuous foot problems for healthy individuals may not cause issues but it actually could cause serious complications for those with diabetes. Those with diabetes are prone to nerve damage, neuropathy and circulation problems, which can cause a loss of feeling in the feet. Plus, even the smallest of injuries can turn into something more serious if left untreated.
So, what should you do to keep your diabetic feet healthy? Fortunately, there is a simple list of things that you can do every day to ensure that your feet don’t experience problems:
- Examine your feet thoroughly everyday. This not only means the tops and sides but also the soles and in between your toes. If you are unable to do this yourself, turn to a friend or family member who can do it for you. Inspecting your feet daily will ensure that you catch a problem as quickly as possible.
- Call a podiatrist if you notice any cuts, wounds, sores, redness, ingrown toenails or other problems. It may seem a bit odd to call your foot doctor about such seemingly insignificant foot problems but it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry. They can tell you whether it warrants a trip to the office.
- Make sure to wash your feet everyday. Seems like a simple enough task, right? Just make sure you are actually spending time washing every area of your feet with soap and warm water. Dry your feet off completely once you get out of the shower.
- It’s important to keep feet from drying out and you can easily help keep feet feeling smooth by applying a moisturizer every day. You should do this once you get out of the shower and dry off your feet to help lock in the moisture.
- Wear socks and shoes everywhere, even if it’s indoors. Going barefoot could leave you prone to potential injury. This is particularly important if you have nerve damage or have lost sensation in your feet, as you may not know that you’ve stepped on something.
If you have diabetes it’s important that you have a podiatrist you can always turn to for the care you need whenever you need it most. Problems can arise suddenly and it’s important that you have a foot specialist you can trust in.
In a physically challenging sport such as aerobics, injuries are common, and often involve the foot, ankle, and lower leg. Podiatrists say that most injuries from aerobics result from improper shoes, surfaces, or routines, and overuse of muscles through too vigorous a regimen. This can be detrimental to the foot, ankle, and legs as they need a lot of protection when they are constantly in use. If the feet and ankles are not protected, they can suffer from disorders such as bunions, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, shin splints and more.
If you are attending an aerobics class, make sure it is led by a certified instructor. Hardwood floors, especially with padded mats, are the best surfaces possible for the feet and body during the high impact of the activity. If you can, start with a multi-impact class where you can start at a low-impact level and work your way up as your conditioning improves. This will allow your feet and ankles to get used to the vigorous activity and build up a tolerance. Be sure to give the feet and ankles breaks in between classes so that they can rest and heal.
Exercising at home with a video can be cost-efficient, but it is still important to be very careful. Read the label to determine whether the video is produced by certified aerobics instructors and whether you can handle the degree of impact. While it's safe to do low-to-moderate impact aerobics on the living room carpet, that's not a proper surface for high-impact routines. At-home aerobics can cause an array of foot and ankle problems if you have not done it before.
Any time you partake in aerobics, be sure to include a proper warm-up period. Make sure there are no rapid, violent movements. Knees should always be loose during warm-up. A static stretch held for 10 seconds can help avoid overstretching injuries as well.
Drink adequate water to avoid dehydration during workouts. Dehydration can cause nausea, dizziness, muscle fatigue, and cramping. For exercise lasting longer than 45 minutes, a sports nutrition drink may be superior to water.
Don't underestimate the importance of the cool-off period. It burns off lactic acid (which makes muscles feel tired) and adrenaline while keeping blood from pooling in the extremities.
Be sure to start slow. Unless you have been doing aerobics all of your life, it is not likely that you will be able to keep the pace of a professional who does it every day, multiple times a day. Be sure to invest in the proper equipment and footwear prior to the start of your regimen to prevent injury. If you do injure yourself while partaking in the activity, see a podiatrist right away. Immediate treatment of foot and ankle problems can prevent severe problems down the road. Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. Don’t let the fear of an aerobic injury prevent you from enjoying it.
As we grow, we often hear the saying “Until I’m blue in the face” and know that it is associated with something happening for a long, seemingly endless time. This is a common phrase and is generally accepted among most people of us. But when it comes to our feet, being blue in the feet is not something you think of as a normal occurrence. In fact, most people often link blue feet to frostbite and coldness, but podiatrists know that it can also be due to a disorder called Acrocyanosis.
Acrocyanosis is persistent blue discoloration of the extremities, most commonly occurring in the hands, although it also occurs in the feet and some parts of the face. Unfortunately, the reason behind the disorder is still unknown. The primary form of acrocyanosis is that of a benign cosmetic condition, sometimes caused by a gentle neurohormonal disorder.
Acrocyanosis may be a sign of a more serious medical problem, such as
- Connective tissue disorders
- Certain blood clotting syndromes
- Abnormal blood proteins
- Tumors in the respiratory tract
Signs and Symptoms
Acrocyanosis is characterized by skin discoloration, especially of the extremities. The extremities often are cold and clammy and may exhibit some swelling This tends to be even more predominant in warm weather. The palms and soles begin to sweat moderately to profusely. Exposure to cold temperatures worsens the discoloration of the skin. Aside from the color changes, there are not typically any other symptoms and therefore there is usually no associated pain. The most common sign, discoloration, usually is what prompts patients to seek medical care.
There is no standard medical or surgical treatment for acrocyanosis, and treatment, other than avoidance of cold, is usually unnecessary. If the discoloration is due to an underlying medical condition, it is recommended that the underlying medical condition be treated to help relieve the discoloration of the skin.
While there is no cure for acrocyanosis, patients otherwise have an excellent prognosis. Unless acrocyanosis results from another condition, there is no associated increased risk of disease or death, and there are no known complications.
Are your feet blue without cause? Tried warmer clothes, vascular exercises, and other tricks to get them back to their healthy glow? Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. Your feet may be blue, but we are here for you.
After hitting the gym and showering off in the locker room, you developed itchy, burning, flaky feet. At first, you thought they were just dry because of the winter weather. You tried lotions, Vaseline, and warm water soaks, but they still wouldn’t clear up. You made an appointment to see your podiatrist and learned that you are actually suffering from tineas pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot. Luckily for you, there are a wide variety of treatment options for the fungal disorder.
Over the Counter Options
Athlete’s foot sometimes responds well to over the counter medicines due to the nature of the fungus. One frequently prescribed over the counter medication is called Lamisil-AT. It is an effective fungal cream that typically begins to work after only a week of treatment. Other creams that also work are Desenex, Lotrimin, Monistat-Derm, and Tinactin. The later four usually require four full weeks of treatment before seeing results but also may be effective at curing the condition.
Is the condition persistent, or all over the sole and top of the foot? Then it requires a special antifungal treatment that a podiatrist can prescribe. Usually, a lotion or spray will not work due to the severity of the fungus. If this occurs or your infection lasts more than two weeks with over the counter treatment, it is important to see a podiatrist right away.
Treating Athlete’s Foot
A foot doctor can diagnose tineas pedis by simply examining the affected foot or feet. In some cases, the podiatrist must take a small scraping of the skin and examine it under a microscope to further evaluate the type of fungus that is causing your symptoms. Other times it is sent to a laboratory for testing. The method varies depending on symptoms and severity.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the podiatrist will recommend a series of treatment options depending on the length and severity of a patient’s case.
Are your feet itchy, burning, and red after being exposed to a public area that is known for moisture and warmth? Have the itchy and scaly symptoms traveled to your hands as well? This sounds like a case of tineas pedis, and should be treated by a podiatrist promptly. Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. There they can examine your feet and help determine whether you are suffering from athlete’s foot. If you are, they can help you develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
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