My Blog

Posts for: June, 2014

Kevin YoukilisAfter the expiration of his contract with the New York Yankees last season, Kevin Youkilis signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. The baseball player has found himself back in the U.S., however, due to a regimen of shockwave therapy as treatment for his plantar fasciitis.

Youkilis chose moving to Japan over staying with American Major League Baseball for the new experience it would bring to his family. The athlete was batting .215 with one home run and 11 RBI in 21 games in Japan and hopes to return to finish the season once his shockwave therapy is completed.

Shockwave therapy is often required for those suffering from certain foot conditions. For more information, see Dr. Alan Discont, D.P.M. of Family Foot and Ankle Care. Dr. Discont will answer any of your podiatric questions.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is a new treatment option designed to treat bone conditions such as tennis elbow, shoulder pain, and others. This technique is used on patients that do not respond well to physiotherapy. Shockwave therapy uses high intensity sound waves that are directed to the affected tissues of the body with pinpoint accuracy. The effects are very beneficial, leading to a production of collagen fibers, eliminating inflammation.

Who Benefits from Shockwave?

Shockwave is recommended for patients suffering from heel pain and associated problems. Heel pain is a common condition which can be caused by obesity, overexertion, and spending a substantial amount of time on hard floors with your feet exposed and unsupported.

Fast and Easy

The therapy is actually a simple process that can leave patients feeling better the very next day. Shockwave therapy is not as dramatic as it sounds. It enables more blood flow to effected areas, attacking the source of the problem so treatment lasts for a long time.

Treatment & Recovery Time

Shockwave treatment will enable your feet to recover quickly. This is especially important since surgery is not required. It is cost effective and does not require the use of anesthesia. This treatment is a better option to surgery, since it is proven safe.

For more information regarding shockwave therapy, follow the link below.

If you have any questions, please contact our office in Chandler, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Shockwave Therapy


By Alan J. Discont, DPM, FACFAS
June 18, 2014
Category: Foot Care

Back To School FootwearBackpacks, paper, pencils and clothes are just a few of the things your youngster may need before the start of a new school year. When shopping for your child during back-to-school season and throughout the year, don’t forget to add proper fitting shoes to your shopping list.  

Your child’s feet are rapidly changing and growing. In fact, feet grow so fast when kids are young that parents are often surprised at how often they need to change shoes sizes to accommodate the growth.  

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, parents should consider a few things when selecting shoes for their little one. Remember these tips the next time you buy a new pair of shoes for your child:

  • Proper size. Poor-fitting footwear can lead to irritation and other problems, so always measure your child’s feet before buying a new pair of shoes.  Because feet are seldom the same size, always buy shoes for your child’s larger foot.
     
  • Avoid sharing shoes.  Hand-me-down shoes can spread fungi such as nail fungus and athlete’s foot.
     
  • Index finger. As a general rule, leave an index finger's width from the top of the big toe to the end of the shoe.
     
  • Breathing room. Buy shoes made of natural, breathable fabrics that are soft and pliable like your child’s feet.
     
  • Test them out. Always bring your child with you to the store to try on shoes before purchasing a new pair. When testing out shoes, the child should wear the socks that they would normally wear to ensure proper fit.  Have your child walk around the store for comfort and fit.
     
  • Examine the shoe itself.Your child’s shoe should have a firm heel counter, adequate cushioning of the insole, good flexibility and a built-in arch.

Feet are an important, but often overlooked, part of the body.  Since kids’ feet are soft and pliable, they are subject to abnormal pressures at a young age that can easily cause foot problems and deformity.  By promoting healthy footwear choices and consulting your Chandler podiatrist whenever you suspect your child has a foot problem, you can ensure healthy development of feet.


By Alan J. Discont, DPM, FACFAS
June 18, 2014
Category: Foot Care

Children's FeetLike adults, children and adolescents can experience a variety of foot and ankle problems. Many foot problems, such as flat foot are congenital, while other problems including heel pain or ingrown toenails are usually the result of an injury.  

Because of a child’s rapidly growing bones and tendons, however, many confusing symptoms associated with their foot and ankle problems go unnoticed. For this reason, it is important that parents pay attention to subtle symptoms. A thorough examination of your child's feet by a Chandler podiatrist periodically may detect an underlying defect or condition and help minimize problems later in life.

Common Foot Problems

Children can experience a variety of foot problems, many of which go away as the child’s feet become more developed, such as pigeon toes, flat feet and knock knees.  In most cases these congenital foot and leg problems do not require any medical intervention. Other common issues that may warrant a visit to the podiatrist include:

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are common in children, especially during warm months when kids are more likely to walk barefoot.  Forming on the bottom of the feet, these warts are caused by a virus that enters the skin, most often in public areas such as pools or locker rooms.  The condition can be very uncomfortable — like walking on a small pebble or stone—but also highly preventable and treatable.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are very common foot injuries for active kids, especially those who participate in sports. Sprains occur when the ligaments supporting the ankle are stretched or torn.  Mild ankle sprains heal with little treatment, while severe tearing may require more extensive care including extended immobilization followed by physical therapy. As a general rule, rest, ice, compress and elevate the child’s ankle immediately following the injury.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when one or both sides of the nail begin to break through and grow into the soft skin of the toe. This can lead to painful irritation and infection. Common causes of ingrown toenails include poor fitting footwear, toe injuries or poor nail trimming.  Caught early, a child’s ingrown can be treated at home, but if pain persists or the condition worsens, treatment by a podiatrist is necessary to eliminate the infection.

Choose Proper Footwear

Many pre-existing foot conditions can be relieved and new problems prevented by simply ensuring your child is wearing proper shoes. Shoes that are too tight can cause blisters, calluses and corns on the toes and heels. Ingrown toenails can also develop and become infected. A child’s feet are constantly growing and developing, so it may be necessary to change shoe size every few months. Additionally, with time shoes have a tendency to lose proper cushioning and arch support. Footwear that shows a lack of shock absorption or wear and tear should also be replaced to reduce the risk for injuries.  

If you notice your child limping, constantly rubbing their feet, tripping frequently or consistently complaining of foot pain, then have them examined by your Chandler podiatrist or physician. Many problems can be easily identified and treated, and early intervention is the key.


By Alan J. Discont, DPM, FACFAS
June 18, 2014
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Care   Foot Health  

Healthy FeetThe feet are perhaps one of the most overlooked parts of the body. But did you know that they are also some of your most important?

Don’t wait until something is wrong to give your feet extra attention. Keeping your feet feeling healthy and looking beautiful is easy. Here’s how:

  • Inspect your feet regularly, being mindful of any changes in appearance, color and texture.
  • Maintain good foot hygiene by washing and drying feet regularly.
  • Choose proper shoes, and always wear the correct size.
  • Keep feet dry to prevent bacterial infections by wearing moisture-wicking socks.
  • Alternate shoes each day.
  • Trim toenails straight across and gently file away sharp corners to prevent an ingrown. 
  • Avoid walking barefoot to prevent injury.
  • When wearing sandals, remember to apply sunblock.
  • If your feet hurt, don’t ignore the pain! Consult a Chandler podiatrist if symptoms worsen or do not resolve.

Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you should pay extra attention to your feet as you are at a higher risk for developing foot problems due to nerve damage and poor circulation.  Mild foot problems, such as ulcers, corns, cracked heels and ingrown toenails can turn into serious complications without proper care.  Since even the smallest cut can have serious consequences, it is important that people with diabetes inspect their feet every day and visit their Chandler podiatrist for routine exams.

When to Consult Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC

If you are experiencing foot pain, don’t ignore it! Consult your podiatrist. Pain, redness, swelling or discoloration are not normal symptoms and should be examined by a trained foot specialist.  



A study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology suggests that cherries can reduce flare-ups of gout. Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis caused by an overproduction and crystallization of uric acid, which produces episodes of severe pain and swelling in joints.  Anti-inflammatory drugs are generally proscribed to gout sufferers, but perhaps cherries and cherry extracts will one day provide a natural replacement or enhancement for current prescriptions.

The study monitored 633 patients throughout the course of a year,   tracking participants’ gout attacks and medications.  Researchers also created two-day control periods where subjects ingested either cherries or cherry extract.  They concluded that both cherries and their extracts yield a 35% reduced risk of having a gout attack within the next two days.

Gout attacks can be an exceedingly uncomfortable, and should not be left untreated. If you are struggling with pain caused by gout or any other form of arthritis in the foot or ankle, see Dr. Alan Discont, DPM of Family Foot and Ankle Care. Dr. Discontwill provide the podiatric support that you need.  

What is gout?

Diseases of the feet can affect the whole body, and symptoms usually arise within the feet. A condition like gout can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  The pain caused by this disease is often so agonizing that it requires elevation of the feet and some time off for them to fully recover.

Known in the past as “the disease of kings,” Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Some common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. This buildup of acid is typically seen on the big toe of the foot and can cause inflammation, redness and swelling. Although these are common symptoms of the diseases others include joint pain, extreme fatigue and a high fever. 

Gout can be treated by NSAIDs, which relieves pain and inflammation and other drugs which lowers the acid levels in the body.

For more information about gout, please follow the link below.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office in Chandler, AZ.  We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Gout