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Posts for: November, 2014

Many fashion-forward women are aware of the painful consequences that come with wearing high heels for extended periods of time. What women often forget, however, is that flat shoes—especially those with little to no foot support—can cause just as many foot problems as heels. 41-year-old teaching assistant Michele Crow learned this the hard way after being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis following a vacation in Portugal. Crow had worn a pair of wooden-soled flip-flops that left her with burning, stabbing pains. When the pain did not improve, a consultation with her doctor told Crow she had plantar fasciitis. “He said that wearing flat, unsupportive shoes, such as flip-flops and old trainers, had caused my arches to drop and the ligaments and tendons in the base of my foot to overstretch or tear,” said Crow.

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition. If you are experiencing heel pain, see Dr. Alan Discont, D.P.M. of Family Foot and Ankle Care. Dr. Discont will provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis refers to heel and arch pain caused by an inflammation of the connective tissues on the bottom of the foot.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Ill-fitting shoes
  • Weight change
  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices. 
  • Shockwave therapy – sends sound waves to the areas where pain is experience.  Requires multiple sessions.  This is used for very persistent cases of plantar fasciitis. 
  • Ultrasound-guided technique with steroid injections into the plantar fascia.  This is from a relatively new and small study, but was shown to be effective in most cases treated.

New Studies on Treatment

According to groundbreaking treatment option studies, Luca M. Sconfienza, M.D. says that ultrasound with steroid injections was effective in over 95% of cases that involve plantar fasciitis. This process involves anesthesia and is a single process, out-patient treatment that was discovered to be highly effective. Luca M. Sconfienza M.D. presented her study at an annual meeting for the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Be sure to speak with your podiatrist about different methods that can be used, as well as finding out what treatment options they offer.

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

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In a recent study physicists of the University of Nottingham in England took a closer look at the mechanical forces that act on fingernails and toenails—particularly the outward growth of the nail. Researchers have found that ingrown toenails form because of an imbalance in the forces acting on them from nail growth. Nails that grow too quickly tend to have a nail edge that becomes more curved, which in turn makes it more likely for the far edges of the nail to poke down into the skin beside the nail—creating an ingrown nail. To combat ingrown nails, cut nails into a parabolic or oval shape rather than straight across at the end of the nail. Using this method will cause the forces acting on the nail and nail bed to balance, preventing the growth of ingrown nails.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are left unattended. To learn more, consult with podiatrist Dr. Alan Discont, D.P.M. of Family Foot and Ankle Care. Dr. Discont will provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ingrown Toenails Causes

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

There are a number of risk factors for ingrown toenails. Some include cutting your nails too short, participating in strenuous sports, diabetes, obesity, and fungal infection. Some are genetically predisposed to ingrown nails, although wearing ill-fitting or damp shoes can exacerbate the problem.

Treatment

There are a number of steps you can take to treat ingrown nails:

-Let your toenails grow out

-Soak the toes in hot water with antibiotic soap or Epsom salts

-Placing a piece of cotton under the affected nail may allow the toe to grow up instead of into the nail bed

-Rest with your feet up

If however, your pain is severe, or you see red streaks running up your leg, you should see a podiatrist. Your podiatrist may make a small incision and remove part of the toe nail to relieve the pressure. A local anesthetic may be used to lessen the discomfort of the operation.  Topical medication may also be prescribed to prevent the regrowth of the problem nail.

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

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Anyone who has gone shoe shopping is familiar with how difficult finding the right size can be. While at one store you’re a size 7, at another you may be a size 8. Online shoe shopping takes away the ability to try on shoes and makes purchasing a fitting pair even more difficult. The lack of standardization between shoe sizes is an industry-wide issue, however; brands develop their own personal fit for each size of shoe, making the odds of that fit being shared with another brand very slim. Sizing differences often begin at the factory production level and continue even into the design stage, as each brand relies on certain designs to ensure success. Christina Cheng, senior director of investor relations at DSW, said, “There are very small, idiosyncratic differences that differ not just brand to brand, but shoe to shoe.”

Finding the right shoe size is a necessary part of maintaining foot health. For more information, speak to Dr. Alan Discont, D.P.M. of Family Foot and Ankle Care. Dr. Discont will attend to all your foot and ankle needs.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

Sometimes it may be difficult finding the right shoe size especially because shoe sizes tend to vary depending on the brand and company you are looking for. A size 6 for one brand may be a size 7 in another. Although many people know their exact shoe size, it can range within 2 sizes depending on where they shop.

So it is important not to always go for a size 7 just because you think you might be a size 7 universally. It is best to try on the shoe and walk around for a bit to see how it fits and how it feels. Comfort is essential and the fitting has to be well otherwise it can lead to blisters, bruises at the back of the ankle and it can also hurt your toes if the shoe is too tight for example.

People walk a lot, so it is important for you to find what is comfortable when it is possible.

For more information about Getting the Right Shoe Size, follow the link below.

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

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http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/shared/npr/styles/placed_wide/nprshared/201407/327851772.jpgScientists at Sapienza University conducted a study with some rather delicious results. The university’s scientists discovered that polyphenols found in dark chocolate can increase blood flow. This increased blood flow happens to be quite beneficial for patients suffering from peripheral artery disease (PAD).

 Half of the study’s subjects were provided 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate and the other half given 1.5 ounces of milk chocolate by researchers. Researchers observed the effects as patients walked on treadmills for a set period of time. The results showed that the group that had been given the dark chocolate was able to walk 11% farther and demonstrated improved circulation in their extremities.

Poor circulation in the feet is often very uncomfortable. If you are struggling with poor circulation, contact podiatrist Dr. Alan Discont, D.P.M. of Family Foot and Ankle Care. Dr. Discont can treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. It usually restricts the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development.

It can also cause:

-muscle pain    -numbness in legs

-cramps            -skin discoloration

-weakness        -slower nail & hair growth

-stiffness         -erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes and or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, or who are over 50.

If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always see a doctor as they will help try and fit a regime that suits you. A doctor will also prescribe you medication which will help for PAD.  

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

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