Posts for: February, 2017
Edema is the correct term for swelling of the feet and ankles and is usually a cause of fluid buildup in the ankle tissues. This type of swelling is known more commonly in elder people and can be related to heart, renal and liver failure. Pain is our body’s way of telling us we are in trouble so we need to rely on other noticeable signs for good health.
Although we see edema more commonly in our elders, we also see it in pregnant woman and people who are inactive, overweight and/or obese. The American Heart Association says that persistent swollen ankles are most commonly related to heart complications which can also be a silent problem in some cases.
Let’s change gears and talk about diet for a moment. We already know that food is fuel but if we are putting in the wrong type of fuel into our body then we are damaging rather than helping.
Here are a few items that you may want to reduce or eliminate from your diet:
- Sodium ~ promotes swelling. If the edema is not severe we can attribute some of the swelling to sodium/salt
- Caffeine ~ can trick the body into thinking that it may be dehydrated. In turn the body may retain water
- Alcohol ~ this can interfere with kidney and liver function. Chronic alcohol intake can result in many diseases plus induce ankle swelling
Exercise and massage, on the other hand, can reduce swelling in ankles because it improves blood flow and restarts the lymphatic system (which rids the body of toxins). Massaging helps to drain the fluid from the swollen area and can be done regularly at home.
The best way to determine if you have edema is if your feet or ankles are swollen and you do not have any pain in those swollen areas. If this is the case contact us at 480-732-0033 to get treatment.
Find out how to prevent and treat running injuries.
If athletes could have it their way, they would enjoy every mile of their run without experiencing any pain, discomfort or soreness. While this sounds ideal, it’s sadly not the reality we live in. With uneven and sometimes rough and rocky terrain, runners face a variety of conditions that are tough on their feet and ankles and can cause serious issues. Here are some of the most common running injuries we see and what you can do about them.
This condition often occurs because of repeated stress or overuse and affects the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the back of the heel. When a runner develops Achilles tendinitis, this means the tendon is irritated and often stiff.
- Risk Factors: This condition is usually the result of a sudden increase in training, which can put unnecessary pressure on your calves. While it’s great to push yourself during your workout, you must create realistic goals to prevent injuries.
- Care: You will want to rest whenever you can and elevate your foot. Apply ice for 10 to 20 minutes a day, several times a day. Also, perform strengthening and stretching exercises like heel drops, and opt for low-impact cardio instead.
- Workout Impact: If you notice pain during or after your run you need to halt all activities until your injury is better. This is certainly not a condition that you want to continue to work out with. If you stop your workouts while the condition is still minor, you will have a faster healing time than someone who continues to work out through the pain.
Repeated stress and overtraining are the two main causes of these fractures, which can be caused by increasing your workout intensity or duration too fast. They are one of the most serious conditions that runners face.
- Risk Factors: However, those who’ve been running longer are less at risk for stress fractures than those who just started. Women are also more prone to stress fractures than men, often due to a lack of sufficient calorie intake or other nutritional deficits.
- Care: Stay off your foot until you can walk without pain. Once this happens, you can slowly incorporate jogging into your routine. You can use OTC pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and swelling. Talk to your podiatrist about whether you may need crutches.
- Workout Impact: Do not workout while you have a stress fracture. You should take anywhere from eight to 16 weeks away from your workouts. This, of course, will depend on the severity of your fracture. Again, opt for swimming or other low-impact sports in the meantime.
If you ever experience severe or chronic pain in your feet or ankles it’s important to contact your podiatrist right away. While at-home care can certainly alleviate your symptoms, if your symptoms affect your daytoday activities, then it’s time to seek medical attention.
At Family Foot & Ankle Care in Arizona we understand the sport of skiing and want to keep our patients safe on the slopes. Now is a good time to call us at our Chandler office and make sure your feet and ankles are ready to lock into those boots and bindings.
Five tips to avoid common ski injuries:
- Make sure your boots fit correctly ~ do not borrow boots ~ rent or buy ones that keep your feet and ankles in place
- If you typically wear any type of custom orthotics or shoes you should bring them with you when being fitted for your boots
- Having the right ski sock is also important ~ they come thin or thick and should be considered when trying on boots to rent or purchase
- Most obvious, if you experience pain before skiing you should reconsider hitting the slopes
- Lastly it is wise to stretch or exercise your feet and ankles before you hit the snow ~ cold weather tightens muscles even more than normal
Common ski injuries that may occur from not taking precaution:
- Ankle or foot sprains
- Ankle or foot fractures/breaks
- Frost bite on toes
- Numbness in ankles, feet or toes
If you have suffered a foot or ankle injury or would like to schedule a routine visit for the winter season call us at Family Foot & Ankle Care PC in Chandler at 480-732-0033 or request an appointment. Don’t go toe to toe with the snow without seeing Dr. Discont or Dr. Krahn first, it beats going to see him after!
Your feet need to carry you through the day and if they are not cooperating, you may want to ask yourself these 5 simple questions to see if there is something more to your foot discomfort or pain.
- Do you feel like your feet have pins and needles poking into them?
- Are your feet cold while the rest of your body seems to be at the right temperature?
- Have your feet become pale or changed in color to a light red or blue?
- Do you have sores on your feet that are not healing quickly?
- Have you noticed a slow growth pattern in your toe nails or toe hair?
Life does not always allow the time or convenience to maintain an ideal lifestyle. Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC can provide you with the treatment you need if you can identify with one or more of the following:
- Unhealthy lifestyle decisions
- Not exercising enough or at all
- Being overweight or obese
- Poor food and meal choices
However, there are some helpful steps you can take to prevent poor foot circulation that does not require a huge change in your daily lifestyle:
- Good foot hygiene and taking care of your corns and calluses right away
- Inspect your feet for change in color or sores that have not healed
- Wear proper shoes that do not create pressure on parts of your feet
- See your doctor to treat wounds or infections before they become worse
If numbness or tingling in your feet occurs you may be at risk for more serious diseases. Some of these habits associated with the symptoms can cause an uneasy blood flow to your organs or muscles and create permanent nerve damage. This could lead to problems such as diabetes, kidney damage or strokes. If this is something you are questioning it is time to call Dr. Discont or Dr. Krahn at 480-732-0033 and schedule an appointment located in Chandler.
Venous ulcers can be painful and difficult to treat. Knowing how they form is essential to treating them before they advance.
Venous ulcers, also called vascular, stasis or varicose ulcers, form when the veins in the lower extremities do not allow for sufficient blood flow back to the heart. They typically appear as dark purple or red blotches under the skin on the inside of the leg between the ankle and the calf. Over time, they can ulcerate, creating an open wound that is painful, inflamed and itchy. These ulcers are typically slow to heal and can harbor infection as a result.
Recognizing the signs
If you notice a dark bruiselike area forming on one or both of your lower legs, contact your doctor immediately. Treating these pools of stagnant blood before they turn into ulcers is extremely important.
The first step in treating venous ulcers is to promote blood circulation. Alternate lying down with your feet propped up to the level of your heart with daily walking. Physical activity helps the blood to move through your body more efficiently. Even after an ulcer has healed, wearing compression stockings at all times (except for bathing and sleep) will also help to encourage the blood to continue to circulate properly.
Recurring ulcers may require skin grafts or surgery.
Although venous ulcers can be caused by other problems, they are often caused by lifestyle issues such as smoking, obesity and inactivity. Maintaining a healthful diet and a regimen of regular exercise can help prevent a multitude of problems, including the formation of venous ulcers.
It is important to remember that if an ulcer has formed, early treatment is usually more successful than waiting until the ulcer has become larger or infected. If you think you may be at risk for venous ulcers or other circulatory problems, talk with your doctor.