Posts for: September, 2018
Are persistent infections getting you down? At Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC, we want to share a few tips and tricks to help you get your infection treated and to help prevent infections from developing or recurring in the future. Our doctors Dr. Alan J. Discont, Dr. Gregory M. Krahn, and Dr. Boyd Andrews are here to help.
If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail or a foot ulcer, you’re likely familiar with the risk of infection and how troublesome an infection can be once it has developed. When you have an infection on your feet or ankles, it will take on a distinct appearance:
- Swelling - the affected area will appear swollen and larger than usual.
- Redness - swelling is often accompanied by redness, signaling irritation.
- Painful - if the affected area is experiencing redness, it is likely to be tender to touch as well.
- Warm - areas that are painful, swollen, and red are often also warm to the touch.
- Pus - a definite sign of infection is the combination of all the above symptoms accompanied by pus and discharge, which may be yellow or red in color.
When it comes to treatment options, there is limited room for a DIY do-it-yourself approach. Infections can get ugly quickly! While it might be easy to treat it when it’s caught early on, infections spread quickly and dealing with the discomfort for longer than you need to is unpleasant. Here are your options:
- DIY - the do-it-yourself option is to soak the affected area in warm water. For added benefit, try using Epsom salts in the water as well. Soaking for 10-15 minutes at a time can help draw out the infection - but make sure you sanitize your tub after each use!
- Medication - depending on the type, location, and severity of the infection, your podiatrist might prescribe antibiotics to address your foot problem.
- Relax - whether you do-it-yourself or decide to soak before seeing your podiatrist, try to relax! Staying off of the affected area is not only more comfortable but will help avoid future irritation.
If you’re searching for a podiatry practice focused around family care, you’ve found your foot doctor! Give us a call today at 408-732-0033 to schedule an appointment at our location in Chandler, Arizona.
Are you sitting down? We have some news for you. Ok, get ready...the way that you lace up your shoes can impact your experience wearing those shoes. Crazy, right? When you get behind the reason why, it actually doesn’t seem so crazy at all! All pairs of shoes are made from one standard shape of a human foot that changes slightly when you increase or decrease the size of the shoe. What about those of us whose feet tend to stray from the average shape of feet? What if our feet are a little more narrow or wide, our arches are higher up, our feet have gone flat, or we have bunions that change the shape of our foot? Ironically, finding a ‘normal’ adult foot these days is pretty difficult.
Everyone has at least one little abnormality that can impact their relationship with shoes! For those of us with slight differences in our feet, especially wide or narrow feet, changing the way we lace up our shoes can have a great impact on the relationship between our shoes and our feet. Do you have wider feet? Did you know that you can change the way you lace your shoes to make them more comfortable for your wider width? Most shoes have two sets of eyelet holes to adjust the shoelaces. When you use the outermost holes to lace your shoelaces, this allows some extra room in the toe box of the shoe, allowing it to accommodate a wider foot.
Similarly to this, you can use the inner eyelets to do the exact opposite - tighten up the toe box of your shoes to accommodate narrower feet. Depending on your needs, you may want to experiment with a combination of using outer and inner eyelets to find what works for you.
Custom orthotics are removable shoe inserts that provide greater arch support and stability to the feet and ankles. There are different types of orthotics available depending on the issue and level of support that is needed. Basic orthotics are sold over the counter, but a custom pair designed specifically for your foot will provide optimal support and comfort.
When are Custom Orthotics Necessary?
Podiatrists typically recommend custom orthotics for people with flat feet, or very high arches. One of the most common signs that you may benefit from a pair of orthotics is heel pain (although you may also experience pain and swelling in other parts of the foot). You may also experience pain and swelling after normal and relatively low impact activities like standing or walking.
A good way to figure out if you are having pronation issues is to examine the soles of your shoes and sneakers. If the soles and insoles tend to become visibly more worn on one side, it may be a sign that your alignment is off and you are over or under pronating. A podiatrist may ask you to walk in your bare feet to observe your stride and gait (known as a gait analysis). If you experience persistent pain, swelling, or stiffness, especially after exercise or after long periods of rest, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.
Types of Custom Orthotics
There are a few different types of custom orthotics designs available depending on your needs.
Functional (also known as rigid) orthotics are made of harder materials and are usually prescribed for pronation problems or joint issues like arthritis.
Accommodative orthotics are designed to provide more cushioning and support and are typically prescribed for problems like plantar fasciitis and bunions.
In addition to improving your gait and foot and ankle alignment, custom orthotics can help to prevent related strains and injuries and relieve back, joint, and knee pain if it is caused by issues with your arches and pronation.
As we age, what should we start to look out for when it comes to our foot and ankle health? We know that it can be hard sometimes to consider these impending realities, but we believe that aging can be a beautiful thing. Think about it - if you’re experiencing something for the first time, wouldn’t you rather be prepared ahead of time to know what you’re getting yourself into before it happens? It can be scary to go head or toe first into a new experience without any prior knowledge of what to expect. The same goes for aging, no matter what age you are or what age you are about to become. Here’s a helpful read on what to look out for:
As we age, one of the first things you might begin to notice is the reduction of your own flexibility. While a few years ago you could reach that spot on your back by twisting your arm around, you may not be able to do that same maneuver today or tomorrow. There are many factors that go into when or how quickly these difficulties can start, such as your diet, activity level, your weight, and other health conditions you may develop or experience.
However, one thing is for sure! It’s never too late to start getting yourself on a better path of wellness for the benefit of your feet and ankles. As for reduced flexibility, you can imagine how staying as active as you can may help alleviate this common difficulty of growing older. The more active you are, the more often your feet and ankles are used and keep moving! Therefore, the less quickly your onset of inflexibility and symptoms from conditions like arthritis will impact your daily life. You owe it to yourself to commit to a positive change.
At your next appointment with Dr. Alan J. Discont, ask about custom exercises and ways to start slowly and safely. Aging doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Call Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC today at (408) 732-0033 to schedule your next appointment at our great location in Chandler, Arizona.
It’s nearing the end of the summer, and if you haven’t gotten a pedicure yet, you may start to feel like you’re due for one soon! The time we take to pamper ourselves is always time well spent. One thing is for certain - where you go for your pedicure can majorly impact your experience. This is especially true when you decide to include your child in the pedicure pampering! All of us at Family Foot & Ankle Care, P.C. challenge you to think ahead!
When you and your child go to get a pedicure, you’re putting your feet into warmer temperature waters that other peoples’ feet have been in as well. Soaking in warm temperatures will relax and open up your pores which, if there are any cuts or sores, will allow infection-causing bacteria to enter more easily. These bacteria can cause them to develop conditions like athlete’s foot and yeast infections, and can trigger or make diabetic foot ulcers worse for adults and kids with diabetes.
Bacteria can also impact your toes which can be affected by athlete’s foot and other toenail fungi. Your toes are also prone to ingrown toenails and the infections that can easily accompany them when your toenails are cleaned and clipped too aggressively. We know what you’re thinking - maybe getting a pedicure isn’t such a great idea...but it’s not all bad! The key to a great pedicure is knowing what to look for: when looking into where you and your child will get their first pedicure, be sure to look at the reviews!
Call ahead and ask if they’re kid-friendly. Visit and check out the facility before committing to it. It’s always a good sign to see cleaning supplies not only present but actively being used! A pedicurist gets major bonus points for having disposable tools and covers for the soaking tub used in pedicure chairs. This says a lot about how a business values the safety and health of its clients.
With all of the good and the bad laid out, we hope this will enable you to confidently pursue your next pedicure adventure and safely introduce pedicures to your child. If any complications arise, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Alan J. Discont. Just call (408) 732-0033 to schedule your next appointment at our convenient location in Chandler, Arizona!