Why You Should Care About Falls Prevention for Seniors

Although some people might not know about the severity of falls among senior citizens, this is a serious issue that affects a large portion of elderly Americans. A staggering number of elderly citizens are hospitalized annually because of an injury from falling —approximately 3 million. With this in mind, the concern of falling has become a public health issue among this older population. It is critical to note that preventing falls is a chief way in which a senior can protect their health, and one way they might go about doing this is by strengthening their feet. When a seniors’ feet are weak, they can become more susceptible to suffering from a fall of some sort. By strengthening the muscles in the feet, a senior can help guard against falls that could be potentially damaging and even deadly. If you are a senior citizen, it is a good idea to contact a podiatrist today for more information.


 

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Methods to Relieve Ankle Pain

The ankle controls foot movement, and this may be compromised with existing ankle pain. It can happen from excessive exercising, or from wearing shoes that are too tight. Enduring a foot injury may lead to ankle pain, and additional symptoms can include immediate bruising and swelling. It is often difficult to walk with ankle pain, and many people seek medical attention to rule out a fracture. This is done by having an X-ray performed, where the cause of the pain can be determined. Ankle pain in diabetic patients can be indicative of serious issues, and steps need to be taken that can help the patient stay ahead of potential problems. People who have ankle pain may find mild relief when the affected foot is frequently elevated, and this may help to reduce existing swelling. Additionally, treatment can begin when the ankle is wrapped in a compression bandage which can provide stability as the ankle heals. For any type of ankle pain, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can offer you treatment methods that are right for you.

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Understanding Ingrown Toenails

Most people misunderstand the seriousness of an ingrown toenail unless they experience one. Ingrown toenails frequently affect the big toe and result from the nail growing into the skin, instead of over it. Pain and discomfort are often the beginning signs that an ingrown toenail has developed. When left untreated, it may become infected, bleed, and there may be discharge or pus. An ingrown toenail can be caused by trimming the toenails incorrectly, wearing shoes that are too tight, and genetic reasons. Occasionally, the toe will feel better when soaked in warm water and a cotton swab can be used to gently push the skin away from the nail. This is a temporary fix for mild relief. A permanent solution can be found at a podiatrist's office. People who have recurring ingrown toenails often seek the expertise of this type of doctor, who can effectively treat it. An infected ingrown toenail may qualify for surgery, and it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist to determine the best course of treatment for you. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

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

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Why Does Pregnancy Cause Foot Pain?

One of the things many pregnant women complain about is foot pain. Foot pain often worsens as the pregnancy progresses, but this is quite common and normal. Swollen ankles are prevalent during pregnancy due to the extra fluid the body carries to support the baby. The blood becomes thicker, and the growing fetus will cause the glands to produce more hormones. The feet endure extra pressure as the mother’s weight increases, so it is suggested to elevate the legs as frequently as possible. This may help provide mild relief from foot pain. The arch may flatten as the feet endure the additional weight, which may put pressure on the plantar fascia. This is the band of tissue that connects the toes to the heels and when it becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis could result. If you have foot pain and would like to learn more about various relief methods, please consult a podiatrist who can help you during your pregnancy.


 

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Where Are the Sesamoid Bones?

Sesamoiditis is an inflammation of the sesamoid bones. They are located in the ball of the foot and the pain is often found under the joint of the big toe. Their function is to push off while walking or running and can become inflamed if an injury occurs. Treatment often begins with resting and elevating the affected foot. Engaging in low-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling may help to accelerate the healing process. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel may relieve some of the pain as well as taping the big toe. In severe cases, a cast shoe may be recommended to wear as they are made of plastic or wooden soles which can be beneficial in keeping the toes straight while walking. The average recovery time for sesamoiditis may be up to six weeks and normal activities can be resumed when everyday shoes are worn without pain. If you experience any foot pain, it is advised that you consult a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this ailment. 

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If you think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Pain Between the Toes May Indicate Morton’s Neuroma

There is a foot condition that can affect the nerves between the third and fourth toes which is known as Morton’s neuroma. If prompt treatment is not received, it can cause severe pain and discomfort. This foot condition can occur as a result of wearing shoes that are too tight in the toe area. An example of these types of shoes is high heels, and the higher the heel is, the pointier the shoe can be. Pain in this area of the foot will often bring a patient into a podiatrist’s office, where a proper diagnosis can be performed. This often includes a physical examination, in addition to having X-rays taken, and an MRI or ultrasound may be necessary for further confirmation. In the beginning stages, relief may be found when larger shoes are worn, and the heel size is reduced. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove or repair the affected nerves, which can accelerate the healing process. If you have pain between your toes, please schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can provide the treatment that is best for you.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Arthritis Can Cause Pain in the Feet and Ankles

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Cracked Heels and the Elderly

Throughout life, the soles of the feet bear the greatest force. The skin on the soles of the feet is thicker and has extra fat padding, but when it becomes dry it is prone to cracking. This is something that anyone can suffer from, but since padding on the feet gets worn and the gait changes due to age and disability, seniors are particularly prone to cracked heels. The condition can become serious, cause great discomfort, and hamper mobility. If one does not tend to the cracking, it can bleed and the chance of infections setting in is higher. Beyond dry skin, obesity, standing for long periods, and wearing open-back shoes can cause cracked heels too. Also, some diseases that can result in cracked heels include diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, and hypothyroidism. The key to treating cracked heels is reducing the pressure on the soles of the feet. Supportive, well-fitting shoes and heel pads may help. If you are elderly or caring for someone older, consult a podiatrist for advice on proper footwear as well as other remedies for cracked heels.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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A Partial or Complete Tear of the Achilles Tendon

A common Achilles tendon injury is known as Achilles tendinopathy. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, and can become injured from overuse. This tendon is the largest one in the body, and extreme swelling may occur when it becomes injured. People who experience this type of injury often find it difficult to walk, possibly as a result of a partial or complete Achilles tendon tear. The pain is often felt in the back of the heel, which may feel tender when touched. The Achilles tendon significantly contributes to walking, as the heel is lifted when taking a step. There are some patients who experience this type of injury from the type of shoes they wear. Additionally, an Achilles tendon injury may gradually occur from medical conditions, such as arthritis, obesity, and various foot problems. If you have endured this type of injury, please contact a podiatrist, sooner rather than later, who can guide you toward correct treatments for relief.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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