The Pain of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis causes heel pain, resulting from inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. It typically occurs due to repetitive strain or overuse, often seen in runners, individuals with high arches or flat feet, and those who stand for prolonged periods. The pain from plantar fasciitis is usually sharp and most intense with the first steps in the morning or after periods of inactivity. It may decrease with movement but can return after long periods of standing or walking. Relief can consist of rest, stretching exercises, and taking anti-inflammatory medication. Wearing supportive shoes and using orthotic inserts can also help. Preventative measures involve maintaining a healthy weight, performing regular foot stretches, and avoiding excessive strain on the feet. If left untreated, plantar fasciitis can lead to chronic heel pain and other complications. If you have heel pain, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. 

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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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The Role of Podiatrists in Foot Health

Podiatrists are medical professionals specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions affecting the feet, ankles, and lower limbs. These doctors play a critical role in maintaining foot health and addressing a wide range of foot-related issues. Podiatrists treat various conditions, including ingrown toenails, plantar fasciitis, and bunions, in addition to corns, calluses, heel pain, and foot deformities. During an appointment with a podiatrist, patients can expect a thorough examination of their feet, ankles, and lower legs to assess their condition and identify any underlying issues. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment options may include custom orthotic devices, medication, or minimally invasive procedures. Podiatrists also provide guidance on proper foot care, footwear selection, and preventive measures to promote overall foot health and prevent future problems. With their specialized knowledge and expertise, podiatrists help patients maintain mobility, alleviate discomfort, and achieve optimal foot function. If you are experiencing any type of foot or ankle pain, it is strongly suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can make an accurate diagnosis and provide the necessary treatment.

If you are dealing with pain in your feet and ankles, you may want to seek help from a podiatrist. Feel free to 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.

What Is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine who diagnoses and treats conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Your podiatrist may specialize in a certain field such as sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care. Podiatrists have the ability to become board certified through training, clinical experience, and then taking an exam.

What Do Podiatrists Do?

On a daily basis, a podiatrist may perform the following activities:

  • Diagnose foot ailments such as ulcers, tumors, fractures, etc.
  • Use innovative methods to treat conditions
  • Use corrective orthotics, casts, and strappings to correct deformities
  • Correct walking patterns and balance
  • Provide individual consultations to patients

It is very important that you take care of your feet. It’s easy to take having healthy feet for granted, however foot problems tend to be among the most common health conditions. Podiatrists can help diagnose and treat a variety of feet related conditions, so it is crucial that you visit one if you need assistance.

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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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.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Foot Swelling

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune disease that primarily affects joints, frequently targeting the feet and ankles. Common symptoms include swelling, pain, and inflammation in the affected joints. In RA, the immune system mistakenly attacks the joint lining, leading to chronic inflammation that can damage the joints and surrounding tissues over time. As a result, the foot and ankle joints often become swollen and painful, which can make walking and standing uncomfortable or even debilitating. The swelling is often symmetrical, meaning it typically affects the same joints on both sides of the body simultaneously. Treatment may include medication to reduce inflammation and slow disease progression. Targeted stretching to maintain joint function and orthotics to support the joints and alleviate pressure are other possible measures. Regular visits to a podiatrist, or foot doctor, are important for those with RA to monitor their foot health. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and the associated swelling in the feet and ankles, it is suggested you make an appointment with a podiatrist today. 

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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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Simple Daily Care Tips to Nurture Your Feet

Everyday foot care is essential for keeping your feet healthy, comfortable, and free from common issues like dryness, odor, and rough skin. Begin by washing your feet daily with warm water and a gentle soap to remove dirt and bacteria. After washing, take a few minutes to exfoliate your feet using a pumice stone or foot scrub to slough off dead skin cells and promote smoothness. Follow up by moisturizing your feet with nourishing foot cream or lotion, paying special attention to areas prone to dryness like heels and soles. For an extra treat, indulge in a foot soak once or twice a week, adding Epsom salts or essential oils to warm water to soothe tired feet and soften rough skin. Finally, dusting your feet with a foot powder can help absorb moisture, reduce friction, and keep your feet feeling fresh throughout the day. If you have a foot condition and need help, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, 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.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

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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Managing Osteoarthritis of the Ankle

Ankle osteoarthritis typically arises after an ankle injury, causing persistent pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced flexibility. Treatment options of ankle osteoarthritis aim to alleviate symptoms and improve joint function, with a focus on enhancing range of motion and strengthening supportive muscles. Low-impact exercises like swimming and biking also help to reduce stress on the joint. Weight management plays an important role, and even a modest weight loss offers significant pain relief. Supportive footwear and custom orthotics can provide stability and cushioning, while easing discomfort. Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and NSAIDs, may offer temporary relief, though long-term use requires caution. Surgery, such as joint stabilization or ankle replacement, remains a last resort, especially for younger patients. Seeking timely medical intervention and adopting a comprehensive treatment approach tailored to individual needs is vital. If you are suffering from ankle osteoarthritis, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment options. 

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, 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.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best 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 care needs.

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Causes of Swollen Feet

Foot swelling, or edema, is characterized by excess fluid accumulation in the feet and ankles, leading to puffiness and discomfort. Various factors can contribute to swelling in the feet, such as pregnancy, where the added weight and pressure from carrying a baby can cause fluid retention in the lower extremities. Injuries like fractures or sprains can also trigger swelling as the body responds to the trauma. Medical conditions, such as heart failure or kidney disease, can disrupt the body's fluid balance, leading to edema. Certain medications, including those for blood pressure and antidepressants, may also induce fluid retention. Extended periods of standing or sitting can cause blood to pool in the feet and ankles, which aggravates swelling. Treatment involves addressing the underlying cause, with options that may include rest and physical therapy for injuries, medication, or lifestyle changes for medical conditions. If you're dealing with persistent foot swelling, seeking guidance from a podiatrist is essential. This foot and ankle doctor can pinpoint the cause and recommend suitable treatment strategies. It is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment options.

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. 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.

Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods. Aging may increase the possibility of swollen feet and patients who are obese often notice when their feet are swelling too. There may be medical reasons why swollen feet occur:

  • Phlebitis - A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain.
  • Liver disease - This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen.
  • Heart failure - When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet.
  • Kidney disease - One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.

Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet. 

Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated.

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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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.

Understanding Footwear Needs of Children

Understanding the unique needs of growing children's feet is extremely important for selecting appropriate footwear. In the first year, a baby’s soft and supple feet with flexible bones require minimal covering. As they begin walking, arches develop, and muscles strengthen. Boys typically have larger and wider feet than girls, and during the first five years, the feet grow rapidly. This necessitates regular measurement and replacement of shoes as a child’s feet grow around half a size every few months. Children's shoes should offer rear foot cushioning, stability, and forefoot flexibility. Easy to use closures and moisture-wicking materials like mesh are optimal for comfort. While hand me downs can be economical, they are not recommended, because the shoes are molded to the previous wearer's feet and gait. Prompt replacement of outgrown shoes is vital to prevent discomfort or the development of foot issues. Additionally, it is best to avoid shoes that are either too small or too large. Consulting a podiatrist can provide valuable guidance on children's foot care and footwear selection. To check on the foot health of your child, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. 

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, 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.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

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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Causes of Foot Stress Fractures

Stress fractures typically occur when there is a rapid increase in activity level or time spent on your feet. Your bones are resilient, constantly adapting to changes through a process called remodeling. However, when this adaptation is rushed, such as with sudden increases in activity, the balance between bone destruction and rebuilding is disturbed. This leaves your bones fragile and susceptible to stress fractures. Conditions like osteoporosis as well as high-impact sports may increase the risk of stress fractures. Foot structure variations like high or flat arches and wearing inadequate footwear can also contribute to heightened stress fracture risk. Symptoms of foot stress fractures include swelling, bruising, tenderness, and activity-related pain that diminishes with rest. Ignoring a foot stress fracture can make the injury worse and potentially lead to more severe consequences. If you believe you may have a foot stress fracture, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, 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.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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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