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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Simple Methods of Caring for Children’s Feet

It is beneficial to pay attention to your baby's feet as they grow into childhood. It can pave the way to having healthy feet as an adult and this may be helpful in preventing unpleasant foot conditions from developing. One of the first steps in taking care of babies' feet consists of washing and drying them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Additionally, it is helpful to trim the toenails once per week and sometimes more frequently if the nails are growing quickly. Cutting the toenails in a straight line is the proper way to trim children’s toenails, and the corners should be avoided which may prevent an ingrown toenail from developing. Many babies do not wear shoes until they walk outside, and this can help the foot become stronger as the toes grip the floor. A foul odor may be indicative of a fungal infection, and it is suggested that a podiatrist be contacted. A podiatrist can treat this accordingly and offer general tips on how to care for your child’s feet.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, 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.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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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Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis is a specific kind of autoimmune disorder that primarily impacts the joints and other body systems. Although individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can experience a wide range of different symptoms, foot pain is an important symptom of RA. For example, individuals with RA can experience swelling, pain, and abnormalities in the feet. Not only can this be annoying in and of itself for those with RA, it can also make falling or tripping due to weakened feet more likely. This can be especially problematic for older individuals who are already susceptible to trips and falls. If you are someone that suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and is experiencing foot pain, it is suggested you make an appointment with a podiatrist.

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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Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

Sesamoiditis and High Heeled Footwear

Sesamoiditis is a pernicious or gradual foot condition that can impact a wide variety of individuals. Primarily affecting the two small, bead-like sesamoid bones beneath the big toe joint, sesamoiditis can bring about sensations of pain beneath the big toe. There are a number of different activities that can aggravate sesamoiditis and wearing high-heeled shoes is one of them. By their very structure, high heels force an individual to put their weight onto their toes and forefoot. Thus, when an individual wears high heels, they are forced to put their weight on and around the sesamoid bones. If you develop or aggravate sesamoiditis in connection with wearing high heels, this may make it significantly difficult to continue wearing heels. Therefore, you might consider providing your sesamoids with relief by alternating days in which you wear high heels. You could also opt for wedges or shoes that offer a lower heel. It is advised to wear high heels with caution because not only can they aggravate cases of sesamoiditis, but they can also cause a number of different foot conditions. Consult with a podiatrist today if you want to learn more about sesamoiditis and foot care. 

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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The Feet Can Develop Various Forms of Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful condition that can affect the feet. There are several forms of arthritis and each one can develop in different parts of the foot. Osteoarthritis can cause bony spurs on the bottom of the big toe as a result of damaged cartilage. This can often lead to bunions developing and many patients have to purchase wider shoes. Inflammation of the joints in the ball of the foot may be indicative of rheumatoid arthritis. This may result in ligaments that become loose which may help the bone to push against the skin of the sole. Mild relief may be felt when a portion of leather is placed in the shoe, and this may be helpful in moving the pressure to the center of the foot. An extremely painful form of arthritis is known as gout and can develop from genetic reasons or from eating foods that have high levels of purines. These types of foods may cause excess uric acid and can lodge in the joints of the big toe. If you have foot pain, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose arthritis in the feet as well as offer treatment methods.

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 joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your 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 tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Corns and Calluses on the Feet of Athletes

Corns and calluses result from too much pressure on an area of the foot. Though they can occur in anyone, athletes are more prone to get them because the pressure on their feet is higher. Reasons for the development of corns and calluses can come from shoes if a deformity, such as bunion or hammertoe is present and rubs against the shoes. If the pressure is higher under the ball of the foot, it may be due to a prominent metatarsal head. Thickened skin of a corn or callus can be removed and provide relief from pain, but the only way to get rid of these symptoms permanently or prevent them from coming back is to remove what caused them in the first place. For example, if a corn develops from a hammertoe, fixing the hammertoe will get rid of the pressure and the corn will not come back. If you suffer from corns or calluses, see a podiatrist for help in figuring out what to do to remove the cause so these are no longer a problem for you.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, 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.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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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Complications Associated With Corns on the Feet

Over the day, our feet can encounter a significant amount of pressure and friction. If an individual wears tight or ill-fitting footwear, their feet might rub against the shoes in a way that creates a lot of friction. Corns, callus-like areas of the skin, might develop in response to this friction and pressure. A corn is composed of layers of skin that are hardened by keratin. They may form on the toes, around the toes, or on the soles of the feet. Corns on the feet can lead to several complications. If ignored or left untreated, corns on the feet might make it more difficult for you to walk due to increased pain around the corn. Another potentially serious complication is the development of infections. For example, untreated corns could lead to infections like foot ulcers. A corn that is not addressed on your feet might even cause erythema, which is essentially redness caused by inflammation or an injury. You might even experience a pointed burning feeling if your corn is left untreated. These are just some of the many complications that are associated with untreated corns. If you have a corn, contact a podiatrist. Such a professional can help you address the problem and avoid the aforementioned complications.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? and How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctors to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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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Easy to Spot a Bunion

A bunion is easy to notice. It is classified as a deformity and is a bony protrusion on the side of the big toe. It can develop as a result of genetic factors or from wearing shoes that are too tight in the toe area. Research has shown it affects approximately 35% of people who are over 65 years old and may affect their quality of life if not promptly treated. The medical term for a bunion is called hallux valgus and happens when the first long bone of the foot meets the first bone of the toe. When this moves out of alignment, a bunion has formed. It often develops slowly and if it becomes severe it may shift the other toes toward each other. Flexibility and range of motion may negatively affect the foot, and the skin may become irritated. Some patients experience foot injuries, and this may lead to the development of a bunion. Additionally, existing medical conditions including flat feet and rheumatoid arthritis may increase the risk of getting a bunion. If you have noticed a bunion on your foot, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can determine what the best course of treatment is for you, which may include surgery for permanent removal.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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 a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • 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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