Your Feet and Falling

Falling can result in bone breaks or worse, and they are especially prevalent among older people. While there are many causes of falls, such as poor eyesight, hearing, slowing of reflexes, or side effects from medication, foot problems can also impact balance and gait and result in falls. Those with diabetes or circulatory problems need to be particularly careful to examine their feet for problems they might not feel. Simple things one can do to help avoid falling include checking environments for safety hazards, wearing properly fitted and supportive footwear, staying physically active, having regular examinations of ears and eyes, limiting alcohol consumption, using canes or other assistive devices if called for, and being aware of unusual ground conditions. Meeting with a podiatrist to check your feet, help assess risks for falls, and inform you of how to minimize this from happening in the future.

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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What Happens When You Have Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a painful heel condition that affects the plantar fascia (which is the fibrous band of tissue connecting the bottom of the foot to the heel bone and metatarsals at the ball of the foot). The plantar fascia helps maintain the arch of the foot, foot stability, and movement. Repeated stretching and contracting can result in micro-tears and/or inflammation of the plantar fascia. If the plantar fascia ruptures, the arch of the foot collapses and the foot flattens. People who suffer from plantar fasciitis often feel heel pain when getting out of bed or after prolonged sitting because the plantar fascia goes from a relaxed shortened state to a weighted, forced stretch. Those at greater risk for plantar fasciitis are those with flat feet, excessive foot pronation or feet that roll inward, high arches, weak plantar flexor muscles, those who run, and those who stand or walk for prolonged periods of time without sufficient rest and renewal. Because other types of heel pain may be misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis, and untreated heel pain can worsen and interfere with daily functioning, if pain persists, a visit to a podiatrist is the best course of action for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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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Swelling May Accompany a Heel Spur

A calcium deposit that forms between the arch of the foot and the heel is referred to as a heel spur. Common symptoms can include heel pain first thing in the morning, followed by a dull ache for the rest of the day. Some patients notice swelling at the front of the heel, and it may feel warm. The heel spur will be visible on an X-ray, and this is a necessary test to have in determining what the proper treatment is. Heel spurs can develop as a result of the aging process when the soft tissue wears thin. People who frequently run may experience this condition, as the heel pad loses shock absorption. Relief may come from elevating the affected foot as often as possible, and this can help to reduce swelling. Additionally, wearing shoes that have a cushion may help to ease the pain that can come from having a heel spur. Many patients who have heel spurs find it is difficult to complete daily activities. If this applies to you or someone you know, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact one of our podiatrists from InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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The 5 Types of Running Shoes

Finding the right running shoe to accommodate your foot structure and prevent injury can be a daunting task, particularly if you are a beginner. Here is a brief introduction of the 5 types of running shoes. 1) Racing Flats are lightweight shoes built for long distance and speed with far less cushioning than those made for more general training. They are not appropriate if you are just starting out. 2) Trail Runners are protective and stable running shoes made to accommodate the changing terrain you would encounter in nature (mud, road, grass, hard packed surfaces). 3) Stability Sneakers, made for people with normal arches, support the arch and ankle during the gait cycle and help prevent the foot from overpronation (extreme inward rolling). 4) Motion Control Shoes have a more rigid construction which can help avoid overpronation in people with low arches or with pronation problems. Heavier runners may benefit also from their extra stability and durability. 5) Cushioned Shoes, or neutral padded shoes, can help runners that do not pronate sufficiently during the gait cycle, which may help those with high arches. This footwear offers extra shock absorption in the midsole and outsole. For more individualized advice on the specific features that would be most beneficial for your individual feet and fitness goals, consult with a podiatrist.

If you are a runner, wearing the right running shoe is essential. For more information, 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.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

To increase performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is important to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type. The general design of running shoes revolves around pronation, which is how the ankle rolls from outside to inside when the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral runners are able to choose from a wide variety of shoes, including minimalist shoes or even going barefoot.
  • Runners who overpronate, or experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling, should choose shoes that provide extra motion control and stability.
  • Runners who underpronate, or supinate, have feet that have high arches and lack flexibility, preventing shock absorption. They require shoes with more flexibility and cushion.

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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See Your Podiatrist Regularly If You Work On Your Feet

Do you work on your feet all day and find your feet in pain? Don't go to work in pain each day. Your foot pain can be treated, and we can help.

What Is Wound Debridement?

A diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a type of wound that can develop on the lower limbs of people with diabetes. These wounds typically heal slowly and poorly and are at an increased risk of becoming infected. Sometimes debridement is necessary to treat a DFU. Debridement is the process of removing dead or damaged skin, tissue, and debris from a wound to help it heal. During debridement, the podiatrist will clean and disinfect the wound, then probe it with a metal instrument to check how deep the wound is and if there are any foreign objects in it. The podiatrist will then cut away dead tissues and wash out the DFU. This is generally done under local or general anesthesia. Not all debridement involves cutting away dead tissues. Depending on the needs of the patient, it may also be possible to debride the wound with special enzymes, dressings, and more. If you have DFUs, it is suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, 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.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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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When Gout Flares up in the Big Toe Joint

If your big toe joint suddenly gets hot, red, swollen, and very painful, you could be having a gout flare. Gout is an arthritic condition that develops when excessive amounts of uric acid in the body cluster and crystallize on joints—most commonly the big toe joint. Symptoms from a gout flare can last for days or weeks and then completely disappear until the next flare occurs. You may be more at risk of developing gout if you have a family history of it, or if you are male, obese, drink alcohol, eat a lot of purine-rich red meat and seafood, or have certain health conditions like diabetes, kidney issues, hypertension, congestive heart failure, diabetes and more. If you believe you may have gout, it's a good idea to make an appointment with a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition through an exam and various tests, and help relieve your pain. In severe cases, where large deposits of gout form and normal pain relief methods do not provide relief (or there is joint dysfunction), surgery may be necessary.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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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Blue or Purple Feet Can Be a Sign of Trouble

If you drop something on your foot, it will likely turn purple or blue from bruising. This is normal, and the common solutions of rest, ice, elevation, and compression should help ease the pain as your foot heals. However, chronic discoloration of the feet can be a sign of restricted blood flow brought on by other conditions. Among them are diabetic neuropathy, peripheral artery disease (PAD), lupus, or Raynaud’s disease. In some way all of these conditions limit the flow of blood to the extremities and can cause foot swelling, discoloration and numbness. If you notice that your feet have changed color for longer periods, it may be wise to consult a podiatrist who can offer a complete examination and diagnosis of your feet and recommend the best treatment options for you.

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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Causes of Cold Feet in Older Adults

Many older adults experience chronic cold feet, which can be helped simply by wearing warmer socks and different shoes or slippers. But there may be underlying reasons that can cause or contribute to this condition. For instance, if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or hardening of the arteries, the blood flow to your feet through narrowed arteries may be obstructed. Further, nerve damage, which also may be a result of diabetes, can cause your feet to be cold, numb, or prickly. And if you are a smoker, your blood vessels may constrict and reduce the circulation to your extremities. Finally, sitting for long periods can result in poor blood circulation to your feet, causing them to feel cold. If you notice a regular occurrence of cold feet, it is a good idea to make an appointment with a podiatrist who can review your health history, examine your feet and suggest treatment options.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, 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.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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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How Ankle Sprains Occur

Ankle sprains result when the ligaments, which connect the bones to each other, get overstretched or torn. Common signs of an ankle sprain include a “snap” or “crack” sound at the moment of injury. Sprains can also lead to bruising, swelling, and difficulty bearing weight. Ankle sprains usually result from the ankle getting twisted or rolled, and are one of the most common injuries that athletes deal with. Sports like soccer, football, and basketball that require a variety of quick movements leave players at a higher risk for ankle sprains. Athletes who have previously sprained an ankle are at a greater risk of re-spraining it. Patients who believe that they have sprained their ankle may wish to consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis, because the symptoms of an ankle sprain and a fracture can be similar.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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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