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April 2019

Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

Are Bunions Painful?

If you have a bony protrusion at the base of the big toe, you most likely have a bunion. It is considered to be a deformity of the joint in that area of the toe. The symptoms that many patients notice often include skin that is sensitive on top of the bunion, and changes to the shape of the foot. Additionally, pain, swelling, and callused skin can accompany this condition. Research has indicated bunions may be caused by genetic factors and wearing shoes that do not fit correctly can make bunions worse. Mild relief may be found if bunion pads or orthotics are worn. If this is ineffective, surgery may be necessary if permanent removal of the bunion is desired. If you have developed a bunion, it is advised to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can guide you toward the treatment that is right for you.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. John R. Northrup of Superior Podiatry. Our doctor 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 one of our offices located in St. Augustine and Palm Coast, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

Symptoms of Poor Circulation

Patients who have poor circulation often experience a tingling sensation, or “pins and needles,” in their feet. This may be indicative of existing health issues in the body, and it is suggested to obtain a proper diagnosis. Additional symptoms that are associated with this condition include cramps in the feet, lack of energy, and the lower extremities may feel cold for the majority of the day. Some of the causes of poor circulation include diabetes, high blood pressure, or thyroid disorder. It is important to implement healthy lifestyle changes, and this will typically provide mild relief. If you have poor circulation, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can determine the cause and provide proper treatment choices.

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. John R. Northrup of Superior Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in St. Augustine and Palm Coast, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Causes Symptoms and Treatment for Poor Circulation in the Feet
Wednesday, 17 April 2019 00:00

Reminder: When was the last time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

Toenail Fungus Is Contagious

The condition that is known as toenail fungus is considered to be contagious. The fungus that causes this nail infection typically thrives in warm and moist environments. These places may include public pools, shower room floors, locker rooms, and surrounding areas. When appropriate footwear is worn, the chances of getting toenail fungus may be reduced. The infection may also develop if patients have wet nails for extended periods of time, sometimes due to wearing sweaty shoes for consecutive days. Symptoms of toenail fungus may include the nail becoming thick, in addition to the nail turning a yellow, green, or brown color. Research has indicated that when early treatment is implemented, damage to the nail may be minimized. If you feel you have developed toenail fungus, it is important that you consult with a podiatrist who can advise you on proper treatment options.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. John R. Northrup of Superior Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in St. Augustine and Palm Coast, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

The Purpose of the Achilles Tendon

The Achilles tendon is considered to be the largest tendon in the body, and its function is to connect the calf muscles to the heel bone. It is essential to keep this tendon flexible and strong, as this may ensure that walking and running are easy to accomplish. If an injury should occur to the Achilles tendon, it may become irritated and inflamed, and a painful condition that is known as Achilles tendonitis may develop. This can happen if proper stretching is not done before a new sport is pursued or wearing shoes that do not fit correctly while exercising. Some of the symptoms that may be experienced with this type of injury may include pain and discomfort in the back of the leg, difficulty in pointing and flexing the injured foot, or swelling in the leg as activities are completed. If you feel you have injured your Achilles tendon, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer proper treatment options for you.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. John R. Northrup of Superior Podiatry. Our doctor 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 one of our offices located in St. Augustine and Palm Coast, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries

Living with foot pain is hard on your body.  Give us a call and let us find out what's wrong.

Many elderly people may experience foot problems as a result of a loss of cushioning in the feet and poor circulation. An effective way to protect the feet may be to wear shoes that fit correctly. Additionally, if standing is done for the majority of the day, the feet may feel better if gentle stretches are performed. Many patients develop athlete’s foot, which is a common fungus that attacks the bottom of the feet and between the toes. This may be prevented if the feet are washed and dried thoroughly each day, followed by wearing clean socks and shoes. It is common for seniors to have dry skin, and a symptom of this may be an itchy or burning sensation. Prevention of this may include using a moisturizer on the feet after a shower or bath is taken. If you would like additional information about how to properly care for elderly feet, please feel free to speak to a podiatrist.

If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. John R. Northrup of Superior Podiatry. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and provide you with quality treatment.

Geriatrics and Podiatry
When people age, some common issues that may occur are bone density loss, dry skin, poor circulation, and rough brittle nails. These issues may also affect your foot health if the necessary steps are not taken to alleviate the problems.

It is important to take care of your feet because feet that are injured or diseased can affect your overall health. Having painful feet hinders your ability to do daily activities or may decrease your willingness to do the things that you need to do.

Visiting Your Geriatrician
As we age, health problems become more likely, so it is essential to visit your doctor for check-ups to ensure that you are doing the best you can to take care of your health. It is recommended to check your feet frequently for any possible cuts, bruises, swelling, corns or any other irregularities. 

Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Cracked or dry feet can be treated by applying moisturizer often. It is also important not to wear old socks because the older the sock is, the higher the possibility there will be that there is bacteria there. Wear fresh socks and make sure they fit properly.

Proper foot health means that you can have a more active lifestyle and you will not be bogged down by pain. Foot health also leads to good circulation, which is paramount for overall health.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in St. Augustine and Palm Coast, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Geriatrics and Podiatry
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