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Tuesday, 26 December 2017 00:00

Why Do I Have a Bunion?

If you have a bony area on the side of your big toe, chances are that you may have a bunion.  Typically a progressive disorder, bunions tend to be very painful and result from changes to your foot’s bone structure.  Bunions have many causes, including a foot type that’s inherited or an uneven weight in the tendon, causing instability in the toe joint.  Other problems that can potentially arise from bunions include calluses, arthritis, and difficulty in walking.  Padding the toe or putting it in a splint may be a recommended first step.  Surgery involving a corrective procedure to realign the joint may also be an option; another is repairing the ligaments.  Consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Danita Reese of Family Foot Clinic, PC. 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 cause bunions to form

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 office located in South Hill, VA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 18 December 2017 00:00

Lifestyle Changes May Help Poor Circulation

Poor circulation in the feet is commonly caused by the body’s inability to carry blood to the lower extremities. It usually stems from blockages in the arteries, although there may be several contributing factors which can cause this condition. It helps to be aware of how you’re feeling, because many symptoms can be disguised as average aches and pains associated with aging. Symptoms may include numbness, an icy feeling in the feet, and pain in the calves while walking. Discoloration in the toes, swelling in the feet or having dry skin are additional signs that you may suffer from poor circulation. There are factors that may lead to this condition, such as poor diet, lack of regular exercise, and standing for extended periods of time without moving. Lifestyle changes may help by improving blood flow. These may include exercise, diet changes, hot and cold therapy, and elevation of the legs, especially while sleeping. If you’re experiencing pain in the legs and feet, please consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Danita Reese of Family Foot Clinic, PC. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness  or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

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 our office located in South Hill, VA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
Monday, 11 December 2017 00:00

How to Maintain Your Child’s Healthy Feet

By the time a child is 18 years old, their feet are fully developed. When a child is 6 months old, however, most of the foot consists of cartilage and may be susceptible to deformities from shoes that fit incorrectly. Recent research suggests that being barefoot is best for healthy foot development, though it may not always be practical. The skin needs to be protected from extreme weather conditions, sharp objects, and wear and tear from walking on rough surfaces. Wearing flexible shoes will allow the feet to develop naturally while protecting the skin against harsh environments. Once the proper shoes have been chosen, the feet need to be taken care of. This may include washing the feet daily, especially drying between the toes. Additionally, measuring the feet regularly in the first 3 years of walking is important in making sure children are wearing the right size shoe.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Danita Reese of Family Foot Clinic, PC. Our doctor 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 office located in South Hill, VA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Affect the Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes swelling in the heel and joints and can be very painful. It commonly affects the small joints of the feet. Corns and hammertoes can develop, and bunions may be exacerbated due to the weakened ligaments in the foot. Common symptoms that may occur include clicking and popping sounds, locked joints due to stiffness, and difficulty walking. Plantar fasciitis can also develop because the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. Stretching exercises, which increases the flexibility of the foot and toes, can help bring some relief. Additionally, wearing comfortable and supportive shoes may also make your feet feel better. Avoid poorly-fitted footwear such as high heels, as they increase pressure on the feet. Please consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis if you have pain in your feet. Podiatrists are trained to handle arthritis in the foot and ankle and will be able to help with the condition.

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 Dr. Danita Reese of Family Foot Clinic, PC. Our doctor 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 office located in South Hill, VA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
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