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May 2020

It is an unnatural feeling to fall, and it is considered to be a common occurrence among the elderly population. It can produce fear in accomplishing daily activities, and many people can experience serious injuries. Falling may occur from existing medical conditions that can impact balance. These can include vertigo, Parkinson’s Disease, or strokes. Environmental factors may play a significant role in contributing to the number of falls that people endure, consisting of cluttered living areas and poor lighting. It is helpful to have routine medical examinations performed, which can ensure medications are correct and current, and vision and hearing are normal. Many patients choose to have grab bars installed in their shower and toilet areas, as these can provide extra stability. If you would like more information about how falling can impact the feet, in addition to learning about effective fall prevention methods, please consult with a podiatrist.

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 Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 one of our offices located in Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, and King, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention
Monday, 18 May 2020 00:00

Do You Have Flat Feet?

Flat feet occur when the arches in your foot have not fully developed, and the entire sole of your foot touches the floor when standing up.  Flat feet can be caused by a variety of different things that include obesity, aging, or the simple lack of development during childhood. While this condition is very common, most people do not experience any symptoms. However, if you begin experiencing random foot pains, you should check with your doctor to see if you have flat feet. If you do have flat feet that cause you pain, a podiatrist can provide a variety of solutions that may include physical therapy, exercises and custom orthotics. 

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, and King, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What is Flexible Flat Foot?
Monday, 11 May 2020 00:00

What Causes a Hammertoe?

When the joints of the toes are affected, it's likely that one may develop a hammertoe. Hammertoes are often recognized by their hammer-like appearance, as this condition causes the affected toe to bend downward. The second, third, fourth, and fifth toes are most commonly affected by this condition. It’s possible for a person to develop what is referred to as a flexible hammertoe. This means that even though a hammertoe is present, the toe can still be moved at the joint. Rigid hammertoes, on the other hand, do not allow for such movement. Hammertoes can develop for a variety of reasons. Common causes may include injury to the affected toe, improperly fitted footwear, and arthritis. In order to treat this condition, it's recommended that you seek the care of your podiatrist.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, and King, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Monday, 04 May 2020 00:00

Tarsal Tunnel and the Tibial Nerve

There is a specific nerve that is known as the tibial nerve which is located inside the tarsal tunnel. It is found inside the ankle, and is surrounded by bone and tissue. If inflammation of this nerve occurs as a result of an injury, it is referred to as tarsal tunnel syndrome. Some of the symptoms that patients may experience can range from a burning or numbing sensation, to sharp, shooting pains. Existing medical conditions that may contribute to tarsal tunnel syndrome may include arthritis, flat feet, and diabetes. Additionally, it may develop as a result of an ankle sprain or fracture, which can initiate swelling to the tibial nerve. If you have symptoms of this nature, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and manage this condition as quickly as possible.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, and King, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
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