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April 2021

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Monday, 26 April 2021 00:00

What Can Be Done About Bunions?

A bunion is a common foot deformity characterized by a bony bump developing at the base of the big toe joint. Bunions can cause symptoms such as foot pain or soreness, redness, inflammation, a burning sensation, or numbness. Mostly, bunions can make it very uncomfortable to wear shoes or spend long periods of time on your feet. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available for bunions. Conservative treatments, such as changing your footwear, padding the bunion, wearing orthotic inserts, avoiding activities that cause bunion pain, icing the affected area, and taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain, are often effective. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to eliminate the bunion. For more information about bunions and to determine what treatment option is best for you, please speak with a podiatrist.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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.

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 Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, King, Greensboro, and Siler City, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 19 April 2021 00:00

What Does the Acronym PAD Stand For?

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a restriction of blood flow to the muscles and organs due to the build-up of plaque on artery walls. PAD starves muscles and organs of the oxygen and nutrients they need to function properly—especially during physical activities. This lack of oxygen-rich blood to the extremities can make it difficult to walk and can also cause pain in the feet and legs. This pain from PAD can go undetected in people who also suffer from diabetes and neuropathy, possibly leading to foot sores which—when caused by severe blood flow reduction—can increase the risk of amputation. Individuals who are afflicted with PAD and/or diabetes should be under the care of a podiatrist who can help to manage these conditions and improve overall health.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with one of our podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

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

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The ankles may suffer for women who choose to frequently wear high heels. This can be a result of the amount of body weight the ankle joints bear, and is generally increased when high heels are worn. Research has shown that arthritis may develop in women who enjoy wearing high heels, which can cause severe pain and discomfort. Additionally, the Achilles tendon can be affected. This is the tendon that is located in the back of the leg, and connects the calf muscles to the heel. Consistent wearing of high heels, can make this tendon feel stiff. If you would like additional information about the effect high heels have on the feet, please confer with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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

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Monday, 05 April 2021 00:00

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Arthritis is a painful and debilitating disease that affects many millions of people in America. Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis and, in some cases, can begin as early as childhood. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the joint lining is attacked by the body’s own white blood cells, triggering the lining to release harmful chemicals which ravage the joint’s surrounding bone, cartilage, and supporting tissues. This can occur in various joints—often on both sides of the body. People suffering with Rheumatoid Arthritis are encouraged to do what they can on their own such as: eating a healthy diet to manage their weight and stay healthy, doing modified exercises when they can, protecting their joints, and resting during flare-ups. If you are experiencing any joint pain, stiffness, or lack of mobility in your ankles or feet, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist for relief of symptoms through a variety of treatments, medicines, and procedures.

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 Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 one of our offices located in Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, King, Greensboro, and Siler City, NC . 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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