Posts for category: Foot Conditions
Many podiatry practices, such as Dr. Mark Block’s team here in Boca Raton, FL, specialize in helping patients who have “diabetic feet.” This is a phrase that refers to the complications and symptoms that diabetic patients sometimes experience with their feet. If you or a loved one requires diabetic foot care from a podiatrist, make time to visit Dr. Block for a foot checkup!
Symptoms of Diabetic Feet
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that over 100 million American adults have prediabetes or diabetes, so a significant number of patients could have complications with their lower extremities, even if they have not been formally diagnosed with the condition yet. Here are some of the common symptoms a patient may notice if they have diabetic feet:
- Tingling or numbness in the feet.
- Sharp pains when walking or standing.
- Blisters or sores that form on the feet or toes.
- Wounds that don’t heal in a timely fashion.
- Muscle weakness.
Diabetic Foot Treatments
It’s a wise course of action to seek help from a podiatrist if you have diabetes, whether controlled or uncontrolled. The treatments offered by your Boca Raton, FL, foot doctor may include:
- Proper foot clipping, so as to reduce the chance of wound-causing ingrown toenails.
- Wound debriding, cleaning, and disinfecting.
- Orthotic shoes or inserts to protect and support the feet.
- Lifestyle consultations with your podiatrist, including nutrition, weight loss, and suggestions to help get your condition under control with medication and the help of your primary care doctor.
Caring for Your Feet as a Diabetic Patient
Daily monitoring and care of your feet will help you combat the symptoms of diabetic feet. Your podiatrist recommends that you do a visual check of your feet each day and night and gently wash them in lukewarm water. Keep your feet moderately moisturized, but avoid the area between the toes. Always wear dry socks, slippers, or shoes to protect your feet—even when in the house.
Let Your Podiatrist Help
It’s important to see your primary care doctor regularly when managing diabetes, but it can be as important to make regular appointments with a podiatrist for the necessary foot care. Call (561) 368-3232 today to schedule a checkup and treatment with Dr. Mark Block at his office in Boca Raton, FL.
Diabetic feet need special care because of decreased circulation, neuropathy, joint deterioration, and more. While your primary care physician may guide you on blood sugar control, medications, a healthy diet, and active lifestyle, your podiatrist assesses and treats how your feet and ankles function everyday and for the long term. Enlist their help in the health maintenance of your diabetic feet.
Keeping ahead of neuropathy and avoiding amputation
Those are two key goals of diabetic foot care. Your podiatrist will want to see you regularly to assess the color, temperature, sensation, function, and shape of your feet and ankles, noting any developing problems. Early detection of circulation issues, nerve degeneration (neuropathy), and deformities, such as hammertoes, bunions, and Charcot Foot, are key.
Your podiatric foot examination will include an eye-on inspection of your skin (color, temperature, texture, and integrity). Your foot doctor also may perform gait analysis to watch for changes in how you walk. Sometimes a podiatrist orders X-ray imaging or an MRI to view the internal structure of the foot and/or ankle.
Remember, that foot ulcers are the primary threat to the overall health and well-being of the diabetic, says the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Untreated, they may lead to complications so severe amputation is the only option.
What can you do to treat your diabetic feet?
- Be proactive. Inspect your feet daily, looking redness or skin breakdown.
- Wash and dry your feet daily.
- Trim your toenails carefully using a clean clippers. Trim straight across and not too short to avoid ingrown toenails.
- Wear shoes at all times--even indoors--to avoid injury.
- Wear clean, well-fitting, moisture-wicking socks.
- Keep your weight and blood sugars within normal range.
- Get in-office treatment of calluses and corns, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
- Avoid all forms of tobacco.
- Report any changes to your foot doctor as soon as possible.
- See your podiatrist every six months or as he or she directs.
Healthy feet and a healthy you
Podiatric health is so important, but especially to the diabetic. So stay in touch with your foot doctor, and be routinized in your foot care for better long-term health.
Are you dealing with pain, burning, tingling or numbness between your toes or in the ball of the foot? If you said “yes” then you could be dealing with a neuroma, a pinched nerve or benign tumor of the nerve that is often found between the third and fourth toes.
The classic symptom of a neuroma is pain, particularly when walking—a factor that leads many people to liken the condition to feeling like a pebble is in their shoe. You may find that the pain eases up whenever you aren’t walking or when you rub the pained area with your hands. While neuromas can happen to anyone, they are most commonly found in women.
While the causes of a neuroma are still not clear, there are factors that can increase the likelihood of developing one, such as:
- Extremely high arches
- Flat feet
- Trauma that leads to nerve damage in the feet
- Improper footwear (high heels over two-inches tall; pointed toes)
- Repeated stress placed on the foot
Treating a Neuroma
A neuroma will not go away on its own, so it’s important to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of the condition's symptoms. The type of treatment or treatments recommended to you will depend on the severity of the neuroma.
Those with minor neuromas may be able to lessen symptoms by wearing shoes that provide ample room for the toes and offer thick soles that provide more support and cushioning for the toes and balls of the feet. Sometimes a podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to place inside the shoes, as well.
Your podiatrist may also recommend padding or taping the ball of the foot to improve faulty biomechanics and reduce discomfort. While medication will not eliminate the problem, it can temporarily alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can often briefly reduce pain and swelling, but for those dealing with more severe pain, steroid injections may be necessary to ease symptoms.
Surgery for a Neuroma
Surgery only becomes necessary when conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief, or when the neuroma has progressed enough that conservative care won’t be enough. During surgery, the inflamed nerve is removed through a simple outpatient procedure. Afterward, there is a short recovery period of a couple of weeks before patients are able to move about pain-free once again!
Give us a Call!
If you are dealing with new or worsening foot pain it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist that can help give you the answers you need. Schedule an appointment today.
An unexpected fall or twist can result in an injury of the foot or ankle, such as a sprain or strain. Immediate first aid can help prevent complications, reduce pain and improve recovery.
Rest, ice, compression and elevation--commonly referred to as R.I.C.E.--is the first and best treatment for minor injuries. The following tips can aid in the early treatment of common foot and ankle injuries to help reduce swelling and control the inflammatory process during the initial phase of injury.
Rest: Whether you have a strain or a sprain, rest from any physical activity is essential to protecting your injured ligaments, tendons or muscles from further damage while your body starts the repair process. Avoid putting weight on the injured foot or ankle as much as possible. In some cases, complete immobilization may be required.
Ice: Gently ice your foot or ankle with ice wrapped in a towel in a 20-minute-on, 40-minute-off cycle for the first few days post-injury. Ice is excellent at reducing inflammation and pain.
Compression: Applying some type of compressive wrap or bandage to an injured area can greatly reduce the amount of initial swelling.
Elevation: Prop your foot up while lying down or sitting so that it is higher than or equal to the level of the heart.
After a few days of R.I.C.E., many acute injuries will begin to heal. If pain or swelling does not subside after a few days, or if you are unsure of the severity of your injury, make an appointment with your podiatrist. A skilled podiatrist can properly diagnose your injury and recommend the best course of treatment.
Are you suffering from toenail fungus? Your Boca Raton, FL, podiatrist can help you deal with the condition through the use of laser treatment.
More about Toenail Fungus
Fungi, yeasts, or molds may result in toenail infection. Fungi thrive in warm, moist places, so try avoiding direct contact with:
- Public showers and pools, which are great places for fungi to thrive
- Nail clippers used by someone who has toenail fungus
- Nail injury, which makes it easy for fungus to infect the toe
Treatment Options for Fungal Nails
There are at-home and prescribed treatments, depending on how bad the infection is. Treatments include topical and oral anti-fungal treatments that can suppress infection and symptoms.
Untreated toenail fungus can spread and result in more severe issues. The following symptoms shouldn't be ignored:
- Darkened, yellow, or white toenail
- Thick or brittle nail
- Nails split from the nail bed
In cases of toenail fungus, you need to see your Boca Raton podiatrist for treatment given that the condition is hard to treat at-home and can easily reoccur. If you let you let the fungus progress and develop, longer lasting and more intense treatment, such as laser treatment, will end up becoming necessary. However, toenail fungus shouldn't be difficult to treat by a reliable doctor.
FDA-approved laser treatment directly treats any fungal nails. The pigmentation present in fungi absorbs the laser's light which creates heat that kills organisms in the toenail. Although this might sound intimidating, rest assured that studies prove that it doesn’t do any harm towards the soft, healthy tissue near the infected nail bed.
Need Help With Treating Fungal Nails? Give us a Call!
For more information or to schedule an appointment for laser treatment in Boca Raton, FL, call Dr. Mark Block at (561) 368-3232 today!