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Items filtered by date: August 2020

Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

What Is Causing My Heel Pain?

Heel pain when first getting out of bed in the morning, a burning or sharp sensation in the heel, and increased pain while walking, can all be indicative of the foot condition known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can be an uncomfortable foot condition to deal with, especially if it is left untreated. Common causes of this condition can include ill-fitting footwear, poor foot structure, certain exercises like long distance running, and occupations that require you to be on your feet for the majority of the day. Obesity may also lead to the development of plantar fasciitis, due to the excess pressure put on the foot. If you have heel pain, please seek the care of a podiatrist immediately for a proper diagnosis.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Rebekah Fontenot, DPM  from First Step Foot and Ankle Center LLC. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 24 August 2020 00:00

How Does Gout Occur?

Research has indicated that there are millions of Americans who are affected by the foot condition that is referred to as gout. It generally affects the joints in the big toe, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. It can develop as a result of an excess of uric acid that is found in the bloodstream and lodges in the joints of the body. Uric acid can come from specific foods that are frequently eaten, which can include shellfish, red meat, and drinks that have a high sugar content. Many patients have noticed their gout attacks can begin at night, and may subside naturally. In severe cases, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can properly treat this form of arthritis.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Rebekah Fontenot, DPM from First Step Foot and Ankle Center LLC. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 17 August 2020 00:00

Debridement May Help Foot Ulcers Heal

Diabetic patients are prone to getting cuts, bruises, and wounds on their feet, which can be difficult to heal. This is a result of elevated glucose levels that can cause the feet to lose sensation. Minor cuts, if left unnoticed and untreated can develop into foot ulcers. Untreated wounds may also lead to possible amputation, and research has indicated that this is responsible for two hundred amputations per day. Proper wound treatment can begin with a process that is referred to as debridement. This is typically effective in removing dead skin from the feet. This procedure provides clean edges surrounding the foot ulcer, and healthy tissue can grow, which may accelerate the healing process. If you have developed wounds on the feet, it is strongly recommended that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage diabetic foot conditions.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Rebekah Fontenot, DPM from First Step Foot and Ankle Center LLC. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 10 August 2020 00:00

Foot Problem Prevention for Elders

Foot ailments can become more common as we age. To decrease the likelihood of developing various foot problems, it is important to take care of your feet. Wearing the right shoes is of the utmost importance. Shoes that are too tight can increase the risk of foot pain, hammertoes, bunions, and blisters, while shoes that are too loose can lead to a fall. It is recommended that you wear comfortable, properly fitted shoes that give your toes room to move. Keeping your feet well-moisturized can prevent corns and calluses, while cutting your toenails regularly can prevent ingrown nails. Another thing that you can do to benefit your feet is to stretch them. Flex and wiggle your toes and walk regularly to help maintain foot strength and flexibility. If you develop foot problems, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist, who can diagnose and treat your condition.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Rebekah Fontenot, DPM from First Step Foot and Ankle Center LLC. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Research has shown the importance of practicing proper foot care beginning in the childhood years. The feet are considered to be the foundation of the body, and strong, healthy feet are important to have and maintain as the aging process occurs. It is beneficial to measure the child’s foot approximately every three months, which is helpful in determining the correct shoe size. When shoes are purchased, it is important to ensure that there is adequate room for the toes to move freely. When the toenails are trimmed, ingrown toenails may be prevented by cutting toenails straight across. If you would like additional information about teaching proper foot care to children, please confer with a podiatrist.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Rebekah Fontenot, DPM of First Step Foot and Ankle Center LLC. 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 Houston, TX . 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

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