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There are small bone segments that are connected by joints in the toes of each foot. A condition that is referred to as hammertoe occurs when the joint in one of the toes becomes deformed and causes the toe to bend downward, resembling a hammer. Additionally, it may typically affect the toe next to it, and may become painful and uncomfortable. There are several reasons why hammertoe may develop, including wearing poorly fitting footwear, which may generally include shoes with inadequate room for the toes to move freely in, medical conditions such as arthritis, or a genetic disposition. If you feel you may have developed hammertoe, an examination is needed so a proper diagnosis can be determined, which is generally performed by a podiatrist. Treatment options may then be discussed that can include performing gentle foot stretches, which may help to relax the tendons surrounding the affected joint, or having your toe splinted, which may aid in straightening the toes out.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Lowcountry Family Podiatry. 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 our office located in North Charleston, SC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe
Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

Tips for Choosing the Correct Shoe Size

There are several reasons why shoes may not fit correctly. These may include having toenails that are not trimmed properly or having medical conditions such as diabetes and poor circulation. Additionally, research has shown the feet may change sizes as the aging process occurs and it is advised to properly measure your feet before purchasing shoes. When a shoe is selected that is similar to the shape of your foot, the desired comfort level may be easier to attain. There are a few simple steps that may be implemented to ensure a properly fitted shoe. These may include expecting the shoe to feel comfortable when initially tried on, making sure there is adequate room for the longest toe to fit easily in, and walking in the shoes before making the decision to buy them. If you would like additional information about choosing the correct shoe size, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist.

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of one of our podiatrists from Lowcountry Family Podiatry. Our doctors will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.

  • When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
  • Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
  • Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
  • Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
  • If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes

As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without pain.

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

Read more about Getting the Right Shoe Size: To Keep Your Feet Happy
Monday, 03 December 2018 00:00

Toe Arthritis

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your big toe, you may have a foot condition that is known as toe arthritis. It may be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight and may not have adequate room for the toes to move about in. One of the first signs that may be indicative of toe arthritis may be pain that is felt in the toes. Many people feel stiffness in the toes, and this may be a result of the diminished cartilage that is located between the joints, in addition to obvious redness and swelling of the toes and surrounding area. If you are afflicted with this condition, it may be difficult to perform daily activities that may include walking or standing for extended periods of time. If you are experiencing arthritis in your feet or toes, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can advise you on correct treatment options.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Lowcountry Family Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in North Charleston, SC. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Arthritic Foot Care
Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

Causes of Heel Spurs

If you have a heel spur, you are most likely familiar with the pain and discomfort this condition may cause. The small, bony protrusion that forms on the heel may be a result of repetitive stress the heel endures, possibly originating from frequent running or jumping. Additionally, if the incorrect shoes are worn, or an abnormal walking pattern exists, a heel spur may begin to develop. Some patients may notice pain in the heel and surrounding area while walking, and it may be quite uncomfortable in the morning when the first steps are taken. There may be measures that can be taken, which may possibly prevent heel spurs from forming. These may include wearing shoes that properly support your feet, performing gentle foot stretches before physical activity begins, and maintaining a healthy weight, which may lessen the amount of pressure the heel may endure. If you have heel pain, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can determine if you have a heel spur and can advise on proper treatment techniques.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact one of our podiatrists from Lowcountry Family Podiatry. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main conditions spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in North Charleston, SC. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Heel Spurs
Wednesday, 21 November 2018 00:00

Wounds that Don't Heal Need to be Checked

Your feet are covered a good part of the day. If you are diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often another sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Monday, 19 November 2018 00:00

Staying Strong May Aid in Falls Prevention

Research has shown that as the aging process occurs, falling may be an unnatural and common experience. Unpleasant conditions, which may include enduring a fracture, can happen from falling. It is wise to learn about the steps that are needed that aid in falls prevention. It may help to stay physically strong and this may be accomplished by staying as active as possible. When daily activities are performed, improved strength, balance, and coordination may be benefits of this type of effort. Additionally, it may help to wear shoes that are comfortable and fit correctly. Keeping the home free of clutter so tripping may be minimized may aid in preventing unnecessary injuries from occurring. Many people have handrails installed in the shower area, in addition to having regular physical examinations, which may include speaking with your doctor about your vision and any numbing sensations that may be present.

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 Lowcountry Family Podiatry. 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 our office located in North Charleston, SC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention
Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

Different Types of Blisters on the Feet

A common reason why blisters form on the feet may be a result of consistent friction between the toes or on the back of the heel. A blister is typically a small area that resembles a bubble and is filled with fluid. This is the body’s natural defense mechanism to ensure the skin under the blister is protected. Research has shown there are different types of blisters that may form, including pinch blisters, which may be a result of a toe that is curled under the toe next to it, causing a blister to form in between the two toes. Additionally, interdigital blisters may be caused by an allergic reaction to an insect bite, and may lead to an infection. Patients who have eczema or athlete's foot may be familiar with the types of blisters these uncomfortable conditions may cause. If shoes that are worn do not fit correctly, blisters may form on the pinky toe or if excess rubbing exists on the back of the foot, it may cause unsightly blisters on the back of the heel. If you would like to learn about how to prevent blisters on the feet or need information about proper treatment techniques, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact one of our podiatrists of Lowcountry Family Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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

Read more about Blisters
Monday, 05 November 2018 00:00

Symptoms Of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

The medical condition that is referred to as tarsal tunnel syndrome typically affects the ligaments that stretch across the foot. These are known to provide flexibility and stability to the foot, and may become irritated and inflamed if they are compressed. This may occur as a result from an injury or trauma the foot endures, possibly due to performing repetitive motions. There are several symptoms that are associated with this condition. Many patients will notice a burning or tingling sensation in their foot and may also be accompanied by a shooting pain in the ankle. If you have injured your foot or have pain in the ankle that develops gradually, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist so a proper diagnosis can be performed, and the correct treatment can begin.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Lowcountry Family Podiatry. 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 our office located in North Charleston, SC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

There are many women who enjoy wearing high heels despite knowing foot pain may develop from wearing these specific type of shoes. Research has shown that when the heel is high, the arch in the foot may become inflamed and this may typically cause pain and discomfort. If high heels are worn on a frequent basis, the toes may undergo stress, and this may possibly cause corns and calluses to develop. The likelihood of incurring a fall may increase as a result of the line of gravity being altered by the height of the heel. There are several ways to enjoy wearing high heels while keeping your feet as comfortable as possible. These may include slipping off your shoes at an appropriate time and performing gentle stretching exercises, including pointing, flexing and rolling your ankles. Additionally, circulation in the feet may be increased by wiggling the toes. Your feet may benefit by wearing shoes that are more comfortable the following day, which may allow the foot muscles to rest. Please speak to a podiatrist if you would like additional information concerning the dangers of wearing high heels.

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 Lowcountry Family Podiatry. 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 our office located in North Charleston, SC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet
Monday, 22 October 2018 00:00

Swollen Feet May Be Common During Pregnancy

Research has shown that many women suffer from specific physical ailments during their pregnancies, and swollen feet is one of the more common uncomfortable conditions. Women who are pregnant undergo a multitude of changes, which may often result in swollen feet and ankles. These may include the blood becoming thicker, which may be a consequence of unpreventable changes in the blood chemistry. Many women have learned to manage swollen feet during their pregnancies, and this may be accomplished by elevating the feet frequently during the day, drinking plenty of fresh water as often as possible, and maintaining a gentle exercise program. Additionally, it may be advised to sleep on your left side, which may help to regulate blood flow in the body. If you would like additional information about the effects pregnancy may have on your feet, please counsel with a podiatrist.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from Lowcountry Family Podiatry. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy, but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
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