Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Moisturize Your Feet

Do you have dry feet? 
Check out this video clip from Dr. McDonald on how to topically moisturize your feet.

 



For additional questions please contact:
Dr. Kevin McDonald at 704 -786-4482 or visit at http://www.familyfootcare.info/


Monday, November 30, 2015

Diabetes and Your Feet

Diabetes is a lifelong chronic disease that is caused by high levels of sugar in the blood.

It can also decrease your body's ability to fight off infections, which is especially harmful in your feet.

When diabetes is not properly controlled, damage can occur to the organs and impairment of the immune system is also likely to occur.

With damage to your nervous system, you may not be able to feel your feet properly. 

Normal sweat secretion and oil production that lubricates the skin of the foot is impaired, which can lead to an abnormal pressure on the skin, bones, and joints of the foot during walking and other activities. 


This can even lead to the breakdown of the skin of the foot, which often causes sores to develop.

If you have diabetes, it is important to prevent foot problems before they occur, recognize problems early, and seek the right treatment when a problem does happen.

Diabetic Complications and Your Feet

When it comes to your feet, there are several risk factors that can increase your chances of developing foot problems and diabetic infections in the legs and feet. 

First of all, poorly fitting shoes are one of the biggest culprits of diabetic foot complications.
If you have red spots, sore spots, blisters, corns, calluses, or consistent pain associated with wearing shoes, new proper fitted shoes must be obtained immediately. 

Additionally, if you have common foot abnormalities such as flat feet, bunions, or hammertoes, prescription shoes or orthotics from your podiatrist may be necessary to further protect your feet from other damage.

People who have long-standing or poorly controlled diabetes are also at risk for having damage to the nerves in their feet, which is known in the medical community as peripheral neuropathy. 

If you have nerve damage, you may not be able to feel your feet normally and you may also be unable to sense the position of your feet and toes while walking and balancing, which can cause even more harm to your feet.

Normal nerves allow people to sense if their shoes are too tight or if their shoes are rubbing on the feet too much. 

With diabetes, you may not be able to properly sense minor injuries, such as cuts, scrapes and blisters-all signs of abnormal wear, tear, and foot strain. 

The following can also compromise the health of your feet:

  • Poor circulation
  • Trauma to the foot
  • Infections
  • Smoking

Diabetes can be extremely dangerous to your feet, so take precautions now. You can avoid serious problems such as losing a toe, foot, or leg by following proper prevention techniques offered by your podiatrist. 

For additional questions please contact:
InStride Family Foot Care at 704-786-4482.

Hint: Remember, prevention is the key to saving your feet and eliminating pain.





Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Shin Splints

Shin splints refer to pain on either side of the leg bone that is caused by muscle or tendon inflammation. 

The problem is usually related to a collapsing arch, but may be caused by a muscle imbalance between opposing muscle groups in the leg.

Preventing Shin Splints
Proper stretching before and after exercise and sports, corrective shoes, or orthotics (corrective shoe inserts) can help prevent shin splints.
  


 If you have any questions about your feet, please contact our Family Foot Care at 704-786-4482 or visit our website at http://www.familyfootcare.info/.



Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Spurs

Image Credit: Quoteko
Bone spurs are a very common foot problem. In the feet, they develop most frequently in the heel, near the toes, and on top of the big toe joint.

The spurs are small outgrowths of bone. In and of themselves, they are generally harmless. However, their location may cause friction or irritation from shoes or other foot structures, which can lead to other foot problems.


Heel spurs refer specifically to bone spurs in the heel. Heel spurs are growths of bone on the underside, forepart of the heel bone and occur when the plantar fibrous band pulls at its attachment to the heel bone. This area of the heel later calcifies to form a spur. With proper warm-up and the use of appropriate athletic shoes, strain to the ligament can be reduced.


Anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, corrective shoes, and/or orthotics (special shoe inserts) are some of the common treatments for spurs.  
Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medication. Surgery may be prescribed if spurring around the joint becomes severe or leads to recurrent pain from persistent corns. 

If you have any questions regarding your feet, please contact our Family Foot Care at 704-786-4482 or visit our website at http://www.familyfootcare.info/.




 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Warts

Most foot warts are harmless, even though they may be painful. They are often mistaken for corns or calluses, which are layers of dead skin that build up to protect an area which is being continuously irritated. 

A wart, however, is caused by a viral infection which invades the skin through small or invisible cuts and abrasions. 

Foot warts are generally raised and fleshy and can appear anywhere on the foot or toes. Occasionally, warts can spontaneously disappear after a short time, and then, just as frequently, they recur in the same location. 

If left untreated, warts can grow to an inch or more in circumference and can spread into clusters of warts. 

Children, especially teenagers, tend to be more susceptible to warts than adults.

Plantar warts, also known as verrucas, appear on the soles of the feet and are one of several soft tissue conditions that can be quite painful. 

Unlike other foot warts, plantar warts tend to be hard and flat, with a rough surface and well-defined boundaries. They are often gray or brown (but the color may vary), with a center that appears as one or more pinpoints of black. 

Plantar warts are often contracted by walking barefoot on dirty surfaces or littered ground.  The virus that causes plantar warts thrives in warm, moist environments, making infection a common occurrence in public pools and locker rooms.

Like any other infectious lesion, plantar warts are spread by touching, scratching, or even by contact with skin shed from another wart. 

The wart may also bleed, another route for spreading. Plantar warts that develop on the weight-bearing areas of the foot (the ball or heel of the foot) can cause a sharp, burning pain. 

Pain occurs when weight is brought to bear directly on the wart, although pressure on the side of a wart can create equally intense pain.


To prevent the spread of warts, follow these tips:

  • Avoid direct contact with warts, both from other persons or from other parts of the body.
  • Avoid walking barefoot, except on sandy beaches.
  • Change your shoes and socks daily.
  • Check your children's feet periodically.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry.
It is important to note that warts can be very resistant to treatment and have a tendency to reoccur. 

Over-the-counter foot wart treatments are usually ineffective because their use can inadvertently destroy surrounding healthy tissue. 

Please contact our Family Foot Care office for help in effectively treating warts at 704-786-4482 for Concord location or 704-454-5558 for Harrisburg location. Our practice is expert in recommending the best treatment for each patient, ranging from prescription ointments or medications to, in the most severe cases, laser cautery.


 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Baseball and Your Feet

Baseball is the national pastime in America. From kids to adults, playing baseball is one of the most enjoyable team sports. But as with other sports, it's important that you keep yourself in good condition and have the right equipment to play safely and enjoy the health benefits of the game. Baseball players are advised to condition their entire bodies and be sure to stretch the leg, ankle, and foot muscles before, during, and after play to avoid injuries.



Baseball can be characterized by lots of stops and starts, lots of running, and, of course sliding. Practice and technique can enhance your competency and enjoyment of the game, but they are also crucial for building up the muscles needed in baseball. The rapid and changing movements associated with the sport place many pressures on your feet and ankles. Inadequate stretching, improper shoes, and repeated motions lead to the most common foot problems that occur among baseball players, such as Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, stress fractures, ankle sprains, and bone fractures.



Baseball Shoes and Cleats



As with most athletic shoes, comfort is the most important element in choosing the right baseball shoe for you. Look for shoes with a roomy toe box that give your toes enough room to wiggle. The widest part of your foot should fit comfortably into the shoe without stretching the upper. Look for a snug heel to help keep your foot stable. Most importantly, remember to replace your baseball shoes after 70 to 75 hours of active wear.



For league play, cleats may be recommended to give you the traction needed for the surface in the diamond. Baseball cleats come in a variety of materials ranging from leather and synthetic materials (plastics) to rubber and metal. Be sure to follow the regulations of your league regarding the material allowed; many leagues no longer permit the use of metal spikes or cleats, particularly on artificial turf. Be sure to give yourself time to adjust to cleats by wearing them on the designated surface.


 



If you have any questions regarding your feet, please don't hesitate to contact our Family Foot Care at 704-786-4482 or visit our website at http://www.familyfootcare.info/.




Monday, July 6, 2015

Men's Shoes

Most men's shoes conform to the shape of the feet and have a roomy toe box with sufficient horizontal and vertical space and a low heel (usually about half an inch high).
Soles made of either hard materials (such as leather) or soft materials (such as crepe) can be worn, but softer soles tend to be more comfortable. 


If you stand for extended periods of time, shoes with soft, pliable and cushioned soles will protect your feet and help keep them comfortable.

The best shoes for men are good quality oxford styles, shoes ordinarily associated with wing-tip or cap toe designs. Also suitable are slip-ons, dressy loafers, and low dress boots.

It is advisable to have three to five pairs of shoes for business so that you can alternate your shoes on a daily basis.


If you have any questions regarding your feet, or if you want our Family Foot Care to help you choose proper shoes, please don't hesitate to contact us at 704-786-4482 or visit our website at http://www.familyfootcare.info/.






Monday, June 15, 2015

Black Toenails

Black or darkened toenails are essentially bruised nails and can result from a variety injuries or problems. 

Darkened nails may occur as a result of the toe hitting the end or the top of the shoe toe area. Sometimes, the bruise can lead to a fungal nail infection.

Treatment may include trimming the nail back and applying a topical antifungal medication. If the skin under the nail is ulcerated, a topical antibiotic ointment should be applied.

Diabetic patients should contact our office for evaluation if they experience any change in the color of toenails. The pressure causing the bruised nail may lead to a small sore under the toenail, which can lead to infection.


If you have any questions regarding your feet, please don't hesitate to contact our Family Foot Care at 704-786-4482 or visit our website at http://www.familyfootcare.info/.







Monday, June 1, 2015

High Heels

Women invite foot problems by wearing high heels. 
High heels may contribute to knee and back problems, disabling injuries in falls, shortened calf muscles, and an awkward, unnatural gait. In time, high heels may cause enough changes in the feet to impair their proper function. 
Most women admit high heels make their feet hurt, but they tolerate the discomfort in order to look taller, stylish, and more professional.

There are ways to relieve some of the abusive effects of high heels. Women can limit the time they wear them by alternating with good-quality, oxford-type shoes or flats for part of the day. Keep the heel height to no more than two inches and make sure the fit for the rest of the shoe is good. Varying heel heights whenever possible to wear shoes as low as possible in each situation. For example, there are comfortable and attractive "walking" pumps for women for work and social activities.

Experts say the best shoes for women may be:
  • A walking shoe with ties (not a slip-on).
  • Shoes with a Vibram-type composition sole.
  • A relatively wider heel, no more than a half or three-quarters of an inch in height.

If you need help in finding the right shoe for you and/or your love ones, our InStride Family Foot Care will be glad to help! Contact us at 704-786-4482 or visit our website at http://www.familyfootcare.info/.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Prevention of Diabetic Foot Ulcer

A diabetic foot ulcer can be prevented in a number of ways. 
First and foremost, it is essential that you take control of your diabetes: ensure that your blood sugar is properly managed and you are eating properly. Using medication or insulin is not enough to control your diabetes. Diet and exercise is essential.

There are certain other risk factors that contribute to the formation of diabetic foot ulcers. Foot deformities, such as bunions and hammertoes, and the formation of calluses beneath the foot in areas of pressure can cause the skin to break down and form ulcers. In these cases diabetic shoes, or even custom shoes, are helpful in reducing pressure and protecting the foot. In cases of extreme deformity of the foot, such as charcot, a brace known as an Ankle-foot orthotic is useful in preventing breakdown of the skin.

Everyone who is living with diabetes must have a relationship with a podiatrist to properly assess the risk of developing a diabetic foot ulcer and recommend measures to prevent one from ever occurring.

If you have any questions or concerns about your feet, please don't hesitate to contact our Family Foot Care at 704-786-4482. We have two locations to serve you: 1022 Lee-Ann Drive Concord and 6602 Roberta Road Harrisburg.


  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pregnancy Foot Care

Pregnant women need to observe good foot health to prevent pain and discomfort.

Since the body undergoes changes and acquires a new weight-bearing stance, women should wear shoes with broad-based heels that provide support and absorb shock. 

Additional body weight also calls for more support, to prevent foot "breakdown."

The expectant mother often experiences more than ordinary swelling of her feet and ankles, which can aggravate existing foot conditions and promote inflammation or irritation. 

Pregnancy also triggers the release of hormones that enhance loose ligaments, which can contribute to foot strain.
  • To help overcome these problems, allow time each day to stay off your feet.
  • Elevate the feet and legs when you are sitting to help prevent and reduce swelling.
  • Don't sit for long periods of time.
If problems do develop, please contact our Family Foot Care office to schedule an appointment at 704-786-4482.



Monday, March 30, 2015

Burning Feet

Burning feet refers to a foot sensation that is most frequently experienced by adults over age 50 and those who are diabetic.

Thyroid dysfunction, gastric restriction in morbidly obese people, and heavy use of alcohol also have been linked with burning feet. Nerve problems, such as neuromas and tarsal tunnel syndrome, may also be associated with the sensation of burning feet.

There are some simple ways to mitigate burning feet:

  • Make sure you wear shoes that fit properly and provide support for your unique foot structure.

  • Take foot baths daily to treat hot and sweaty feet.

  • Wear socks of cotton, versus synthetic, fibers as they are lighter and cooler.

  • Avoid long periods of standing

  • Try cushioned or shock-absorbing insoles in your shoes to make standing more comfortable.
  • In some cases, orthotics may be helpful to correct any underlying mechanical imbalances which may be responsible for your burning feet.
It is not unusual for feet to ache or burn at the end of a long day. However, on an ongoing basis, burning feet can be a symptom of a more serious health problem. 

Please consult our Family Foot Care office and schedule an appointment if you experience persistent burning feet at 704-786-4482 
or visit our website at http://www.familyfootcare.info/.



Monday, March 9, 2015

WALK SOFTLY

Although it is an effective way to burn calories, using a treadmill requires caution. 
Frequent walking at a much higher rate of steps per minute on a sharp incline can result in foot injuries. 
Inflammation of the tissues of the heel, known a plantar fasciitis, is a common result from treadmill use. 
The pressure and friction experienced can also cause Morton’s neuroma, a nerve irritation near the base of the third and fourth toes. 
Other potential issues include tendonitis and blisters. Stretching exercises done prior to a workout can be of benefit. Orthotics or padding for shoes may offer some relief. Also, lowering the incline and speed aggressive treadmill used and maintaining a shorter stride may help in preventing foot injuries.

Whenever your feet hurt, it’s important to find out why. Bearing in mind how much our feet do for us.
If you have any questions regarding your feet, please don't hesitate to contact our InStride Family Foot Care at 704.786.4482. We are located at 1022 Lee-Ann Dr. in Concord.

HINT: When possible, vary your treadmill workouts with training outdoors.


Monday, February 16, 2015

HEEL FISSURES

Heel fissures, or splitting skin, can be unsightly, painful, and potentially hazardous to your health.
Chronic dry skin, athletes’ foot, wearing open back shoes, and cold weather are all contributory factors that can lead to this painful condition.
Walking, which puts pressure on the fissures, causes them to split and become more vulnerable to bacterial invasion, which can lead to infection.
A podiatrist can remove or debride the callusing in the affected area. A topical medication that allows for more successful penetration of the callus may also be suggested.
Reducing the size of the callused tissue helps to accelerate the closure of the fissure.
In additions, applying recommended moisturizers may help alleviate the condition.

As with all conditions your doctor should be consulted to diagnose and treat this condition.
Feet are vulnerable and prone to complaints, but most problems don’t just disappear on their own.

If you have any questions regarding your feet, please do not hesitate to contact our FAMILY FOOT CARE at 704.786.4482 or visit our website at http://www.familyfootcare.info/.

HINT: Prolonged standing, particularly on hard floors, can result in heel fissures.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Wear Patterns

Examining old shoes before buying new ones can help you evaluate your wear patterns and buy new shoes with a better fit and style that compensates for the stresses you place on shoes.

What are your shoes trying to tell you? Here is a translation of basic wear patterns:

  • A bulge and wear to the side of the big toe means too-narrow fit or you have a bunion.
  • Outer sole wear means you turn your foot out. Orthotics may help.
  • Toe-shaped ridges on the upper means your shoes are too small or you have hammertoes.
  • Wear on the ball of the foot means your heel tendons may be too tight.
  • Wear on the inner sole means you pronate or turn your foot inward. Inner liners or orthotics may help.
  • Wear on the upper, above the toes means the front of your shoe is too low. 

If you have any questions regarding your feet, please don't hesitate to contact our Family Foot Care at 704-786-4482 or visit our website at http://www.familyfootcare.info/.



 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Women Over 65

Older women have more trouble with their feet than younger ones, often because fat pads on the bottom of the feet tend to deteriorate in the aging process. Many foot problems for older women can be alleviated simply by wearing properly fitted, well-constructed shoes that provide cushioning and have a soft, flexible upper that will conform to the shape of their feet. Shoes made of leather that "breathes" can also reduce the possibility of skin irritation.

Soles should be lightweight, with enough flexibility and shock-absorbing quality to provide solid footing and not be slippery. Low-heeled shoes provide greater stability, more protection for the feet, and greater comfort. Because older women often have circulatory problems, they have a special need to keep their feet warm in cold weather, to prevent frostbite or chilblains. Most importantly, keep walking and moving around every day so that all the systems in the legs and feet remain stretched and circulation stays healthy.


If you have any questions regarding your feet, or if you want our Family Foot Care to help you choose proper shoes, please don't hesitate to contact us at 704-786-4482 or visit our website at http://www.familyfootcare.info/