Tuesday, August 6, 2019


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.

Contact our InStride Family Foot Care at (704)786-4482 if you have questions or concerns regarding your foot health. We are more than welcome to answer your questions and help you to have healthy feet.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Shoes for Bottom and Side Foot Pain

Do you have pain on the bottom or side of your foot?

Do you stand on your feet a lot?

Check out this below video from Dr. McDonald for some good tips that can help you find the right shoes for your feet.

Hint: Make sure that the sole of your shoe is cushioned, and make sure that you are wearing sturdy shoes that give lots of support for your foot. 

If you experience pain in the bottom or side of your foot, please do not hesitate to contact our InStride Family Foot Care at 704-786-4482. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Maximize Prevention for Diabetic Foot Complications with New Technology

Diabetic Feet – What’s the Big Deal?
Individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to serious foot problems due to nerve damage, vascular damage or both. If you are a diabetic, your feet can be considered "at risk”.

Over time, elevated blood sugar damages the nerves to the feet causing peripheral neuropathy which creates numbness, tingling and even pain. When someone has peripheral neuropathy, he or she may not feel a blister or wound forming. One might not even feel the puncture from a sharp object on the bottom of the foot.

Seemingly minor injuries can cause an opening in the skin that can become a serious health risk. Advanced neuropathy may lead to severe bone and joint foot injuries... without any pain at all!

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) occurs when the arteries carrying blood to the feet become narrow and stiff, leading to decreased oxygen and nutrient being delivered to the tissues. PAD is commonly seen in diabetics and is the major cause of foot amputations.

People with diabetes tend to have problems with wound healing. Factors relating to wound healing include decreased kidney function and impaired eye sight, as well as PAD. Thus, it is very important to find and treat any infections or wounds on the feet of people with diabetes.

How Will a Screening Help?

Early detection of diabetes is important to control the complications that come along with the disease including kidney, eye and cardiovascular disease. Moreover, research worldwide has also shown time and time again that early detection of the vascular and neurologic damage is very important for prevention of ulcerations and amputations.

More than 100 million US citizens are diagnosed with diabetes and diabetic amputations are on the rise! According to a study reported by Reuters Health in December of last year for every 1,000 individuals with diabetes (under the age of 45), 4.2 will result in a limb amputation. This number grew from 2.1 in 2009 to 4.2 by 2015.

Early detection of the vascular and neurologic damage is crucial for prevention of ulcerations and amputations. InStride Family Foot Care utilizes innovative technology to identify those at risk and to monitor any condition changes. TM-Flow Technology is offered for the early detection of both vascular and neurological complications for at-risk patients, including those with diabetes.

Screenings will save on patient budgets too! It has been reported that three years of follow-up care for an ulcer that has healed can cost as much as $27,000. The cost for someone who eventually needs an amputation can go as high as $70,000!

Diabetic Screening Innovations - TM-Flow Technology

TM-Flow technology measures blood flow in the feet and toes, as well as the state of the arteries. Artery strength must be detected to determine if a person’s body will be able to heal a sore, ulcer, or wound. TM-Flow also tests the density of the body’s C Nerve Fibers which are responsible for neuropathic pain. Heart rate and changes in blood pressure are also measured to assess the nervous system.

Reliable, objective testing of both the arterial and nervous systems enables Dr. McDonald of InStride Family Foot Care to provide specific preventative measures for each unique patient. For patients who do have an ulcer, he is able to identify those at risk for delayed healing, which helps determine the best course of treatment.

When patients have a screening with TM-Flow at InStride Family Foot Care, they are given recommendations to protect their feet and to protect their overall health. Following the screening, Dr. McDonald will discuss their results and make suggestions in diet, exercise, and supplement recommendations as part of the visit to benefit the circulation and nerve function to the feet.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Sugar Overload: A Holiday Precaution

Caution Needed with Holiday Treats
Sugar Plums. Sugar Cookies. Sugar and Spice. Even Sugar Daddies! There are so many holiday traditions involving that sweet, sparkling ingredient… but unfortunately it’s an ingredient that can be dangerous for those with diabetes. Most diabetic patients are cautious of their sugar intake throughout the year; but when it comes to the holidays, people tend to forget (or ignore) everything they know about managing their diabetes!

Understanding the Sugar (Glucose)/Insulin Balance
Sugar is processed in the body in the form of glucose to provide energy for your daily and future needs. It is your body’s job to produce/insulin to process the sugar that is consumed from sweets, breads and other foods that are high in carbohydrates.

It is when individuals are unable to fully process the sugars in their bodies, that they are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. Possible reasons for the inability to process the sugar includes:
  • not producing insulin
  • not producing enough insulin
  • unable to use the insulin that is produced
Treatment for diabetes differs person to person because each body is unique in the ability to process sugar.

Blood Sugar is All About the Numbers
Diabetes is often measured in the blood this is where insulin breaks down glucose. If the ratio of glucose to insulin is abnormally high, hyperglycemia results. Hyperglycemia is simply defined as an elevate blood sugar. Similarly, hypoglycemia is defined as a low blood sugar. Blood sugars differ during the day because our bodies produce insulin in response to food that is eaten. Many people are required to check their blood sugars several times a day at home. A normal fasting blood sugar is between 70-100mg/dL.

Monitoring Your Blood Sugars During the Holidays is Essential to Staying in Control
If your doctor has you checking your blood sugar at home, it is especially important to keep track of the foods you eat during the holidays. This is when many people – diabetics and non-diabetics alike struggle controlling the amount of food we eat, especially sugar-filled foods like cookies, fudge, pies, and other traditional holiday snacks. Many diabetic patients have guidelines to direct them on how much insulin or diabetic medication they take based on their blood sugar levels so you should expect to need more “help” if you are consuming more sugar.

Diabetes and the At Risk Foot
Individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to serious foot problems due to nerve damage, vascular damage or both. If you are a diabetic, your feet can be considered "at risk”.

Over time, elevated blood sugar damages the nerves to the feet causing peripheral neuropathy which creates numbness, tingling and even pain. Increased numbness and pain in the feet is a sign that your blood sugars may be elevated!

When someone has peripheral neuropathy, he or she may not feel a blister or wound forming. One might not even feel the puncture from a sharp object on the bottom of the foot. Seemingly minor injuries can cause an opening in the skin that can become a serious health risk. Advanced neuropathy may lead to severe bone and joint foot injuries... without any pain at all!

If you are a diabetic, you should be seeing a podiatrist on a regular basis for evaluation and maintenance and ANY time there is a change in your feet!

Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice
While visions of sugar plums may be dancing in your head, be sure to stay on track of your blood glucose levels as you celebrate the holidays. At InStride Family Foot Care, we specialize in the podiatric care of those with diabetes and will evaluate your symptoms and make sure your feet stay healthy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Medical Pedicures


Potential Health Risks of Salon Pedicures You Should Know!

Salon Pedicure Risks in the News

Recently, CBS News reported a story about a woman who was at risk of losing her leg due to a pedicure she received at her local salon. 

While this extreme type of infection is not common, there are documented cases of severe bacterial infections as a result of non-sterile instrumentation.  Non-sterile instruments, foot soaks and even nail files can transmit bacteria and fungus from person to person... and from toe to toe.

This particular case involved a pedicurist utilizing a type of shaver to remove a callus.  In many states, it is actually illegal for pedicurists to perform any type of callus removal beyond filing the hardened/thickened area of skin.  Even nail technicians are often not permitted to utilize blades or shaving devices.  Medical assistants, working with a podiatrist, aren't allowed to either!
While some states have higher regulations than others, there are still limitations in “patrolling” salon compliance to cleanliness. 

Common Infections Caused by Salon Contamination
Our feet are highly susceptible to hosting fungus because they are “housed” in socks and shoes which create an ideal environment for fungus to thrive – dark and damp.  Once fungus is present on a single toenail, the transfer to multiple toenails is extremely probable. 
While the transmission of a limb-threatening bacterial infection as a result of a pedicure is not very common, the risk of spreading fungal matter is a far more frequent occurrence.  Improper or incomplete sterilization of previously used nail files is not uncommon at a large percentage of nail salons.
Nail salons simply do not have the standards for sterilization that one would find in a medical environment.
Benefits of Podiatric Medical Pedicures
Simply put – medical pedicures are safe.  Practices like InStride Family Foot Care utilize the medical standards that become physicians’ highest responsibility due to their training, education, and medical oath.
In addition to utilizing medical-grade instruments and sterilization techniques, single-use foot tub liners are used to decrease any chance of potential cross-contamination and infection.
For men and woman who do still want to get pedicures at a salon, there is the option of receiving an initial treatment from a podiatrist prior.  The podiatrist is not only trained in proper sterilization, but proper use of blades and shaver type instruments to minimize potential complications.

Extra precautions are especially important for those with diabetes, or anyone with compromised immune systems, due to the increased risk of infection and non-healing wounds.  The same precautions should be considered for individuals who have had a history of fungal infections.  Fungal infections are notorious for recurring.

Additionally, it is recommended that individuals do not shave the areas of the feet and legs that may be exposed to pedicure tub water or instruments.  By not shaving, you will reduce the chance of creating an open cut/wound (large or small) and reduce the chance of potential infection.

Podiatry offices like InStride Family Foot Care also provide polishes that are safer than salons.  These polishes are created with non-toxic chemicals and are infused with antifungal elements like tea tree oil.

Essentially, medical pedicures with a licensed podiatrist is the safe, sterile route for healthy looking feet!


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Chilblains (cold feet)

Chilblains are caused by the skin's abnormal reaction to cold. Circulation is a determining factor for chilblains; people with poor circulation in the feet are more susceptible.

Chilblains are characterized by small itchy, red swellings on the skin, which become increasingly painful, swell, and dry out, leaving cracks in the skin and exposing the foot to the risk of infection. 

They occur on the edge of the toes, fingers, face (especially the nose), and the ear lobes. They can also occur on areas of the feet exposed to pressure, such as on a bunion or where the second toe is squeezed by tight shoes. Symptoms include burning and itching, swelling or redness, breaks in the skin, and ulcers.

Treatment includes keeping the body, legs, and feet warm, especially for individuals who have poor circulation and/or limited mobility.

Calamine lotion will take away most of the skin discomfort. If chilblains become ulcerated, application of an antiseptic dressing is the recommended form of treatment.

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