Foot And Ankle News

Tips to Treat and Prevent Shin Splints

Ouch! Shin Splints…Too Much, Too Soon

If you are an avid walker, have begun a new exercise program, or are an experienced runner, you may have experienced one of the most common lower extremity ailments, shin splints. Shin splints are characterized as pain at the front inside area of the shin bone due to overexertion of the muscles. Shin splints usually involve small tears in the leg muscles where they are attached to the shin bone.

The most common cause of shin splints is inflammation of the periostium of the tibia (sheath surrounding the bones). Some other common causes include flat feet (overpronation), a high arch (underpronation), inadequate footwear, running on hard surfaces, and increasing training too quickly.

Use the following tips to treat and prevent shin splints:

  • For immediate pain relief ice the area to reduce pain and inflammation; take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (e.g., ibuprofen); and rest to allow the injury to heal.
  • Stretch and strengthen the leg muscles
  • Wear insoles or orthotics that offer arch support
  • Make sure you have the right running shoe for your foot type and for the activity
  • Avoid running on hard surfaces
  • Shorten your stride
  • Consult a podiatrist if your pain is really bad. You should get a full diagnosis to find out if there is a stress fracture in the area.
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Foot Injury Myths

Top Five Foot And Ankle Injury Myths To Stop Believing Now

1. IT CAN’T BE BROKEN BECAUSE I CAN MOVE IT.

False. You can walk with certain kinds of fractures. Common examples include breaks in the smaller, outer bone of the lower leg, small chip fractures of the foot or ankle bones, and the often-neglected fracture of the toe.

2. IF YOU BREAK A TOE, IMMEDIATE CARE ISN’T NECESSARY.

False. A toe fracture needs prompt attention. X-rays will reveal if it is a simple, displaced fracture or an angulated break. Your podiatrist can develop the right treatment plan once he or she has identified the type of break.

3. IF YOU HAVE A FOOT OR ANKLE INJURY, SOAK IT IN HOT WATER IMMEDIATELY.

False. Heat promotes blood flow and can cause greater swelling, which can lead to more pain. An ice bag wrapped in a towel is the ideal temporary treatment before you see your podiatrist.

4. APPLYING AN ELASTIC BANDAGE TO A SEVERELY SPRAINED ANKLE IS ADEQUATE TREATMENT.

False. Ankle sprains often mean torn or severely overstretched ligaments, and they should receive immediate care.

5. THE TERMS ‘FRACTURE,’ ‘BREAK,’ AND ‘CRACK’ ARE ALL DIFFERENT.

False. All of those words are appropriate for describing a broken bone.

REMEMBER, A DELAY IN TREATMENT CAN CAUSE TOE DEFORMITIES AND OTHER PODIATRIC PROBLEMS.
If you have suffered a foot or ankle injury, please contact the Foot And Ankle Center today at (504) 349-6633 or make an appointment online.

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Common Foot Pains

Simple steps that help people with diabetes keep their feet healthy

A diabetes diagnosis can be daunting, but a simple attitude adjustment can make a world of difference in how well you fare while living with the disease. When people with diabetes take proactive steps to monitor key health indicators, experts agree that it’s possible to prevent some of the most severe risks of diabetes, including lower limb amputation.

People ages 20 and older who are living with diabetes account for about 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report.

“The CDC says the occurrence of diabetes-related foot and lower-leg amputation has decreased by 65 percent since 1996,” says Catherine Hudson, DPM, a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Center and member of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “Working together, podiatrists and their patients with diabetes can reduce the number of amputations even more.”

People with diabetes may be less aware of cuts or wounds on their feet due to the nerve damage related to their disease, Dr. Hudson points out. “Regular and vigilant foot care can help catch problems before they develop into a health crisis.”

APMA offers advice to help people with diabetes protect their foot health:

  • Inspect your feet daily, checking the entire foot and all 10 toes for cuts, bruises, sores, or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discoloration. Treat wounds immediately and see your podiatrist if a problem persists or infection is apparent.
  • Exercise by walking, which can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve circulation. Be sure to wear athletic shoes appropriate for the type of exercise you’re doing.
  • When you buy new shoes, have them properly measured and fitted. Foot size and shape can change over time, and ill-fitting shoes are a leading cause of foot pain and lesions. Certain types of shoes, socks, and custom orthotics are available for people with diabetes, and they may be covered under Medicare. You can find a list of podiatrist-approved footwear and products for people with diabetes on the APMA website, www.apma.org.
  • Keep your feet covered and never go barefoot, even at home. The risk of cuts and infection is too great.
  • See a podiatrist to remove calluses, corns, or warts—don’t tackle them yourself, and don’t ask an unlicensed nonprofessional to do it. Over-the-counter products can burn your skin and injure your foot. Podiatrists are specially trained to address all aspects of foot health for people with diabetes.
  • Get checkups twice a year. An exam by your podiatrist is the best way to ensure your feet stay healthy.

“For people with diabetes, taking charge of your own foot health can help you avoid foot-related complications like amputation,” Dr. Hudson says. “Working with today’s podiatrist will help you safeguard your foot health.”

Catherine Hudson, DPM is a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Center in Marrero, LA.  Call 504-349-6633 or visit http://www.footandanklenola.com/contact to make an appointment. Visit www.apma.org to learn more about foot health and care.

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Diabetes Newsletter

Diabetes: Footprints Newsletter November 2016

DIABETES: A PATH TO POOR CIRCULATION?

If you have diabetes, even if it is well managed, you are at increased rish to develop vascular disease. Vascular disease is the buildup of plaque and cholesterol in you arteries througout your body.

Click to open the Newsletter.

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Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes Awareness Month (November 1–30) provides Foot and Ankle Center the opportunity to help educate the public about a podiatrist’s critical role on the diabetes management team, and the ways in which patients with diabetes can take simple steps to prevent foot complications, such as vascular disease. Join us in supporting APMA’s new “Diabetes: A Path to Poor Circulation?” campaign.

See the Full Campaign Poster here.

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tips to prevent blisters

Tips on How to Prevent & Treat Blisters

Don’t let painful blisters keep you from staying active! Stay on your feet with these helpful tips from Today’s Podiatrist.

How do blisters form?
Blisters form when there is friction against the foot, which can cause the outer layer of the skin to rub together, separate, and fill with fluid.

What causes blisters?
• Ill-fitting shoes
• Sweaty feet, especially if you do not wear moisture-wicking socks

Should I pop the blisters?
You should never pop blisters because you can run the risk of potential infection. Those with diabetes or poor circulation and the immunocompromised are at increased risk for developing infection.

If I can’t pop the blisters, how should I treat them?
• Apply a Band-Aid or gauze to the affected area
• Avoid whatever footwear caused the initial irritation and blister development
Make an appointment with Foot & Ankle Center if the area starts to smell or have discharge

How can I prevent blisters from forming?

• Buy proper-fitting shoes. Get your feet professionally measured so you are confident in your foot size and always remember to go shoe shopping toward the end of the day, as feet tend to swell during the day and physical activities.
• Wear moisture-wicking socks to prevent excess moisture, which can lead to blister formation.
• Try using different foot powders and creams to keep friction to a minimum.

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Pedicure Tips

Dos & Dont’s for a Fabulous Pedicure

Everyone needs a little foot pampering from time to time! Whether you are getting your
toes ready for prom, prepping for beach season, or just want to splash on a bright color
of polish before a hot date, grooming your feet should be done frequently to not only
keep feet looking good, but also to ensure proper foot health.

Whether you like to get a pedicure in the nail salon or at home, follow these easy Dos and Don’ts to keep your feet looking and feeling their best.

Dos
If you have diabetes or poor circulation in your feet, consult a podiatrist so he or she can recommend a customized pedicure that both you and your salon can follow for optimal foot health.
Schedule your pedicure first thing in the morning. Salon foot baths are typically cleanest earlier in the day. If you’re not a morning person, make sure that the salon filters and cleans the foot bath between clients.

Bring your own pedicure utensils to the salon. Bacteria and fungus can move easily from one person to the next if the salon doesn’t use proper sterilization techniques.

When eliminating thick, dead skin build-up, also known as calluses, on the heel, ball and sides of the feet, use a pumice stone, foot file or exfoliating scrub. Soak feet in warm water for at least five minutes, then use the stone, scrub, or foot file to gently smooth calluses and other rough patches.

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What is Tendinitis?

What is Tendinitis?
Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon. Tendons are thick cords of tissue that connect muscles to bone.

Achilles tendinitis, or an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, is one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain. Other types of foot/ankle tendinitis include posterior tibial tendinitis and peroneal tendinitis.

Causes
Tendinitis can result from an injury or over-use. Improper stretching prior to exertion or incorrect form during physical activity can also contribute to the development of tendinitis. Some people, including those with “flat feet,” tight tendons or arthritis, are particularly prone to tendinitis.

Symptoms
Pain is the most prominent symptom of tendinitis. The pain will be most noticeable when you try to move that part of your body. The involved tendon may swell.

Home Care
Rest and ice can ease the pain of tendinitis. Stay off your foot or ankle as much as possible and apply ice for up to 15 minutes at a time, three to four times a day.

When to Visit a Podiatrist
If the pain doesn’t go away with ice and rest, or if the pain persists beyond a week, it’s time to see a podiatrist. Don’t wait! Tendinitis can become a chronic problem, and it’s a lot harder to treat chronic problems than acute injuries.

Diagnosis and Treatment
Your podiatrist will ask you some questions about your pain and general health and perform a complete physical examination of your feet and ankles. X-rays or an MRI might be ordered to rule out any other problems, such as a fracture or torn tendon.

Treatment will focus on relieving the pain and preventing further injury. Your podiatrist may create shoe inserts or a soft cast to effectively immobilize the affected area for a period of time. (Often, a couple of weeks are needed for the tendon to heal.) Medication can help too. Your podiatrist may recommend or prescribe oral medication.

Prevention
Your podiatrist will work with you to decrease your chances of re-developing tendinitis. He or she may create custom orthotics to help control the motion of your feet. He or she may also recommend certain stretches or exercises to increase the tendon’s elasticity and strengthen the muscles attached to the tendon.

Gradually increasing your activity level with an appropriate training schedule—building up to a 5K run, for instance, instead of simply tackling the whole course the first day—can also help prevent tendinitis.

Source: http://www.apma.org/

If you are suffering from Tendinitis, please contact the doctors at the Foot and Ankle Center for an appointment. Call 504-349-6633 or fill out our online form.

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