Understanding Bunions

bunions10Up to 60 percent of older adults are affected by a foot disorder, including bunions. Known as one of the more common foot disorders, bunions form as a bony bump on the side of your foot, near the base of the big toe. Bunions can be caused by genes or by wearing ill-fitting tight shoes for long periods of time. Preventing the progression of your bunions involves wearing properly-fitting shoes that accommodate your toes, are not too high in heels, and have good arch support.

Bunions can be very troublesome if they are not treated correctly. If you are having problems with your bunions contact one of our podiatrists from ETL Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs by the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

  • Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
  • Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Melville and Briarwood, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Foot and Knee Injuries Affect Overall Health

foot-pain4Understanding your body is crucial toward treatment and prevention of knee and foot injuries. Knee and foot injuries can occur as a result of any physical activity, such as running or even just walking. The knee joint in particular is a complex joint, surrounded by ligaments, allowing us to walk and run. Knee injuries can become especially severe if left untreated, potentially leading to a loss of muscle strength and mobility over time. It’s recommended to seek the advice of your podiatrist and possibly follow up with physical therapy treatment. Surgery is also a potential treatment option, depending on the severity of the injury.

Regardless of season or weather, everyday foot care should be practiced year round. For more information about everyday foot care, contact one of our podiatrists from ETL Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. After all, without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks. It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before, for example.

For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops.

Also, wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Melville and Briarwood, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Ingrown Toenails: Causes and Preventions

ingrown-toenailIngrown toenails can occur when too much pressure is exerted on the toenails, typically on the big toenail. Ingrown toenails, if left untreated, are painful and can potentially lead to infection. Understanding your daily routine is vital to prevention. If you exercise often or wear high heels, take heed of your shoes. Improperly-fitting shoes and socks can contribute to the development of ingrown toenails. Make sure to take proper care of your toenails, keep your cuticles intact and cut your toenails straight across.

Ingrown toenails can be an easy fix if treated properly. If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, contact one of our podiatrists from ETL Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Melville and Briarwood, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Morton’s Neuroma Painful, but Treatable

mortons-neuroma2Morton’s neuroma affects about 30 percent of people, and exists as a condition in which the foot’s second toe may be larger than the big toe. Because of this irregularity, this can lead to overpronation as we do everyday activity, resulting in inflammation of the nerve between the second and third metatarsals. This is known as Morton’s neuroma. Treating your Morton’s neuroma involves seeing your doctor, wearing prescribed orthotics and possibly injections or surgery as a last option.

Morton’s neuroma can be a difficult condition to contend with. If you are experiencing symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists from ETL Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Morton’s Neuroma
Morton’s neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the third and fourth toe and the ball of the foot, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible to this condition. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.  Women are more likely than men to have an occurrence of this foot condition.

What Increases the Chances of having Morton’s Neuroma?
-Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot area.
-Jogging, running and any sports that involve constant impact to the foot area.
-Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformity may put you at a higher risk for developing Morton’s neuroma.

If you suspect that you may have this condition, you should visit your podiatrist. A podiatrist will first conduct a thorough physical examination to check for palpable masses between the bones of the foot.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Melville and Briarwood, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tips for Taking Care of Your Diabetic Feet

diabetic-foot-care4Taking care of your diabetic feet is of utmost importance in making sure that you stay healthy. Avoid going barefoot and always wear shoes. Walking barefoot as a diabetic patient can lead to an increased risk of injury. Routine foot exams should be conducted daily to check for any wounds, small or large, as if they are left untreated they can lead to further complications. When choosing footwear, make sure that your shoes are comfortable and properly-fitting. Avoid tight-fitting or point shoes such as high heels. Do not use hot or cold packs on any foot injury as this can increase your risk of skin injury or infection. Avoid sitting cross-legged for long periods of time as this can impair blood flow in the legs. Maintain proper foot hygiene by cleaning and your feet daily, making sure to dry thoroughly. Trim your toenails straight across so as to avoid infection.

Diabetics must pay special attention to their feet to help prevent any complications. If you believe you are having problems with your diabetic feet, contact one of our podiatrists from ETL Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. Diabetes can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels because blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Melville and Briarwood, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Runners Susceptible to Turf Toe

running-injuriesOne common running injury often experienced when running is turf toe, also known as “an acute, traumatic bursitis of the first toe-metatarsal joint associated with tendonitis,” attributed to playing on artificial turf. Typically during normal running motions, an athlete would be able to dig his or her big toe into the ground to propel forward, but on artificial turf, the big toe is displaced during the digging motion. This imbalance results from an abnormal pronation, or inward rolling, of the foot. Understanding the risk of injury that results from playing on artificial turf is important toward prevention. Orthotics that aid in balancing the feet can also be considered to decrease the risk of injury.

Running injuries, even with proper precautions, can still occur in many runners. If you are suffering from a running injury, contact one of our podiatrists from ETL Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
– One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
– Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
– Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
– Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
– Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
– Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
– Stretching keeps muscles limber, this will help you gain better flexibility.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Melville and Briarwood, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

plantar-fasciitis3Plantar fasciitis occurs most often either as an acute or a semi-acute injury. The ligament that runs along the heel to the toe, called the plantar fascia, becomes strained or ruptured. The condition afflicts mostly athletes and those who are avid exercisers. Pain symptoms can disrupt everyday activity as the plantar fascia becomes tender and swollen. The condition can be caused by improper footwear and constant stress on the feet from strenuous activity. When treating plantar fasciitis, take time to rest properly and see your doctor.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists from ETL Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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 contact one of our offices located in Melville and Briarwood, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Maintaining Uric Acid Levels to Fight Gout

bunions7For those who suffer from gout, maintaining proper hydration is vital to ensuring that our body processes essential nutrients, which can help dilute the uric acid in the foods we consume. Staying hydrated also helps our kidneys expel toxins, thus decreasing uric acid levels. Other foods that can help keep uric acids levels low include vitamin C-rich lemons, buttermilk, antioxidant-rich tomatoes, low-fat milk and green tea which is good for helping treat inflammation and swelling.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you have any concerns regarding gout, contact one of our podiatrists from ETL Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Melville and Briarwood, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Understanding Arthritis

arthritis5Arthritis occurs as swelling and inflammation of the body’s joints, leading to symptoms such as rashes, itchiness, fever, weight loss, and trouble breathing, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease. Arthritis results when the body’s immune system begins mistakenly attacking healthy cells, particularly in the joints. The different forms of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia and gout.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from ETL Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Arthritic Foot Care

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves inflammation of different joints in your body, such as in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. On top of 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 to 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 contact one of our offices located in Melville and Briarwood, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Anthony Davis Updates Status on Sprained Ankle

ankle-sprain2Anthony Davis provided an update on his ankle injury in early October, stating that he was rehabbing his injury. “It’s steady improving every day and I’m trying to figure out what I can and cannot do and then go from there. When I feel ready and able to get back on the floor, I’ll be back on the floor. We’re constantly checking on it every day,” he said. The Pelicans announced that Davis’s Grade 2 ankle injury sprain recovery could be as long as 2 weeks.

Ankle sprains are very pain and inconvenient. If you require medical assistance, contact one of our podiatrists from ETL Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits can aid in prevention

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Melville and Briarwood, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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