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Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

Can Falling Be Prevented?

Falling is common among older individuals, and can cause serious injuries. It is important to learn why falls occur, and it may be wise to implement methods that help to prevent falling. These include practicing a regular exercise routine which aids in maintaining strength and balance, and wearing shoes that fit correctly. Additionally, it is beneficial to keep your living environment free of clutter and installing handrails in the shower area to prevent unwanted slips from occurring. Many patients find it advantageous to have frequent eye examinations performed, and this may enable them to see items on the floor that can cause tripping. If you would like information about how falling can affect the feet, it is advised that you speak to a podiatrist.

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 Dr. Derek T. Pantiel from Summit Podiatry. Our doctor 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 one of our offices located in Wilmington, and Whiteville, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

Two Types of Ankle Sprains

If ligaments in the ankle are torn or stretched, it is indicative of an ankle sprain. The purpose of these ligaments is to hold the ankle in place. If you have sprained your ankle, pain and discomfort is often experienced, and it may be difficult to bear any weight on the foot. Research has indicated there are two types of ankle sprains. These include eversion and inversion sprains. If the ankle turns in an outward direction, this is typically an eversion sprain. The latter occurs when the foot is twisted, and the ankle rolls inward. Some of the reasons why this type of injury occurs include wearing the wrong shoes, which can make it easier to fall, in addition to participating in high impact sporting activities. This produces stress on the ankle joints, which can lead to weakness in the foot. If you feel you have sprained your ankle, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can perform a complete evaluation of the injured foot.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Derek T. Pantiel from Summit Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

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

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 feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, and Whiteville, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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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.

There are numerous symptoms that are associated with poor circulation. Many patients may experience leg cramps, difficulty in healing, or the absence of a pulse in the feet. The condition known as peripheral artery disease (PAD) may be a reason for poor circulation to develop. This condition may gradually produce additional symptoms, including nerve or tissue damage, numbness, or a tingling sensation. Patients who have diabetes may have difficulty sensing foot pain caused by poor circulation. People who are overweight may sit for extended periods of time, and this may lead to the onset of this ailment. If you have any of these symptoms, it is strongly suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment.

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Derek T. Pantiel of Summit Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, and Whiteville, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Ingrown Toenails

A condition that is known as ingrown toenails may be a result of the toenail growing into the surrounding skin. The big toe is typically affected, and can cause pain and discomfort. There are several symptoms that may be associated with this condition, including possible discharge, redness and irritation around the toe, and pain when the toe is touched. There are many reasons why this ailment might develop. These may include toenails that have been trimmed incorrectly, wearing shoes that may be too tight, or an injury that may have happened to the toe. If you have an ingrown toenail, it may be helpful to gently push the affected skin away from the nail. If it should become infected, it is advised that you consult a podiatrist who can discuss the best treatment options for you.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Derek T. Pantiel of Summit Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, and Whiteville, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet.

Want to wear open toe shoes again? ...Special occasion? Vacation? ...You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails.

Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

Causes of Bunions

Research has indicated that bunions may be caused by genetic factors. Additional reasons why bunions may develop may be from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. This may result in the big toe pointing toward the other toes, and the bone may protrude on the side of the big toe. There may be medical conditions that exist which can precede the formation of bunions. These may include gout and rheumatoid arthritis.  Many patients choose to treat the symptoms of bunions with orthotics or bunion pads. If the symptoms are severe, having surgery performed may be a viable option for permanent removal of the bunion. An effective way of preventing this condition from developing may be to wear shoes that fit correctly and have a lower heel. If you have severe bunions, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Derek T. Pantiel of Summit Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

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 due to 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 worsen existing bunions

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 feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, and Whiteville, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Bunions?
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