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Monday, 29 July 2019 00:00

How to Choose High Heels

The benefits of wearing high heels can include the legs appearing longer and slimmer. It may come with a price of having foot pain, and this can be the result of the shoes having inadequate room for the toes to move freely in. If the desire is strong to wear high heels, there are a variety of methods that can be implemented which may diminish foot pain. These can include getting your feet properly measured to determine the correct shoe size, keeping the heels about two inches high, and making sure there is enough cushioning and support in the shoe. Additionally, it may be beneficial to choose shoes that have rounded toes, as this can be helpful in preventing bunions, and other foot conditions. If you would like additional information on how high heels can affect your feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, 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.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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

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A toenail fungus is considered to be an infection of the nails. Common symptoms that are often associated with this condition can include noticeable discoloration of the toenails, and they may appear thick. Additionally, many patients see their nails beginning to crack, and this can cause an unsightly appearance. This type of fungus is known to be contagious, and typically lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These often include public swimming pools and surrounding areas, shower room floors, and locker rooms. The fungus can enter through tiny cracks in the skin, and the toenails can gradually become affected. Patients who are diabetic or have a weakened immune system may be more likely to contract this type of fungus. There are methods that can be implemented which may help to prevent the fungus from entering the body. These include wearing appropriate shoes while in public areas, and avoiding sharing shoes, socks, or nail trimmers. If you have toenail fungus, please consult with a podiatrist who can offer proper treatment options.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, 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.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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

 

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Sunday, 21 July 2019 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a form of arthritis that can affect anyone. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019 00:00

Painful Gout Attacks

People who experience gout flare ups are aware of the severe pain and discomfort that often accompanies these attacks. It will typically affect the big toe, and common symptoms can include redness, swelling, and tenderness. A medical condition that is referred to as hyperuricemia can occur if there is excess uric acid in the bloodstream. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including having high blood pressure, being diabetic or obese. There are specific foods that have elevated purine levels, and if these are consumed, a surplus of uric acid levels may form in the blood. These can include red meat, shellfish, and foods or drinks that have excess sugar. There are methods that can be implemented which may help to prevent gout attacks. These consist of changing your eating habits to incorporate healthy foods, performing a gentle exercise routine, and to lose any existing additional weight. If you are afflicted with gout, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can properly help you to manage this condition.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Derek T. Pantiel from Summit Podiatry. Our doctor 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 feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, Whiteville, and Burgaw, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Tuesday, 09 July 2019 00:00

Why Are Flip-Flops Bad for Your Feet?

Many people enjoy the ease of wearing flip-flops. They are a simple shoe, easy to wear, and designed in a variety of colors. Despite their popularity, there are foot conditions that can develop from wearing this type of shoe. Ligaments and tendons may slowly pull out of alignment, and a bunion can form. Additionally, if there is little or no arch support, this may trigger the onset of heel pain, which could be indicative of plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. Many flip-flops are constructed of a porous material, and this can be the perfect area for fungus to grow. This can lead to athlete’s foot and toenail fungus. If flip-flops are frequently worn, hammertoe can develop as a result of the toes grasping the shoe to stay on the foot. If you would like additional information about the consequences of wearing flip flops, please consult with a podiatrist.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Derek T. Pantiel from Summit Podiatry. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

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

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Tuesday, 02 July 2019 00:00

Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury

The Achilles tendon is located at the back of the calf, and its function is to connect the heel to the calf muscles. It is important for this tendon to remain strong, as it is necessary in performing running and jumping activities. Achilles tendonitis occurs if it becomes irritated, inflamed, or swollen. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including increasing the intensity of a new sport, wearing inappropriate shoes while exercising, or from having tight calf muscles. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition can include pain and discomfort near the heel, and some patients may have difficulty in flexing and pointing the injured foot. Effective treatment options can include resting the foot, performing exercises to strengthen the calf muscles, in addition to possibly wearing orthotics. If you feel you have injured your Achilles tendon, it is strongly advised to consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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 the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, Whiteville, and Burgaw, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
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