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August 2020

Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

Caring for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

We should all be wary of cuts, scrapes, and wounds on our feet, but diabetics need to be especially careful. Diabetic foot ulcers are open sores or wounds that form mainly on the bottoms of the feet of people with diabetes. These wounds are slow to heal and may become infected. Therefore, it is important for diabetics to take special care of their feet. Daily inspections of the feet to check for scrapes, sores, and blisters, can help detect any problems early on. If you find an open wound, wash it well with saline or clean tap water, then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound. Cover the wound with a bandage to protect it, and change the bandage every one to two days, making sure to clean and disinfect the wound again. Keep pressure off the wound as much as you can to aid in healing. If you have diabetes and struggle with diabetic foot ulcers, see a podiatrist who can help you take care of your feet.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Derek T. Pantiel from Summit Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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.

Read more about Wound Care

If you work on your feet, you may be familiar with the foot pain and soreness associated with standing all day. Stretching and exercising your feet can help relieve your pain and discomfort. Rolling a tennis ball under your feet can help reduce pain on your soles. For best results, remove your shoes and socks and sit on a chair. Press down lightly on the tennis ball with the bottoms of your feet as you roll it around. If you have ankle pain, you can relieve it by rolling your ankles in slow circles. You should feel a gentle stretch along your calves as the Achilles tendon is stretched. For more advice on how to relieve foot and ankle pain from working on your feet, speak with a podiatrist today.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact Dr. Derek T. Pantiel from Summit Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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 Working on Your Feet

Athletes, or those who regularly partake in sporting activities may run the risk of getting a foot or lower extremity injury. One common sports injury is known as a stress fracture. Stress fractures can occur due to overuse, or repetitive actions that may cause strain for the body and create a small crack in the bone. To help prevent this type of injury, it’s important to make sure that you use the proper equipment and footwear when training. Getting proper nutrition and slowly increasing the difficulty of your training are important factors in maintaining a healthy exercise routine, as well as in preventing overuse. For more advice on how to prevent sports injuries like stress fractures, please consult with a podiatrist.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, 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.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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 Sports Related Foot And Ankle Injuries

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Monday, 10 August 2020 00:00

Possible Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain can often be uncomfortable, and may be indicative of existing foot conditions. A common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which occurs as a result of a damaged or injured plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the portion of tissue that connects the heel to the toes, and it can cause severe pain and discomfort if it becomes injured. Additional reasons for heel pain to develop can happen from being overweight, or from standing for extended periods of time throughout the day. Additionally, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly may be a cause of heel pain. Children who participate in running and jumping activities may be susceptible to developing Sever’s disease, which is a condition that affects the growth plate in the heel. If you are experiencing heel pain, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist, who can properly diagnose and treat any type of heel pain, as quickly as possible.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, 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.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please 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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Monday, 03 August 2020 00:00

Are High Heels Hurting Me?

While they may look stylish, high heels are not great for the health of your feet. When you walk in high heels, you are shifted forward and the full weight of your body is forced onto the balls of your feet. Walking in high heels day after day also prevents you from using the muscles of your feet and legs properly. Over time, this causes damage to your foot muscles and tendons, which could lead to pain and a decrease in foot flexibility. To prevent these complications, it is important to give your feet a break. Wearing high heels less frequently, taking leisurely walks in properly-fitted, supportive athletic shoes, and doing simple foot stretches, such as toe points and heel lifts, may help relieve the strain on your feet caused by high heels. However, if you experience persistent foot pain, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can determine the cause of the pain and provide appropriate treatment.

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.

Read more about Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet
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