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September 2022

Tuesday, 27 September 2022 00:00

What Is a Metatarsal Stress Fracture?

There are five metatarsal bones found in the foot, each connecting the heel/arch to the toes. These long bones play a critical role in helping the foot function. However, the metatarsal bones can suffer from what is known as a stress fracture, a crack in the bone that develops from repeated trauma. The metatarsal bones are the second most common bones in the lower limbs to suffer from stress fractures, the first being the tibia leg bone. Of the five metatarsals, the second and third metatarsal bones are the most commonly afflicted. One common symptom of a metatarsal stress fracture is pain felt in the foot when walking or running. If you are running long distances and are not wearing the right kind of footwear, you might be increasing your risk of developing a stress fracture. Contact a podiatrist today for more information about metatarsal stress fractures.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Scott Matthews, DPM, MD from Salem Foot Care . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Wikesboro, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Published in Blog
Tuesday, 27 September 2022 00:00

Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Our bones are important aspects of our body and they are constantly changing. The heavier the workload for a bone, the more likely it is that calcium will be placed in it. When a bone isn’t used often, there won’t be much calcium within it. When stress from repetitive loads prevent the bone from being able to repair itself, cracks will start to form. Stress fractures are defined as cracks in a bone that result from repetitive force, such as overuse.

The most common cause of stress fractures is a sudden increase in intensity and duration of physical activity. For example, if you begin to run long distances without working your way into doing so, you will be more likely to develop a stress fracture.

Common symptoms of stress fractures are pain and swelling near the weight bearing area on the injured bone. When initial x-rays are performed, it is possible that the fracture will not show up. However, once the stress on the area continues, the damage will increase, and the fracture will be severe enough to show up on an x-ray. Certain parts of the foot are more likely to develop stress fractures than others. Areas that typically have these fractures are: the metatarsals, the navicular bone, the calcaneus, tibia, and fibula.

Since women are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis, they are twice as likely as men to sustain a stress fracture. Additionally, old age causes a decrease in bone mineral density which is why elderly people are also likely to develop these fractures.

It is important for you to be professionally diagnosed by a podiatrist if you suspect you have a stress fracture, because there are other injuries that can easily be mistaken for a fracture.  Sprains, strains, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and Morton’s neuroma can all easily be mistaken for stress fractures in the foot. Your podiatrist will likely ask you a series of questions to determine what type of pain you are experiencing. These questions will help your doctor identify whether you have a stress fracture.

The best method of treatment for a stress fracture is rest. Additionally, a walking boot, cast, or crutches, will help rest the area that is injured. The typical healing time for stress fractures is 4-12 weeks, however this depends on which bone is involved.

Published in Featured
Tuesday, 20 September 2022 00:00

Compression Socks for Working on the Feet

By nature of a restaurant worker’s job, most of the work day is spent walking or putting weight on the feet. Restaurant workers are certainly not alone – in fact, many workers across the country (including hairdressers, nurses, and school teachers) spend the majority of the work day on their feet. While there are many different techniques you might consider trying to mitigate the toll your job might be taking on your feet, wearing compression socks could be a very useful trick. Compression socks are meant to facilitate blood circulation in the feet and legs, effectively reducing swelling in these areas. This might be particularly beneficial for workers who have developed varicose or spider veins. Compression socks are also now produced in a wide variety of different colors and designs, making them fun and fashionable, in addition to being useful. Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist today if you spend your day on your feet and want to learn more about compression socks.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact Scott Matthews, DPM, MD from Salem Foot Care . 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 our office located in Wikesboro, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Handle a Long Work Day on Your Feet
Published in Blog
Tuesday, 20 September 2022 00:00

How to Handle a Long Work Day on Your Feet

In 2014, the American Podiatric Medical Association surveyed 1,000 American adults and found that half of all respondents lived with foot pain. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid foot problems such as following a daily footcare routine and wearing proper footwear at work.

If you have a job that requires you to be on your feet, it is best that you do not wear flat sole shoes. Your heel should be slightly elevated (less than 2 inches, but at least ¼-inch) if you are going to be standing for a prolonged period. You should also make sure that the shoes you wear are not too small. Tight shoes may cut off circulation to your feet, which will result in pain and blisters. It is always best to purchase fitted shoes later in the day, because the feet tend to swell as the day progresses. It may also be helpful to buy shoes a half size larger if you plan on wearing custom orthotics or arch supports.

Your muscles may become stiff when you are constantly standing up. It is important to take breaks every hour to stretch and relax. One tip is to perform calf raises, because this exercise will help improve your circulation. To perform this stretch, you first need to stand on the edge of a step with your abdominal muscles pulled inward. You then need to grip the step with the balls of your feet with your heels hanging over the edge. Next, try to raise your heels above the step by a few inches while standing on your tiptoes; hold this pose for a second. You should then lower your heels back even to the platform. These calf raises should be done ten times for full effectiveness.

You should also take care of your feet while you are at home. One of the best ways to prepare your feet for a long day of work is to soak them in ice water. Doing so for 20 minutes will help fight the swelling and inflammation that results from being on your feet at work.

Nevertheless, if you are experiencing pain in your feet, you should seek help from your podiatrist. Your doctor will help treat any ailments you may have in addition to helping you prevent any other ailments from developing in the future.

Published in Featured
Tuesday, 13 September 2022 00:00

Understanding Corns and Calluses

Corns and Calluses are both hardened layers of thickened skin that develop because of friction. Both ailments are typically found on the feet and may be unsightly. Although they have similarities, corns and calluses are different from each other.

Some causes of corns and calluses may be wearing ill-fitting shoes and not wearing socks. If you wear tight shoes, your feet will constantly be forced to rub against the shoes, causing friction. If you fail to wear socks, you are also causing your feet to endure excess friction.

There are some signs that may help you determine whether you have one of these two conditions. The first symptom is a thick, rough area of skin. Another common symptom is a hardened, raised bump on the foot. You may also experience tenderness or pain under the skin in addition to flaky, dry, or waxy skin.

There are also risk factors that may make someone more prone to developing corns and calluses. If you are already dealing with bunions or hammertoe, you may be more vulnerable to having corns and calluses as well. Other risk factors are foot deformities such as bone spurs, which can cause constant rubbing inside the shoe.

Corns tend to be smaller than calluses and they usually have a hard center surrounded by inflamed skin. They also tend to develop on the parts of the body that don’t bear as much weight such as the tops and sides of toes. Corns may also be painful for those who have them. On the other hand, calluses are rarely painful. These tend to develop on the bottom of the feet and may vary in size and shape.

Fortunately, most people only need treatment for corns and calluses if they are experiencing discomfort. At home treatments for corns and calluses should be avoided, because they will likely lead to infection. If you have either of these ailments it is advised that you consult with your podiatrist to determine the best treatment option for you.

Published in Featured
Tuesday, 13 September 2022 00:00

Dealing With Corns on the Feet

Corns on the foot develop from friction, usually as a result of a toe rubbing against the inside of a shoe. A callus, or toughened skin, develops with a hardened kernel at its center, thus the name corn. Most corns can be treated with a series of foot care measures, but people with diabetes, poor circulation, or foot deformities are wise to seek immediate help from a podiatrist. The first and best defense against developing a corn is to wear shoes that fit properly and to wear socks that form a kind of cushion, lessening friction. A warm foot bath can help soften the callused area, and a pumice can help to reduce its size. Keeping the feet moisturized also can help prevent the formation of a corn. A number of types of foot pads are available to protect the toe from further friction. It is not wise to try to remove a corn yourself with any sharp object, as this may lead to an infection. If a corn does not go away or causes severe pain, it is a good idea to make an appointment with a podiatrist who can treat the problem safely.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact Scott Matthews, DPM, MD of Salem Foot Care . Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? and How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctor to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Wikesboro, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Understanding Corns and Calluses
Published in Blog
Wednesday, 07 September 2022 00:00

Ankle Sprains

Although ankle sprains may not be as serious as a broken ankle, they should be given immediate attention and care. An ankle sprain can lead to a significant amount of pain, as well as limited mobility. They are often characterized by the swelling and discoloration of the skin. This occurs when the ligaments are stretched beyond their limits.

The simple act of walking can sometimes cause a sprain, which makes ankle sprains a very common injury that can happen to anyone. They occur when the ankle twists in an awkward way or rolls over itself, causing a pop or snap in the tendons around the ankle. Some people are more at risk than others. These include athletes who continually push their bodies to the limits and also people who have previously suffered accidents to the feet, ankles, or lower legs.

Most of the time, an ankle sprain is not severe enough for hospital attention. There are many at-home treatment options available, including propping the leg up above your head to reduce blood flow and inflammation, applying ice packs to the affected area as needed, taking over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication, using an ACE bandage to wrap and support the injured ankle, and most importantly, remaining off your feet until the ankle has fully healed.

Despite this, an ankle sprain can turn into a severe injury that might require hospitalization. If the ankle ligaments or muscles are damaged from a tear or rip, that is one sign that the sprain is severe enough for hospital attention and possibly for surgery. Even after the surgery, the recovery process can be long. You may need to have rehabilitation sessions administered by your podiatrist to get your ankle back to full health.

The severity of your sprain might become apparent if you are unable to stand or walk, consistent pain occurs over a prolonged period of time, swelling is much more severe than initially present, or if you start to experience tingling or numbness. These signs may indicate that your ankle sprain might actually be a broken ankle, an injury that requires immediate medical attention.

Although they are not completely avoidable, ankle sprains can be curbed with some preventative treatment measures. These include wearing appropriate-fitting shoes that not only provide a comfortable fit, but also ankle support. It is also recommended to stretch before doing any kind of physical activity, as this will help lower your body’s chance for an injury.

Published in Featured
Wednesday, 07 September 2022 00:00

Ankle Sprains Among Student Athletes

Ankle sprains are thought to be the most common sports injuries among student-athletes. A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched beyond its normal range, resulting in a tear or rupture. The outer ligament in the ankle, which helps to stabilize the joint, is usually the one injured. This can happen when the side of the foot turns under, thereby putting excess stress on the ligament. Among the symptoms are pain, tenderness, swelling, inability to bear weight, restricted range of motion, and a popping sound at the time of injury. An ankle sprain, whether mild, moderate, or severe, must be taken seriously if the ankle joint is to heal thoroughly. However, if the ankle is not treated or allowed to fully heal before resuming activity, the student is at risk of developing chronic ankle instability. If your student-athlete has sprained an ankle, it is a good idea to consult a podiatrist for a complete exam and diagnosis.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Scott Matthews, DPM, MD from Salem Foot Care . 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 our office located in Wikesboro, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 05 September 2022 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Published in Blog
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