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October 2021

Everything swells when you are pregnant, and your feet and ankles are no exception. This swelling (edema) during pregnancy is caused when your body produces and retains more blood and fluids to feed the growing baby in your uterus. The inordinate amount of pressure that the uterus places on blood vessels causes them to struggle with pumping blood back out of your feet and legs. Also, the extra fluids your body creates during pregnancy tend to gather in the lower extremities during the day when you are standing and sitting. You can help ease the symptoms of edema by wearing comfortable shoes, drinking plenty of water, and taking breaks to elevate and stretch your feet throughout the day. The stress and strain of extra weight and swelling can lead to other conditions in your feet such as corns, calluses, pain, and overpronation—where the foot flattens and rolls inwardly while walking. A podiatrist is an important part of a woman’s medical team during pregnancy. They can give professional advice on exercises and footwear, treat uncomfortable foot and ankle conditions, and prescribe custom orthotics to help ease pain and distribute excess weight more evenly across the feet.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Pete O’Donald, DPM from Texas. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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

Read more about Foot Care for Pregnant Women
Tuesday, 26 October 2021 00:00

Foot Care for Pregnant Women

The natural weight that pregnant women gain causes their center of gravity to be completely altered. This causes them to have a new weight-bearing stance which adds pressure to the knees and feet. As a result, pregnant women often experience severe foot pain. The two most common foot issues experienced by women in their pregnancies are edema and over-pronation. It is important for all pregnant women to learn more about how to take care of their feet so they are more comfortable during their pregnancy.

Over-pronation, which is commonly referred to as flat feet, is caused when a person’s arch flattens out upon weight bearing. This causes the person’s feet to roll inward while walking. Pregnant women often experience this due to the sudden weight they gain.

Edema, also referred as swelling in the feet, typically occurs in the later part of the pregnancy. It is the result of the extra blood accumulated in the pregnant woman’s body. The enlarged uterus puts more pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis which causes leg circulation to slow down. This causes blood to pool in the lower extremities.

Fortunately, there are ways to treat both edema and over-pronation. Edema can be treated by elevating the foot as often as possible. Wearing proper fitting footwear will also be helpful for those with edema. A treatment method for over-pronation could be orthotics. Orthotic inserts should be designed with appropriate arch support and medial rear foot for your foot.

It is best for pregnant women to buy new shoes during the day, because this is the time where swelling is at its peak. Pregnant women also shouldn’t rush when buying shoes. It is always advised that you make sure your shoes fit properly but this is especially important during pregnancy.

If you are a pregnant woman, you should consult with a podiatrist in order to make sure your feet are healthy throughout the entirety of your pregnancy.

The ankle joint is a complex structure that connects the foot with the lower part of the leg, and allows your foot to move up and down. The bones in the ankle include the talus (in the lower part of the joint), as well as the tibia and fibula bones (in the leg). The ankle also includes ligaments that support and hold the ankle together, as well as cartilage, muscles, and tendons. Ankle pain can be caused by a variety of conditions including sprains, strains, injuries, Achilles tendonitis, and various forms of arthritis. Along with pain, these conditions may also cause swelling, bruising, tingles, or numbness, redness, weakness, and stiffness in the ankle. It may even be difficult or impossible to apply weight to the ankle or walk. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with a podiatrist for a thorough examination to determine the root cause of your discomfort, and to receive proper treatment.

Ankle pain can have many different causes and the pain may potentially be serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Pete O’Donald, DPM from Texas. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

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

 

Read more about Ankle Pain
Tuesday, 19 October 2021 00:00

Ankle Pain

The ankle joint is the point at which the bones of the leg and foot join. This joint is crucial because it is responsible for the foot’s mobility. Ankle pain is typically the result of inflammation from an injury to bones, joint space, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, or muscles in the area. Commonly associated symptoms with ankle pain are bruising, redness, numbness, stiffness, weakness, and tingling.

The most common causes of ankle pain are sprains and injuries. Ankle sprains are one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries. Sprains occur when the ligaments of the ankle become partially or completely torn due to sudden stretching. Sprains can occur on either the inner or outer sides of the ankle joint. Usually, these injuries occur when the ankle is twisted in an activity by stepping off an uneven surface. More specific causes include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, and Achilles tendonitis.

If you are experiencing ankle pain, you should consult with your podiatrist to choose the best method of care for you. Your doctor will conduct an examination of your ankle to determine the underlying cause of the pain.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:00

Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. This considered to be one of the most frequently recorded medical illnesses throughout history. Gout occurrences in the US have risen within the past twenty years and the condition now affects 8.3 million people which is 4% of all Americans. Researchers have found that gout affects men more than women and African-American men more than white men. 

Symptoms of gout are warmth, swelling, discoloration, and tenderness in the affected joint area. The small joint on the big toe is the most common place for a gout attack to occur.

People who are obese, gain weight excessively, drink alcohol heavily, have high blood pressure, or have abnormal kidney function are more likely to develop gout. Furthermore, certain drugs and diseases are likely to increase levels of uric acid in the joints which eventually leads to gout. You are also more likely to develop gout if you eat a lot of meat and fish.

Many who experience gout attacks will experience repeated attacks over the years. Some people who have gout symptoms, may never have them again, but others may experience them several times a year. If you have gout symptoms throughout the year, you may have recurrent gout. Those who have gout should also be careful about their urate crystals collecting in their urinary tract, because this may lead to kidney stones.

Diagnosis for gout is done by checking the level of uric acid in the joints and blood. Your podiatrist may also prescribe medicine to reduce uric acid buildup in the blood, which will help prevent any gout attacks.

To treat gout, your podiatrist may also prescribe you Anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) which will relieve the pain and swelling of a gout episode and it can also shorten a gout attack. Maintaining a healthy diet is also a proven method to prevent gout attacks. 

Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:00

Why Is My Big Toe Suddenly Painful?

There are several different types of arthritis that can affect the feet, including gout. This painful condition is brought on by an overabundance of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is a byproduct of the body’s process of breaking down purines (an organic compound within the body and in certain foods). When a person’s body cannot flush excess uric acid sufficiently, it may form hardened crystals on joints, most commonly on the joint at the base of the big toe. These crystals can cause sudden and intense bouts of pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness in the joint area. Gout is often an inherited disease that can be brought on by obesity, high blood pressure, kidney dysfunction, and certain drugs. Some also believe certain foods high in purine—such as red meat, seafood, sweetened beverages and alcohol—can also contribute to the onset of gout. A podiatrist may treat gout with anti-inflammatory medicine, steroid injections, and even surgery to remove the uric acid crystals formed on the joint, in advanced cases.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM from Texas. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

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

Read more about Gout
Sunday, 10 October 2021 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Tuesday, 05 October 2021 00:00

How to Care for Your Child's Feet

It is never normal for a child to experience pain in his or her feet. Foot pain that lasts more than a few days and limits a child’s ability to walk should be examined by a podiatrist. Many adult foot ailments originate in childhood and may be present at birth. Common foot issues that are experienced by children are pediatric flat foot, Sever’s disease, ingrown toenails, and plantar warts.

A child’s foot grows rapidly during the first year, allowing it to reach almost half of their adult foot size. Consequently, foot specialists consider the first year to be the most crucial point in the foot development process. There are ways you can help ensure that your child’s foot develops properly. One way is to carefully look at your baby’s feet. If you notice any deformities, you should immediately seek professional care. You should also loosely cover your child’s foot, since tight coverings may prevent movement and inhibit normal development. Another tip is to change the baby’s positioning throughout the day. If your baby lies down in one spot for too long, it may put an excess amount of strain on the feet and legs.

It is best that you try not to force a child to start walking. Children will begin to walk when they are both physically and emotionally capable to do so. You should also avoid comparing your child’s walking progress with other children because the age range for independent walking may range. When your child’s feet begin to develop, you may need to change both their shoe and sock size every few months to allow room for their feet to grow.

Kids are sometimes prone to splinters, cuts, and severe injuries because they tend to walk around barefoot. This also makes them more susceptible to developing plantar warts which is a condition caused by a virus that invades the sole of the foot through breaks in the skin. These ailments can be avoided by making sure your child wears shoes in unsanitary environments. You should also wash any minor cuts or scrapes on your child’s feet. It is a myth that exposure to fresh air will heal injuries; fresh air will only expose your child’s cuts to germs.

As a parent, you should ensure that your child’s feet are developing properly and are being properly maintained. Consequently, it is important that you perform routine inspections on his or her feet to detect any injuries or deformities in their early stages. Early detection and treatment will help to ensure that your child does not develop any serious foot conditions.

Tuesday, 05 October 2021 00:00

Helping Your Child’s Feet Smell Better

Foot odor is caused by bacteria that feasts on oils and dead skin cells. These bacteria can collect and multiply easily in damp and dark places like sweaty shoes, socks, and sweaty feet, and then produce odorous organic acids during their process of dispelling waste. For some people, the type of bacteria they collect is called Kyetococcus sedentarius, which also produces volatile sulfur compounds and can be excessively rank. A key to avoiding or reducing putrid-smelling feet is keeping the feet as dry and clean as possible. Make sure your child washes their feet every day and especially after physical activity that causes them to sweat. Get them moisture-wicking socks that keep sweat off the skin and allow the feet to breathe. Check to make sure they wear fresh socks every day as well. Ensure that the shoes they wear are not too tight, and switch out shoes and sneakers every day to allow them to dry out before wearing them again. Don’t allow them to share footwear, socks, or towels with anyone. If you believe your child’s feet sweat excessively, they may have a condition known as hyperhidrosis which can be treated by a podiatrist who can also offer additional tips on foot hygiene and care.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM of Texas. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

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

Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet
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