Posts for: February, 2020
If you have diabetes, you must understand that the health of your lower extremities is in danger. Diabetes compromises skin integrity, circulation, nerve function and more in the feet and ankles. Consequently, Dr. Laura Pickard, your podiatrist at Norridge Foot Clinic in Norridge, IL, urges you to carefully inspect your feet daily and be proactive in their care.
How diabetes harms your feet
Insulin Nation reports that a full 25 percent of hospital visits among American diabetics are related to foot health. Typically, an ulcer, pressure point, or wound spirals into infection and even amputation.
Sadly, diabetics don't always sense or see when their feet are in trouble. Diabetic neuropathy results from elevated blood glucose levels which damage small nerve endings, leading to numbness, tingling and weakness in the feet and hands of individuals with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Consequently, vigilant daily foot care, along with regular visits with your podiatrist in her Norridge, IL, office, are indispensable.
Daily care of your feet
To avoid infection and other serious problems, be sure to inspect your feet daily. Look for bruising and other changes in skin color. Examine the top and bottom of your feet, and between the toes, to discover any breaks in the skin, corns, or calluses.
Additionally, be sure to:
- Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes which have plenty of room in the toe boxes.
- Trim your nails straight across with a clean clippers. and do not round the corners of the nails to avoid ingrown toenails.
- Wash your feet with soap and water, and dry with a clean towel.
- Wear clean, moisture-wicking socks every day.
- Keep your feet warm in cold weather.
- Avoid tight-fitting stockings.
- Stop all tobacco usage because smoking impairs circulation in the feet.
- Maintain a healthy weight and blood sugar levels.
- Moisturize your feet.
- Never trim corns or calluses at home.
- Do not walk barefoot--even indoors.
- Report any concerns to your podiatrist right away.
Take care of your feet
For your best podiatric health, please call Norridge Foot Clinic in Norridge, IL, for an examination by our wonderful foot doctor, Dr. Laura Pickard. Phone (773) 625-2211.
Heel pain is a common foot problem that podiatrists often treat. Knowing the cause of your pain is important in determining the most effective treatment method. Even if the pain seems minor, it’s amazing how much it can affect your whole body, making it difficult to get out of bed let alone go on your regular run. If you are struggling with heel pain you might be dealing with a condition known as plantar fasciitis.
What is plantar fasciitis?
The source of your pain may originate in the plantar fascia, a tough band of connective tissue that connects your toes to your feet. If the fascia becomes inflamed, you may feel pain in your heel. Of course, everything from wearing high heels to long runs can actually irritate and cause inflammation within the plantar fascia. When this happens this is known as plantar fasciitis. This condition is usually the result of overuse and repeated stress rather than an injury.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis causes heel pain that originates at the bottom of the heel below the heel bone. The pain may spread to the arches of the feet and may also be accompanied by stiffness. These symptoms are often exacerbated first thing in the morning or after long bouts of sitting or standing. Sometimes, light activity and exercise can momentarily lessen the pain.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
If you know that you have plantar fasciitis (perhaps you’ve had it before) then you know it’s important to rest, avoid physical activity, and take over-the-counter pain relievers. Of course, if you’ve never experienced heel pain before it’s important to see a podiatrist to find out whether it’s plantar fasciitis or another condition such as heel spurs or Achilles tendonitis. A thorough evaluation from a medical professional is often necessary, especially if this is the first time dealing with heel pain.
Your podiatrist can also show you stretching and strengthening exercises that you can perform to help stretch the plantar fascia to reduce pain and discomfort. Some patients also choose to wear a night splint to reduce morning stiffness and arch pain.
If your symptoms aren’t being alleviated through conservative treatment methods or if you are experiencing chronic heel pain your podiatrist may recommend surgery.
If you are dealing with stubborn and painful heels turn to a podiatrist for a consultation.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that often affects blood flow to the legs due to narrowing of the arteries. PAD is caused by atherosclerosis, a serious condition in which fat deposits known as plaques build up in the arteries and eventually restrict or block blood flow.
If you have PAD you will most likely experience painful cramping, weakness or numbness in the legs, particularly during movement. You may also notice that the leg or foot is colder than the rest of your body. Sometimes persistent sores can develop that won’t heal. Your legs may also change color or the skin may appear shiny. While the pain will often go away at rest, if PAD is left untreated you may notice these symptoms even at rest. Sometimes symptoms can even be bad enough to affect your sleep.
While these symptoms can also be indicative of other conditions you should not ignore your symptoms, as undiagnosed PAD can lead to heart attack or stroke. This is why it’s important to see your podiatrist if you notice leg or foot numbness, weakness, tingling or pain.
You may be at an increased risk for peripheral artery disease if you:
- Are obese
- Have high cholesterol
- Have high blood pressure
- Have diabetes
- Are over age 65
- Have a family history of peripheral artery disease or stroke
Preventing Peripheral Artery Disease
Your podiatrist’s goal is to reduce your risk for peripheral artery disease, especially if you are at an increased risk. This involves implementing a variety of lifestyle changes. Some ways to prevent PAD include:
- Getting your diabetes under control
- Lowering your cholesterol
- Exercising regularly several times a week
- Quitting smoking
- Eating a healthy balanced diet and avoiding junk foods
- Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight
Treating Peripheral Artery Disease
If you do end up developing PAD a podiatrist can be an instrumental part of your medical team to help you manage your symptoms and prevent complications. PAD treatments are designed to reduce symptoms such as leg pain while also stopping the buildup of fat deposits within the arteries.
Again, modifying your lifestyle can greatly improve your condition. The same lifestyle changes that prevent PAD can also treat PAD. Of course, lifestyle modifications alone won’t be enough to prevent atherosclerosis from progressing. Therefore, your podiatrist may also prescribe certain medications including cholesterol and blood pressure medications, diabetes medication, and medication that prevents blood clots. Sometimes surgery or angioplasty is recommended if there is a blockage within the arteries.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of PAD it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist right away for an evaluation.