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

Bunions are bony bumps that form on the sides of the big toes, at the base of the big toe joint. They are a common deformity that can push the big toe towards the other toes and make wearing shoes uncomfortable. While bunions can be surgically corrected, your doctor will usually suggest non-surgical treatments first. These treatments won’t cure the bunion, but they will relieve symptoms and can stop the bunion from getting worse. Wearing shoes with low heels and a wide toe box is helpful for relieving pressure on the bunion and makes walking more comfortable. Wearing orthotic inserts in your shoes can help support the foot and improve its alignment. Wearing a toe splint at night immobilizes the toe and holds it in a straighter position. Putting an ice pack on the bunion can help reduce swelling and pain. If you have bunions, please see a podiatrist to learn about more treatment options and find the right ones for you.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell of InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Tuesday, 08 June 2021 00:00

To RICE or Not to RICE?

If you’ve ever been to a first aid class, you may have heard the term RICE. RICE is an acronym that stands for rest, ice, compress, and elevate. This simple acronym describes what you should do when faced with an injury, such as an ankle sprain. Resting the leg can help it heal by taking strain and pressure off the injured ankle. After a few days of rest, doing gentle stretching and strengthening exercises, with your doctor’s okay, may help speed recovery and reduce the risk of reinjury. Icing the injured ankle is suggested in order to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Compression helps decrease swelling and stabilizes the ankle. Elevating the injured ankle also reduces swelling, especially within the first few days following the injury. Whether to RICE or not RICE your sprained ankle depends on the location and severity of your injury. To find out what you should do to help your ankle heal, please consult with a podiatrist.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. 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 are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

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

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Tuesday, 01 June 2021 00:00

Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Rupture

The Achilles tendon is a tough band of tissue located at the back of the calf that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This tendon is a frequent site of injury, particularly among people involved with high impact sports. When the Achilles tendon partially or completely tears, it is known as an Achilles tendon rupture. Symptoms of this condition may include a popping or snapping sound at the time of injury, sudden and severe pain in the back of the ankle, calf swelling, and difficulty moving the affected leg. This injury has an excellent prognosis when diagnosed and treated early. If you suspect that you may have ruptured your Achilles tendon, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell of InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. 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 our office located in Wilson, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a nerve disorder in which the posterior tibial nerve, located near the heel of the foot, is compressed. This is usually caused by participating in repetitive activities, such as running or jumping, that put stress on the nerve and surrounding areas.  However, it can also be the result of a trauma, having flat feet, or being overweight. Tarsal tunnel syndrome causes foot and ankle pain, burning, tingling, and numbness. The pain usually worsens while walking and can improve with rest. There are several treatments for tarsal tunnel syndrome, including resting and icing the affected leg, taking oral pain medications, injecting steroids into the area, immobilizing the leg, wearing an orthotic, or physical therapy. In more severe cases, surgery may be needed to decompress the posterior tibial nerve. If you are experiencing the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome, please seek the care of a podiatrist.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell of InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Thursday, 13 May 2021 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00

Congenital Foot Deformities

When a baby is born, people will sometimes use the expression “10 fingers and 10 toes” to reference the newborn’s good health. But what if there is a problem with those 10 (or more) toes? Congenital foot deformities are differences in the structure of a baby’s feet that are present from birth. Fortunately, most of these conditions are treatable and do not cause any serious complications. Clubfoot is a deformity in which the baby’s feet are twisted inwards at the ankle. This generally does not cause any pain, but may interfere with walking later on. It can be corrected through a series of braces and casts. Metatarsus adductus is a common deformity in which part of the child’s foot turns inwards. Most cases resolve on their own, and stretching exercises or casts and orthotics can help those that don’t. Polydactyly is a mutation in which the baby has extra toes. Treatment will depend on the location and functionality of the extra toes, but may include surgery once the child is a little bit older. If you have any concerns about your baby’s foot health please consult with a podiatrist.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell of InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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

Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet
Monday, 10 May 2021 00:00

Potential Sources of Heel Pain

Heel pain can be debilitating, and it can develop due to a variety of causes. While it is most common among seniors, heel pain can occur at any age. The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. This occurs when the plantar fascia, the tissues that connect the heel to the toes along the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed. This causes the tissues to pull on and ultimately stress the heel. Plantar fasciitis can also lead to heel spurs. These occur when there are calcium deposits on the bottom of the heel bone that protrude out. Another common cause of heel pain is atrophy of the fat pad on the heel. Children, especially if they are active, who are suffering from heel pain may have Sever’s disease. This occurs when the bones in the calves grow faster than the Achilles tendon, which connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. If you are suffering from heel pain that won’t subside, consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment method. 

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell of InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. 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 our office located in Wilson, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
Monday, 03 May 2021 00:00

Common Running Injuries to the Feet

Running is a sport that can be great exercise and improve your overall physical fitness, but unfortunately, runners can be prone to foot and ankle injuries. Between 9% and 32% of running injuries affect the lower legs, 4-16% of running injuries affect the ankles, and 5-39% of running injuries affect the feet. Some of the most common lower limb injuries among people who run are Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and ankle sprains. Furthermore, runners may be prone to ingrown toenails, anterior compartment syndrome, and calf strain. If you are a runner, consult with a podiatrist who can advise you on how to prevent running injuries. 

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell of InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

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

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries
Monday, 26 April 2021 00:00

Different Types of Foot Wounds

Foot wounds are open cuts or sores that form on the feet. There are several different types of foot wounds. Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) occur due to diabetes or diabetic neuropathy. They can appear anywhere on the foot, but often appear on the big toes, balls of the feet, and the heels. These wounds typically heal slowly and poorly. Venous stasis ulcers appear on the ankles or legs due to vein damage. Arterial ulcers are caused by arterial insufficiency or poor circulation, and usually occur between or on the tips of the toes and along the outer ankles. A pressure ulcer is caused by foot immobility or by wearing improper shoes. They are usually seen on the heels or ankles. If you have any wounds on your feet, it is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist.

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. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. 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 our office located in Wilson, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care
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