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March 2021

Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

What Caused My Hammertoe?

When the ligaments and tendons in the middle joint of toes slowly tighten up over time, the toes become forced to curl downwards. This results in what is known as hammertoe. Hammertoe can develop in any toe except the big toe. The joints will become stiffer over time and thus, harder to move without pain. Blisters and calluses may also begin to form on the toes. One of the most common causes of hammertoe is shoes that have narrow toe boxes, such as pointed toe high heels. Hammertoes can also be a result of a stubbed toe or toe fracture. Patients who are struggling with a painful hammertoe should consult with a podiatrist in order to get relief and treatment options.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell of InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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.

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While children are learning to walk, they gain sensory information when the soles of their feet touch the ground. Because of this, they should be barefoot, or in soft soled shoes, as much as possible. Once they have developed muscle strength in the feet and have been able to confidently walk for a while, they can begin to wear a firmer soled shoe. As a child’s foot grows, it is important to update their shoe size when needed. Shoes that are too tight can lead to issues such as ingrown toenails and hamper the child’s walking. An ideal shoe for a toddler has ample room for the toes, a solid heel, a flexible, flat sole, and fasteners to keep the foot from slipping. If you have other questions about finding the right shoes for your toddler, consult a podiatrist for more information.

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.

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When you are experiencing foot pain, any relief is welcome. Pre-made shoe inserts (foot orthotics) purchased at the drug store can alleviate discomfort for some people. There are also custom-made foot orthotics which go a step further. A podiatrist first determines the cause of your foot pain, and creates either a 3D model or takes an impression of your actual feet. Then, a customized foot orthotic is created to fit you and treat the specific nature of your pain. These made-to-order orthotics can benefit patients with conditions such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, high arches and various forms of arthritis. If you are experiencing pain in one or both of your feet, don’t suffer in silence. It is suggested that you call a podiatrist to see if foot orthotics can improve your quality of life.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, 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.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

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 Foot Orthotics
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Sunday, 14 March 2021 00:00

Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Published in Blog
Monday, 08 March 2021 00:00

What Can Cause Poor Circulation in Feet?

When poor circulation, or reduced blood flow affects your lower limbs, you may notice your feet feeling cold or numb and your skin turning red, blue, purple, or white. You may also notice dry skin, hair loss on the legs or feet, weakened toenails, and slow wound healing. There are many possible causes for poor circulation in the feet. Both Raynaud’s disease and acrocyanosis cause blood vessels in the extremities to constrict, leading to reduced blood flow and the affected area becoming cold, numb, and discolored. Diabetes damages the blood vessels, affecting circulation. Arteriosclerosis, in which the arteries harden due to plaque buildup, and peripheral artery disease, which occurs when arteriosclerosis progresses without treatment, are also very common culprits of impaired blood flow to the feet. If you have the symptoms of poor circulation in your feet, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell of InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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 Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
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Monday, 01 March 2021 00:00

Tips for Finding the Right Shoes

As our bodies age, our feet can take quite a bit of wear and tear. Because of this, making sure your shoes fit properly is very important, and there are a variety of tips that can help make sure your shoes fit correctly. It is very important to always have your feet measured before buying shoes, and since our feet are largest in the afternoon, that is when measuring the feet is recommended. Since many people have one foot that is bigger than the other, make sure the shoe fits the larger foot the most comfortably. When trying on shoes, there should be approximately 3/8ths to half an inch of room between the longest toe and the end of the shoe while standing up. Shoes should not feel too tight when trying them on, and the heel should not be slipping while walking. Lastly, don’t be afraid to walk around in the shoes to make sure they have the right fit.  If you would like more information on making sure your shoes fit properly, please consult with a podiatrist.

Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in proper fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improper fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, properly-fitting shoes are vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.

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.

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