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Monday, 17 February 2020 00:00

The Function of the Plantar Fascia

The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. Strained ligaments in this part of the foot may cause a condition to occur that is referred to as plantar fasciitis. This ailment is considered to be the most common cause of foot pain in adults. The plantar fascia helps to provide the necessary support while performing running and jumping activities, and can cause severe pain and discomfort if it becomes inflamed. Plantar fasciitis may happen for a variety of reasons. These may include experiencing a foot injury, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or from standing for extended periods of time throughout the day. Common symptoms that patients may feel can consist of heel pain, which may be more prominent early in the morning. There are several types of treatments available, and it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can help you to determine which one is the best one for you.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Barry P. Weinstein, DPM  from Bellaire Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Monday, 10 February 2020 00:00

What Causes Heel Pain?

Heel pain is a condition that many patients experience, and it may be caused due to a variety of reasons. The medical ailment that is known as plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain, and can be extremely uncomfortable. Additionally, a tear or injury to the Achilles tendon may cause sharp pain that is felt in the calf and the heel. If an injury has occurred, moderate relief may be found when the foot is elevated, and the affected area is given rest as often as possible. For severe heel pain, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to determine the cause, and allow for proper treatment to begin.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Barry P. Weinstein, DPM of Bellaire Podiatry. 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 one of our offices located in Bellaire and Houston, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
Monday, 03 February 2020 00:00

Identifying Your Wound

People can develop a wound for a number of reasons. When a wound has occurred, it’s important that you be able to identify it, that way you know how best to treat it. Wounds may either be open or closed. Open wounds break the skin and may leave the internal tissue exposed. Closed wounds, however, do not break the skin. These types of wounds may involve tissue damage or bleeding that occurs underneath the skin’s surface. Whether a wound is opened or closed, immediate care should be sought in order to help prevent getting an infection. Those with diabetes should take particular care of their feet in order to avoid getting a wound, as they are more likely to develop an infection, which may lead to further foot complications. For more advice on how to identify and treat wounds of the feet, we recommend you consult with a podiatrist for professional care and treatment.

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 Barry P. Weinstein, DPM from Bellaire Podiatry. 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 one of our offices located in Bellaire and Houston, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care

Those with peripheral artery disease, or PAD for short, may experience chronic ischemia, better known as a lack of blood supply. When this occurs, you may experience a dull, cramping pain in the affected area, commonly the feet, when exercising. The pain often stops when resting. This kind of symptom is referred to as claudication. For a proper diagnosis, a podiatrist may suggest taking an ABI, or ankle brachial index. This exam consists of using ultrasound images that will measure the blood pressure in your feet. This type of test is common for diagnosing PAD, and is painless. PAD is likely to develop among adults over the age of 50, and is especially common for those with diabetes. For more information about peripheral artery disease, and to discuss a plan for treatment, we recommend you consult with a podiatrist for professional care.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Barry P. Weinstein, DPM from Bellaire Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heel
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

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

Read more about Peripheral Artery Disease
Tuesday, 21 January 2020 00:00

Wounds that Don't Heal Need to be Checked

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

Tuesday, 21 January 2020 00:00

Protective Boots and Stress Fractures

The bones in your foot which connect the ankle to the toes are referred to as the metatarsal bones. These bones can be affected if a stress fracture occurs. Stress fractures can be a common injury among people who frequently run or participate in jumping activities. Additionally, patients who have medical conditions that include osteoporosis or arthritis may be prone to developing this condition. It is considered to be a hairline fracture, and can cause considerable pain and discomfort. After a proper diagnosis is performed, which typically consists of having a bone scan or an MRI taken, treatment can begin. This may involve wearing a protective boot as the healing process takes place. Mild relief may be found when the affected foot is elevated, as this may help to reduce existing swelling. If you have a stress fracture, it is strongly recommended that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Barry P. Weinstein, DPM from Bellaire Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Monday, 13 January 2020 00:00

What Is the Bump on the Side of My Big Toe?

If you notice a bump on the side of your big toe, you may have what is referred to as a bunion. It may cause pain and discomfort, and it may be difficult to wear shoes that are typically worn on a weekly basis. Some of the symptoms that are generally associated with this condition can include calluses that form on top of the bunion, pain and swelling surrounding the affected area, and the skin may feel sore. Bunions have been known to be caused by wearing shoes that do not have ample room for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, there may be existing medical conditions such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis that can contribute to this condition. If you have developed a bunion, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer you proper treatment options.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Barry P. Weinstein, DPM of Bellaire Podiatry. 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 one of our offices located in Bellaire and Houston, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions

When the feet are frequently stretched, painful foot and ankle injuries may be avoided. The tendons, ligaments and muscles of the feet may become stronger when a stretching regime is routinely performed. An effective stretch for the toes can consist of placing your feet flat on the floor while sitting down. As the heels are kept on the floor, raise the toes up and down until the ball of the foot lifts off the floor. This can be beneficial in building flexibility and mobility. Some patients find it helpful to walk barefoot on the sand, as this can help to add strength to the overall feet and calves. If you would like more information about how stretching can help the feet, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Barry P. Weinstein, DPM from Bellaire Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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

Read more about Stretching Your Feet
Monday, 30 December 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Neuropathy

Neuropathy is an often painful condition that damages the nerves. Peripheral neuropathy specifically affects the feet. If this condition develops, it may feel as if you have pins and needles in your feet. Many patients have also reported experiencing a burning, tingling, or numbing sensation. It’s possible you may feel pain completing everyday activities in which you normally wouldn’t feel discomfort. There are many different causes that can lead to the development of neuropathy. These may include diabetes, nutritional imbalances, alcoholism, and autoimmunity, to name a few. If you feel you are experiencing the effects of neuropathy, we recommend you consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and advised treatment plan.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with Barry P. Weinstein, DPM from Bellaire Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about Neuropathy
Monday, 23 December 2019 00:00

Can Exercise Help You to Avoid Falling?

Many elderly people are susceptible to falling. This can be a result of impaired vision, tripping hazards that may be present in the house, or foot ailments that can make it difficult to walk. Research has indicated it may be beneficial to improve conditions in the house which may help to prevent falling. These can include improved lighting, installing grab bars in the shower and toilet area, in addition to performing a gentle exercise routine. This can help to build strength in the body, which could possibly prevent falling. If your feet have been affected by a fall, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can help you with implementing strategies to prevent falling.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Barry P. Weinstein, DPM from Bellaire Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

Read more about Falls Prevention
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