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January 2020

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.

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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.

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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.

Published in Blog
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.

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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.

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