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Tuesday, 21 May 2024 00:00

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Foot Health

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints. In RA, the immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints, causing swelling, pain, and potentially severe joint damage. This can cause problems in any of the 30 foot joints, but it most commonly affects the toes and ankles. RA can also lead to deformities such as bunions, claw toes, or severe flattening of the foot, as well as pain and difficulty walking. Chronic inflammation can weaken the ligaments and tendons in the foot, leading to instability and increased risk of injury. Podiatrists, or foot doctors, can help manage RA-related foot issues by providing targeted treatments. Among them are orthotics to support the joints, advice on proper footwear to reduce stress on the affected areas, and exercises to maintain joint function and mobility. They also monitor for changes or deterioration in foot health that might require more aggressive interventions, including injections or surgery. If you’re a rheumatoid arthritis patient with problems in the feet and ankles, it is suggested that you add a podiatrist to your care team. 

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Brian Shwer, DPM of Southaven Foot Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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

Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
Tuesday, 14 May 2024 00:00

Deformities From Bunions

The human foot is a marvel of engineering, composed of an intricate network of bones, tendons, and ligaments that work in tandem to provide stability and mobility. At the center of this complex structure lies the big toe, also known as the hallux, which plays a vital role in maintaining balance and facilitating movement. However, when the alignment of the bones in the big toe is disrupted, a bunion can form at the base of the big toe. This can lead to a further deformity, known as metatarsus primus varus. It results from an abnormal inward angling of the big toe towards the second toe. This misalignment can result in a range of symptoms, including pain, discomfort, and difficulty walking or standing for extended periods of time. While the exact cause of metatarsus primus varus is not fully understood, it is believed to be influenced by both genetic factors and external triggers, such as wearing ill-fitting footwear. People with metatarsus primus varus may experience a variety of symptoms, including pain and discomfort in the foot, restricted range of motion, and skin irritation. Diagnosing metatarsus primus varus typically involves a physical examination and imaging tests such as X-rays. Treatment options may vary depending on the severity of the condition and can include orthotics or surgical intervention to realign the bones and restore normal foot function. For help with managing this deformity, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Brian Shwer, DPM of Southaven Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Tuesday, 07 May 2024 00:00

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, a broad ligament that lies under the foot, becomes inflamed due to repetitive stress or strain. The hallmark symptom of plantar fasciitis is sharp, stabbing heel pain that can also radiate along the arch or sole of the foot. It typically worsens in the morning or after prolonged rest but often subsides with movement. Swelling and redness around the heel and arch area may accompany inflammation, and the affected area may feel tender or puffy. Stiffness and tightness in the foot can worsen throughout the day with increased activity. Discomfort in the foot's arch is also a common symptom of plantar fasciitis, limiting mobility and affecting daily activities. Pain and discomfort in the Achilles tendon may result from altered foot movement patterns caused by this condition. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a thorough evaluation and personalized treatment plan.  

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Brian Shwer, DPM from Southaven Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

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

Tuesday, 30 April 2024 00:00

What to Do About a Pinched Foot Nerve

Pinched nerves in the foot, beyond tarsal tunnel syndrome, stem from diverse conditions, necessitating accurate diagnosis for effective treatment. Morton's neuroma, characterized by nerve thickening between toes, and hammertoes, involving abnormal toe bending, can both compress nerves. Additionally, bunion formation at the big toe base can crowd and irritate nearby nerves. Nerve entrapment, resulting from injury or structural abnormalities, and peripheral neuropathy, often associated with diabetes, can also contribute to nerve compression. Symptoms may encompass tingling, numbness, or burning sensations, affecting mobility and comfort. Precise diagnosis by a podiatrist is important for targeted intervention. Treatment may involve a combination of conservative measures such as rest and orthotic devices. In some cases, corticosteroid injections or surgical procedures may be necessary for relief. If you have the symptoms described above, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Brian Shwer, DPM of Southaven Foot Clinic. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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

Read more about Morton's Neuroma
Tuesday, 23 April 2024 00:00

Athlete’s Foot Types and Risk Factors

Athlete's foot, medically termed tinea pedis, is a fungal infection that appears in various forms, each with distinct characteristics and associated risks. Among these, interdigital infection stands out as the most prevalent, affecting the skin between the toes and causing redness, scaling, and persistent itching. Moccasin infection is found on the sole of the foot, often masquerading as eczema due to its dry, cracked appearance. Vesicular infection results in blisters filled with pus that can rupture into open sores, heightening the risk of secondary bacterial infections. Meanwhile, ulcerative infection presents the most discomfort, with painful, oozing sores between the toes, significantly increasing susceptibility to further complications. These variations stem from exposure to dermatophytes, which are fungi thriving in warm, moist environments. Athlete’s foot infections commonly spread in communal spaces such as locker rooms, swimming pools, and shared footwear. Risk factors for contracting athlete's foot include compromised immune function, genetic predisposition, and prolonged periods of wearing tight, non-breathable shoes. If you have a problematic case of athlete’s foot, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for advanced treatment options.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Brian Shwer, DPM from Southaven Foot Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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

 

Read more about Athlete's Foot
Tuesday, 16 April 2024 00:00

Treating Diabetic Foot Wounds

Treating diabetic foot wounds requires a comprehensive approach focused on promoting healing and preventing further complications. It begins with identifying and addressing the factors that can contribute to the wound, such as wearing proper footwear and avoiding further injury. Keeping the wound clean and protected with specialized dressings is essential to create an optimal environment for healing. Regular removal of dead tissue and calluses helps prevent infections and allows new tissue to grow. Managing bacteria surrounding the wound site is especially vital, along with ensuring good blood flow to the wound. This may involve medications or procedures to improve circulation. Off-loading techniques, like using cushions or specialized shoes, help reduce pressure on the foot wound, allowing it to heal more effectively. A podiatrist can offer personalized care and guidance throughout the diabetic wound treatment process. If you have developed a diabetic foot wound, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for correct management tips.

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 Brian Shwer, DPM from Southaven Foot Clinic. 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 Southaven, MS . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care
Tuesday, 09 April 2024 00:00

Risk Factors for Lateral Ankle Sprains

Lateral ankle sprains can happen to anyone as the result of a sudden movement, such as stepping off a curb and landing the wrong way. Ankle sprains are particularly common among athletes who engage in sudden stops and starts, jumping, or sideways movements. The majority of sprained ankles happen when the outer, or lateral, ligaments are stretched too much. Factors such as gender, height, and foot anatomy can contribute to vulnerability, as do previous injuries and improper footwear choices. Women wearing high heels, for instance, may be at higher risk of ankle sprains. A podiatrist can evaluate the severity of the sprain, identify underlying risk factors, and devise a personalized treatment plan for you. This foot doctor addresses both intrinsic and extrinsic factors of an ankle sprain. Treatment and a full recovery can help to minimize the risk of future ankle sprains. If you have sprained an ankle, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact Brian Shwer, DPM from Southaven Foot Clinic. 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 Southaven, MS . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Wednesday, 03 April 2024 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Tuesday, 02 April 2024 00:00

Explaining In-Toeing in Children

In-toeing, commonly known as being pigeon-toed, is a condition seen in children where the feet turn inward. During infancy, this might be due to metatarsus adductus, a common foot deformity noted at birth that causes the front half of the foot, or forefoot, to turn inward. This condition often resolves before the first birthday. In later childhood, internal twisting of the shinbone, tibia, thighbone, or femur, could be the cause of in-toeing. These, too, often self-correct over time. While most cases of in-toeing require no treatment, severe instances may need casting or splinting. It is important to avoid non-prescribed treatments as they may interfere with natural development. Though surgery is rare, it may be considered in severe cases. If your child’s in-toeing persists or significantly affects walking, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for a diagnosis. 

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Brian Shwer, DPM of Southaven Foot Clinic. 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 Southaven, MS . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
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