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Tuesday, 06 December 2022 00:00

Elderly People May Be Prone to Foot Conditions

Many people are aware of how the feet are affected as the aging process occurs. Research has shown there is a direct connection with foot health and walking. The feet can maintain strength when walking everyday, which may help improve balance and weight bearing. Other benefits can include increased socialization and independence. Some of the common signs that people notice with age consist of hair loss below the knee, age spots, and the number of corns and calluses that may increase. Additionally, a loss of muscle mass may happen because of inactivity, and this could lead to a foot injury. Some of the foot ailments that are common in the elder population can include plantar fasciitis and onychomycosis, which is the medical term for toenail fungus. Ingrown toenails can also fall into this category and these conditions often need medical attention for complete healing. It is beneficial for elderly patients to be under the care of a podiatrist who can offer effective treatment options, in addition to performing regular foot examinations.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM from Connecticut. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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

Read more about Taking Care of Elderly Feet

Walking barefoot can be better than walking in ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or flimsy flip-flops but there are a host of dangers that walking barefoot can bring on, from stepping on glass to acquiring an infection. Flip-flops should not replace sturdier casual footwear even if they look fashionable. Wearing flip-flops for a prolonged time can cause pain. Researchers have discovered that wearing flip-flops alters the way one walks, and an altered gait can lead to serious sole, heel, and ankle problems. This footwear also lacks foot support. One scrunches their toes to keep them on their feet while the heel is lifted into the air. This motion stretches the plantar fascia, the band of connective tissue that runs from the heel to the toes on the bottom of the foot, and can cause inflammation to the heel and sole, as well as heel spurs and tired feet. Flip-flop wearers shorten their stride and turn their ankles inward, probably to keep the flip-flops from falling off, which can cause ankle problems. If you have questions about wearing flip-flops, contact a podiatrist, an expert in everything related to the feet and ankles.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM from Connecticut. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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

Read more about Flip Flops and Your Feet
Tuesday, 22 November 2022 00:00

Edema of the Lower Extremities

Edema or swelling in the ankles and feet can be an inconvenience or cause severe discomfort and pain. Ways to alleviate edema include continuing to move the affected body parts and elevate the legs above the heart, massaging the swollen areas to push the retained fluid out, and wearing compression socks to facilitate blood flow. The goal of these things is to pump excess fluid back to the heart. Reducing salt intake and dropping extra weight if one is overweight can also help or prevent edema. If the things you try on your own do not relieve the swelling or if the swelling gets worse, it is important that you consult with a podiatrist to find out what is causing the problem and how it can be fixed.

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM of Connecticut. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods. Aging may increase the possibility of swollen feet and patients who are obese often notice when their feet are swelling too. There may be medical reasons why swollen feet occur:

  • Phlebitis - A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain.
  • Liver disease - This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen.
  • Heart failure - When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet.
  • Kidney disease - One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.

Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet. 

Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bloomfield, CT . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.


 

Read more about Swelling of the Feet

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Tuesday, 15 November 2022 00:00

Two Types of Toe Fractures

There are different ways of fracturing a toe. A sudden increase in running or walking can produce a stress or hairline fracture, and can be uncomfortable. When a heavy object is dropped on it, or if it is jammed against a piece of furniture, it is considered to be more of a serious fracture, and there are noticeable symptoms that a break has occurred. These can include immediate bruising, and swelling, and the affected toe bone may protrude from the skin. If the break is very painful, a popping sound may be heard at the time of the injury. There is often a limited range of motion, and it can be difficult to walk. A proper diagnosis often consists of having an X-ray taken, and this is generally successful in determining how severe the break is. Many broken toes are treated by using the buddy taping method. This involves taping the broken toe to the toe next to it, which can provide the stability that is needed as the healing process occurs. If you have broken your toe, it is strongly suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist as quickly as possible, so the toe can heal correctly. 

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM from Connecticut. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

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

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
Tuesday, 08 November 2022 00:00

Tips for Healthy Trail Running

Most experts agree that running can improve your cardiovascular health, increase endurance, and boost mental well being. Experts have identified several ways to reap the rewards of trail running, which may involve uneven and sometimes unpredictable surfaces. The first thing to do is make sure you have footwear that is specifically designed for trail runs. These shoes provide the extra traction and specific cushioning needed as you may encounter rocks, tree roots, and streams. Second, your stride may need to be adjusted, which includes picking up your feet differently. While some road runners try to conserve energy by keeping their feet close to the ground, this can become a liability in trail running. Dirt can build up and actually slow the pace. Dehydration, muscle fatigue, glucose depletion, and inflammation can lead to injury. Fueling and hydrating before, during, and after runs is recommended. For more information on how to prevent injury while running, please consult a podiatrist. 

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM of Connecticut. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries
Tuesday, 01 November 2022 00:00

Why Does Morton’s Neuroma Develop?

Nerve tissue between the third and fourth toes that becomes thick, or compressed, may indicate a condition known as Morton’s neuroma. It happens when there is not enough room for the toes to move freely in from wearing certain types of shoes. High heels fall into this category, and may cause the nerve to become irritated and inflamed. It is considered to be a painful foot condition, and relief may be found when different shoes are worn. This may be a successful treatment method if it is noticed early, and completing daily activities with ease may resume. In severe cases, where walking becomes difficult, surgery may be a necessary option for permanent relief by removing the affected nerve. The symptoms that many people can experience with this condition include the sensation of standing on a pebble or marble, and pain may radiate from the ball of the foot. Morton’s neuroma is a serious foot condition, and if you have any of the above symptoms, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to find permanent relief.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM of Connecticut. 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 Bloomfield, CT . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Morton's Neuroma
Tuesday, 25 October 2022 00:00

Common Reasons Older Adults Fall

Falls can happen to anyone, but they are far more common among older adults. It is believed that one in four seniors over the age of 65 falls in a year, and the risk of falling increases with age. Among the many causes of falls are dizziness, poor eyesight, slower reflexes, neuropathy, strokes, and other underlying conditions. Certain medications may cause dizziness or drowsiness, which can be factors in losing balance or spatial awareness, especially at night. On a more physical plane, loose rugs and wires, cluttered and darkened hallways, and inadequate lighting may contribute to falls in seniors.  A more sedentary lifestyle, which can result in weaker muscle strength, along with balance and gait problems, can also contribute to falls.  To find out more about preventing falls, please consult a podiatrist.

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 Todd A. Bell, DPM from Connecticut. 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 our office located in Bloomfield, CT . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention
Wednesday, 19 October 2022 00:00

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

Tuesday, 18 October 2022 00:00

All About Foot Mechanics

The design of the many different bones, muscles, and ligaments in the feet is masterful and enables the feet to move to perform their different functions. There are 26 bones in each foot, which includes the phalanges in the toes, the metatarsals in the middle of the foot, and the calcaneus bone at the heel. There are also approximately 30 joints in the feet and 100 different ligaments. The feet contain a group of intrinsic muscles and ligaments. These are primarily located across the bottoms, or soles, of the feet. This group is contrasted with the extrinsic muscles and ligaments that are found in the lower leg and essentially curve around the ankle. This then attaches to the foot. If you want to learn more about the biomechanics of the foot and how this critical body part functions, contact a podiatrist today.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Todd A. Bell, DPM from Connecticut. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

Read more about Biomechanics in Podiatry

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