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March 2021

Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

Why Are Flip-Flops Bad for Your Feet?

As the spring and summer months begin and bring warm weather with them, you may feel tempted to wear a pair of flip-flops. While these shoes are easy to slip on, they also make it easier to slip, leading to potential foot and ankle injuries. Furthermore, wearing flip-flops often can make you alter your gait or walking pattern. When you wear flip-flops, you tend to point your ankles inwards and curl your toes to keep the shoes on your feet. This unnatural walking pattern can lead to all sorts of foot problems, from hammertoes to heel spurs. Flip-flops also offer no arch support, which can lead to arch pain and plantar fasciitis. When the weather is warm, opt instead for sandals with heel straps, which will keep your foot in place. For more information about avoiding foot and ankle problems caused by footwear, please consult with a podiatrist.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Cory Brown, DPM from Brown Foot and Ankle. 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 Abilene, TX .  We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 22 March 2021 00:00

Can Vascular Disease Affect the Foot?

The normal flow of blood to and from various parts of the body does not occur in people with vascular disease—a condition known to damage blood vessels and reduce circulation in the foot. In Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), there is a failure in transporting oxygen away from the heart, with symptoms such as tingling and numbness in your feet and legs, cold feet, and also a tingling sensation when you walk. You are more at risk of developing PAD if you smoke, have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. Your feet are often indicators of problems in other areas of your body, which is why it is important to be diagnosed early and treated properly by a podiatrist to avoid complications such as cardiovascular disease or severe blockages in the arteries of the legs (critical limb ischemia)—both of which may lead to a heart attack or stroke.

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 Cory Brown, DPM from Brown Foot and Ankle. 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 heal
  • 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 our office located in Abilene, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Wednesday, 17 March 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Exercising is an important part of maintaining your overall health, but can lead to various foot injuries if you are not careful. Common exercise-related foot injuries include Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, sprained ankles, pinched nerves, and heel spurs. Interestingly, exercises that target strengthening and stretching the feet can help reduce your risk of exercise-related foot injuries. Some exercises that can help prevent foot injuries include calf stretches and raises, toe lifts, and toe and heel walking. To learn more about preventing foot injuries, please consult with a podiatrist.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Cory Brown, DPM of Brown Foot and Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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

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Monday, 08 March 2021 00:00

Diabetic Patients and Neuropathy

The peripheral nervous system is responsible for communicating information between the brain and the spinal cord. Some of the sensations that are signaled by the peripheral nervous system include pain that comes from a finger that has been burned, or the sensation that your feet are cold. Patients that are diabetic may develop neuropathy, leading to diminished feeling in the feet that is caused by elevated blood sugar levels. Muscle weakness is a common symptom that often accompanies neuropathy. Additionally, changes in the skin, hair, and nails may be noticed. If you have numbness in your feet, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

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 Cory Brown, DPM from Brown Foot and Ankle. 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 our office located in Abilene, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Many Achilles tendon injuries happen gradually. Early symptoms of this condition can include stiffness and pain that will worsen over time. This is a common injury among runners, and the beginning signs can be mistaken for aches and pains that may be associated with participating in running and jumping activities. The Achilles tendon is located in the back of the ankle, and connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. When an injury happens, patients may notice the back of the legs may feel sore in the morning after arising, and it may be difficult to point and flex the feet. If you have endured an Achilles tendon injury, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can determine what the best course of treatment is for you.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Cory Brown, DPM of Brown Foot and Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
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