What your podiatrist in Sparta wants you to know
If you are a diabetic, you are not alone. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, over 29 million Americans are affected by the disease. Diabetes is a systemic disease that affects many areas and systems in your body, including your immune, nervous and circulatory systems.
The disease also wreaks havoc with your feet, causing pain, ulcerative lesions and loss of sensitivity. Your feet require special care if you are diabetic. Dr. Philip Caswell at Family Foot & Ankle Care in Sparta, NJ wants to help you take special care of your feet.
One of the foot problems associated with diabetes is diabetic neuropathy, a condition which causes pain and loss of sensation in your feet. Due to a compromised nervous system, you may not feel it if you are damaging your feet.
Infections and diabetic ulcers can develop because your immune system is impaired. You may not be able to fight off infections which can result from simple cuts, scratches or blisters.
Circulatory problems from diabetes can cause ischemia and tissue death because not enough blood gets to your feet and toes. The end result of lack of blood flow may be amputation of toes or feet.
If you are diabetic, you need to take special care of your feet. Your foot doctor in Sparta wants you to follow these simple steps to ensure your feet stay healthy:
- Check your feet every day, looking at the sides and soles of your feet with a hand mirror.
- If you have cuts, bruises or blisters, bandage them for protection against further injury or infection.
- Thoroughly wash and dry your feet every day; apply lotion to keep your skin from drying out and cracking.
- Always wear soft, supportive socks and comfortable footwear; don’t go barefoot.
- Exercise and move your ankles and toes regularly to increase circulation.
- Avoid extreme temperatures because you might not feel the heat or cold and can injure your feet.
If you are diabetic, you don’t have to take care of your feet alone. Regular visits to your foot doctor are a vital part of your healthcare. For more information on diabetic foot care call Dr. Caswell at Family Foot & Ankle Care in Sparta, NJ. Call today!
Characterized by thick, unsightly, discolored nails, fungus-infected toenails can be irritating, embarrassing and painful. For years, the only treatments available for toenail fungus were topical and oral medications or removal of the nail. Typically, the medications were largely ineffective and removal of the nail plate was painful and debilitating.
Fast, Effective and Pain-Free Nail Fungus Treatment
A new breakthrough in technology is making it possible to get rid of your nail fungus fast- a new procedure known as PinPointe FootLaser. The new, patented laser technology treats nail fungus safely and quickly, with no drugs, no anesthesia, and no pain. It's specially designed to penetrate your toenail, vaporizing the fungus embedded deep in your nail bed. Better yet, the powerful laser beam targets the infection only and has no effect on surrounding healthy tissue. In just one appointment at our office, we can treat your nail fungus, and within months following the treatment, the toenail will replace itself with a healthy, clear, fungus free nail.
Avoiding Irritating Toenail Fungus
Prevention is key to avoiding a fungal infection. The following tips can help you avoid toenail fungus.
- Practice good hygiene and inspect feet and toes regularly
- Try not to injure your nail by cutting it too short, as trauma to the nail may lead to infection
- Wear moisture wicking socks
- Wear dry, proper-fitting shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet
- Wear shower sandals when you are at a public pool or shower
Left untreated, a fungal infection can spread to other toenails, the skin on the feet and even the fingernails. Severe cases can impair one's ability to walk or lead to painful ingrown toenails. It's important to seek care when you notice signs of infection.
If you're ready to eliminate your toenail fungus, contact our office and learn more about the new PinPointe FootLaser. We can evaluate your fungal infection and make recommendations for best treating and eradicating your toenail fungus once and for all.
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that can develop in various parts of your body. In the foot, the most common occurring neuroma develops at the base of the third and fourth toes. This condition is referred to as Morton's neuroma.
There are typically no physical signs of Morton's neuroma, such as a lump or a knot. Instead, symptoms may include:
- A sharp, achy or burning pain in the ball of your foot
- Numbness, tingling, or cramping in the toes or forefoot
- Feeling as if you're standing on a pebble in your shoe
While the exact cause of Morton's neuroma is unknown, the growth of the neuroma seems to occur in response to injury, pressure or irritation to one of the nerves that lead to the toes. People with foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes and flat feet are at higher risk for developing a neuroma. Women are also more likely to develop this condition, as wearing high-heels or narrow-toed shoes can increase pressure on the toes. Other potential causes are activities that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running.
Morton's neuroma can make walking and performing normal activities difficult and painful. Treatment options vary with severity, and identifying the neuroma in its earliest stage of development is important to avoid more invasive treatments or surgical correction. Left untreated, neuromas tend to worsen, so it's always best to visit our office at the first sign of pain.
Early treatments aim to relieve or reduce pressure on the area around the affected toes. Depending on the severity of your neuroma, a podiatrist may recommend:
- Modifications to footwear. Wide-toed shoes relieve pressure on the neuroma.
- Shoe inserts or padding to provide support for the arch of the foot, which removes pressure from the nerve.
- Anti-inflammatory medications can help ease any pain and inflammation. Ask your doctor first.
- Icing to reduce inflammation.
- Rest to lessen repetitive pressure on the neuroma.
In the most severe cases, surgery may be recommended for patients who do not respond to conservative treatments. We can help you determine the best approach for your specific condition.
Heel pain can put quite the damper on your life. Find out how to end your pain once and for all.
It’s amazing just how much heel pain can affect our day-to-day lives. Whether it’s too painful to get around the house and do chores or heel pain has you avoiding your standard workout, pain shouldn’t be dictating your life. If this is an issue you are dealing with, our Sparta, NJ podiatrist, Dr. Philip Caswell, can help.
While coming into our office to visit our Sparta, NJ foot doctor is highly recommended so we can determine the cause of your heel pain, many cases of heel pain are caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammatory condition that affects the band of tissue known as the plantar fascia. If this is the case there are quite a few things you can do to give your feet the TLC they deserve:
- Apply an ice pack to the heel to reduce pain and inflammation. Make sure to never place ice directly on the skin (always wrap an ice pack in a towel first). Apply the ice for about 15-20 minutes at a time two to three times a day.
- Take an over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen. While it certainly won’t eliminate your pain for good it can at least temporarily provide you with the pain relief you need. Not to mention, it can also reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Try and give your feet a break. We know how hard that can be but being stubborn and trying to go about your regular activities could just make your condition worse, which will only lengthen your recovery time. Avoid strenuous activities that put a lot of pressure on your feet until you have fully recovered. Now is your time to kick back and relax!
- If you must exercise, we are happy to show you some exercises you can perform each day to help stretch the plantar fascia and strengthen the muscles. If cardio is your activity of choice, go with low-impact activities like swimming or the stationary bike. You can still elevate your heart rate without making your foot feel worse.
- Talk to us about whether or not custom orthotics (aka: shoe inserts) can help cushion and support the arch and heel of your foot while also taking pressure off the area, especially when walking.
If you find that your heel pain doesn’t resolve within a few weeks despite trying these at-home measures then it’s time to visit Dr. Caswell. Don’t let heel pain tell you how to live your life. Fight back by turning to Family Foot & Ankle Care in Sparta, NJ for the care and treatment you deserve to get back on your feet and living life again.
Metatarsalgia denotes a common foot condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the joints and bones of the ball of the foot - the area just before the toes, also called the metatarsal region.
Symptoms of metatarsalgia can develop suddenly, especially after an increase in exercise or high-impact activities, but normally the problems develop over time. Common symptoms of metatarsalgia include:
- Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot - the part of the sole just behind the toes
- Pain that intensifies when you stand, walk or run
- Pain that radiates from the balls of the feet into the toes
- Numbness or tingling in the toes
- A feeling in your feet as if you are walking with a pebble in your shoe
- Pain that increases when walking barefoot
Sometimes a single factor can trigger metatarsalgia. More often, multiple factors contribute to the pain, including:
- Over-training or Over-activity. Extensive training and high-impact sports, especially running, places an abnormal amount of stress on the balls of the feet, causing irritation, inflammation and pain.
- Other foot disorders. High arches, hammertoes, bunions, stress fractures and Morton's neuroma can all trigger metatarsalgia symptoms.
- Poor-fitting footwear. High heels, narrow-toed shoes and shoes without adequate padding can all contribute to metatarsal problems.
- Excess weight. Extra weight places excess pressure on your metatarsals.
- Aging. The fat pads on the metatarsals thin out as a person ages, diminishing the ability of the metatarsal bones to protect themselves.
Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can disrupt your day to day activities, and when left untreated can lead to additional pain in your unaffected foot, back or hips. Treatment to eliminate metatarsalgia symptoms can be as simple as resting, icing the affected area and wearing proper-fitting shoes to significantly reduce swelling and ease pain.
When conservative treatments aren't effective and pain persists, visit our practice for a full exam and a proper diagnosis. In most cases, metatarsalgia can be treated non-surgically. An experienced podiatrist may prescribe specially-designed orthotics or shock-absorbing insoles and arch supports to prevent and minimize future problems with metatarsalgia.
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