Posts for category: Common Foot Conditions
It’s almost time for Halloween and at Connecticut Foot Care Centers we’d like to make our contribution to this scary season by discussing some symptoms of foot conditions that might give you a fright.
Oozing—it’s never a pretty sight when skin or toenails show signs of discharge, particularly if it’s foul-smelling or looks like pus. This is not a symptom to ignore. With some disorders such as athlete’s foot, it means the infection is progressing with an increased risk of spreading to other parts of your body. If pus is present, there’s a good chance an infection has developed. If the area feels warm and tender and/or you have a fever, as well, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Black toes—although looking down and seeing that your toenail is black may be alarming, it’s not usually a reason for concern. The black that you see is most likely blood that has pooled under the nail, often as a result of an injury or trauma such as a heavy object falling on the toe. This is also a common condition for runners, dancers and other patients who participate in an activity where the toe repeatedly rubs up against the front of the shoe.
Lumps—the tricky thing about
Foot conditions can be tricky to diagnose by appearance alone. It’s always best to get suspicious symptoms checked out promptly to get the proper treatment.
If you’re pregnant, you already know that your body is going through many changes. At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we want to focus on some issues that can affect your
- Foot Pain—most women will experience tired, achy feet at some point during their pregnancy. Carrying extra weight in general increases discomfort in the feet. If you have a chronic foot problem such as plantar fasciitis, the extra weight of carrying a baby can make the condition worse. Arch and heel pain is also common due to a flattening of the arch that can occur as your pregnancy progresses. Make an appointment at one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices if you are in pain or have unusual foot symptoms. Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M.
orRaffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. candiagnose your problem and help make your pregnancy more comfortable for your feet.
- Ingrown toenails—in the later stages of pregnancy the body releases a hormone known as relaxin. As its name implies, it relaxes the ligaments in your body, primarily to make it easier for the baby to pass through the pelvic region. However, it also affects the ligaments in your feet. As they spread your feet will get larger and your shoes will feel tight. Spending time in shoes that squeeze toes together increases the risk of ingrown toenails. If your shoes start to feel tight, buy a bigger or a wider size to accommodate them for the remainder of your pregnancy.
- Ankle sprains—your abdomen grows along with your baby, gradually changing your center of gravity. You may find yourself falling off balance which can increase the chances of twisting an ankle. As your pregnancy gets further along, it may become more difficult to see the curb or small objects in front of you that can cause your ankle to give way when you step on them. Choose shoes with low, wide heels for added stability.
We hope your pregnancy progresses with minimal discomfort. But, if you have any pain or concern about your feet and ankles during this time, don’t hesitate to contact us.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we’re starting to see a predictable increase in appointments for younger patients experiencing fall sports injuries. Many pediatric problems in young athletes can be avoided. Below are some common sports injuries and how to prevent them.
Plantar Fascitis—a long band of tissue known as the plantar fascia runs along the bottom of the foot. When the plantar fascia becomes aggravated and inflamed, your child can experience pain in the arch of the foot and also heel pain. This tends to be a recurring problem. In many cases, plantar fasciitis is related to a defect in foot structure. If your child has overly high arches or flat feet, he or she may need special footwear or a custom orthotic device to play sports comfortably.
Shin Splints—pain and swelling in the front of the lower part of the legs are the characteristic symptoms of this source of discomfort. Shin splints are often the result of repetitive activities like running. Changing training regimens stretches for the calves and properly supportive sports shoes can all help alleviate and prevent this condition.
Sever’s Disease—this condition specifically affects children in the age range of 8 to about 15. Until the heel bone is fully developed, new growth is constantly occurring, leaving a vulnerable area in the growth plate at the back of the heel. Overly-strenuous practices and sports that feature repeated pounding of the heel on hard surfaces, such as basketball, track, and soccer, can increase the risk for Sever’s Disease. In addition to rest periods, other ways to reduce irritation include: maintaining an appropriate weight, stretching exercises and correct footwear or support if your child has flat feet or high arches.
Achilles tendonitis—inflammation of this long tendon in the back of the leg that connects the calf muscle to the heel is most often the result of doing too much too quickly. It’s important that children and teen's condition themselves before the sports season and that coaches follow a training regimen that gradually increases the intensity and duration of physical activity.
If your child experiences pain or discomfort in their feet and ankles during or after sports, make an appointment at one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices as soon as possible. Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we find that many patients don’t think much about their feet until they’re not working properly. We want to encourage our patients to be proactive in the care of their feet and not wait until something goes wrong. One simple way to ensure good podiatric health is by regularly examining your feet to detect potential problems. Below are five checkpoints:
- Skin and toenails—look for any signs of skin irritation such as blisters, redness, calluses or corns. Bruises, lumps, discoloration or changes in existing moles or freckles are all possible indicators of a foot condition. Toenails that appear to be getting thicker or have a yellowish, brownish discoloration or any crumbling at the edges might be a sign of a fungal infection.
- Circulation—good blood flow is essential for healthy feet and wound healing. Try this simple test: press down on the nail of your big toe until it looks white. Let go and see how long it takes for the blood flow to come back to your toe and it returns to normal color. On average this should take about two to five seconds. A blue, red or purple tinge to toes may also be a sign of poor circulation.
- Sensation—using a pencil eraser, lightly run it around the top, bottom and sides of both of your feet. You should be able to feel it equally on all parts of your feet. Neuropathy or nerve damage is associated with diabetes and can result in loss of feeing in your feet. Pain is never a “normal” sensation in your feet.
- Flexibility—you should be able to flex your feet without pain or discomfort. Try picking up a marble or dish towel with your toes. Test ankle flexibility by hanging your heel off a stair and allowing it to drop below the level of the stair. Flexibility can be improved with exercises and regular physical activity.
- Balance—good balance is a key factor in preventing fall injuries. Balance may decrease with age. To assess your balance, stand on one foot with your arms out to the side and your eyes closed. You should be able to hold this stance for 15 seconds if you are under 30, 12 seconds between 30 and 40, 10 seconds between 40 and 50 and 7 seconds if you are over 50.
If you find anything concerning or abnormal when conducting a self-exam, contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices to make an appointment. Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. will examine your feet and determine if there is a problem that needs treatment.
Summer is an easy season for implementing and maintaining an outdoor fitness regimen. At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know that being active has several benefits for your feet, including:
- Increasing flexibility and range of motion
- Maintaining a healthy weight which in turn reduces stress on your feet and ankles
- Improving circulation
However, there are certain conditions in the summer months that require some extra precautions. Below are some do’s and don’ts for a healthy summer workout.
Don’t: plan to exercise during the hottest time of the day. Late afternoon or early evening and early morning are usually safer time slots, especially during particularly hot stretches.
Do: always have plenty of water with you. Not only do you sweat more during hot weather, but your risk of edema or painful swelling of the feet and ankles is increased. Drinking lots of water will help flush excess fluid from your body.
Don’t: exercise if you don’t have the proper shoes. While it might be tempting to join in an impromptu softball game at a family barbeque, if the only shoes you have are sandals or flip flops sit the game out. Wearing non-supportive footwear to play sports is likely to result in an ankle sprain or other injuries.
Do: find a cool place to cool down after your workout. Inflammation and swelling will be worse if you stay out in the heat after you’re done exercising. Be sure to engage in some static stretches of your quads, hamstring, calves and other large muscle groups—these types of stretches are best done on muscles that are warmed up, not before you start.
Do: stop exercising if you feel lightheaded, start to cramp or experience any foot or ankle pain. If the pain persists even after you stop, contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices today for an appointment so that one of our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. can examine you and determine if a sports injury has occurred.