Posts for category: Foot Conditions
Every February, the American Heart Association sponsors American Heart Month. What’s heart health got to do with your feet? At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we’re glad you asked! Keeping your arteries clear of plaque and cholesterol is an important part of keeping your heart healthy. It’s also essential for maintaining good circulation—something your legs and feet depend on. Poor circulation can result in neuropathy or nerve damage, which can cause a loss of sensation in your feet. It can make it difficult to detect cuts, infections, and injuries. Decreased blood flow also results in less oxygenated blood getting to your feet and toes, which slows healing and can lead to wounds and ulcers. Fortunately, there is much you can do to prevent heart disease.
Here are the American Heart Association’s “Life’s Simple 7” risk factors you can control.
Manage Blood Pressure—Having high blood pressure significantly increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. You can help lower your blood pressure by losing weight, exercising regularly, and finding ways to reduce stress.
Control Cholesterol—Elevated cholesterol contributes to artery-clogging plaque, which can cause heart disease and stroke. Cholesterol is normally controlled by diet and medication.
Reduce Blood Sugar—An important first step is learning what your blood sugar levels are. If you need to lower them, diet plays a huge role. Sugar is hidden in many foods—look for ingredients that end in “ose,” such as fructose. Keeping blood sugar levels where they should also reduce your risk of diabetes—a disease that can cause several problems for your feet.
Get Active—Being physically active has many benefits for your heart (and the rest of your body). It helps your heart pump more efficiently, aids in weight reduction, and helps alleviate stress.
Eat Better—One of the biggest weapons in fighting heart disease is your diet. Reducing the amounts of saturated and trans fats that you eat, controlling portion size, and making healthy swaps can reduce your risk for heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
Lose Weight—Carrying excess weight puts a strain on your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and your bones and joints. As you lose weight, you’ll feel better physically and feel better about yourself.
- Stop Smoking—People who smoke cigarettes are at the highest risk for heart disease.
Changes in your feet and legs such as skin discoloration, swelling, and toenail thickening can all be early signs of heart disease. If you experience any unusual symptoms in your feet, contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices. We offer convenient early morning and late appointments to accommodate your busy schedule. Our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. and Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. will examine your feet and determine if a problem is present and how to treat it.
The skin on your feet is susceptible to a number of different issues that can have a detrimental effect on your overall podiatric health. At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we want our Middlesex and Greater Hartford county patients to be proactive in preventing issues such as fungal infections, corns, blisters, and calluses.
Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid common skin disorders:
- Keep it clean. Wash your feet every day with soap and warm water. This will go a long way toward preventing bacterial and fungal infections.
- Don’t wear shoes that hurt. Shoes that fit properly are essential for preventing many foot problems, including skin breakdown. Corns, calluses and ingrown toenails can all be the result of shoes that are too tight or rub on a part of your foot. Get your feet professionally measured and discard shoes when they are worn out.
- Make sure feet stay dry. Moist conditions foster fungal growth. Dry feet completely after showering. Don’t let your feet sit in damp socks. Change them as soon as you notice they feel wet. If your feet tend to sweat excessively, dust them with talcum or anti-fungal foot powder each day before putting on your socks.
- Avoid sharing items that touch another person’s feet. Athlete’s foot and fungal toenails are spread by direct contact. Don’t use nail clippers, socks, shoes, towels or anything else that may have touched another person’s feet. Keep feet covered as well when walking in public places.
- Use a good quality moisturizer. During the winter months especially, it’s easy for the skin on your feet (and the rest of your body) to become dry. On your feet, this can lead to heel cracks and itchy skin. Before bed, apply an emollient moisturizer and a pair of cotton socks to sleep in and you’ll help your skin stay supple and soft.
- Don’t put off making an appointment if you have a new or ongoing foot problem. Progressive issues like bunions and overlapping toes can be the source of corns or open sores. Skin irritations that are not treated can become infected. If you have a foot concern, contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices so that our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. and Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M., can prescribe the correct treatment to keep your entire foot healthy.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know that our greater Hartford and Middlesex County patients are making their holiday gift lists and beginning to search for the perfect gifts for family and friends. We want to remind you that it’s a great time of the year to thank your feet with a little something special. Below are some top suggestions for holiday gifts for your feet.
New Shoes—probably the best preventive measure you can take to keep your feet healthy is wearing shoes that are well designed and fit properly. Heel pain, flat feet, toe deformities like bunions and hammertoes and many other
A Good Moisturizer—overheated homes, offices and stores and dry air all contribute to dry skin in the winter. Applying a rich, emollient lotion or cream to your feet every night and covering them with a pair of soft socks will help prevent painful heel cracks and flaky skin.
Anti-Fatigue Mat—if you spend long hours standing and preparing meals in the kitchen and washing dishes after family meals, or you have a job that requires prolonged periods of standing, consider a
A Podiatric Checkup—too many patients put off getting
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know patients are able to readily identify a hammertoe by its characteristic bent shape causing it to resemble a hammer. However, they often don’t know much about what causes them or what treatments are available. Below are some facts about this common
FACT: Hammertoe is actual a deformity of or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toe. It is caused by a muscle imbalance.
FACT: Hammertoes are a progressive condition. This means they will get worse over time unless treatment intervenes with the progression. In their early stages, hammertoes are still flexible and the toe can be straightened using conservative measures. Left untreated, the hammertoe will become rigid and unable to bend. At that point, surgery is the only option for correcting the deformity.
FACT: In addition to examining your toe and foot, the podiatrist will likely order an x-ray of the foot. This will be used to assess the severity of the deformity and also to monitor its progression in the future.
FACT: A secondary condition that often accompanies hammertoes is painful corns. These develop on the top and front of the toe as a result of rubbing and pressure from footwear on this part of the toe that is exposed due to the
FACT: There are several effective treatment options for hammertoes. These include:
- Changing your shoes to styles made of soft materials with roomy toe boxes
- Doing exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles
- Straps to realign the bent toe
- A custom orthotic device to help correct the muscle imbalance and foot position
- Icing and oral medications
- Pads to cushion and protect corns if they have formed
If you have noticed your toe appearing to be bending oddly at the joint, don’t delay. Contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices so that 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 treat many patients with the deformity known as hammertoe. Patients can usually easily identify this condition by the bend in the middle joint of the second, third or fourth toe that causes it to resemble its namesake. What they may be less aware of, however, is that there are treatment options available to decrease pain and discomfort from hammertoes. In addition, not treating a hammertoe in its early stages can result in it becoming rigidly fixed in the bent position. Over time, painful corns and calluses may develop on the top of the toe joint or the tip of the toe.
Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M.
Medication—cortisone injections may be prescribed to relieve extreme pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs may also be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.
Taping—to change the imbalance around the toes and provide pain relief by altering the pressure on the toe, taping may be used.
Padding—placing soft padding on the top of the hammertoe can offer immediate relief from pressure and friction from footwear.
Shoe modifications—choosing shoes with roomy toe boxes made out of soft, flexible material may also help.
Exercises—the foot doctor may prescribe toe stretching and muscle strengthening exercises.
Custom orthotics—inserts made for your unique foot can redistribute weight and correct faulty foot function to reduce the imbalance causing the hammertoe.
If conservative measures fail to bring relief or the hammertoe has progressed to a permanently rigid position, surgery may be the only option. If you suspect you have a hammertoe developing, don’t delay. Contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices as soon as possible.