Posts for tag: Foot Health
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.
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 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.
It’s hard to not be aware of the societal issue of weight gain and obesity in today’s culture. Sometimes, this makes it hard to be aware of our own issues regarding weight and obesity, which can prevent us from addressing those issues for the benefit of our health.
Did you know that many doctors today are actually prescribing exercise as a therapeutic treatment for various health conditions? Exercise is not only great for boosting your mood but it keeps your muscles, joints, and tendons lubricated and flexible. In turn, this can help slow down the progression of age-related issues and some of the symptoms from foot and ankle conditions like plantar fasciitis or arthritis.
While weight gain can worsen or trigger the development of these issues, did you know that untreated foot and ankle problems can also lead to weight gain by keeping you less active due to pain? Out of all the podiatry issues you could imagine, these are the top three ways weight gain can affect your feet:
- Losing the arch in your feet - when we’re overweight, this puts extra pressure on our feet. Over time, this pressure can cause the irreversible flattening of the arches of our feet. This potentially could lead to instability on your feet that can make you vulnerable to injuring your feet or ankles.
- Pain in your heel - conditions that cause heel pain such as heel spurs or plantar fasciitis can develop or worsen due to weight gain. Conditions like plantar fasciitis often hurt the most in the morning and after a long day of being on your feet, which can make getting to the gym after work nearly impossible.
- Slowing down due to arthritis - while there are several types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is most commonly developed due to excess weight wearing down the cartilage in our joints. Arthritis can lead to stiff and painful joints which can prevent you from feeling up to exercising.
You don’t have to deal with the pain and give up on getting fit! Our podiatrists are here to help: Dr. Jeffrey S. Kahn, Dr. Raffaella R. Pascarella, Dr. Craig M. Kaufman, and Dr. Ayman M. Latif. With locations throughout Hartford and Middlesex Counties, as well as Greater Hartford and Bristol, our doctors at Connecticut Foot Care Center, LLC lead the podiatry scene. Call us today to schedule an early morning or late evening appointment!