Checking Your Feet if You Have Diabetes

Posted on March 22, 2022

We often take our feet for granted, paying little or no attention to them, until they begin to hurt. But if you have diabetes, you may not be able to feel pain in your extremities, and that’s where the trouble really starts. Professionals believe that it’s important for diabetics to develop a daily foot-care action plan to help prevent minor problems from becoming major ones. It is a good idea to use a magnifying glass to inspect the feet and toes, along with a mirror to see the bottom of your feet. If that is impossible, you may need to ask a healthcare worker to help with the exam. A foot-care checklist can include checking the feet and toes for: redness or bruising; breaks in the skin; blisters or calluses; peeling skin; moisture between the toes; feelings of numbness, pins and needles or burning; ingrown toenails; and sores or ulcers. Many of these symptoms may indicate other maladies that, if ignored, can develop into more serious problems. It is also suggested that anyone with diabetes makes regular appointments with a podiatrist who can examine your feet and toes and treat them early, if needed. 

 

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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

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Why Is Duplex Ultrasound Used to Diagnose PAD?

Posted on March 15, 2022

If your podiatrist suspects that you may have peripheral artery disease (PAD), they will most likely perform a vascular test called a duplex ultrasound. Duplex ultrasound uses two modes of ultrasound: 1) traditional ultrasound to create images of your blood vessels based on sound waves bouncing off them, and 2) doppler ultrasound to estimate the speed and direction of blood by recording sound waves that reflect off it as it flows. Duplex ultrasound is non-invasive and painless. Your podiatrist will spread gel on the skin of the area(s) to be tested, and then wave a transducer wand which emits the sound waves and records the echoes that are reflected. For more information about duplex ultrasound, ask your podiatrist.

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

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

 

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What to Know About Sprained Ankles

Posted on March 8, 2022

Spraining an ankle is a common injury among those who regularly play sports, particularly tennis, soccer, basketball, handball, and volleyball. The most common cause of a sprained ankle is when your foot points down and twists inward, causing you to land on the outside of your foot. This can also happen when you walk and step into a hole, suddenly change direction on a court or field, or jumping and landing on the foot of another player. These actions can cause the ligament in your ankle to stretch or tear, resulting in pain and swelling. The first thing to do is cease the activity and apply the rest, ice, compression, and elevation treatment plan. In addition, avoid heat, alcoholic beverages, running, and massage, as these may further aggravate your condition. If the pain, swelling, and stiffness persist or worsen after a couple of days, it is a good idea to make an appointment with a podiatrist who can thoroughly examine your ankle and recommend the appropriate treatment plan. 

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

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Baseball’s Potential Toll on the Feet

Posted on March 1, 2022

There are a variety of injuries that can impact the feet and ankles that come from playing baseball. One of the most common injuries that occurs in baseball, due to running, sliding, and stepping on bases, is an ankle sprain. Athletes who overtrain can also develop heel injuries, such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinopathy. There are also a number of injuries that can be caused by cleats. If the cleats don’t fit properly, they could cause issues such as bunions, hammertoes and neuromas. Ingrown toenails are also common among baseball players, since toenails that are cut too short or at an angle can dig into the skin and get infected. Baseball players who are dealing with any sort of pain or aggravation in their feet or ankles would be wise to consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.  

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. 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 Bentonville, AR . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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What Might Be Causing My Child’s Foot Pain?

Posted on February 22, 2022

There are many reasons your child may be experiencing foot pain. If your child plays a sport, you’ll want to find out if they’ve recently had an accident or injury. Physically active children are more at risk for obtaining an ankle sprain or strain, Achilles tendonitis, fracture, or other injury. Children between 9 and 14 years old can go through growth spurts where the growth plate at the heel becomes stressed and inflamed (Sever’s disease). This condition can be exacerbated by physical activity. Your child may have outgrown their footwear or are wearing shoes without proper support and cushioning. Perhaps your child has never developed arches, which can cause pain throughout the feet, ankles and calves. Does your child trim their own toenails? If so, they may have developed a painful ingrown toenail from cutting their nails too short. Has your child been walking differently? Check the bottom of their feet for plantar warts. These contagious growths can be very painful when walking or running. To get to the bottom of your child’s foot pain, it's a good idea to have a podiatrist perform a thorough examination.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

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

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What Is Hyperesthesia?

Posted on February 15, 2022

Hyperesthesia refers to heightened sensitivity to stimulation and is a symptom of various nerve disorders. Morton’s neuroma, a thickening of the tissue around a nerve that leads to the toes, may cause hyperesthesia. This leads to pain, numbness, tingling, and burning in the toes and ball of the foot. Morton’s neuroma is often made worse by walking on hard surfaces or by wearing high heels or shoes that are tight in the toe area. The foot may also be tender. If you have pain in the balls and toes of your feet, it is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment. 

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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

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Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Posted on February 10, 2022

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Top 4 Conditions That Cause Cold Feet

Posted on February 8, 2022

If your feet always feel cold, it may be due to one of the following four reasons. 1) You may have poor circulation. Feet need a steady flow of blood to keep them warm. Poor circulation causes blood vessels to constrict which limits the amount of blood traveling to the feet. 2) You may have Raynaud’s syndrome. This is a condition where blood vessels that supply the skin with blood constrict and spasm temporarily, thereby limiting blood flow. This may even cause your skin to change colors temporarily as blood flow is cut off and then returns. 3) You may be overly stressed or anxious. The body’s reaction to extreme stress or anxiety may trigger a “fight or flight” response which can direct blood flow towards larger organs—which are more critical to survival—and away from the extremities. 4) You may have anemia, which is an insufficient amount of red blood cells. Anemia reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, sometimes causing cold feet. If you are concerned about your feet always feeling cold, contact a podiatrist to determine what the underlying cause may be and to get the appropriate treatment.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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

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Causes and Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis

Posted on February 1, 2022

Pain under the heel, especially if you are a jogger or runner, may be a sign that you have plantar fasciitis. This condition affects the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs from the heel to the ball of your foot. It is more common with older people, especially women, but can also be the result of repetitive stress, which causes inflammation. This results in pain that may feel worse if you stand a lot or put pressure on your heel. Being overweight also contributes to the discomfort. One thing you can do is cease the activities that are likely causing or aggravating the condition. Taking anti-inflammatory medication may help to dull the pain. Several stretches can help reduce or alleviate the symptoms. For severe cases, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist who can prescribe custom orthotics, administer injections to the affected area, and offer other solutions, such as ultrasound therapy or even surgery. 

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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

 

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