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If you like walking or hiking, stretching the bottoms of your feet and ankles can be very beneficial. Stretching helps by relieving foot pain and improving flexibility, which reduces your risk of foot and ankle injuries. One simple stretch that you can perform is a foot stepover. To do this stretch, place a rolled up towel on the floor. Stand up straight and place the front half of one foot onto the towel. Be sure to keep the heel of the foot on the floor. Take a small step forward with the other foot. You should feel a stretch in the foot that is standing on the towel. Repeat ten times, holding the stretch for two to five seconds each time, and then repeat on the opposite foot. For more information about stretching the feet, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Jeannette Velazquez, DPM from Bare Foot Care Specialist. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

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

Read more about How to Stretch Your Feet
Tuesday, 19 October 2021 00:00

How Do Bunions Form?

Bunions can develop when the joint at the big toe is pulled out of alignment and the toe gets turned towards the rest of the toes. This is a very common issue, and it can result in a painful and bony lump to form at the joint. As bunions develop, they can get more and more painful. They will eventually push the other toes out of alignment which will lead to skin irritation and difficulty wearing shoes or walking. Common causes of bunions can include heredity, shoes that fit too tightly, arthritis, injuries, and nerve damage. Patients who are struggling with a painful bunion should consult with a podiatrist for proper treatment and pain relief methods. Common methods for treating bunions include wearing shoes with wide toe boxes, orthotics, and in some cases, surgery.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Jeannette Velazquez, DPM of Bare Foot Care Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:00

Why Is My Big Toe Suddenly Painful?

There are several different types of arthritis that can affect the feet, including gout. This painful condition is brought on by an overabundance of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is a byproduct of the body’s process of breaking down purines (an organic compound within the body and in certain foods). When a person’s body cannot flush excess uric acid sufficiently, it may form hardened crystals on joints, most commonly on the joint at the base of the big toe. These crystals can cause sudden and intense bouts of pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness in the joint area. Gout is often an inherited disease that can be brought on by obesity, high blood pressure, kidney dysfunction, and certain drugs. Some also believe certain foods high in purine—such as red meat, seafood, sweetened beverages and alcohol—can also contribute to the onset of gout. A podiatrist may treat gout with anti-inflammatory medicine, steroid injections, and even surgery to remove the uric acid crystals formed on the joint, in advanced cases.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Jeannette Velazquez, DPM from Bare Foot Care Specialist. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

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

Read more about Gout
Sunday, 10 October 2021 00:00

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

Tuesday, 05 October 2021 00:00

Turf Toe 101

Turf toe is a common injury among football and soccer players who play on artificial turf. Other athletes like dancers, gymnasts, and basketball players can also be at risk. Repeated pushing off of the big toe while on hard surfaces can cause stress to the joints and ligaments and lead them to eventually overstretch or tear. When the big toe is bent too far upward towards the foot, turf toe may occur. Common signs of turf toe include increasing pain when putting weight on the big toe, a “popping” sensation when the injury occurs, swelling or stiffness around the big toe, and an inability to move the big toe. Most cases of turf toe are mild, but if the injury causes walking or physical activities (like running or sports) to become painful, it should be checked out by a podiatrist. Upon examination, a podiatrist will be able to diagnose the injury and determine a treatment plan that is best for you.

Ankle and foot injuries are common among athletes and in many sports. They can be caused by several problems and may be potentially serious. If you are feeling pain or think you were injured in a sporting event or when exercising, consult with Jeannette Velazquez, DPM from Bare Foot Care Specialist. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Common Injuries

The most common injuries that occur in sporting activities include:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Broken Foot
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Stress Fractures
  • Turf Toe

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending upon the injury and in some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. However, in most cases, some form of symptom is experienced. Pain, aching, burning, bruising, tenderness, tightness or stiffness, sensation loss, difficulty moving, and swelling are the most common symptoms.

Treatment

Just as symptoms vary depending upon the injury, so do treatment options. A common treatment method is known as the RICE method. This method involves rest, applying ice, compression and elevating the afflicted foot or ankle. If the injury appears to be more serious, surgery might be required, such as arthroscopic or reconstructive surgery. Lastly, rehabilitation or therapy might be needed to gain full functionality in the afflicted area. Any discomfort experienced by an athlete must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.  

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

Read more about Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries
Tuesday, 28 September 2021 00:00

What Are Toe Stretchers?

Toe stretchers are a type of orthotic that may relieve toe pain. Conventional toe stretchers are usually made of gel, plastic, or silicone and slide between your toes, spreading them apart and positioning them away from the balls of the feet. They are worn while sitting or lying down and stretch the toe muscles and ligaments, increasing their flexibility, relieving pain, and preventing injuries. Toe stretcher socks are simply socks that separate the toes. They do not provide as much of a stretch as conventional toe stretchers, but still separate the toes and are warm and comfortable. Toe stretchers are used to treat a variety of conditions, including plantar fasciitis, hammertoes, bunions, corns, calluses, and Morton’s neuroma, among others. To see if toe stretchers are right for you, please consult with a podiatrist. 

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Jeannette Velazquez, DPM from Bare Foot Care Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Flowery Branch, GA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes
Tuesday, 21 September 2021 00:00

What Is This Rash on My Feet?

A rash on the feet can be indicative of a variety of medical conditions. One of the most common reasons for a foot rash is a fungal infection called athlete’s foot. The rash characteristic of athlete’s foot is usually scaly, flakey, itchy, and red, and it may also sting or burn. Irritant contact dermatitis is an allergic skin reaction that can affect the feet. A contact dermatitis rash features dry, cracked, scaly - but not itchy - skin in a localized area. Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by a more severe allergic reaction and often presents as small, pink or red skin bumps, spots, or blisters that are very itchy. Other conditions that can lead to a foot rash include hand foot and mouth disease, eczema, psoriasis, scabies, an insect bite, and medical conditions like chicken pox, shingles, and Lyme disease. If you have a rash on your feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Jeannette Velazquez, DPM from Bare Foot Care Specialist.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

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

Read more about Athlete's Foot
Tuesday, 14 September 2021 00:00

Excessive Running May Lead To Stress Fractures

A stress fracture of the foot can be the result due to an an overuse injury. Many athletes are prone to developing stress fractures which can become worse if they are not treated. They can happen from increasing mileage and speed too soon, or possibly from training on uneven surfaces. Additionally, people who enjoy jogging may experience this type of injury, and often run through any pain and discomfort they may have. Appropriate treatment often begins with temporarily refraining from the activity that caused the fracture and resting the affected foot as often as possible. This is preceded by confirming the stress fracture, which is generally determined by having an X-ray performed. Many daily activities may be compromised with the onset of a stress fracture, and it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can begin effective treatment methods with you.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Jeannette Velazquez, DPM from Bare Foot Care Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Friday, 10 September 2021 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Tuesday, 07 September 2021 00:00

What Are the Treatments for a Broken Foot?

A foot fracture occurs when one or more of the bones located in your foot break, usually due to impacts, falls, or repetitive stress over a period of time. There are a variety of treatments for broken foot bones. To determine which treatment may be right for will depend on the location and severity of the fracture. Your podiatrist may prescribe a boot, cast, or splint for you to wear on the injured foot. These devices are designed to limit foot movements, protect the foot, provide support, and hold the broken bones in place as they heal. More severe fractures may require surgery using internal or external pins or wires to straighten broken bones and hold them in the correct positions for a full recovery. If you have broken a bone in your foot, it is suggested that you schedule a visit with a podiatrist as soon as possible in order to get the right treatment for your injury.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Jeannette Velazquez, DPM of Bare Foot Care Specialist. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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

Read more about Foot and Ankle Surgery
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