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National Diabetes Month and Diabetic Foot Care

To display the importance of diabetes, November is known as National Diabetes Month. An estimate by the Center for Disease Control puts the number of diabetics in the US at 30 million people. Most of these people, or 9 out of 10, have type 2 diabetes; this can be managed through good diet and proper self-care. An important part of diabetic care is taking care of your feet. Diabetes can cause poor blood circulation and neuropathy; this means that if a diabetic was to sustain a wound on their foot, they may not feel it nor might it heal properly. An ulcer can become infected, which in severe cases may lead to amputation or limb salvage. To help prevent this, monitor your feet daily for any abnormalities or wounds, wash your feet daily, and wear shoes that are comfortable and provide good support. If you discover a wound on your foot, it is recommended to see a podiatrist as soon as possible as they can provide care and monitor the wound before it becomes infected.

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 one of our podiatrists from Livingston Foot Care Specialists. Our doctors 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 North Bellmore, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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How to Avoid Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a relatively common health condition. Common symptoms of toenail fungus include yellow or brown nails, brittleness, or nails that may lift up from the nail bed. The fungus is contagious and can spread from nail to nail or even infect the foot and cause athlete’s foot. Without treatment, the fungus can worsen, which may be a contributing factor in experiencing pain while wearing shoes. Avoiding toenail fungus is important in maintaining healthy feet. Choosing breathable footwear, wearing proper shoes in public showers, and using foot powders to keep the feet dry can all help in avoiding toenail fungus. Keeping toenails short is also important and aids in preventing ingrown toenails. Additionally, it’s advised that shoes or nail clippers should not be shared, as this may promote spreading of the fungus. If a pedicure is desired, it’s important that the sanitation of pedicure tools occur. For all conditions related to the foot, including toenail fungus, it is important to seek help from a podiatrist.

For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of Livingston Foot Care Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a problem which affects many people and is hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating toenail fungus.

Antibiotics & Treatments 

Lamisil – The most commonly effective treatment for toenail fungus. It is available as an antibiotic: Terbinafine tablet and cream. Terbinafine is a chemical component which kills fungal growth on the body. Applying regular doses will gradually kill the fungal growth. It is important to keep the area clean.

Talcum powder – Applying powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

Alternative Treatments

There are surgical procedures that are available for toenail fungus. Some people would prefer the immediate and quick removal of toenail fungus through laser surgery. Consult with yOur doctors about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in North Bellmore, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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UCF Knights Point Guard Suffers Foot Injury

University of Central Florida (UCF) Knights point guard B.J. Taylor has suffered a bone fracture in his foot. Coach Dawkins announced that Taylor will miss between four to six weeks. Taylor’s injury is a further strain on the Knights, as two other players also suffered recent injuries. While the injury is unfortunate, it is not a season-ending one; he is expected to return.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Livingston Foot Care Specialists. Our doctors 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 North Bellmore, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet and Ankles

It can be painful to walk for those who have rheumatoid arthritis. A large percentage of people diagnosed with this disease may experience pain in their ankles and joints at some point in their lives. Common symptoms may include tenderness, swelling, and difficulty bending the foot. Emotional symptoms may also occur, including feelings of helplessness, anxiety and depression. Excessive fatigue may be another sign of rheumatoid arthritis. When these symptoms are controlled, further damage to tissues and joints may be prevented. Proper medication, when taken correctly, can be effective in managing relief. When early treatment is initiated, the goal of remission is much more likely. Practicing low-impact exercise such as yoga, swimming or walking is beneficial in strengthening the joints and muscles.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist  if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Livingston Foot Care Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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

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How to Properly Cut Your Toenails and Avoid Ingrown Toenails

While it may seem obvious how to clip your toenails, many people clip them the wrong way. Clipping your toenails improperly can cause the nail to become ingrown. While generally not serious, it can cause pain and discomfort. If you are a diabetic, an ingrown toenail can be a serious health risk, and it is advised to see a podiatrist if you have one. To help prevent ingrown toenails, cut them straight across and not as a rounded edge. Furthermore, do not clip them too short as this can also increase the risk of an ingrown toenail. Lastly, wearing shoes that don’t press against your toenails can help prevent the nail from becoming compressed and ingrown.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Livingston Foot Care Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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

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Causes of Poor Circulation in Feet

There are a number of medical health issues which can cause poor blood circulation in the feet. Some of these include obesity, varicose veins, and blood clots. Diabetes can be another cause, while Raynaud's disease, a condition that causes the small arteries in the hands and toes to narrow, may lead to it as well. Exercise, wearing properly-fitted shoes, reducing salt intake, and avoiding sitting for too long, can all help improve poor circulation in the feet. If you like your feet aren't getting good blow flow, contact a podiatrist to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Livingston Foot Care Specialists. Our doctors 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 North Bellmore, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tips on Preventing Running Injuries

Running can be a great way to stay healthy, however it can also lead to injuries. Knowing what to do to prevent running injuries is essential to ensure a healthy outcome. In addition to basic steps like drinking plenty of water, avoiding overuse, running properly, and wearing the right footwear for you, there are more advanced steps you can take to help prevent injury. Stretching daily, even during down times like at a work, helps keep the body loose. Working out both legs individually can help ensure that each leg is strong on its own. Stability exercises, even ones as simple as balancing on one leg, and strength and flexibility exercises can help promote overall fitness that makes the body more resilient to injury. Following these steps won’t prevent every injury, but they can help significantly.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists of Livingston Foot Care Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
– One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
– Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
– Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
– Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
– Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
– Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
– Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

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

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What are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures are small hairline fractures in the bone that most often occur from overuse. When the muscles in the body are fatigued, they can become unable to handle repeated shocks to the area. The shock instead transfers to the bone, which can crack. Most often, stress fractures occur in areas of the lower body like the feet and legs. The most common symptom of a stress fracture is pain in the area. If you are experiencing pain in the foot and ankle and think you may have a stress fracture, it is recommended to see a podiatrist. Rest is often the number one method in helping a stress fracture heal. Braces, pain medication, and ice may also be recommended, though not always. To prevent stress fractures, it is advised to start any new athletic activity slowly, gradually work your way up, and stop if you feel pain or have been pushing yourself with little rest.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Livingston Foot Care Specialists. Our doctors 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 North Bellmore, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Bunions and Surgery

Bunions, if left untreated, can start to throb and become very painful. Does this mean that you should have surgery to treat your bunions before they start hurting? Not necessarily; there are plenty of nonsurgical options available to treat bunions and the associated pain. It is best to see a podiatrist first, however, as they can discuss the options available to you. Common conservative options include trying new pairs of shoes that offer more room and keep pressure off the bunion. Bunions pads are another readily available option that also help ease pressure on the bunion. Anti-inflammatory medication can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation, and cortisone shots can help with that too. If conservative measures such as these do not ease pain, then surgery may be recommended by a podiatrist.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of Livingston Foot Care Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

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Facts About Falls and Fall Prevention

Falls and their effects on the elderly are, unfortunately, not reported on enough. This lack of reporting prevents overall awareness and the spread of knowledge in how to prevent them. Fortunately this has been changing in the past several years, with 2008 marking the first year that Falls Prevention Awareness Day was held by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Despite this, awareness of the issue has a long way to go. Here are some facts about falls and falls prevention. Those who are age 65 or older and who have been to the emergency department are unlikely to engage in falls-prevention programs once discharged. While it has been reported that regular strength and flexibility programs for the elderly help prevent falls, some practices like Tai Chi have been found to help as well. Finally, elderly persons who have a history of falls, have suffered from a previous fracture, and have a body mass index (BMI) of 20 kg/m² are more likely to suffer another fracture.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Livingston Foot Care Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

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