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Tuesday, 09 July 2024 00:00

Foot ulcers, particularly common among individuals with diabetes or neuropathy, can have serious consequences if left untreated. These ulcers often start with calluses formed from repeated pressure or friction on the foot. As the skin thickens, the callus can press into the foot, killing healthy tissue and causing pain. However, neuropathy may prevent you from feeling this pain, making it harder to detect the problem early. Red, hot spots are initial signs of pressure or ill-fitting footwear. If not addressed, these can develop into blisters, corns, or calluses. Once a callus digs into the foot, it can create open wounds or ulcers, which serve as entry points for infection. Infected ulcers might discharge fluids, bleed, or emit a bad odor, and the surrounding skin may become red and warm. It's of extreme importance to address these issues promptly to prevent gangrene or limb loss. A podiatrist plays a key role in managing and preventing foot ulcers by providing specialized wound care, such as removing dead tissue. If you have developed foot ulcers, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and wound care options.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

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Tuesday, 02 July 2024 00:00

Athletic foot injuries are common among active individuals, often resulting from repetitive stress, wearing improper footwear, and inadequate warm-up routines. The most frequent injuries include plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis, and ankle sprains. Plantar fasciitis arises from overuse, leading to inflammation of the plantar fascia, causing heel pain. Stress fractures, which are small cracks in the bones, typically result from repetitive high-impact activities like running or jumping. Achilles tendonitis involves inflammation of the Achilles tendon due to excessive strain or sudden increases in physical activity. Additionally, ankle sprains occur when the ligaments around the ankle are stretched or torn, usually from sudden twists or impacts. These injuries often stem from overtraining, inadequate footwear support, poor biomechanics, or insufficient recovery time. To mitigate the risk, athletes should wear appropriate footwear, incorporate strength training, and maintain flexibility. If an injury occurs, rest, compression, and elevation can help manage symptoms. If you have sustained an athletic foot injury that is persistent or severe, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist for a thorough evaluation and tailored treatment plan.

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 North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. 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 offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 25 June 2024 00:00

Wearing high heels regularly can lead to various types of foot damage. The unnatural position of the foot in high heels places excessive pressure on the ball of the foot, which can result in metatarsalgia, a painful inflammation of the metatarsal region. High heels also force the toes into a cramped position, often leading to bunions, hammertoes, and other deformities. The elevated heel shifts the body's weight forward, altering posture and putting additional stress on the knees and lower back. This unnatural alignment can cause chronic pain and long-term joint issues. Additionally, the lack of proper support in high heels can contribute to plantar fasciitis, characterized by severe heel pain. The risk of ankle sprains and fractures is also higher due to the instability of walking in high heels. Over time, the cumulative effect of these issues can lead to significant and sometimes irreversible foot and musculoskeletal problems, emphasizing the importance of moderating high-heel use and opting for more supportive footwear. If you have developed foot pain and feel it may be from wearing high heels, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can offer you treatment solutions in addition to guiding you toward safer footwear.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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

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Tuesday, 18 June 2024 00:00

Morton's neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, usually between the third and fourth toes. This common issue is caused by the thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes. Thickening often occurs from excessive pressure or irritation from wearing tight or high-heeled shoes. Activities that involve repetitive foot stress, like running or certain sports, can also advance the development of Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma can significantly impact your ability to walk comfortably. As the tissue around the nerve thickens, it causes sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot, which can make each step excruciating. The pain often spreads into your toes, causing numbness or a tingling feeling. Over time, walking or even standing for a long time can become hard, making it tough to complete daily activities and move around normally. The discomfort can also cause you to alter your walking pattern to avoid putting pressure on the painful area. This might lead to additional problems in areas such as the knee, hip, or back due to the uneven balance of weight. If you are struggling with Morton’s neuroma, it is highly suggested you consult with a podiatrist for an exam and diagnosis, followed by treatment options.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists of North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors 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 offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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