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Slowly Increasing Activity Is Beneficial for Seniors

The importance of maintaining proper foot care increases as the aging process occurs. This may be a result of walking or standing at various jobs throughout the years, in addition to possibly wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Many elderly people have difficulty looking at the soles of their feet. This is imperative to do, as it is helpful in checking for existing cuts, scrapes, and bruises. There are patients who choose to have a family member or caregiver that can help them to accomplish this. When the toenails are properly trimmed weekly, it may help to prevent painful foot conditions, such as ingrown toenails, from developing. The feet can be protected by refraining from walking barefoot, and slowly increasing physical activity which is beneficial in improving blood circulation to the feet and legs. If you are interested in learning more about how to care for elderly feet, it is advised that you consult a podiatrist who can provide you with the knowledge you are seeking.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Serious Causes of Foot Pain

Many different things can affect the health of the feet. For example, there can be a problem with the thyroid that interferes with the making of crucial hormones which impacts the nerves associated with sensation in the feet. Degenerative conditions in the lower back leading to irritation of the spinal cord can also affect the health of the feet. Three more serious causes of foot pain are Peripheral Arterial Disease or PAD, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. PAD occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries of the legs and reduces blood flow to the lower legs and feet. This can lead to a host of problems, including foot pain and wounds that heal poorly. Rheumatoid arthritis develops when the immune system mistakenly attacks joints and can cause swelling and pain in the feet, as well as possibly change the shape of your toes and feet. Gout is another type of arthritis arising from the accumulation of uric acid in the body collecting in joints, particularly the big toe joint. Because foot pain can come on with no obvious cause, if you are having such pain, please see a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Eating the Right Foods Can Help Reduce Foot Pain

Including certain foods in your diet is a good way to keep your feet healthy, experts say. This is especially true with people who suffer from gout, diabetes, and heart disease. Each of these conditions have a direct relationship with the health of the feet. For instance, ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory, hot peppers stimulate nerve endings, and salmon, which is high in omega-3 acids, improves blood flow. Additionally, chocolate and walnuts can improve moisture balance, which helps prevent calluses. Cherries, which are high in antioxidants, can help relieve muscle soreness, and asparagus contains compounds that help to reduce swelling. Other foods shown to reduce swelling and water retention are pumpkin, yogurt, and parsley. The foot contains 26 bones. Foods that contain certain vitamins and minerals that are believed to improve bone health include cheese, spinach, sardines, and tuna. In addition to eating foods that promote foot health, it is also important to make periodic visits to a podiatrist who can treat any serious or painful conditions that may arise. 

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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A Kick in the Heels

An Achilles tendon tear occurs when the tendon attaching the calf muscle to the heel completely tears. This injury is common and is often seen in middle-aged male sports enthusiasts. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and can be prone to injury when sudden, explosive movement involved in running and jumping sports occurs during sports or exercise. Interestingly, taking certain antibiotics or cortisone shots can increase the likelihood of one tearing their Achilles. When this happens, one will feel a sudden pain behind the ankle. A pop or snap may be heard and one can feel like they have been kicked in the heel suddenly. It will make pointing toes down difficult and there may be swelling and bruising around the tendon. If you feel you might have torn your Achilles tendon or want more information to prevent this painful injury, consult with a podiatrist.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Ingrown Toenails and Runners

Ingrown toenails can develop in an individual when the side of their toenail grows into the skin. As a result, the point at which the nail and skin meet can become inflamed and irritated. An individual with ingrown toenails can experience some kind of discomfort or pain. Runners may be particularly susceptible to developing ingrown toenails. This is explained by the fact that running puts a particular amount of repetitive pressure on the nails in the shoe. This pressure can then ultimately press the side of the nail into the skin and put an individual at risk of developing an ingrown toenail. Although ingrown toenails are certainly not the most serious condition of the feet, they can cause discomfort. If you are a runner and are concerned about developing an ingrown toenail, contact a podiatrist today.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. 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 one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care

Conditions That Develop From Running Injuries

People who enjoy jogging realize that incurring a running injury is one of the most upsetting things that can happen to their running regime. Injuries can occur in both experienced and new runners, and there are methods that can be done to help prevent them. Many injuries happen due to overuse. The heel is often affected, and a condition known as plantar fasciitis can happen from excess pressure that is put on the heels. A stress fracture is a common injury to obtain while running which is a hairline break in the foot. This typically develops gradually and can be prevented by taking time off between runs. Many people have learned to increase speed and distance slowly, in addition to eating healthy and stretching before and after a run. If you would like more information about how to prevent running injuries, please ask a podiatrist who can provide you with helpful tips.

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 Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. 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 one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Bunion Shapes

A bunion is a detrimental foot condition that can develop on the side of the big toe. Bunions can form either in response to a genetic disposition towards bunions or in response to foot injuries. Wearing narrow shoes frequently can also result in the development of bunions. Many individuals who are curious about learning more about this condition often wonder what exactly bunions look like and what their normal size is. Bunions are shaped like a bony lump, bulge, or bump. This lump is typically located at the point where the joint is located in the toe. Bunions can come in many different sizes. Regular bunions typically form on the side of the big toe. However, smaller bunions are also possible as well. For example, bunions that are smaller in size are known as bunionettes and can form on the side of the pinky or little toe. If you are interested in learning more about bunion shapes and sizes, contact a podiatrist today who will be able to help answer your questions. 

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. 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 worsen existing bunions

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 one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions

Are Foot Massages During Pregnancy Safe?

It is certainly no secret that pregnant women can experience potent foot pain as they bring their child to term. This is sometimes explained by the increase in body weight during the pregnancy, which consequently causes the body to exert more pressure on the feet. The feet therefore might ache and feel sore after a day of weight-bearing activity. Some pregnant women might benefit from having a foot massage to relieve the pain. However, it is important to note that foot massages might not be safe for all pregnant women, particularly if they are prone to blood clots. Therefore, a woman ought to first get permission from a medical professional to receive a foot massage. If she is cleared to receive a massage, this procedure might help to lower cortisol levels and reduce depression levels in pregnant women. If you are a woman that is soon expecting a child, contact a podiatrist today for more information.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
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