Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pregnancy and Feet

During pregnancy, the body produces approximately 50% more blood and body fluids to meet the needs of the developing baby. Swelling is a normal part of pregnancy that is caused by this additional blood and fluid. Normal swelling, which is also called edema, is experienced in the hands, face, legs, ankles, and especially feet.

This extra retention of fluid is needed to soften the body, which enables it to expand as the baby develops. Extra fluid also helps prepare the pelvic joints and tissues to open to allow the baby to be born. The extra fluids account for approximately 25% of the weight women gain during pregnancy.

Swelling may be experienced at any point during pregnancy, but it tends to be noticed around the fifth month and can increase while you are in the third trimester. The following factors may also affect swelling:

-Summertime heat

-Standing for long periods of time

-"Long" days of activity

-Diet low in potassium

-High level of caffeine consumption

-High level of sodium intake

Swelling may be reduced by eating foods that are high in potassium, such as bananas, and by avoiding caffeine. Here are some other helpful hints to manage swelling during your pregnancy:

-Avoid standing for long periods

-Minimize outdoor time when it is hot

-Rest with your feet elevated

-Wear comfortable shoes, avoiding high heels if possible

-Wear supportive tights or stockings

-Avoid clothes that are tight around your wrists or ankles

-Rest or swim in a pool

-Use cold compresses on swollen areas

-Drink water, which helps flush the body and reduce water retention

-Minimize sodium (salt) intake and avoid adding additional salt to meals

If you are not pregnant and experiencing edema in your lower legs, ankles, and/or feet, or if you are pregnant and these remedies are not helping, please contact Community Foot Care to schedule an appointment with our podiatric specialists.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Knee Pain? Our Physical Therapy isn’t only for your feet!

It’s time to get active again now that the weather is getting warmer! However, sometimes being active can be difficult if you suffer from knee pain. There are many types of knee pain ranging from acute, or recent, to chronic, or long lasting.

Acute knee pain is usually caused by trauma, like a fall or accident. The injury is usually a sprain or strain of knee muscles or ligaments. If not properly taken care of, these injuries can persist over time and become chronic.

Chronic knee pain continues over time and can be caused by conditions such as arthritis. The pain tends to worsen when a person is more active.

If you suffer from knee pain of acute or chronic nature, physical therapy can be helpful in reducing the pain and helping you get back to your normal activities and an active lifestyle. The physical therapist will complete a thorough evaluation and develop a treatment plan to address your specific deficits. The treatment regimen usually consists of modalities for pain control, an exercise program to address strength, range of motion and flexibility deficits, balance and proprioception training and education in a home program. If you think you may benefit from physical therapy services, please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule an evaluation appointment.

Springfield: 937-322-7607 Vandalia: 937-426-9500

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What is Crossover Toe?

Crossover toe is a condition in which the second toe drifts toward the big toe and eventually crosses over and lies on top of the big toe. Crossover toe is a common condition that can occur at any age, although it is most often seen in adults.

Some people confuse crossover toe with a hammertoe, probably because both conditions involve a toe that does not lie in the normal position. However, crossover toe is entirely different from a hammertoe-and much more complex.

Although the crossing over of the toe usually occurs over a period of time, it can appear more quickly if caused by injury or overuse.

Symptoms may include:

• Pain - particularly on the ball of the foot. It can feel like there's a marble in the shoe or a sock is bunched up.

• Swelling in the area of pain, including the base of the toe

• Difficulty wearing shoes

Crossover toe is a progressive disorder. In the very early stages is the best time to treat crossover toe. Without treatment, the condition usually worsens to dislocation of the joint, so it is very beneficial to have a foot and ankle surgeon evaluate the foot soon after pain first occurs.

It is generally believed that crossover toe is a result of abnormal foot mechanics, where the ball of the foot beneath the second toe joint takes an excessive amount of weight-bearing pressure. This pressure eventually leads to weakening of the supportive ligaments and a failure of the joint to stabilize the toe, resulting in the toe crossing over.

Certain conditions or characteristics can make a person prone to experiencing excessive pressure on the ball of the foot. These most commonly include a severe bunion deformity, a second toe longer than the big toe, an arch that is structurally unstable, and a tight calf muscle.

If you believe you may be suffering from crossover toe, please call today to consult with a podiatrist at Community Foot Care.

Springfield 937-322-7607                                Dayton: 937-426-9500