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PROTECTING YOUR FEET AS COLD WEATHER APPROACHES
As colder weather approaches, protecting your feet is important and should not be ignored. It does not take freezing temperatures to cause cold injury to your feet. Mild brief exposure to the cold temperatures can cause foot related problems. Overexposure to cool, damp conditions can cause foot symptoms as well. Several factors contribute to increased risk for cold-related injuries which include: ·Inadequate protective gear: not wearing appropriate shoe gear. ·Smoking: nicotine affects constriction of blood vessels which alter flow to your feet. ·Alcohol use: one of the most common factors to cold injuries as alcohol dilates blood vessels which increase heat loss in the body. Also, if alcohol is consumed chronically it can cause decreased feeling in your feet. ·Excess sweating: moisture increases heat loss. Tips to protecting your feet from cold related injury include: ·Wearing warm clothing: Dress in layers of insulation. Start wearing base …
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Charcot Foot: The “Unknown” Deformity

Charcot Foot: The “Unknown” Deformity Charcot foot is a condition causing weakening and as a result breaking down of bones in the foot that usually occurs in people with significant nerve damage (neuropathy). This deformity is commonly seen in diabetic patients who have significant peripheral neuropathy. As the bones weaken, they begin to fracture causing the joints to collapse. As result, the foot takes on an abnormal shape, such as a rocker bottom appearance.
Charcot foot develops as result of neuropathy. When a patient has neuropathy there is decreased feeling in their feet and inability to feel temperature and pain. Hence, the combination of increased activity and decreased sensation begins the cascade of foot bone to breakdown.
In neuropathic patients, the symptoms are sometimes difficult to notice due to lack of sensation. When the Charcot process begins, there is increased warmth to touch to affected foot, redness and swelling in the area with occasional pain.
Early diagnosis of…

Hammertoe: “Curling toes”

Hammertoe: “Curling toes” Hammertoe is a contracture of one or more joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toes. The contracture can put pressure and cause friction on the toe when wearing closed toe shoes, thus potentially causing pain and pressure sores. Hammertoes can occur in one or multiple toes simultaneously. Hammertoes are progressive, they begin as mild flexible contractures but can become rigid deformity over time. Usually the more flexible the contracture, the better the toe responds to non-surgical treatments.
There are multiple reasons for the cause of hammertoes with the most common being tendon imbalance of the toe. This leads to bending of the toe. Other causes include, long toe, prior trauma and neurological changes in the foot.
The common symptoms include: pain and irritation of curling toes when wearing shoes, corn and callus build up at area of constant friction, redness and inflammation and open sores in severe cases.
The treatments for hammertoes range from co…
INGROWN TOENAIL: What you need to know
An ingrown toenail is curved and grows in the skin nail fold causing irritation. Patient’s usually described it as “digging in” of the nail into skin, often causing pain, redness and swelling if present for a long time. Ingrown toenail occurs in all aged groups, but more likely in teenagers.
If the toenail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection. Infection signs to look out for include: redness, swelling, warmth, bad odor and drainage. Ingrown toenail can also be present in the absence of infection when the curved nail elicits pain.
There are many causes of ingrown toenails: heredity, wrong shoe size, fungal or thick toenail or incorrect trimming. Therefore, some ideas to prevent ingrown toenails include proper trimming of the nail in a straight line while not cutting it too short. Also, you should wear well-fitted shoes and socks that prevent pressure on the toes while active.
However, if you do have an ingrown toenai…

Turf Toe: A Tough Injury to Overcome

With the fall weather comes football season – and unfortunately, with football season comes injury. Whether you find yourself at your local football field to cheer on your own football star, cheering on your high school team from the stands, watching the Buckeyes take the field on Saturdays or the Bengals or Browns on Sundays, chances are you’ll hear the expression “turf toe” at one time or another this season. The expression turf toe might lead one to believe that the injury is a minor ailment limited only to those wearing football helmets and jerseys; however, this is not the case. Turf toe often plagues dancers as well, and can actually impact anyone in the right circumstances as it is an injury to the soft tissue around the big toe joint that occurs when the toe is extended beyond its normal range of motion.
Turf toe isn’t a simple injury that pulls a player out of a game or a dancer out of a single performance. It can leave athletes sidelined for weeks in extreme pain.
The good new…

Feeling the Pinch this Autumn? Bunions May Be to Blame

With the curtain closed on summer and sandal season, fall is the season during which Community Foot Specialists sees an upswing in patients whose feet are feeling the pinch in their closed-toe footwear. This seasonal phenomenon seems to focus on women, although there are men who have this issue. The common culprit? Painful bunions that were given room to breathe during sandal season, but now face close quarters of a fall boot or shoe.
Bunions are abnormalities that form on the joint at the base of the big toe in the form of a bony bump. They occur when the big toe pushes against the other toes, which force the big toe joint in the opposite direction. As time passes, the abnormal positioning of the toe enlarges the joint. This further crowds the toes of the foot and causes pain and discomfort.
Bunions can occur for a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes is tight shoes, although they can also come about as a result of an inherited structural or mechanical defect, a stress to…

Tips on Orthotics

If you have orthotics or are considering purchasing them, you may want to consider the following tips to ensure that you are getting the most for your money and doing the best thing for your feet. First, keep in mind that orthotics are not just for wearing with one particular type of shoe – they can be worn with athletic shoes, dress shoes, work boots, snow shoes – pretty much all types of shoes that have a back to them and provide some support at the base of the shoe.
When going shoe shopping, be sure to bring your orthotics with you and wear them when trying on new shoes. You want to be sure that the shoe will work with the orthotic while providing comfort and the right kind of support for your foot. Likewise, you want to be sure that the orthotic will work with the shoe you have in mind.
Also, you will want to have the same shoes or stockings that you plan to wear with the shoes you purchase so that you can see how they work with your orthotics and your shoes. Make sure they are com…