Items filtered by date: July 2022

Tuesday, 26 July 2022 00:00

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Options

The most common form of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammatory condition of the tissue (the plantar fascia) that connects the heel bone with the toes. This tissue can become inflamed, torn, and painful from overuse and other factors, such as the type of shoes you wear and your foot structure. Your podiatrist can use a variety of treatment modalities to repair the plantar fascia and reduce pain and inflammation, including anti-inflammatory drugs, night splints, heel pads and cups, custom orthotics, physical therapy, steroid injections, casts, and even shockwave therapy—which can boost the body’s natural healing process. If you have heel pain, visit a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat your condition properly. 


 

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Gerald McCool, DPM  from McCool Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

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Tuesday, 19 July 2022 00:00

What Is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?

A congenital condition that affects the peripheral nervous system is called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. It occurs as a baby’s DNA begins to develop in the womb, and for that reason is also known as hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy. Charcot-Marie-Tooth is often detected during puberty, causing muscle weakness and difficulty walking. Later on it can also affect the arms and hands. Hammertoes and high arches are further signs of the disease. A child will notice a difficulty in running, a tendency to trip or fall, and a problem lifting the foot at the ankle. Falling may cause injuries to other body parts, making normal daily activities more problematic. If a child begins to drag their feet, has trouble going up and down steps, or marches instead of walking, it is a good idea to consult a podiatrist for an exam and diagnosis. Treatment may include braces to support the foot and certain medications. In some cases, surgery may become an option.


 

Congenital foot problems require immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Gerald McCool, DPM of McCool Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Congenital foot problems are deformities affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankles that children are born with. Some of these conditions have a genetic cause while others just happen. Some specific foot ailments that children may be born with include clubfeet, polydactyly/macrodactyly, and cleft foot. There are several other foot anomalies that can occur congenitally. What all of these conditions have in common is that a child may experience difficulty walking or performing everyday activities, as well as trouble finding footwear that fits their foot deformity. Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Consulting with a podiatrist as early as possible will help in properly diagnosing a child’s foot condition while getting the necessary treatment underway.

What are Causes of Congenital Foot Problem?

A congenital foot problem is one that happens to a child at birth. These conditions can be caused by a genetic predisposition, developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation, or with no known cause.

What are Symptoms of Congenital Foot Problems?

Symptoms vary by the congenital condition. Symptoms may consist of the following:

  • Clubfoot, where tendons are shortened, bones are shaped differently, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point in and down. It is also possible for the soles of the feet to face each other.
  • Polydactyly, which usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.
  • Vertical talus, where the talus bone forms in the wrong position causing other bones in the foot to line up improperly, the front of the foot to point up, and the bottom of the foot to stiffen, with no arch, and to curve out.
  • Tarsal coalition, when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot.
  • Cleft foot, where there are missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences.
  • Macrodactyly, when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue.

Treatment and Prevention

While there is nothing one can do to prevent congenital foot problems, raising awareness and receiving neonatal screenings are important. Early detection by taking your child to a podiatrist leads to the best outcome possible.

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

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Wednesday, 13 July 2022 00:00

Stay Safe While Being Active This Summer

For many, summertime means time to get out and get active. Before trying a new sport or physical activity, be sure to properly stretch and gradually increase intensity to prevent injuries.

If you need treatment for an injury or would like to learn about injury prevention, schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, 12 July 2022 00:00

Treating Poor Circulation in the Feet

When blood circulation to the feet becomes impaired, an individual may suffer a variety of negative consequences. For example, when circulation slows, the feet can become numb, discolored, and cold. In some cases, poor circulation might even cause hair loss below the knees and cracked skin on the feet. Pregnant women and individuals suffering from diabetes are at a particular risk of suffering from poor circulation. However, there are several steps that you can take to improve and promote blood circulation to your feet. First, you might consider purchasing a pair of compression socks, which exert pressure on your feet, effectively encouraging circulation by forcing blood vessels to travel up to the heart. To promote better circulation, you might also try simply adding more physical activity to your daily routine if you are someone who spends a significant part of your day at rest. By increasing movement, you can effectively loosen arteries and facilitate blood circulation. Lastly, you might try massaging your feet to jump start blood circulation throughout the feet. Contacting a podiatrist may help you better understand ways that you can increase blood circulation in your feet.

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Gerald McCool, DPM of McCool Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

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 El Paso, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Causes Symptoms and Treatment for Poor Circulation in the Feet
Tuesday, 12 July 2022 00:00

What Are Orthotics?

When visiting a podiatrist, you will be able to consult with medical professionals who can help you create treatment plans for foot afflictions you might have. Depending on your affliction, a podiatrist may recommend the use of orthotics for your feet. Orthotics are specially designed full shoe inserts, heel inserts, and other devices that are meant to provide support or correction to your feet. Unlike inserts that you may be able to purchase at the pharmacy, orthotics are personalized and built to fit your specific foot. Orthotics may be used to rectify deformities in the structure of the foot, support the ankle, or improve foot functioning. These devices have been used to help patients suffering from conditions including arthritis, heel spurs, high arches, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and back pain. Orthotics can be built with rigid materials and significantly flexible substances. While many patients have benefitted from the use of orthotics, success is largely dependent on several factors such as the kind of shoe to which the orthotics are applied as well as the amount of time that the patient actually wears the devices. Each patient is understandably different, and so you might consider consulting with a podiatrist to determine whether or not orthotics could help you address your foot conditions.


 

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Gerald McCool, DPM from McCool Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in El Paso, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Orthotics

Swollen feet is undoubtedly an uncomfortable and unpleasant condition that can affect many people. While pregnant women and those who suffer from diabetes are famously prone to suffering from swollen feet, runners  may experience this condition. Runners’ feet may swell both during and after runs for a number of reasons. First, tight and restrictive running shoes can contribute to swelling. Since ill-fitting shoes often squeeze the toes and heels, muscles in the feet become overwhelmed in trying to maintain balance while running, resulting in swelling. Be sure to select the right pair of comfortable running shoes that match your foot type to avoid this pitfall. Additionally, runners’ feet may swell up if they are simply running with poor technique. For example, if a runner lands on their heels instead of the balls of their feet during their runs, they can essentially place more pressure on the bottoms of their feet, which can lead to foot swelling. If you find yourself suffering from swollen feet after runs, you might try applying ice to your feet to reduce the swelling or even elevating your feet. A podiatrist may be able to help you manage this condition and help you mitigate its effects.

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact Gerald McCool, DPM of McCool Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods. Aging may increase the possibility of swollen feet and patients who are obese often notice when their feet are swelling too. There may be medical reasons why swollen feet occur:

  • Phlebitis - A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain.
  • Liver disease - This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen.
  • Heart failure - When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet.
  • Kidney disease - One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.

Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet. 

Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated.

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


 

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