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May 2022

Tuesday, 31 May 2022 00:00

What Causes a Hammertoe?

A hammertoe is a common deformity where a toe bends upward at the middle joint and gets stuck in that position. The top of the toe bends forward so it looks like a hammer. As time passes, the joint may get more rigidly bent and it can be painful and possibly lead to difficulty in walking and maintaining balance. Hammertoes can be inherited, with those with flatter feet and longer metatarsals (or middle bones of the feet) being more at risk. They can also be associated with a medical condition, such as diabetes. However, most often hammertoes develop from an imbalance within the toe structure. Usually something that forces extra weight to be put on the forefoot and toes (like tight shoes or high heels) can lead to hammertoes. The small muscles on the bottom of the foot get weaker than the larger muscles on the top of the foot and the toe does not bend or flex. Early detection and conservative treatment can help prevent the need for hammertoe surgery. Such intervention can be as simple as changing footwear to providing extra room for the toes, avoiding narrow, tight, and heeled shoes, using custom orthotics to off-load extra weight and strain towards the forefoot.  If you suffer from a hammertoe, it is suggested you consult with a podiatrist to find the best treatment plan. 

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. David Ungar from Personal Foot Care. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

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

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Tuesday, 24 May 2022 00:00

The Ugly Truth About Cracked Heels

When your heels have developed cracked skin, they can feel unattractive, to say the least. The texture of your heels becomes rough, the skin is dry and thick, and occasionally, you will have a yellow or brown callus along the heel. You might notice cracks that can range from small to deep. Bad cracks can bleed, become inflamed, and even get infected. Those who have the back of their foot exposed in open-heeled shoes are said to be more prone to developing cracked heels. Sometimes cracked heels can signal an underlying condition such as diabetes or hypothyroidism. These illnesses can reduce sweat production and make feet drier. Some skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis, can contribute to having cracked heels as well. At-home treatments include regular cleaning, drying, and moisturizing of the feet, and removing some of the dry skin on the heel with a pumice stone. Visit a podiatrist for an assessment of your cracked heels and for expert advice and treatment.

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. David Ungar from Personal Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Farmington and Berkley, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels

Corns, also called clavus, can appear on the toes and feet. The most common place a corn develops is on the side of the pinky toe. A corn is a whitish-yellow hardened patch of dead skin that becomes raised, inflamed, and painful due to repeated exposure to pressure and rubbing. This can happen if shoes are too tight or narrow and rub on the side of the pinky toe, prolonged time spent on the feet, structural problems of the feet or toe bones, or an abnormal gait. Those with diabetes, arthritis, and the elderly are more apt to develop corns. Prevention of corns includes wearing properly fitted shoes, resting feet, keeping feet clean, dry, and moisturized, and trimming toenails regularly. A corn on the pinky toe can be treated at home by soaking the foot in warm water, allowing the corn to soften and lift and/or drying the foot after the soak, and filing it gently with a pumice stone. Medicated corn pads, often containing salicylic acid, can be purchased from drug stores and these provide cushioning of the corn while directly applying medication to dissolve the corn. If these simple home remedies don't help or the corn is unusually painful or infected, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist who can use a properly sterilized surgical blade to shave the dead skin and remove the corn.

Corns can make walking very painful and should be treated immediately. If you have questions regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. David Ungar of Personal Foot Care. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? And How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns are thickened areas on the skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure and friction on the skin. Corns press into the deeper layers of the skin and are usually round in shape.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as:

  • Wearing properly fitting shoes that have been measured by a professional
  • Wearing shoes that are not sharply pointed or have high heels
  • Wearing only shoes that offer support

Treating Corns

Although most corns slowly disappear when the friction or pressure stops, this isn’t always the case. Consult with your podiatrist to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Corns

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:00

Ways to Prevent Falls in the Elderly

According to the CDC, one out of four seniors over 65 experiences a fall, and the odds are that once you have fallen, it will happen again. This often occurs as the result of diminishing balance, mobility and coordination as you age. Five simple ways to help prevent falls, and the injuries that may follow, include removing tripping hazards around the home, making stairs and bathrooms safer, wearing proper shoes and slippers, using a cane or walker, and doing exercises that both strengthen legs and feet and improve balance and coordination. First, it is suggested that you remove area rugs or mats that can be tripped over or that slide too easily, and clear hallways and walkways of clutter or other objects. Second, have railings installed on all stairways, including those on porches or home entry areas. Also, add grab bars to bathroom tubs and showers and make sure to use non-slip mats. Third, find shoes that provide support and fit well. Avoid going barefoot and walking around in socks at home. Instead get shoes and slippers with non-skid soles for safety both inside and out of the house. Fourth, it is amazing how many seniors refuse to use a walking aid out of vanity, but using a cane or walker is one of the best ways to avoid falls. Finally, see your podiatrist for information on how to strengthen your ankles and feet with exercises you can do at home.  A podiatrist can answer any questions you may have on ways to prevent falling.  

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. David Ungar from Personal Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Farmington and Berkley, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention

An effective form of foot therapy is known as foot reflexology. There are many patients who enjoy the benefits of this type of therapy, including a general feeling of well being and even stress reduction. Zone therapy is another name for reflexology, and it is practiced by applying pressure to the feet with the hands. Additional benefits include improved blood circulation, balanced energy, and nerve responses may increase. There are zones in the feet that correspond to different organs in the body and can be stimulated when pressure is applied. Research has shown that there are certain ailments that may be helped while practicing foot reflexology, such as migraine headaches and digestion problems. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of foot reflexology and how it is performed, please consult a podiatrist.

Foot therapy is often necessary for those recovering from either foot deformities or foot injuries. If you have concerns regarding therapy, Dr. David Ungar of Personal Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Most Common Injuries

People who are active or athletes are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is often important to take part in physical therapy in order to quickly get back on the right track. 

What to Do When Injured

Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.

During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. Physical therapy often involves:

Basic stretching and twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.

Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate the muscles and relax them.

Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.

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

Read more about Foot Therapy for Sports Injuries
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