Tuesday, 30 January 2024 00:00

Swollen Ankles Can Signal Health Problems

Swollen feet can serve as an indicator of underlying health issues, primarily stemming from fluid retention in body tissues. This phenomenon, known as edema, results from disruptions in the intricate processes of the circulatory system that can lead to the accumulation of excess fluid, resulting in swollen feet. Various factors contribute to edema, such as prolonged periods of standing that may impede blood flow, pregnancy-induced physiological changes, and varicose veins. In cases of congestive heart failure, the heart's inability to pump blood efficiently leads to blood stagnation, commonly causing edema in the lower limbs. Lymphedema, a consequence of a malfunctioning lymphatic system, can result from surgical procedures or genetic disorders, leading to fluid accumulation. Thyroid disorders, menstrual hormonal fluctuations, and liver damage, particularly cirrhosis caused by long-term alcohol exposure, are additional contributors to edema. Kidney disorders, such as nephrotic syndrome, can cause inefficient water removal and subsequent edema. For help with swollen feet or ankles, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and diagnosis.

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact the podiatrists of Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.


 

Read more about Swelling of the Feet
Tuesday, 30 January 2024 00:00

Swelling of the Feet

There are many reasons why patients experience swelling of the feet. It is rather common and may be a side effect of pregnancy or from sitting and standing for most of the day. Gravity could also play a role in the development of swollen feet. It is known that the weight of blood volume in our bodies is exerted on the veins in the legs and feet. The veins may not work as efficiently during the aging process, and this could make the blood flow backward causing swollen feet. Relief may be found when obese patients lose weight, and it may help to engage in compression therapy by wearing compression socks, stockings, or athletic sleeves. This method can release pressure on the feet and ankles which may help to reduce existing swelling. There are patients who have controlled their swollen feet by implementing healthy lifestyle changes. These can consist of reducing salt intake, incorporating a gentle exercise regime into the daily routine, and drinking plenty of fresh water. Swollen feet may be a temporary condition that affects people who travel via airplane or automobile, so it is beneficial to walk as frequently as possible even though it can be difficult. Swelling of the feet can also be indicative of other health issues so it is important to pay attention to any type of chest pain, mental confusion, dizziness, or fever. If you consistently have swollen feet, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can help determine the cause and how to effectively treat it.

Monday, 29 January 2024 00:00

How Custom-Made Orthotics Can Help You

Custom-made orthotics are specialized devices designed to support and improve the function of the feet and lower limbs, offering a personalized solution for individuals with various lower limb problems. These devices are meticulously crafted based on an individual's unique foot structure and specific health needs, providing targeted support where it is most needed. They work by aligning the foot and ankle into their most anatomically efficient position, thereby alleviating stress and strain on the lower limbs. This tailored approach can significantly help in managing conditions such as flat feet, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and arthritis, as well as in alleviating discomfort caused by long periods of standing or walking. By improving foot mechanics, custom orthotics not only address immediate pain and discomfort but also aid in preventing future musculoskeletal issues. They are often recommended by podiatrists, as a key component in a comprehensive treatment plan for lower limb ailments. If you would like to learn how custom-made orthotics can help you, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist today.

If you are experiencing discomfort in your feet and would like to try custom orthotics, contact the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Custom Orthotics?

Custom 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. 

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Shoe inserts come in a wide variety and 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, custom 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're experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibility of using custom orthotics or shoe inserts. A podiatrist can determine which type of custom orthotic or shoe insert is right for you and help you take the first steps toward being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Investing in Custom Orthotics Means Investing in Foot Health

Custom orthotics offer a tailored approach to foot health, providing a host of benefits that extend far beyond conventional shoe inserts. One of the primary advantages lies in their ability to address specific biomechanical issues. Unlike off-the-shelf inserts, custom orthotics are crafted based on an individual's unique foot structure, gait, and any existing foot conditions.

The personalized design of custom orthotics ensures optimal support for the arches, promoting proper alignment and distributing pressure evenly across the feet. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with issues such as overpronation or underpronation, as custom orthotics help correct imbalances that may lead to discomfort or injury.

Beyond biomechanics, custom orthotics can alleviate a range of foot problems, including plantar fasciitis, bunions, and metatarsalgia. They provide targeted relief to areas under stress, reducing pain and inflammation. Additionally, for those with specific medical conditions like diabetes, custom orthotics can play a crucial role in preventing complications associated with poor foot health.

Comfort is another key aspect of custom orthotics. By accommodating the unique contours of an individual's feet, these inserts enhance overall comfort, making daily activities more enjoyable. Whether for athletes looking to optimize performance or individuals seeking relief from chronic foot pain, custom orthotics offer a versatile solution.

Investing in custom orthotics is an investment in long-term foot health. They not only provide immediate relief but also contribute to the prevention of future issues. With the ability to seamlessly integrate into various types of footwear, custom orthotics empower individuals to prioritize foot comfort without compromising on style. In essence, custom orthotics are a personalized prescription for happy, healthy, and pain-free feet.


 

Tuesday, 23 January 2024 00:00

How Diabetes Affects the Feet

Living with diabetes involves a comprehensive approach to health, with a particular focus on the well-being of your feet. Diabetes affects the blood supply, resulting in peripheral neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. Both conditions heighten the risk of complications, such as ulcers, gangrene, and possible loss of limb. Warning signs include cold feet, numbness, sharp leg pain, or changes in foot color. Nail changes, corns, calluses, cracked, or dry skin warrant a podiatrist's assessment within one week. The extremities, like the feet, often reveal the first signs of diabetes-related symptoms. Regular check-ups with a podiatrist are essential for tests to gauge blood circulation and nerve function. Prevention is key to averting severe diabetic-related foot problems. Daily care for diabetics includes maintaining stable blood sugar levels, refraining from smoking, engaging in regular exercise, and avoiding barefoot walking. Ensure good foot hygiene by washing and drying the feet daily, and checking the feet for sores, cuts, or unexplained bruises. Wearing well-fitting shoes is also beneficial. Should you notice persistent issues affecting the feet, it is strongly suggested that you schedule an immediate appointment with a podiatrist. 

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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

Read more about Diabetic Foot Conditions
Tuesday, 23 January 2024 00:00

Diabetic Foot Conditions

Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin, which is required for glucose to feed your body’s cells. It is typically caused by the immune system mistaking healthy cells for foreign invaders and destroying the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. On the other hand, people with Type 2 diabetes cannot respond to insulin properly, and eventually cannot produce enough.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, with 1 in 4 having no idea they have it. Surprisingly, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US. The symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, fatigue, hunger, and even blurry vision.

Diabetes can also affect the feet as well. Over time, diabetes can cause nerve damage to your feet, which could then lead to symptoms such as tingling, pain and numbness in the feet. Neuropathy can be very dangerous to a person with diabetes, since it prevents them from feeling injuries such as cuts or blisters in the feet, and if not detected early enough, may lead to infection. Neuropathy can also lead changes in the shape of your feet and toes. The best way for people with diabetes to prevent or delay neuropathy is keeping their blood glucose levels in their target range. This consists of eating right, having the correct amount of exercise, and taking medications.

Diabetes can also create calluses and foot ulcers as well. Calluses build up faster and occur more frequently with those affected by diabetes. If there are too many calluses, therapeutic shoes and inserts may be required. It is important to have calluses trimmed by a health professional, as doing it yourself may lead to infections. If these calluses continue to develop and thicken, they can lead to foot ulcers. Foot ulcers are open sores, that appear on the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe. These ulcers can lead to future infections if not treated and may possibly result in losing a limb. It is important to report any ulcers to your podiatrist right away. Your doctor may take x-rays to examine the foot and clean out any dead and infected tissue.

Lastly, diabetes can also lead to poor circulation and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The poor circulation in the feet and leg area is a result of diabetes narrowing and hardening, eventually slowing down the blood flow in that area. The best way to prevent this is to keep away from smoking and follow your doctor’s advice for maintaining blood pressure and cholesterol. PAD is similar to this complication. PAD is when blood vessels narrow or are blocked by fatty deposits. PAD also increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes and is a common condition to those affected by diabetes. The combination of both PAD and neuropathy may lead to infections and can result in amputation of certain limbs. PAD can be prevented with wearing the proper foot wear and regularly taking care of your feet.

If you want to take care of your feet, you should wash and dry them carefully and perform daily inspections to check for cuts, blisters, or swelling. Any physical activity you partake in should be approved by your health care provider. You should also be sure to wear special shoes if advised to do so by your doctor.

Tuesday, 16 January 2024 00:00

Ankle Sprains From Running

For runners, ankle sprains can be a frustrating setback, but understanding the nature of the injury is key to effective recovery. Ankle sprains are classified into three grades, with grades 1 and 2 involving varying degrees of ligament overstretching or partial tearing, while grade 3 signifies a complete tear. The most common type is the lateral or inversion sprain, occurring when the foot rolls outward, injuring the outer ligament that connects the ankle bone to the calf bone. In contrast, the rarer medial ligament sprain happens when the foot rolls inward, affecting ligaments on the inner side of the ankle. Runners may also face the challenge of high ankle sprains, which occur above the ankle in the lower leg. This type of sprain results from a downward pointing and twisting motion. This causes a stretch of the syndesmotic ligaments that connect the tibia and fibula in the lower leg to the top of the foot. It is essential that runners do not ignore such injuries, as failing to heal from an ankle sprain completely can cause chronic weak ankles. For an exam, diagnosis, and treatment options, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist as quickly as possible after being injured. 

Ankle and foot injuries are common among athletes and in many sports. They can be caused by several problems and may be potentially serious. If you are feeling pain or think you were injured in a sporting event or when exercising, consult with the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Common Injuries

The most common injuries that occur in sporting activities include:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Broken Foot
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Stress Fractures
  • Turf Toe

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending upon the injury and in some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. However, in most cases, some form of symptom is experienced. Pain, aching, burning, bruising, tenderness, tightness or stiffness, sensation loss, difficulty moving, and swelling are the most common symptoms.

Treatment

Just as symptoms vary depending upon the injury, so do treatment options. A common treatment method is known as the RICE method. This method involves rest, applying ice, compression and elevating the afflicted foot or ankle. If the injury appears to be more serious, surgery might be required, such as arthroscopic or reconstructive surgery. Lastly, rehabilitation or therapy might be needed to gain full functionality in the afflicted area. Any discomfort experienced by an athlete must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.  

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

Read more about Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries
Tuesday, 16 January 2024 00:00

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are common among athletes and those who exercise frequently. Most of these injuries are non-life-threatening and can heal in weeks with proper treatment and care. Serious injuries, however, require urgent medical treatment.

Common minor injuries include ankle sprains, ankle strains, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and turf toe. An ankle sprain is when the ligaments in the ankle have either become stretched or torn. When the muscle or tendon is stretched or torn, it is an ankle strain. When the big toe is sprained, it is known as turf toe. Achilles tendonitis is the overuse and inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia and generally occurs from overuse in athletics. Stress fractures are also caused from overuse and are small cracks in the bone.

Achilles tendon ruptures are common, but more serious. This injury occurs when the Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, ruptures. In most cases, this causes severe pain and difficulty walking; some who have experienced this injury have reported, however, no signs or symptoms. A laceration is a deep cut that can occur anywhere on the body. Lacerations on the foot are rarer, but can occur from things like metal cleats landing on the foot.   

Treatment options cover a wide range of methods based upon the injury and its severity. Conditions like plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis, turf toe and ankle sprains/ strains can heal on their own without immediate medical care, but seeing a podiatrist to monitor the injury is always recommended. Following the RICE (Rest, Icing, Compression, and Elevation) protocol is generally enough to treat minor injuries. This means resting the foot by either keeping pressure off the foot or not walking at all. Icing the injury will help reduce swelling and pain. Compressing the wound with a wrap will immobilize and help promote healing. Finally, keeping the wound elevated will also reduce swelling and also help the healing process.

It is important to note that even minor injuries can vary in severity, with grade one being a minor injury and grade three requiring urgent care by a podiatrist. Achilles tendon ruptures and lacerations on the foot generally require urgent medical care and treatment options that need a podiatrist. These could include imaging tests, stitches for cuts, rehabilitation, and casts or braces. Every case is different, however, so it is always recommended to see a podiatrist when pain in the foot does not disappear.

Tuesday, 09 January 2024 00:00

Pain in the Ball of the Foot

Metatarsalgia, a painful inflammation in the ball of the foot, can disrupt your daily activities and hinder your mobility. This condition primarily affects the area between your toes and arch, known as the ball of the foot, where the five metatarsal bones connect to your toes. Metatarsalgia is commonly triggered by overuse injuries from participating in running and jumping activities. Other causes can include wearing ill-fitting shoes, foot abnormalities or deformities, or underlying conditions such as arthritis. The pain typically develops gradually, improving with rest, but worsening during weight-bearing activities such as standing, walking, or exercising. Symptoms may include sensations of walking with a foreign object in your shoe, a sharp burning or shooting pain, and numbness or tingling in the toes. Activities that make metatarsalgia worse can include standing for prolonged periods, running, walking barefoot, and engaging in high-impact sports. Pain in the ball of the foot arises from increased pressure on the metatarsal bones during activities like running, causing overuse and inflammation in the affected area. This abnormal stress can irritate tendons, ligaments, and cartilage around the metatarsal bones. If you are experiencing persistent pain in the ball of your foot, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for treatment options.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Foot Pain
Tuesday, 09 January 2024 00:00

Foot Pain

Our feet are arguably the most important parts of our bodies because they are responsible for getting us from place to place.  However, we often don’t think about our feet until they begin to hurt. If you have pain in your feet, you need to first determine where on the foot you are experiencing it to get to the root of the problem. The most common areas to feel pain on the foot are the heel and the ankle.

Heel pain is most commonly attributed to a condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, which is the band of tough tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes becomes inflamed. Plantar fasciitis pain is usually worse in the morning, and it tends to go away throughout the day. If you have plantar fasciitis, you should rest your foot and do heel and foot muscles stretches. Wearing shoes with proper arch support and a cushioned sole has also been proven to be beneficial.

Some common symptoms of foot pain are redness, swelling, and stiffness. Foot pain can be dull or sharp depending on its underlying cause. Toe pain can also occur, and it is usually caused by gout, bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, sprains, fractures, and corns.

If you have severe pain in your feet, you should immediately seek assistance from your podiatrist for treatment. Depending on the cause of your pain, your podiatrist may give you a variety of treatment options.

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