Get the Answers to Treat Your Foot Injury Right in Our Podiatry FAQ

Our Issaquah podiatrists have heard a lot of questions over the years, and we’ve compiled the most popular on one page to help future patients. Visit our FAQ for quick answers on bunions, neuromas, corns, ingrown toenails, and more.

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  • I would like to know how the cells in the body react when someone has diabetes and how is this different from someone who does not have diabetes?

    You have asked a complex question. I will try to explain this as clearly as I can. People who have diabetes have a lack of insulin in their blood. Insulin is made in an organ called the pancreas. Insulin is important to allow glucose (blood sugar) to get into the cells of the body. Put another way, insulin opens the door to let blood sugar to enter most cells in the body. Blood sugar is a food for the bodies cells. If insulin is low or absent in the blood then the cells don't get fed the blood sugar they need. If the blood sugar can not get into the bodies cells then it builds up in the blood stream and the sugar count increases on the blood tests that we do. Also, as the blood sugar increases and can not get into the bodies cells it has the effect of drawing water out of the cells and shrinks them up making them even less healthy.

    The nerves in the body are affected a bit differently. Nerve cells will allow blood sugar in with out insulin, however without insulin present the sugar is not used by the nerve cell properly and the sugar accumulates in the cell. Over time this will damage the nerve cell and cause the nerve to die. This causes numbness and tingling in the feet and sometimes in the hands.Blood vessels are also made up of cells. As the sugar builds up in these cells it swells them up and this causes a narrowing of the blood vessel. This causes a decrease in the circulation to the feet, the kidneys and the eyes. This is why people with diabetes often loose their legs their eye sight and kidney function.

    It is very important that people with diabetes learn about their condition, control their blood sugar, and exercise.

  • What causes shin splints?

    Shin splints are usually caused by exercise such as running, jumping, swimming, cycling, dancing or other sports.  The onset of shin splints is most common after exercise, caused by high impact training, excessive training, poor technique or biomechanical problems such as flatfeet or pronation.  Many cases of shin splints may be due to improper footwear, standing for long periods of time or wearing high-heeled shoes. 

    How are shin splints treated?
    Treatment for shin splints is as simple as reducing pain and inflammation and identifying training and biomechanical problems which may have helped cause the injury initially.  The following are tips to help treat shin splints:

    • rest to allow the injury to heal
    • apply ice in the early stages to reduce pain and inflammation
    • stretch the muscles of the lower leg
    • maintain fitness with other non weight bearing exercises such as swimming and cycling
    • apply heat and use a shin and calf support
    • take anti-inflammatory medication  

  • What are shin splints?

    Shin splints are most commonly caused by inflammation of the periosteum of the tibia, which is the sheath surrounding the bone.  It is a slow healing and painful condition.

  • What is a Podiatrist?

    A Podiatrist, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), is the only health care professional whose total training focuses on the foot, ankle and related body systems. After obtaining an undergraduate degree, the podiatric doctor spends four years in a college of podiatric medicine to obtain a doctorate degree. Many podiatrists further their education by participating in a post-graduate residency program at an approved hospital or university. Following their doctorate degree, each podiatrist must pass national and state examinations in order to be licensed by the state in which he or she will practice.

    The podiatric physician cares for people of all ages. Common disorders of feet include bunions, heel pain/spurs, hammertoes, neuromas, ingrown toenails, warts, corns, calluses, sprains, fractures, infections, and injuries. If your podiatric surgeon is certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, he or she has successfully completed a credentialing and examination process and has demonstrated knowledge of podiatric surgery. This includes the diagnosis of general medical problems and surgical management of foot diseases, deformities, and trauma of the foot, ankle and related structures.