If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right.Switch to Accessible Site

We are OPEN!

Now offering telemedicine appointments, please call the office for details.

PORT ST. LUCIE EAST: 772-206-0014

ST. LUCIE WEST: 772-204-0678

Blog

Monday, 03 May 2021 00:00

Can Bunions Be Treated?

The joint at the bottom of the big toe is often affected with an existing bunion. It can develop as a result of a misalignment of the big toe joint, and this can occur for a variety of reasons. These can include genetics, having flat feet, or from wearing shoes that do not fit properly. In severe bunions, the big toe may shift toward the other toes, which  may cause pain and discomfort, in addition to possibly affecting proper balance. Larger shoes may need to be purchased that can accommodate the bunion. Surgery may be a necessary treatment option, and this can be successful in permanently removing the bunion. If you have developed a bunion, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you with proper treatment decisions.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Port St. Lucie, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions

A common reason for the foot condition that is referred to as plantar fasciitis to develop may be from standing on hard surfaces for the majority of the day. The pain and discomfort that is often felt with this ailment targets the heel and arch areas. Many patients notice the pain may be more prominent in the morning after arising, and can gradually dissipate as the day evolves. It may return in the evening after standing during the day. This condition can develop as a result of an inflamed plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes, and is responsible for foot movement. Plantar fasciitis can be a painful foot condition, and it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Port St. Lucie, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Tuesday, 20 April 2021 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Monday, 19 April 2021 00:00

Do Toenail Fungus Treatments Work?

Onychomycosis, a fungal infection that often affects the toenails, can be difficult to treat. This is because the fungi are beneath the hard, sturdy surface of the nail, which makes it harder for treatments to reach the infection. Traditionally, treatments that may be prescribed for onychomycosis include topical solutions, which are applied directly to the surface of affected nails, and oral medications, which are taken in pill form. Topical medications are not always effective, while oral medications are fairly effective but can cause side effects that need to be monitored closely. Recently, laser treatments, which aim to kill fungi using a concentrated beam of light, have become increasingly popular. If you have toenail fungus, please consult with a podiatrist, who can help find the right treatment for you. 

Laser treatment can be an effective way to get rid of toenail fungus. If you have any questions about laser treatment, consult with Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment for fungal nails.

What Are Toenail Fungal Infections?

Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nail, is a relatively common and non-serious condition. Around 10 percent of U.S. citizens are afflicted with fungal nails. Common forms of fungus that infect the nail include dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungal Infections Include:

  • Nail thickening
  • Brittleness of the nail
  • Discoloration of the nail

Diagnosis for Fungal Nails

Fungal infections are diagnosed by fungal culture and microscopy. This will rule out any other conditions such as nail trauma, psoriasis, lichen planus, and onychogryphosis.

What Is Laser Treatment?

Laser treatment is a non-invasive, safe, quick, and painless procedure that uses the heat from a laser to kill fungus in the nail. Each infected nail is targeted with a laser for several minutes. The treatment is usually utilized several different times over a select period. During this time, a podiatrist will keep an eye on the infection.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Port St. Lucie, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Laser Treatment for Fungal Nails

While most athletes train and work hard, training too hard and too much can lead to an overuse injury of the foot or ankle. Overuse injuries occur due to too much stress being placed on the foot or ankle from overtraining or doing repetitive activities excessively. Some of these overuse injuries include retrocalcaneal bursitis, Achilles tendinopathy, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and metatarsalgia. Retrocalcaneal bursitis is a condition that causes tenderness and swelling in the back of the heel and ankle. Achilles tendinopathy refers to an injury of the Achilles tendon, located in the back of the calves. Stress fractures are tiny cracks that may appear in one or more bones in the feet. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot and is known to cause stabbing heel pains. Metatarsalgia refers to general pain in the ball of the foot. If you suspect that you may have a foot or ankle injury, please seek the care of a podiatrist.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Port St. Lucie, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries
Monday, 05 April 2021 00:00

Stretching the Achilles Tendon

The Achilles tendon is a thick band of tissue that runs along the back of the calves, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. This tendon is a common site of injury, especially in athletes. Stretching and strengthening the Achilles tendon can improve mobility and speed recovery following an injury. When stretching the Achilles tendon, it is important to take your time and move slowly to not aggravate your injury. Stay relaxed while stretching and avoid quick or sudden movements. If you feel anything more than minor discomfort, stop stretching immediately. To learn more about stretching the Achilles tendon safely following an injury, please speak with a podiatrist. 

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Port St. Lucie, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

How Do I Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers?

If you are diabetic, then you’ve likely heard about diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). DFUs are wounds that form on the feet and heal poorly and very slowly. Because diabetes is associated with a loss of sensation and poor circulation in the feet, you may not feel these wounds when they first form. DFUs can develop anywhere on the feet or toes, but they most frequently appear on the soles of the feet, where they often go unnoticed until they produce symptoms such as fluid drainage. To avoid a surprising and painful discovery on the bottoms of your feet, it is important to take preventive measures. Wash your feet daily in warm, soapy water and dry them thoroughly. Moisturize the bottoms of the feet to avoid dry skin, which can crack and lead to wounds. Inspect your feet daily for any abnormalities, including new cuts, scrapes, sores, pain, or discoloration. If you find anything unusual, consult with a podiatrist as soon as possible.

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 Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. Our doctor 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 our offices located in Port St. Lucie, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care
Sunday, 21 March 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

The technology behind laser treatments that correct other conditions within the body such as cataracts and gum disease can also be used to remove toenail fungus (onychomycosis). During this painless form of treatment, a laser is aimed exactly at the microorganisms under the nail to eliminate them with no damage to healthy tissue in the area. Laser treatment for fungal nails is accurate and painless and can take as little as ten minutes per toe—as opposed to the weeks or months needed for topical or oral treatments to work. What’s more, those other treatments aren’t always as successful as lasers are in removing or preventing the fungi from returning. End the embarrassment of toenail fungus for good by calling a podiatrist who can quickly remove your toenail fungi and get your toes looking great again.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Port St. Lucie, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
Monday, 15 March 2021 00:00

Can Being Overweight Damage My Feet?

Being overweight by even 25 pounds can put extra stress on your feet and make you more susceptible to developing conditions like tendinitis, osteoarthritis, and plantar fasciitis. Obesity—identified as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher—can lead to even bigger, more painful and potentially dangerous foot conditions brought on by diabetes, gout, and peripheral heart disease. Losing weight through diet and low-impact exercise is one of the best ways to keep your feet and ankles healthy. However, this can be challenging or even risky for those with a foot or ankle issue. Ask your podiatrist to recommend physical activities that are safe for you, and proper footwear to support your feet and avoid injury.

The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and Your Feet

People who are overweight are putting more pressure on their ankles, knees, and hips as well as their feet. This unfortunately can lead to variety of different issues.

Problems & Complications Stemming from Obesity

  • When the body is overweight, it tries to compensate by changing the way that it moves. An obese person may lean forward and put extra weight on the wrong part of the foot. This puts unnecessary stress on the feet.
  • Obese people are also more likely to develop type II diabetes which is a condition that causes a lot of foot problems. People with diabetes often don’t feel the cuts and sores that they may have on their feet, which can lead to more complicated and severe issues.
  • Plantar fasciitis is another foot condition that can be caused by obesity. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot, which causes pain and stiffness while walking and climbing stairs.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Port St. Lucie, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How Obesity Affects Your Feet
Page 2 of 21