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Monday, 05 March 2018 00:00

What is a Bunion?

A large growth located on the foot at the bottom of the big toe is referred to as a bunion. It appears as an unsightly bony mass and may be caused by a predisposed inherited trait. Wearing high heels may cause the toes to remain in a cramped position for extended periods of time, and this can exacerbate an existing bunion. There are several ways to prevent this condition from occurring, including wearing shoes with a low heel or making sure a supportive feature, such as a strap, is present to prevent the foot from sliding. Additionally, it’s important to wear shoes with ample room to allow the toes to move freely. If you’re experiencing a bunion that’s causing severe pain, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised for possible treatment options.

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
Monday, 26 February 2018 00:00

What is Shockwave Therapy?

If you are experiencing severe pain originating from the Achilles tendon, you may want to consider a treatment known as extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ECSWT). Additionally, it is effective in treating disorders that involve the soft tissue of the ankle and foot. This treatment consists of non-invasive shock wave impulses that are administered to the painful area of the foot, through the use of a machine designed specifically for this reason. There are numerous benefits that can be obtained from having ECSWT performed, some of which promote the tissues to rapidly heal. Additionally, it may generate new blood vessels to form, which also encourages healing. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised for information about ECSWT to determine if this is a treatment option that’s correct for you.

Shockwave therapy is a treatment commonly used to treat various injuries and conditions, particularly plantar fasciitis in the feet. To learn more, consult with Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is a new treatment option designed to treat bone conditions such as tennis elbow, shoulder pain, and others. Shockwave therapy uses high intensity sound waves that are directed to the affected tissues of the body with pinpoint accuracy. The effects are very beneficial, leading to a production of collagen fibers, eliminating inflammation.

Who Benefits from Shockwave?

Shockwave is recommended for patients suffering from heel pain and associated problems. Heel pain is a common condition which can be caused by obesity, overexertion, and spending a substantial amount of time on hard floors with your feet exposed and unsupported.

Fast and Easy

The therapy is actually a simple process that can leave patients feeling better the very next day. Shockwave therapy is not as dramatic as it sounds. It enables more blood flow to effected areas, addressing the source of the problem and allowing treatment to last for a long time.

Treatment & Recovery Time

Shockwave treatment will enable your feet to recover quickly. This is especially important since surgery is not required. It is cost effective and does not require the use of anesthesia. This treatment is a better option to surgery, since it is proven safe.

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 Treating Heel Pain with Shockwave Therapy
Monday, 19 February 2018 00:00

Can Orthotics Help More Than My Feet?

If you are experiencing abnormal walking patterns, you may want to consider wearing orthotics. Orthotics are custom-made inserts that are slipped into your shoes. Generally, an impression of your feet is taken to obtain a perfect fit, preventing any feelings of discomfort. The benefits of wearing orthotics may include keeping the foot stable while performing daily activities and helping to correct debilitating pronation. They’re also beneficial in aiding in conditions such as bunions, corns, and heel pain. It may take some time to get used to your new orthotics, since your feet have been functioning in a certain way for years. Therefore, a gradual increase in wearing them may be recommended. Please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for advice on how you can be measured for custom-made orthotics.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, 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 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 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 Foot Orthotics
Monday, 12 February 2018 00:00

Symptoms of Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is a common condition that affects children and is often accompanied by intense pain. When the growth plate in the heel becomes inflamed, often in children that are physically active, this bone disorder can become quite uncomfortable. This is typically the result of a growth spurt that occurs in early puberty, causing the bone in the heel to grow faster than the muscles in the leg. The tendons become less flexible and consequently place excessive pressure on the heel bone. The Achilles tendon becomes tight and may damage the growth plate, thus causing the pain associated with Sever’s disease. Common symptoms of the condition include difficulty in walking, stiffness in the foot in the morning, or a heel that is swollen or red. Treatment can include rest, which is generally effective in reducing pressure on the heel. Eliminating the activities that cause the pain is recommended, in addition to strengthening the leg with proper foot and leg exercises.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Michael D. Garvin at Florida. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain asscoiatied with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

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 injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease
Monday, 05 February 2018 00:00

How Can Wearing High Heels Affect My Feet?

The choice to wear high heels can not only be damaging to the heel, but generally puts pressure on the front of the foot as well. Another part of the foot typically affected may be the Achilles tendon. When high heels are worn frequently, the tendon becomes shortened, and the back of the ankle may feel tight as it strains to be flexible. Arthritis may be a result of damage incurred to the joints of the feet from wearing high heels. Additionally, disorders such as bunions, corns, and a thickening of the nerves between the toes, referred to as Morton’s neuroma, may also be the result of choosing this type of shoe to wear. If you do decide to wear high heels, you can reduce the impact that’s endured by placing protective pads in the shoes. When proper stretches are performed, the foot and ankle will not only feel better, but become stronger.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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 Effect of High Heels on the Feet

Implementing foot stretches in your daily routine will not only benefit the health of the foot, but also feel good. There are numerous muscles in the foot, and practicing proper stretches can aid in helping the body stay fit. Pointing and flexing your toes is an effective foot stretch, in addition to practicing a tendon stretch. This is accomplished by standing on a step with the heels slightly hanging off the edge. When your weight is shifted towards your heels, a gentle stretch is easily felt and the flexibility of your tendons and muscles is improved. Another effective stretch is done while in a sitting position and involves placing a towel under the arch of the foot. Raise and straighten the leg, and gently pull the foot toward you. This not only stretches the foot, but allows the leg to become stronger as well. While general exercise is vital for everyday health, it’s important to stretch the feet for maximum health benefits.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Michael D. Garvin  from Florida. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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 Stretching Your Feet
Monday, 22 January 2018 00:00

How Can I Improve Circulation In My Feet?

When the feet feel cold, it may be because of restricted blood flow, otherwise known as poor circulation. Additional symptoms may include a tingling feeling or “pins and needles” sensation experienced throughout the feet and legs, and the muscles may feel achy and cramped. Wearing loose socks may be of help in avoiding poor circulation, and walking may be beneficial in improving the blood flow throughout the body. The cells of the body will hydrate when plenty of fresh water is consumed; this will help the blood move easily. If you believe you have blood circulation problems in your feet, contact a podiatrist to discuss possible causes.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness  or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

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 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 Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
Monday, 15 January 2018 00:00

The Causes of Cracked Heels

Dry skin may often be the cause of cracked heels, sometimes causing pain and bleeding. Often called fissures, the skin may become yellowed, flaky and callused, possibly resulting in difficulty walking. Pressure and friction, usually caused by standing for long periods at a time, is a common cause of this condition. Additionally, shoes that have thin soles where the heel of the foot is exposed may also be a lead to cracked heels. Pressure that’s incurred on the feet from being overweight may cause the foot to expand sideways, which can crack the skin. Having an underactive thyroid may lead to sweat glands not working properly, possibly causing dry skin to crack. There are several treatment options, such as utilizing a good moisturizing cream and wearing shoes that fit properly to accommodate sore heels. A consultation with a podiatrist may be helpful in prevention advice and treatment options.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How do you get them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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 Solutions for Cracked Heels
Monday, 08 January 2018 00:00

Why Do My Feet Sweat?

If you notice damp footprints while walking barefoot or sweat that’s ruining your shoes, you may have a condition called plantar hyperhidrosis. In layman's terms, it’s excessive sweating of the feet. Sweating is a normal and necessary bodily function, eliminating excess water and salt. Additionally, it helps to keep the skin moist by cooling the body, which aids in heat regulation. Possible causes of this condition may be anxiety or emotional stress, excessive standing most of the day, or improper footwear which may not absorb the sweat that’s produced. Obesity may also be a contributing factor for this condition and is generally associated with increased sweating, though not always. Some helpful measures include washing and drying the feet daily, especially between the toes, in addition to using a antifungal foot powder to ward off potential fungal infections. If you feel your feet are sweating excessively, please consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and available treatment options.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about Hyperhidrosis of the Feet
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00

Treatments for Ingrown Toenails

If you realize your toenail is growing into the surrounding skin in addition to becoming red and tender, the chances are good that you are experiencing an ingrown toenail. Usually the big toe is affected and may bleed or have pus coming from the area. Common causes may be from injuries such as a stubbed toe, poorly cut toenails, or from shoes that may not fit correctly. Proper treatment is crucial for ingrown toenails in order to prevent infection. This may include changing socks regularly, cutting the nail straight across to prevent digging into the skin that surrounds it, and keeping the feet clean by washing them every day. Minor surgery for severe cases may include a partial or total nail avulsion. Typically, this means a local anaesthetic is used for numbing the toe, and the edges of the toenail may be cut away or the nail fully removed. If you think you may have ingrown toenails, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
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