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Monday, 08 May 2017 00:00

Preventing Poor Blood Circulation

If your feet feel cold, especially during these winter months, it is because it is your body’s natural response for conserving heat when it is too cold. Your body “tries to maintain its internal temperature by constricting small blood vessels under the surface of the skin. This allows more blood to move deeper in the body, so your core stays warm.” However, this causes your body’s extremities, like the feet, to receive poor blood circulation. When taking care of your cold feet, try to wear warm, breathable socks that help wick away moisture. Opt for wool in place of cotton. Other methods include warming your feet up in warm water, drinking hot liquids, moving around to get your blood circulation going, and investing in shoe inserts to help insulate the insides of your shoes.

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

Osteoarthritis, sometimes called the “wear and tear” arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the cartilage between the joints breaks down. This can be very painful, especially in the feet. One way of treating a disease like this is the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy. To start, blood is procured from the patient and then processed to prepare the custom injections. The injections promote healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints, and other soft tissues. There is minimal risk to the patient because the plasma given is from the patient’s very own blood. Studies show that PRP injections can significantly reduce pain in osteoarthritic patients and improve quality of life.

If you are suffering from a foot condition, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is blood taken from a patient and spun in a centrifuge, concentrating the amount of platelets. The plasma is then re-injected into the site of injury or damage, assisting the body in repairing damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and tissue. PRP helps the body speed up its healing process.

Uses of PRP

Injuries affecting the foot sometimes don’t heal properly because of poor blood circulation. The healing time slows down and recovery time is affected by poor blood supply. PRP injections will speed up recovery and resolve this issue.

Treatment

PRP is the first regenerative treatment for damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments. No surgery needed. It is only applied with an insertion of a needle.

Ultrasound – An ultrasound is needed for proper placement of the platelets.

Injection – When the first injection is received, the patient will return to the doctor in about 2 to 3 weeks and monitor the recovery process.

Recovery time – Some people respond to treatments differently. Therefore, depending on your condition, the doctor will make any remaining decisions on how many more injections are needed, or if any additional ones are even required.

Benefits

One may be able to avoid major surgery, and recovery time will be cut down. PRP injections also avoid creating scar tissue and damage to the area. Risks are also very low using PRP as a treatment. There is no risk of rejection, contracting a disease from using another person’s blood, or 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about PRP Injections In Your Feet

Geoff Swaim, tight end of the Dallas Cowboys, will most likely be out of play until the team’s training camp due to last week’s foot surgery. The injury itself was sustained during the Cowboys’ informal workouts last week at The Star. After suffering the injury, Swaim had a screw inserted into his foot to help secure the bones in place. He will most likely be back when the Cowboys return for training camp in Oxnard, California, in July. The tight end is no stranger to injuries and surgeries; last season, Swaim missed the final seven games due to a torn pectoral tendon that needed surgery. Swaim was able to make a full recovery since.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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 Foot Surgery
Monday, 17 April 2017 00:00

High Heels: Pain in the Foot

Bone spurs, heel pain, bunions, broken ankles, ankles sprains, arthritis. What do all of these conditions and injuries have in common? They can all be caused by wearing high heels. While most seasoned high heel wearers have pretty much mastered the art of not falling down, none are truly immune to the damage they do to the body, particularly the feet and ankles. Strengthening your feet is one way to help mitigate some of the long term effects of wearing high heels, though, no amount of foot exercises will prevent the pain from all-day everyday wear. Bunions are another one of the side effects of long term high heel use. Make sure to monitor this, and see a podiatrist if it gets to uncomfortable. Also, the higher the heel, the worse they are for your feet. If you can manage to keep the heel length under 2 inches, your body will thank you later.

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
Monday, 10 April 2017 00:00

Treatments for Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can be very painful to experience. Most common in teenagers, though fairly common in the greater population, an ingrown toenail is characterized by the toenail digging into and breaking the adjacent soft tissue. This can lead to infection if the breaks in the skin remain for too long. Treatment of ingrown toenails range from clipping the nail more appropriately to surgically removing the nail or even destroying the growth plate in the nail bed. For chronic sufferers these surgical options may be necessary. It is best to consult a podiatrist if you have ingrown toenails.

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

Ankle pain is a condition that can affect anyone at any age. Depending on the severity of the condition, this pain can be very debilitating, limiting mobility and the ability to perform in sports or certain activities in one’s daily life. In growing children, ankle pain can manifest in the form of Sever’s disease. Sever’s disease is a condition in which the ankle’s calcaneus bone is not fully fused together, creating pain should the Achilles tendon pull on the area where it attaches. The condition typically develops in children who are very active. Along with pain, other symptoms include swelling and tenderness.

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, 27 March 2017 00:00

Managing Blisters

Those who spend a large amount of time putting pressure on their feet are prone to developing blisters, or pockets of fluid between layers of skin which develop due to friction. Minor blisters should not be popped, and instead left alone and covered to provide cushioning and avoid further friction. Prevent the development of blisters by wearing proper-fitting shoes and socks that provide ample comfort and support. Be sure to treat blisters immediately after discovery to avoid pain and disruption of daily activities. If a blister ruptures, immediately disinfect the area and treat it with antibiotic ointment. Consult with a doctor if the pain persists or there is any sign of infection.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

 

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 Blisters on the Feet
Monday, 20 March 2017 00:00

Working on the Feet While Pregnant

Pregnancy can create additional pressure on the feet, making certain everyday activities and responsibilities difficult for women. Women who work desk jobs should ensure that they’re sitting in chairs that offer optimal support, while women who spend a majority of their time standing should occasionally elevate their feet using a foot rest. Wearing comfortable shoes is also a must and should never be overlooked. Elevating the feet can also help pregnant women in managing edema, as the feet often swell during pregnancy.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy, but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the 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 needs.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
Monday, 13 March 2017 00:00

How Orthotics Help Your Feet

Your feet have the potential to impact nearly every part of your body. If there is a problem with them, the effects can range from minor to extremely serious. Orthotics can solve some of the most common issues you may have with you feet. Overpronation is when the foot leans inward, causing an uneven distribution of weight as you walk. Underpronation is just the opposite. This occurs when your foot leans to the outside. Improper distribution of weight results here as well. Both of these conditions can be improved by wearing properly fitted orthotics. The orthotics promote alignment by supporting the arch, absorbing shock, and essentially controlling how the foot hits the ground.

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

According to findings presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting, patients with higher weights are more susceptible to foot pain. Instructor of Medicine Alyssa B. Dufour of Harvard Medical School and her colleagues studied 28 different measures over 57 years to identify the trajectories of weight in the Framingham Foot Study. After five such trajectories were established, patterns began to develop that showed a correlation between higher weight over time and higher levels of foot pain.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. 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

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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 How Obesity Affects Your Feet
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