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Monday, 13 August 2018 00:00

Possible Causes of Gout

A form of arthritis that attacks the joints in the big toe is often referred to as gout. This condition may typically occur abruptly, and obvious symptoms may include severe pain and discomfort, swollen joints, and redness. It develops as a result of excess uric acid in the blood, which can form crystals in the joints. This may occur because of specific foods that are ingested, including an overabundance of shellfish, alcohol, or red meat. Some patients may develop this ailment from inherited genes, being overweight, and taking certain medications. If you are afflicted by this type of arthritis, it’s important that it is treated as quickly as possible, to avoid the development of additional complications. Please speak with a podiatrist about the treatment options that are right for you.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Gout
Monday, 06 August 2018 00:00

How to Properly Stretch Your Toes

There are several benefits to the overall health of the feet when the toes are properly stretched. Toes may deform gradually over time as a result of several factors. These may include wearing shoes that are too snug for extended periods of time, improper use of the foot muscles while walking, or standing with the feet pointing outward, which puts pressure on the big toe. When the toes are stretched, the possibility of developing Athlete's foot may diminish as a result of adequate space between the toes. There are simple and effective toe stretches that can be performed daily for optimum results. These may include bending your toes downward to stretch the top of the foot, and taking each toe in your hands while pulling it away from the toe next to it. If you would like additional information about the benefits of stretching your toes, please consult with a podiatrist.

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

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Stretch Your Feet

If you have ever experienced a corn on the top of the toes, you most likely are aware of the pain that is associated with it. Corns are generally the result of increased pressure and rubbing, and typically originates from shoes that do not fit correctly. It appears to be a small area, and the skin will be hardened and thick. There are known to be two types of corns and are referred to as hard and soft corns. The latter generally develops in between the toes and are often soft, because of the excess moisture and sweat that is present. Hard corns come from wearing shoes that are too tight and may often cause the toes to endure unwanted pressure, resulting in pain and discomfort. There are different types of treatments that may be used to eliminate corns, and it’s advised to speak with a podiatrist for possible relief options that are correct for you.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames of Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctor to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Understanding Corns and Calluses
Monday, 23 July 2018 00:00

Can Toenail Fungus Be Prevented?

Many people are unaware that they may have toenail fungus, and this may often be a result of a lack of pain and discomfort. Common symptoms that are associated with this ailment may include the toenail becoming dry and brittle, the nail appearing yellow and thick, or a separation from the nail and the nail bed. It’s important to take proper care of your feet, which may possibly avoid this unsightly condition from developing. There are several ways to accomplish this, including wearing shoes that fit properly, trimming the toenails correctly, and wearing appropriate shoes in the shower and pool areas. If you are afflicted with toenail fungus, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can provide proper guidance for the best treatment options.

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 T. Hames of Hames Foot Clinic. 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 office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Toenail Fungus
Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00

What Causes Cracked Heels?

If you stand for extended periods of time you may experience a condition that is referred to as cracked heels. Certain skin conditions that may include psoriasis and eczema may also play a significant role in the development of this condition. The formation of deep cracks, which are also known as fissures, may result in pain and discomfort, and walking may become difficult. The skin on the heels will typically become dry and is usually a result of obesity, wearing shoes that have an open back, and cold winter weather, which may aid in producing dry skin. An effective remedy includes washing and drying the feet thoroughly, followed by utilizing a good moisturizer that will help the skin become soft. It’s advised to consult with a podiatrist if you are afflicted with severely cracked heels, to learn about proper treatment options that are correct for you.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic. 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 office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels

If you are afflicted with arthritic feet, you may find it difficult to perform certain activities, including walking. There is typically a moderate level of inflammation that surrounds the joints of the foot, which may produce considerable pain and discomfort. There are several different forms of arthritis which may affect the feet. If the cartilage begins to decay at the base of the toe, you may have what is referred to as osteoarthritis. This may contribute to other foot conditions such as bunions. Preventive measures may include choosing to wear wider shoes that do not put pressure on the bunion. Additionally, if the joints on the ball of the foot become inflamed, you may have rheumatoid arthritis. This may cause the bone to rub and push against the skin on the sole of the foot, which can often produce severe pain. A possible treatment option that may temporarily provide moderate relief involves attaching a long strip of leather to the bottom of the shoe behind the arch. This may aid in reducing a portion of the pressure that is often associated with this type of arthritis. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist to discuss further relief remedies and treatment protocols.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Arthritic Foot Care
Monday, 02 July 2018 00:00

What Does Hammertoe Look Like?

A deformity of the toes that resemble a claw-like shape may be referred to as hammertoe. If the toes do not have adequate room to move about, they may have to bend to fit into the shoe. Additionally, if tight socks are worn, the toes may have to squeeze together, which may cause them to overlap. This condition can produce discomfort and pain, and may possibly cause corns and calluses to develop. Preventive measures may include choosing to wear shoes that fit correctly, while making sure there is ample room in the top of the shoe. Patients who have high arches or bunions may be more susceptible in developing hammertoe, and research has shown that permanent removal of a hammertoe affliction means surgery. It’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can recommend temporary relief options, which may include custom-made protective pads over the affected area.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames of Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?

A heel spur is known to be an uncomfortable and painful condition which develops in the heel of the foot and will typically affect the surrounding area. It is a small bony protrusion that grows in between the heel and the arch, and is often referred to as “heel spur syndrome.” If you are afflicted with this condition, there may be strong symptoms indicating its existence, including a sharp pain in the heel, which may be especially prominent in the morning, severe tenderness, or a consistent ache that may often be felt throughout the day. Research has shown that age may play a significant role in the formation of heel spurs and the pads in the heels may wear down as a result of this. This may cause diminished shock absorption in the heel which may cause this ailment to develop. If you would like additional information about heel spurs, a podiatrist can help you with a proper diagnosis and suggest correct treatment options.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main conditions spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Heel Spurs
Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

Causes of Flat Feet

Fallen arches, or flat feet, is a condition in which the arch is absent from the foot. It’s typically noticeable while standing, and the feet may roll inward as a result of the non-existent arch. People with this condition may find that their shoes wear unevenly, and this may be more prevalent on one side. Pain in the arch of the foot or inner side of the ankle may often be felt with flat feet, and in more severe cases, swelling may occur. The purpose of the arch is to distribute body weight across the feet, and having fallen arches may prevent this from occurring. There are several causes of this condition, including family history, incurring a foot or ankle injury, or arthritis. If severe pain and discomfort are hindering your daily activities, it’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist to allow for proper diagnosis and effective treatment.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms:

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment:

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Flat Feet
Monday, 11 June 2018 00:00

Why Do Corns Develop?

People who are physically active will often feel the effects of corns on the feet. This condition is generally caused by repetitive friction and will commonly develop on the pinky toe. Despite the fact that the formation of corns is the body's natural defense mechanism, it often produces severe pain and discomfort. The affected area becomes thicker as a measure to protect the skin. This develops into a corn, and is typically caused by wearing shoes that fit incorrectly. Additionally, soft corns may develop between the toes as a result of excess moisture that may accumulate. This may often be the result of wearing socks that are not made of a breathable material. Corns may disappear when the correct shoes are worn but if severe pain is experienced from a corn, please consult with a podiatrist.

Corns can make walking very painful and should be treated immediately. If you have questions regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames of Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?
Corns are thickened areas on the skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure and friction on the skin. Corns press into the deeper layers of the skin and are usually round in shape.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as:

  • Wearing properly fitting shoes that have been measured by a professional
  • Wearing shoes that are not sharply pointed or have high heels
  • Wearing only shoes that offer support

Treating Corns

Although most corns slowly disappear when the friction or pressure stops, this isn’t always the case. Consult with your podiatrist to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them
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