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A new study by the University of Waterloo says that the elderly need up to twice as long as young adults to realize they are falling. Seniors are already at an increased risk of falling due to a number of reasons. This study helps show that once they are falling, they don’t process it as quickly as a younger person would. Consequently, there are more times that seniors can’t react fast enough to catch themselves or brace for impact. Falls are a leading cause of hospitalization among the elderly. Studies like this and increased awareness are needed to help prevent future falls among this rapidly growing group of people.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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.

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Have your feet ever felt numb while you were working out? If so, then you may have experienced paresthesia, a numbness or prickling sensation that many people have temporarily experienced in their life. It is often described as a “pins and needles” sensation that usually goes away once the position of the body changes. Paresthesia is usually caused by a pinched nerve or reduced blood flow to a part of the body. When it comes to working out, the exercises we do can put our body in positions that may reduce blood flow. In other cases, the muscles can swell due to increased blood flow from exercising. Paresthesia is usually a normal condition and often goes away. Not everyone will experience paresthesia or foot swelling, and in most cases it isn’t serious. If, however, your feet have swollen up, feel numb, or you experience pain that doesn’t go away, it is recommended to see a podiatrist.
 

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

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Monday, 02 October 2017 00:00

What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the posterior tibial nerve in the tarsal tunnel becomes pinched or compressed. This causes a number of symptoms including burning and shooting pain, a pins and needles sensation, numbness, and tightness in the foot. There are several reasons why the nerve could become compressed, which include bony prominences, bone spurs, abnormal heel position, and the swelling of tendons in the tarsal tunnel. Due to the nature of tarsal tunnel syndrome, diagnosis may be difficult because it can seem to mimic the symptoms of other conditions; heel pain and arch pain are some examples. It is best to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of those symptoms. Podiatrists can offer a number of treatments, such as orthotics, taping or bracing, rest, icing, anti-inflammatory medication, or even surgery if other treatments do not improve your condition.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, 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.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
- Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
- The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
- If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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.

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Monday, 25 September 2017 00:00

What to Do About Foot Pain

Foot pain can be a very debilitating condition to experience. First, however, it is important to figure out what is causing it. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Standing for long periods of time and overuse can cause the plantar fascia to become inflamed. Plantar fasciitis can affect anyone. Thankfully there are a number of treatments available for heel pain, with many of them being very easy to do. Keeping pressure off the feet, resting, and avoiding overuse can improve the condition of many who suffer from plantar fasciitis. Another method for treating heel pain includes buying a new pair of well-fitted shoes. Look for a pair that is not too tight or loose for your feet. Shoes should also have enough space in the toe box for your toes to wiggle around. Finally, look for a pair that is comfortable and that would be fine to wear for long periods of time. If you have heel or general foot pain that will not go away, see a podiatrist for a diagnosis and proper treatment.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, 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.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

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

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Monday, 18 September 2017 00:00

The Elderly and Foot Health

Taking good care of your feet becomes more important as you get older. Age tends to exacerbate foot issues, with many people over the age of 65 reportedly suffering from foot pain. Another common issue among the elderly is diabetes. Diabetes causes neuropathy, or nerve loss, in the lower body, especially in the feet. Diabetics suffer from poor blood circulation in the legs and feet as well. This means that if a diabetic sustains a wound, they may not realize it due to loss of sensation, and the wound may not heal properly. In severe cases, amputation may be necessary if the infection significantly worsens. Because of this, elderly diabetics need to take extra care of their feet, though most elderly people will also benefit from practicing good foot health. Good foot health strategies include daily foot inspections for any abnormalities, washing and drying the feet, keeping one's diabetes in check, and wearing quality socks and footwear that will protect the feet and provide ample foot support. Finally, performing a check-up with a podiatrist yearly is also recommended.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, 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.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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.

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Monday, 11 September 2017 00:00

Caring for Your Diabetic Child’s Feet

Diabetes presents a number of problems for those who have it. This is especially true for children, who are more likely to sustain a foot injury from playing. Due to decreased sensitivity, a child may not realize they have a wound and not tell their parent. Coupled with poor blood circulation, the wound may not heal and may become infected; this could be very dangerous and, in extreme cases, potentially result in amputation. Both parents and children should know what to look for and how to care for diabetic feet. This includes doing daily foot inspections for wounds or any abnormal signs. Diabetic children should wash their feet with warm water and make sure to dry them properly. Make sure to avoid extremely hot and cold environments, and check the water temperature first before washing. Children should also avoid walking barefoot. Be sure to inspect shoes for any objects inside and to ensure the interior is smooth. Finally, seeing a podiatrist for an examination several times a year is highly recommended.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, 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.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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.

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Tuesday, 05 September 2017 00:00

How to Prevent Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are small cracks in the bone typically caused by repetitive force or stress. While they can occur in various areas of the body, stress fractures are more likely to occur in the foot due to it having to bear weight and having to sustain repeated strikes. They can be very painful and often take time to properly heal. To avoid dealing with stress fractures, practice methods to prevent them from occurring. If you are starting a new physical activity, prevent stress fractures by taking it slowly and gradually increasing intensity and duration. This prevents overuse and allows your body to acclimate to physical stress. Footwear that provides proper support can improve your running style and prevent stress fractures. The surfaces you run on can also affect your risk for injury. Soft surfaces like grass can be more forgiving than harder surfaces like concrete. If you have questions about stress fractures and whether running is right for you, ask a podiatrist.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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.

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Many people experience heel pain, stiffness, and swelling from plantar fasciitis. Choosing the right footwear, however, can help ease the pain. First off, make sure that the shoes you wear are your size and properly fit your foot. Next, check to see that your toes can move freely and aren’t cramped. Choose shoes that have a good amount of heel cushioning. Socks are also important and shouldn’t be too big; they should be breathable and thinner so as not to take up too much shoe space. Shoes with removable soles allow you to swap soles for a better fit. Arch support is vital and can help prevent plantar fasciitis. Elevated heels in shoes can help distribute body weight away from the back of the foot. Taken together, these tips can help ease the pain of plantar fasciitis. It is important to see a podiatrist who can provide more tips for selecting shoes and alleviating plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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.

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Orlando City Lions midfielder Will Johnson recently suffered a lateral ankle sprain against the Columbus Crew. The injury will take him out for two to four weeks. Johnson is considered to be a good player and acts as backup captain when teammate Kaka is not in the game. Johnson is not the only injured Lions player. Defensive leader Jonathan Spector suffered a knee injury that took him off the field recently. While the Lions are considered to have good backup players, the loss is still a blow to the team. If Johnson is out for four weeks, he is expected to miss around four games. 

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, 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.

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 office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Friday, 01 September 2017 00:00

Finding the Right Shoes to Deal With Foot Pain

Most adults are on their feet for hours on end throughout the day. It’s no surprise then that many suffer from foot pain. One of the most common forms of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which is the inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue. Stretching and orthotics, like sole inserts, can help reduce pain. Making sure that your shoes provide proper arch support and cushioning can also relieve pain and other ailments. Women should be on the lookout; one study found that most women wear a shoe size that is half an inch too small. Furthermore, foot sizes still change even as you get older. While all these suggestions may help relieve foot pain temporarily, it still may not go away; in that case, it may be best to see a podiatrist. 

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.

  • When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
  • Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
  • Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
  • Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
  • If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes

As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without pain.

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

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