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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
Monday, 04 June 2018 00:00

Foot Conditions Related to Obesity

Recent research has shown that an elevated body mass index, also known as BMI may play a significant role in affecting the structure of the foot. The heel may often endure extra pressure from the additional weight, and may result in a condition referred to as plantar fasciitis. The ability to exercise may be diminished by the weight, and podiatrists may suggest non aerobic exercises to strengthen the feet. The ankles may lose mobility and may affect the way walking is done. Wearing socks that have adequate cushioning may aid in providing necessary stability in addition to possibly avoiding injuries to the skin and soft tissues. A podiatrist will offer valuable information on how obesity affects the feet in addition to managing foot conditions that may have developed as a result of being obese.

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

Read more about How Obesity Affects Your Feet
Tuesday, 29 May 2018 00:00

Howie Kendrick Tears Achilles Tendon

Washington Nationals infielder Howie Kendrick recently tore his Achilles tendon in the first game of a doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kendrick was seen walking on crutches while wearing a walking boot in the Nationals’ clubhouse after the game. This is expected to be a season-ending injury for Kendrick and he states, “I really knew there was something wrong with it because I couldn't control my heel at all, so that's when I knew it was probably my Achilles.” He was immediately placed on the 10-day disabled list and was replaced on the roster by right-hander Jefry Rodriguez from the Nationals’ Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

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

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

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

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

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

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

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

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

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

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries

It is no secret that high heels are uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. However, if you choose to wear heels you should be aware of the consequences that wearing these stylish shoes may entail. Stress fractures are one of the most common injuries that may occur from wearing heels. If you accidentally turn your foot inward you may strain or break the ligament structures around the lateral side of the ankle; causing a lateral ankle sprain. Arthritis can also develop in those that wear heels too often.  This is because you compensate while standing or walking in heeled shoes which causes the joints to wear down. In addition, heels have the potential to worsen your pre-existing foot conditions. For example, bunions can grow and become more painful when you wear heels compared to flat shoes.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or 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.

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 office located in Florence, Alabama. 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, 14 May 2018 00:00

How Do Heel Spurs Develop?

A heel spur is a regeneration of a bone that forms on the sole of the foot. Additionally, the development of this ailment can appear in the area where the Achilles tendon connects to the heel and may produce severe pain. In most cases, a heel spur will gradually develop, and is often caused by strain experienced by the muscles and ligaments. Causes of this type of discomfort may originate from shoes that fit incorrectly, additional body weight the feet must endure, or an injury that caused the heel to bruise. Paying close attention to the general health of the feet may be a successful prevention technique for heel spurs. This may include noticing any type of aches and pain that may appear, especially on the sole of the foot. Moderate relief may be obtained from resting the foot in addition to performing gentle stretching exercises. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist for treatment options for heel spurs, which may include surgery.

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, 07 May 2018 00:00

Symptoms and Causes of Gout

If you are experiencing severe pain in the joints surrounding the big toe, you may have a condition referred to as gout. It’s considered to be a form of arthritis, and the symptoms include redness, swelling, and extreme tenderness. Gout is the result of a buildup of excess uric acid in the body, and typically collects in the joints of the foot. These bouts of pain are typically known as gout attacks, and there may be several reasons for this to develop. The most common theory revolves around the food and drink that is consumed, which typically involves the frequent ingestion of red meat and excess alcohol. Additionally, inherited genetic traits may be a determining factor in the onset of gout. It’s important to consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist to learn about proper treatment options for gout.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. 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 form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment 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 Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 30 April 2018 00:00

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

If you have the experience of something heavy falling on your foot, you may have what is referred to as a broken toe. Common signs from this occurring will be swelling and bruising affecting the toe and surrounding area, accompanied by severe pain. If the bone protrudes from the skin, this is typically known as an extreme fracture, and medical attention should be sought as soon as possible for treatment. If the break is not severe, the toe will benefit from being elevated, which may aid in reducing any obvious swelling. A common treatment technique involves bandaging the injured toe to the toe next to it, and this may promote stability and proper healing. It may be suggested to wear comfortable shoes with adequate room for the toes, and the use of crutches may be beneficial in keeping weight off the foot. If you feel you may have broken your toe, see a podiatrist immediately for a proper diagnosis and additional information.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be looked at every day, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

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 to Know About a Broken Toe
Monday, 23 April 2018 00:00

Is Toenail Fungus Contagious?

If you are experiencing yellow and brittle toenails, you may have what is referred to as a toenail fungus. It is a reasonably common condition affecting millions of Americans and can be uncomfortable and unattractive. Research has shown that this contagious condition is caused by a fungus and may be prevented by wearing appropriate shoes in public showers, pools, and surrounding areas. Additionally, this condition may develop from an injury endured by the toenail or from wearing shoes that fit improperly, often providing inadequate room for the toes to move about. Toenail fungus may affect people who are diabetic, and these individuals must execute accelerated action for proper treatment. Please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for additional information and proper treatment options for toenail fungus.

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.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals &  Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Talcum powder – applying powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

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 Toenail Fungus
Monday, 16 April 2018 00:00

What are Orthotics?

Corrective inserts that are designed to be used in shoes are often referred to as orthotics. There are several benefits to using orthotics, including providing comfort, stability, and additional support that the foot may need. They are typically used to correct certain foot abnormalities, including high arches, flat feet, or foot structures that may originate from a predisposed inherited gene. They are generally constructed of materials designed for the specific foot issue, which may be a high arch or specific heel injuries. If you have foot pain, there is a chance that orthotics may work for you. A podiatrist will be able to ascertain if orthotics are needed for your foot condition.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, 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 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 office located in Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes
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