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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
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
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