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Monday, 18 December 2017 00:00

Treatments for Ingrown Toenails

If you realize your toenail is growing into the surrounding skin in addition to becoming red and tender, the chances are good that you are experiencing an ingrown toenail. Usually the big toe is affected and may bleed or have pus coming from the area. Common causes may be from injuries such as a stubbed toe, poorly cut toenails, or from shoes that may not fit correctly. Proper treatment is crucial for ingrown toenails in order to prevent infection. This may include changing socks regularly, cutting the nail straight across to prevent digging into the skin that surrounds it, and keeping the feet clean by washing them every day. Minor surgery for severe cases may include a partial or total nail avulsion. Typically, this means a local anaesthetic is used for numbing the toe, and the edges of the toenail may be cut away or the nail fully removed. If you think you may have ingrown toenails, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
Monday, 11 December 2017 00:00

Blisters and Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetics need to take proper care of their feet due to their condition. Diabetes often causes poor blood circulation and neuropathy, which causes sensation loss in the extremities and lower limbs. If a diabetic gets a blister on his or her foot, he or she may not even realize it exists. If left unchecked, a blister can become infected and potentially infect the rest of the foot; in worst cases, this may then require amputation. Prevention is key, so wearing well-fitted shoes, conducting everyday foot exams, maintaining proper foot care, and visiting a podiatrist every several months can all help prevent a foot ulcer. If you have a foot ulcer and are diabetic, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist who can provide proper care and attention to the wound.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, 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.

Foot Blisters

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

What are Foot Blisters?

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

How do Blisters Form?

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

Prevention & Treatment

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

 

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

Read more about Blisters on the Feet
Monday, 04 December 2017 00:00

How Pregnancy Affects Your Feet

When weight gain occurs during pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity may change. Typically, this adds pressure to the knees and feet, potentially causing edema and over-pronation. Over-pronation (in-ward rolling feet) can cause the arches to flatten because of the additional weight. Strain on the calves and feet are common results of over-pronation, in addition to pain in the feet. Edema, or swelling, commonly occurs in the feet during the latter stages of pregnancy. Treatment may consist of wearing footwear that provides shock absorption and extra support. Elevating the feet can also help provide relief, as can eating a well-balanced diet and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water. By avoiding foods high in salt and exercising regularly, it's possible to keep the swelling to a minimum. A consultation with a podiatrist may be advised if swelling and pain persist in the feet.  

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

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

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

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

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

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

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

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
Monday, 27 November 2017 00:00

Everything to Know About Hammertoe

Weakened muscles in the foot and toes may make the development of a condition known as hammertoe more likely. Possible causes for hammertoe may include arthritis, ill-fitting shoes, or genetic conditions. Hammertoe usually occurs in the second or third toe, but can affect any toe on the foot. Symptoms include having a toe that bends in an improper position, usually downward. In some cases, hammertoe may cause blisters and calluses, which can result in further pain from walking. Inability to flex your feet or difficulty in moving your toes may also be a result of this condition. Wearing proper footwear and avoiding shoes like high heels can help prevent hammertoe. If you do decide to wear heels, choose a pair with a lower heel. It is advised to consult with a podiatrist if you are suffering from hammertoe.

Hammertoe

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

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

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 What Are Hammertoes?
Monday, 20 November 2017 00:00

Symptoms of Gout

If you experience sudden attacks of swelling and severe pain, you may have gout. Gout is a form of arthritis in which small crystals form around the joints and may lead to kidney stones. A buildup of uric acid in the blood leads to inflammation and is the cause of gout. Gout typically affects the toes and ankles, in addition to the knees and fingers.The joints become swollen, and the skin in the affected area may appear red and shiny. Gout occurs in attacks and can be debilitating and extremely painful. Lowering uric acids levels may provide a long-term solution, which is commonly done through change of diet and medication. Ice packs are generally used during an attack for relief. Please consult a podiatrist if you have difficulty walking or have severe pain in your feet.

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 Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Sunday, 12 November 2017 00:00

Tips on Buying Shoes Correctly

For many people, buying larger shoes over time is common, as they may gain a half shoe size over the age of 40. There are many bones, joints, and over 100 tendons in the foot. The ligaments may lose their elasticity, which may cause the feet to flatten, and the arches to lower. Additionally, the force of the body weight causes the “fat pads” to thin, which cushion the bottom of the feet. There’s a few important pointers to remember when buying shoes. The feet are largest at the end of the day, which makes it a good time to measure the foot. Typically, there should be a half-inch of space for the longest toe while standing. Also, it's beneficial if the shoes are made from soft material that conforms to the shape of the foot. They should fit comfortably and not slip as you walk. Lastly, walking in the shoes on carpeting is a good way to make sure they feel right.  

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

Read more about Getting the Right Shoe Size: To Keep Your Feet Happy
Monday, 06 November 2017 00:00

Toenail Care for the Elderly

Geriatric (elderly) people may be prone to foot problems, which may include ingrown toenails, corns, and calluses. A reason for this may be their inability to cut their own toenails due to poor eyesight or loss of mobility. A qualified caregiver should be able to cut toenails properly. Ideally, toenails should be kept short, as more problems tend to arise if the nails are too long. The shorter they are, the less risk there is of breaking a nail. As we age, it’s beneficial to stay healthy and active. However, it’s important to remember to practice proper foot care. A podiatrist should be consulted to learn the best options for correct maintenance and treatments.

If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames  of Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and provide you with quality treatment.

Geriatrics and Podiatry
When people age, some common issues that may occur are bone density loss, dry skin, poor circulation, and rough brittle nails. These issues may also affect your foot health if the necessary steps are not taken to alleviate the problems.

It is important to take care of your feet because feet that are injured or diseased can affect your overall health. Having painful feet hinders your ability to do daily activities or may decrease your willingness to do the things that you need to do.

Visiting Your Geriatrician
As we age, health problems become more likely, so it is essential to visit your doctor for check-ups to ensure that you are doing the best you can to take care of your health. It is recommended to check your feet frequently for any possible cuts, bruises, swelling, corns or any other irregularities. 

Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Cracked or dry feet can be treated by applying moisturizer often. It is also important not to wear old socks because the older the sock is, the higher the possibility there will be that there is bacteria there. Wear fresh socks and make sure they fit properly.

Proper foot health means that you can have a more active lifestyle and you will not be bogged down by pain. Foot health also leads to good circulation, which is paramount for overall health.

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 Geriatrics and Podiatry
Monday, 30 October 2017 00:00

Bunions and How They are Treated

A bunion is a deformity that occurs on the joint at the base of the big toe. Though the exact cause of bunions is somewhat disputed, wearing tight fitting shoes and genetics tend to play a role in the development and exacerbation of them. Common symptoms that are usually associated with bunions include swelling, soreness, pain, and redness around the joint and bump. Bunions can become worse over time, and poorly-supportive footwear, like high heels, have been associated with worsening them. It is recommended to see a podiatrist when you notice a bunion forming even when it does not cause pain. If you have a bunion that is causing you pain, you should see one right away. A podiatrist will generally offer non-surgical options first if the bunion is not severe. These include bunion pads to relieve pressure off the bunion, pain and anti-inflammatory medication, and suggesting roomier shoes. If the pain continues or worsens and all non-surgical options have failed, surgery may be considered.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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 a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • 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 care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 23 October 2017 00:00

Finding the Right Pair of Shoes For You

When it comes to shopping for running shoes, there is no perfect shoe that works for everyone. Everyone has a different foot type so just because you’re the same size as someone else, it doesn’t mean their shoe will fit you correctly. Higher prices or brand names also don’t guarantee a great shoe either. There are certain qualities to look for when shoe shopping though. Shoes should be comfortable, especially for long periods of time. Knowing your foot type, such as whether you overpronate or have a neutral foot, can help as well. A podiatrist can help determine your foot type and can also make recommendations about what shoes to wear. A good pair of shoes should provide enough space for your toes, be breathable and comfortable, and support your feet.

If you are a runner, wearing the right running shoe is essential. For more information, 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.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

To increase performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is important to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type. The general design of running shoes revolves around pronation, which is how the ankle rolls from outside to inside when the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral runners are able to choose from a wide variety of shoes, including minimalist shoes or even going barefoot.
  • Runners who overpronate, or experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling, should choose shoes that provide extra motion control and stability.
  • Runners who underpronate, or supinate, have feet that have high arches and lack flexibility, preventing shock absorption. They require shoes with more flexibility and cushion.

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 Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

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.

Read more about Falls Prevention
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