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Monday, 08 January 2018 00:00

Causes of Hammertoe

Weakened muscles in the toe may cause the tendons to become shorter, enabling the middle joint in the toes to protrude. There may be several causes of this particular condition, referred to as hammertoe, including an inherited predisposition. Symptoms may include experiencing difficulty in walking or not being able to flex and point your toes. Wearing proper footwear is important, especially keeping the heels to 2 inches or less.  If the toes are not able to stretch, surgery may be an option. A consultation with a podiatrist is recommended for a proper diagnosis and the best treatment options.

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?
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00

How to Treat Corns

When the skin on the foot rubs against a shoe, there is a chance a corn will develop. Typically, the pressure from this causes the skin to thicken; this may produce extreme pain, affecting the deeper layers of the skin. Hard corns are generally caused by poorly fitted shoes and may develop on the top of the toes. Corns that affect the area in between the toes are referred to as soft corns, and moisture from the toes may be the underlying reason for this condition. Occasionally, corns may develop on the soles of the feet, most likely caused by running or walking. There may be several treatment options available, including having a podiatrist trim the corn down, which will ease the pressure. Wearing shoes that fit properly, in addition to applying a moisturizer regularly will help to manage the corn once it’s trimmed. Chemical treatments may also be effective, which may help  the corn to be less painful. Please consult with a podiatrist, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation, for a recommendation for the best treatment options.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them
Tuesday, 26 December 2017 00:00

The Benefits of Stretching the Feet

General health is often improved by stretching and exercising your feet on a routine basis.  While walking may be the most beneficial exercise, flexibility and resistance exercises can be just as important in promoting good health and avoiding injury to the feet.  There are many forms of exercise to choose from, many of which can be integrated into your daily routine.  Before beginning, it’s important to allow time for simple stretching; this can help in strengthening the muscles of the feet.  Some exercises may include circling your foot in one direction, then changing to the other direction.  Dropping the heel while standing on a step is another effective stretch for the feet. It's important to remember to contact your podiatrist if you experience pain at any time during these stretches.

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

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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 Stretching Your Feet
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
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