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Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

Tips for Choosing the Correct Shoe Size

There are several reasons why shoes may not fit correctly. These may include having toenails that are not trimmed properly or having medical conditions such as diabetes and poor circulation. Additionally, research has shown the feet may change sizes as the aging process occurs and it is advised to properly measure your feet before purchasing shoes. When a shoe is selected that is similar to the shape of your foot, the desired comfort level may be easier to attain. There are a few simple steps that may be implemented to ensure a properly fitted shoe. These may include expecting the shoe to feel comfortable when initially tried on, making sure there is adequate room for the longest toe to fit easily in, and walking in the shoes before making the decision to buy them. If you would like additional information about choosing the correct shoe size, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist.

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

Getting the Right Shoe Size

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

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

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

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact 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
Monday, 03 December 2018 00:00

Toe Arthritis

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your big toe, you may have a foot condition that is known as toe arthritis. It may be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight and may not have adequate room for the toes to move about in. One of the first signs that may be indicative of toe arthritis may be pain that is felt in the toes. Many people feel stiffness in the toes, and this may be a result of the diminished cartilage that is located between the joints, in addition to obvious redness and swelling of the toes and surrounding area. If you are afflicted with this condition, it may be difficult to perform daily activities that may include walking or standing for extended periods of time. If you are experiencing arthritis in your feet or toes, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can advise you on correct treatment options.

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 term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is 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 How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

Causes of Heel Spurs

If you have a heel spur, you are most likely familiar with the pain and discomfort this condition may cause. The small, bony protrusion that forms on the heel may be a result of repetitive stress the heel endures, possibly originating from frequent running or jumping. Additionally, if the incorrect shoes are worn, or an abnormal walking pattern exists, a heel spur may begin to develop. Some patients may notice pain in the heel and surrounding area while walking, and it may be quite uncomfortable in the morning when the first steps are taken. There may be measures that can be taken, which may possibly prevent heel spurs from forming. These may include wearing shoes that properly support your feet, performing gentle foot stretches before physical activity begins, and maintaining a healthy weight, which may lessen the amount of pressure the heel may endure. If you have heel pain, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can determine if you have a heel spur and can advise on proper treatment techniques.

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 condition's 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, 19 November 2018 00:00

Plantar Warts Cause Pain in the Heel

The medical name for a condition that is commonly known as plantar warts is called verrucae warts. It is a result of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that typically enters the foot through small cracks in the heel and will affect the skin on the bottom of the feet. If you are afflicted with this painful foot condition, you may experience symptoms that include pain while walking as a result of pressure the heel must endure, and a yellow and hardened area on the skin, possibly with small black spots in the center. This virus lives in areas that are consistently moist and humid, which may include swimming pools and the surrounding areas or locker rooms. There are several different treatment options that can be implemented, which may provide the desired relief, and it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist to discuss which is the best one for you.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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 All About Plantar Warts
Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

Different Types of Blisters on the Feet

A common reason why blisters form on the feet may be a result of consistent friction between the toes or on the back of the heel. A blister is typically a small area that resembles a bubble and is filled with fluid. This is the body’s natural defense mechanism to ensure the skin under the blister is protected. Research has shown there are different types of blisters that may form, including pinch blisters, which may be a result of a toe that is curled under the toe next to it, causing a blister to form in between the two toes. Additionally, interdigital blisters may be caused by an allergic reaction to an insect bite, and may lead to an infection. Patients who have eczema or athlete's foot may be familiar with the types of blisters these uncomfortable conditions may cause. If shoes that are worn do not fit correctly, blisters may form on the pinky toe or if excess rubbing exists on the back of the foot, it may cause unsightly blisters on the back of the heel. If you would like to learn about how to prevent blisters on the feet or need information about proper treatment techniques, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. 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 are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can 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.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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
Monday, 05 November 2018 00:00

Symptoms Of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

The medical condition that is referred to as tarsal tunnel syndrome typically affects the ligaments that stretch across the foot. These are known to provide flexibility and stability to the foot, and may become irritated and inflamed if they are compressed. This may occur as a result from an injury or trauma the foot endures, possibly due to performing repetitive motions. There are several symptoms that are associated with this condition. Many patients will notice a burning or tingling sensation in their foot and may also be accompanied by a shooting pain in the ankle. If you have injured your foot or have pain in the ankle that develops gradually, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist so a proper diagnosis can be performed, and the correct treatment can begin.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames of Hames Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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

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

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

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

There are many women who enjoy wearing high heels despite knowing foot pain may develop from wearing these specific type of shoes. Research has shown that when the heel is high, the arch in the foot may become inflamed and this may typically cause pain and discomfort. If high heels are worn on a frequent basis, the toes may undergo stress, and this may possibly cause corns and calluses to develop. The likelihood of incurring a fall may increase as a result of the line of gravity being altered by the height of the heel. There are several ways to enjoy wearing high heels while keeping your feet as comfortable as possible. These may include slipping off your shoes at an appropriate time and performing gentle stretching exercises, including pointing, flexing and rolling your ankles. Additionally, circulation in the feet may be increased by wiggling the toes. Your feet may benefit by wearing shoes that are more comfortable the following day, which may allow the foot muscles to rest. Please speak to a podiatrist if you would like additional information concerning the dangers of wearing high heels.

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

If we should incur an injury to the foot or ankle, it may affect the quality of completing daily activities efficiently. As a result, having physical therapy performed may be an effective channel that promotes healing in addition to bringing gradual and moderate relief. There are several foot conditions that may benefit from physical therapy, including stress fractures that involve the foot or ankle, the painful ailment known as plantar fasciitis, or turf toe, which is a sprain the big toe endures. Research has shown the multitude of benefits that physical therapy may provide including renewed and increased muscle strength, the ability to walk easier as the pain diminishes, or the added range of motion to the affected joints. If you have endured a severe injury to your foot or ankle, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist about whether physical therapy is correct for you.

Foot therapy is often necessary for those recovering from either foot deformities or foot injuries. If you have concerns regarding therapy, 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.

Most Common Injuries

People who are active or athletes are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is often important to take part in physical therapy in order to quickly get back on the right track. 

What to Do When Injured

Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.

During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. Physical therapy often involves:

Basic stretching and twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.

Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate the muscles and relax them.

Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.

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 Foot Therapy for Sports Injuries
Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

Intense Pain May Accompany Gout

An excess of uric acid levels in the blood may lead to a painful condition known as gout. When the body has difficulty in processing this buildup, crystals will typically form in the joint of the big toe. It is often considered to be a form of arthritis, and may cause considerable pain and discomfort. This ailment may develop as a result of ingesting foods that are rich in purines, which may often include red wine, seafood or chocolate. Research has shown there may be several predispositions for gout to occur. People who have high blood pressure or who have abnormal kidney functions may be at a greater risk to develop this ailment. Patients who are afflicted with gout are aware of the intense pain, swelling and redness that accompanies this predicament. If you have developed gout it's suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can provide valuable information about the treatment of this debilitating condition.

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, 08 October 2018 00:00

Causes of Athlete’s Foot

The uncomfortable condition that is known as athlete’s foot may typically have noticeable symptoms, which may include red and itchy skin. This may develop in between the toes or on the sole of the foot and is known to be a common fungal infection. This contagious foot ailment can be spread by direct contact with another person or from walking on wet floors, including shower and pool areas. There may be several preventative measures that can be practiced, which may avoid the onset of athlete’s foot. These may include washing and drying the feet thoroughly, changing socks promptly if they become wet, and wearing shoes that are made of breathable materials. If you feel you have contracted athlete’s foot, it’s advised to consult with a podiatrist who can suggest the best course of treatment that will provide relief.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Michael T. Hames from Hames Foot Clinic.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about Athlete's Foot 101
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