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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.

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Published in Blog
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.

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Published in Blog
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.

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Published in Blog
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.

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Published in Blog