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Posts for: December, 2016

By South Jersey Foot and Ankle Specialists
December 21, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Diabetic Foot Care  

Why is foot care so important for those with diabetes?

Do you have diabetes? If you do then you’ve probably heard that it’s especially important to take care of your feet to prevent health diabetic foot carecomplications from happening to you. From the office of our Vineland, NJ podiatrist, Dr. Jeffrey Belancio, find out how to care for your diabetic feet.

Having too much glucose in the blood for long periods of time can lead to serious health complications, particularly for your feet. Diabetes can cause serious issues such as diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease.

Diabetic neuropathy leads to damaged nerves in the feet and legs. Those with this condition may lose sensation in their feet. Peripheral vascular disease affects blood flow to the legs. This circulation problem will restrict how much blood actually flows to the feet, which can increase your chances of ulcers and other issues. While these issues can happen to anyone, those with diabetes are particularly susceptible to serious infections and other complications like amputation.

Of course, proper foot care is key to preventing these issues. Our Vineland foot doctor offers up some tips for how to care for diabetic feet:

  • Examine your feet every day to look for redness, sores, cuts, tender spots or swelling. If you notice any of these changes then you need to see us right away. If you have trouble thoroughly checking your feet, then ask a family member to do it for you.
  • Keep your toenails properly trimmed.
  • Wash your feet every day with warm water and soap. Make sure to always thoroughly dry your feet, particularly between toes.
  • Manage your blood sugar levels with medication. Follow certain lifestyle changes such as nutrition or exercise.
  • Wear socks and shoes at all times to protect your feet from injury. Never walk barefoot.
  • Avoid crossing your legs. When you are seated, prop your feet up and move your toes and ankles around throughout the day to keep blood flowing.

Prevention is key, but certain situations may still arise. If you start to experience any symptoms or changes, then it’s time to call our Vineland, NJ podiatry office right away to get the care you require.

By South Jersey Foot and Ankle Specialists
December 15, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Hammertoes  

HammertoesA hammertoe is one of the most common toe conditions, usually stemming from muscle imbalance in which the joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toe are bent into a contracted, claw-like position. In the early stages, hammertoes are flexible and can be corrected with simple conservative measures, but if left untreated, they can become fixed and require surgery.

The most common cause of hammertoe is a muscle imbalance. Tight-fitting and high-heeled shoes often aggravate the condition, crowding your toes forward. A hammertoe can also be the result of injury in which you break or jam the toe, or from conditions like arthritis or stroke that affect nerves and muscles. In some cases, hammertoes may even be inherited.

Because of their clenched, claw-like appearance, hammertoes will generally be visibly present. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Difficult or painful motion of a toe joint
  • Redness or swelling at a toe joint
  • Development of calluses and corns
  • Open sores in severe cases

The foot and ankle professionals at our office recommend the following for preventing and reducing the symptoms associated with hammertoe:

  • Wear comfortable, proper-fitting shoes that provide support and allow enough room for your toes
  • Avoid high-heeled or narrow-toed shoes
  • Stretch your toe muscles to relieve pressure and pain
  • Apply splints, cushions or pads to relieve pressure
  • Moisturize with cream to keep the skin soft

Generally, a modification of footwear will reduce the symptoms associated with hammertoe. Other non-surgical treatment includes padding to shield corns and calluses and orthotic devices that are placed in the shoe to help control muscle imbalance. We can help you determine the best treatment for your symptoms. Severe cases that don't respond to conservative measures may require surgery to restore your toe's flexibility and eliminate the pressure.

Hammertoes are progressive - they don't go away by themselves and the condition usually gets worse over time. Once a podiatrist at has evaluated your hammertoe, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.

By South Jersey Foot and Ankle Specialists
December 02, 2016
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Growing Pains  

Growing PainsIf your child has ever complained of not being able to sleep at night due to leg pain, he or she may be experiencing what many people refer to as growing pains. They are common for kids during their growth and development years.

Growing pains are often characterized by a sharp, throbbing pain in the leg muscles, usually occurring during the night and sometimes late afternoon without an apparent cause. While there is no evidence that a child's growth is painful, these pains often occur during an active day of running, jumping or swimming.

Whenever a child is afflicted by episodes of recurrent leg pain, it is always best to have them evaluated. Other more serious foot and leg conditions should be ruled out before a diagnosis of growing pains is made.

Consult with a physician or a podiatrist if aching legs are a chronic complaint, or if the pain is so severe it interferes with the child's daily activities. Persistent pain and other unusual symptoms may indicate a more serious problem. The following symptoms are not due to growing pains and should be evaluated by a doctor:

  • Persistent pain
  • Swelling or redness in one specific area or joint
  • Limping
  • Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal behavior

There are no treatments or medications available for growing pains, but parents can help ease the pain with simple home remedies.

  • Massage and rub the child's ache until the pain passes
  • Stretch your child's legs throughout the day and before bed
  • Heating pads or warm baths can help soothe sore muscles
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers (always consult with physician first)

While growing pains are commonly seen in young children during the growth and development years, lower extremity pain can also be caused by mechanical misalignments and structural imperfections. A thorough evaluation is crucial in order to determine the exact cause of your child's leg pain. If growing pains are the cause of your child's discomfort, rest assured that the pain is only temporary and will pass with time.

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