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Gregory Loo, DPM Board Certified Podiatrist and Surgeon
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July 2021

Tuesday, 27 July 2021 00:00

Flip-Flops and Your Gait

Flip-flops may be the most popular footwear of the summer, but that doesn’t mean that flip-flops are good for your foot health. While they may keep your feet cool, flip-flops can also alter your gait, or walking pattern. When you wear flip-flops, you typically need to scrunch up your toes around the ends of the shoes in order to keep them on. This can stretch the plantar fascia ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot and lead to heel and arch pain and plantar fasciitis. Another thing you might be doing to keep those flip-flops on your feet is walk with shorter strides and turn your ankles inward while you walk. This altered gait can cause long term ankle and hip problems. This summer, if you must wear flip-flops, choose ones made of a sturdier material and wear them infrequently. For more information about the effects of footwear on your feet, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact the podiatrists from Elite Podiatry. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahwatukee, Phoenix, and Chandler, AZ .  We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Flip Flops and Your Feet
Tuesday, 27 July 2021 00:00

Flip Flops and Your Feet

When the weather heats up, you may want to start wearing flip-flops. However, it has been proven that these are not the ideal shoes in terms of preserving the health of your feet.

Flip flops are known to expose your feet to different types of bacteria and fungal infections. When you wear your flip flops in public, you are exposing them to staphylococcus which is a skin-irritating bacterium. Athlete’s foot is also highly contagious and can be spread when you walk around nearly-barefoot.

Another harmful effect of wearing flip-flops is that they develop blisters on the feet. This is because the thin strap rubs against the skin with each step taken. Unfortunately, when blisters pop, they cause you to be more vulnerable to pathogens you pick up by having your feet exposed.

These shoes may also cause “shooting pains”. If you have flat feet, you need arch support to keep your knees, hips, and back in alignment. If you wear flat shoes, your joints are forced to compensate which can cause injuries throughout the body.

If you constantly wear flip-flops, you should avoid doing so as they can lead to many problems for your feet. If you are experiencing any of these foot issues, you should seek help from a podiatrist right away.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021 00:00

Signs of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

The tarsal tunnel is a narrow pathway in the ankle that serves as an opening for nerves, veins, arteries and tendons to pass through. When the tibial nerve gets squeezed or compressed in this opening, tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs. There are a variety of factors that can lead to this compression, such as a mass or cyst, swelling, trauma or an injury to the ankle, or rolling the ankle inward while walking. Patients who are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome will notice a burning foot pain as well as an aching, numbness or tingling sensation around the arch and sole of the foot. Patients who believe that they may have tarsal tunnel syndrome should consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact the podiatrists of Elite Podiatry. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Ahwatukee, Phoenix, and Chandler, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tuesday, 20 July 2021 00:00

Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the tibial nerve, located in the tarsal tunnel in the foot, is compressed. The tibial nerve can become compressed from injury, such as an ankle sprain, flat feet, and lesions. Arthritis, diabetes, and varicose veins can also cause swelling and thus result in nerve compression.

Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome include several different sensations in the sole of the foot, inside the ankle, and around the tibial nerve. These sensations include shooting pains, numbness or reduced sensation, pins and needles, burning, and tingling. Symptoms tend to worsen with greater activity to the area. In rare and severe occasions, this can change the muscles in the foot.

If you suspect you have tarsal tunnel syndrome, you should consult with your podiatrist. He or she will examine your medical history to see if you have a history of diabetes, arthritis, or flat feet. They will also check to see if you have suffered an injury to the area recently. An electrical test will be conducted to check if the nerve has been damaged. A simpler Tinel’s Test might also be used. This includes simply tapping the nerve to create a sensation. An MRI scan of the area may also be used.

Treatments vary greatly for tarsal tunnel syndrome. Treatments include both nonsurgical and surgical options depending upon the severity of the condition. Nonsurgical options include anti-inflammatory medication and steroid injections to the area. Orthotics, such as a splint or brace that immobilizes the foot, is another noninvasive option. For those with flat feet, custom shoes can be made to offer better foot support. Surgical options include a tunnel tarsal release, in which an incision is made behind the ankle down to the arch of the foot. This releases the ligament and relieves pressure off the nerve. Some doctors use a more minimally invasive surgery, where smaller incisions are made in the ankle and the ligament is stretched out.

If you are suffering from painful sensations in your foot, see a podiatrist who can determine if you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome. Tarsal tunnel syndrome that is left unchecked can cause permanent nerve damage to the foot.

Thursday, 15 July 2021 00:00

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021 00:00

Bunions

A bunion is a bump that forms at the base of the big toe. Bunions form when the big toe pushes against the next toe, which forces the big toe joint to get bigger and stick out.  As a result, the skin over the bunion may start to appear red and it may feel sore.

There are risk factors that can increase your chances of developing bunions. People who wear high heels or ill-fitting shoes are more likely to develop them, in addition to those who have a genetic history of bunions or have rheumatoid arthritis.

The most obvious way to tell if you have a bunion is to look for the big toe pushing up against the toe next to it. Bunions produce a large protrusion at the base of the big toe and may or may not cause pain. Other symptoms are redness, swelling, and restricted movement of the big toe if you have arthritis. 

Nonsurgical methods are frequently used to treat bunions that aren’t severe. Some methods of nonsurgical treatment are orthotics, icing and resting the foot, taping the foot, and pain medication. Surgery is usually only required in extreme cases. However, if surgery is needed, some procedures may involve removing the swollen tissue from around the big toe joint, straightening the big toe by removing part of the bone, or joining the bones of your affected joint permanently.

Your podiatrist will diagnose your bunion by doing a thorough examination of your foot. He or she may also conduct an x-ray to determine the cause of the bunion and its severity.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021 00:00

Signs and Causes of Bunions

A very common foot condition that causes a bony lump to appear on the base of the big toe is known as a bunion. Bunions occur because the joint is pulled out of alignment, causing the big toe to turn towards the rest of the toes. Bunions tend to worsen over time and common symptoms can include a deformity in the joint of the big toe, a bony lump, pain, redness, swelling, or an overlapping of the big toe over the smaller toes. Bunions can have a variety of causes, such as wearing shoes that don’t fit correctly, arthritis, old age, and even genetics. Bunions can be treated both surgically or non-surgically through methods such as orthotics, or pain relief medicine. If you are experiencing a painful bunion, consulting with a podiatrist is suggested in order to find a treatment method that is best for you.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact the podiatrists of Elite Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahwatukee, Phoenix, and Chandler, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Tuesday, 06 July 2021 00:00

Arthritic Foot Care

During your lifetime, you will probably walk about 75,000 miles, which is quite a lot of stress to put on your feet. As you get older, the 26 bones and 30 joints in each of your feet will lose flexibility and elasticity. Your foot’s natural shock absorbers will wear down as well. Having arthritis added to this mix only makes matters worse. Your joints will become distorted and inflamed, which is why arthritic foot care needs to be something to think about every day.

When dealing with arthritis, having additional foot complications, such as bunions, hammertoes, or neuroma, can be a serious detriment. To avoid these, buy well-fitting shoes with a lower heel and good support. Arthritis causes you to lose your arch, so having shoes with good arch support is also highly recommended.

Aside from getting good arch support, the shoes need to fit comfortably and properly as well. A good place to start is by leaving a finger width between the back of the shoe and your foot to gauge proper size. It is also helpful to have a square or rounded toe box in the front to provide even more comfort. Another thing to look for is a rubber sole that can provide a cushion and absorb shock as you walk. This adds flexibility to the ball of your foot when you push off your heel to walk.

Exercise is another key aspect of arthritic foot care. Exercise not only strengthens and stretches your muscles and joints, but helps to prevent further injury and pain as well. Stretching the Achilles tendon, the tendon located in the back of your heel, will give you added mobility and reduce pain due to stress. Another thing you can do is massage your feet, kneading the ball of your foot as well as your toes from top to bottom.

Stretching the Achilles tendon is a simple exercise that you can do at home anytime. Lean against the wall with your palms flat against the surface while placing one foot forward, towards the wall, and one foot behind you. Bend your forward knee towards the wall while keeping your back knee locked straight, and make sure both your heels are completely touching the ground at all times. This will stretch your Achilles tendon and calf muscles as well. You will feel the stretch almost immediately. You can also stretch your toes in a couple ways. One involves taking a rubber band and wrapping it around both your big toes while your heels remain together. Then, pull them apart to stretch your big toe. You can also place a rubber band around all the toes of one of your feet. Then, try to separate each individual toe, stretching them all.

A final step you can take to help your arthritis is taking non-steroid, non-inflammatory drugs or topical medicines with capsaicin. Unfortunately, there is no complete way to remove all of your arthritic pain. However, following some of this advice can go a long way in staying as pain-free as possible.

We often associate arthritis in the feet with aging, but there are many types of arthritis that can strike at any age. Osteoarthritis tends to be one of the more common conditions people are familiar with. This form of arthritis is caused by age-related degeneration of the cartilage between the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis on the other hand, is an autoimmune disorder that can affect young children. Gout, which is known for its sudden and very painful periodic flare ups, is also a type of arthritis. Generally, the early signs of arthritis in the feet include joint stiffness, pain, swelling, and warmth. The joints may also become deformed. Mucous cysts can sometimes form at the ends of the toes or underneath the toenails, and knobby growths called bone spurs may develop on the heels. If you detect any symptoms of arthritis in your feet, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact the podiatrists from Elite Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahwatukee, Phoenix, and Chandler, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Arthritic Foot Care
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