Texas Foot Doctor's Blog
Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that can partially or completely block blood flow back to the heart and cause damage to the one-way valves in the veins. The blood clot usually forms in a calf or thigh, but can also occur in the veins of the upper extremities.
The clot can also break free and travel through your blood to major organs, such as your lungs, which can be fatal. By visiting your podiatrist you can better understand DVT and how to properly prevent it from occurring.
Lowering Your Risk of DVT
To lower your risk and help prevent deep vein thrombosis, follow these important steps:
- Maintain an active lifestyle and exercise daily.
- Manage your weight by exercising and eating a healthy diet.
- If you smoke, it is important to quit.
- Check your blood pressure regularly, and take steps to lower it if necessary.
- Report any family or personal history of blood-clotting problems to your podiatrist.
- Discuss alternatives to birth control pills or hormone-replacement therapy
- If you are on an airplane for more than 4 hours, either walk or do leg stretches in your seat and also stay well hydrated and avoid alcohol consumption.
Visit your podiatrist for further information on deep vein thrombosis, and for more tips on how to prevent it from developing.
Our feet and ankles are prone to a number of problems at different stages of life. Below is a list of common foot and ankle problems. With each issue, you can find quick advice for finding relief from your ailment, and if you experience any of the following conditions, contact your podiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment options.
A bunion is a painful enlargement at the joint of the big toe. An important part of treatment is to wear shoes that conform to the shape of your foot and do not cause pressure areas. By doing this, you can often alleviate your pain. However, severe cases can be disabling. Visit your podiatrist for further treatment options if the change in shoes does not provide relief.
Heel pain is extremely common and can often begin without injury. You will often feel pain under the heel while standing or walking, with symptoms at their worst when first arising out of bed. Most cases will improve on their own. Heel stretching, medication to reduce swelling of the soft tissues of the foot and orthotics can all be helpful in providing relief from your heel pain. For prolonged and troubling cases, visit your podiatrist for further treatment.
Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are caused by pressure on the skin of your foot. Treatment involves relieving the pressure on the skin, usually by modifying the shoe. Pads to relieve the bony pressure are helpful, but they must be positioned carefully. A visit to your podiatrist will help in the treatment planning.
Plantar warts occur on the sole of the foot and look like calluses. They result from an infection by a specific virus and are like other warts, but they grow inward. Plantar warts are difficult to treat, but success has been achieved with repeated applications of salicylic acid to soften the overlying callus and expose the virus. Other treatments include injecting the warts with medication, freezing them with liquid nitrogen and, very rarely, surgery. Your podiatrist can create the best treatment plan for your plantar warts.
Often, the problems in your feet and ankles go away with time, rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and changing your shoes. However, sometimes these problems just won’t go away, and that's when you should visit your podiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment.
When Should I See a Podiatrist?
If you are having a specific foot problem, your best bet is to visit your podiatrist for the best care available. Several serious conditions, such as diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, can show up in your feet first, making it more important than ever to get them checked out.
A Wound or Sore That Does Not Heal
If you have an open sore on your foot or ankle, you should visit your podiatrist immediately! This is especially important if you have diabetes, as it takes a diabetic longer to heal even when being treated.
Some changes to your feet are normal as you age, but having pain isn’t one of them. As you begin putting more miles on your feet, you may notice that your feet change shape, lose cushioning, experience skin changes, develop arthritis and experience an array of other complications. It's always best to get checked by your podiatrist rather than unknowingly let a serious foot issue worsen, especially as you age.
Pain Increasing with Activity or Lasting more than 24 Hours
If you are experiencing pain that gets worse with activity, this may be a sign of a stress fracture. You should not try to work through the pain. Instead, it is vital that you visit your podiatrist. If you treat a stress fracture early, you can potentially avoid more serious problems, such as a stress fracture that will not heal, or one that turns into a fully broken bone.
Don’t ignore your foot or ankle pain! Visit your podiatrist for a diagnosis, treatment and to help prevent your symptoms from worsening.
Flat feet are common and are the source of many foot problems. Also called fallen arches, flat foot is a condition in which a person has no arch on the bottom of their feet. Where most people’s feet are curved on the bottom, a person with flat feet has no curve or arch. When this occurs your feet can turn inward, causing stress on other parts of the body. With the help of your podiatrist, however, you can find relief from your flat feet while protecting other parts of your body from further problems.
If you have flat feet, it can lead to other issues with your foot. You may develop is plantar fasciitis, which causes pain and inflammation in the ligaments of the foot. Tendonitis and arthritis can also result. The lack of shock absorption in the foot can cause shin splints. Bunions and hammertoes may also result.
When problems in the feet occur, odds are you will eventually experience problems with your legs. Since people with flat feet pronate or roll their feet inward when they walk, the lower legs will try to accommodate to keep balance. When this occurs, it can lead to pain in the ankles, lower legs and, often, pain in the knees.
Treatment for Flat Feet
To stop the leg and foot pain, it is important to visit your podiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment options. Orthotics are commonly used to lift the foot and give you the cushion that your fallen arches normally would. If a fallen arch is caused by weight gain, losing weight will also help to alleviate your foot complications. Visit our office for a consultation!
With more than 30 joints in your foot, joint pain may seem like it can come from anywhere and everywhere. Swelling, tenderness, stiffness, redness, bruising or increased warmth--these all can come along with the pain and can be caused by trauma, infection, arthritis, bursitis, gout or structural foot problems. With such an unpleasant litany of symptoms and causes, it's helpful to know a few simple tips to ease your pain before you visit your podiatrist for a full diagnosis.
Joint Pain Treatment
When you first notice any joint pain in your foot and ankle, your podiatrist may initially treat your pain with RICE, which stands for:
Your podiatrist will also recommend limiting walking and bearing weight on the painful foot. Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can also help to reduce local inflammation and pain. Custom orthotics may also be prescribed to support the foot, particularly if the issue lies in foot mechanics. If your pain is caused by a condition such as gout, lifestyle changes and alterations in your diet may also help reduce or even eliminate your pain.
If you're experiencing immobilizing joint pain in your feet or ankles, your podiatrist is best equipped to determine the cause and recommend the appropriate treatment. What may seem like joint pain could also be something else entirely, such as a stress fracture, or could be caused by an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder, such as Rheumatoid arthritis. Schedule an appointment today to ensure accurate treatment and a speedy recovery!
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