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04/Oct/2021

Have you ever wondered how someone who had numbness could also feel pain?

Isn’t one incompatible with the other? Many diabetic people tell me that their feet hurt, but at the same time, they step on something sharp and do not feel it? The sensation is that you can’t feel much, but still get a painful “pins and needles” sensation.  It’s a sensation no one enjoys, therefore it is definitely a good idea to seek out the care of a doctor to help reduce those symptoms.

Diabetic patients are at risk for many medical conditions, such as heart disease, kidney disease, eye problems, and foot problems. The disease leads to damage to the blood vessels and to the nerves over time. The foot can be painful, deformed, have balance problems, cause wounds, and even require amputation.

Nearly one in five diabetics suffer from diabetic nerve pain. The pain is often described as painful and stabbing. As time goes on, if the diabetes isn’t properly controlled, this condition usually does not go away. Pain medication doesn’t typically treat the nerves that cause pain. In some cases, Advil might be used to treat painful feet, but this medication doesn’t seem to be very effective. A few medications show promise, but they don’t always relieve the symptoms. Among them are some antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and even a cream containing hot pepper oil (capsaicin).

diabetic foot careNeuropathy

As they age, patients with neuropathy may experience balance issues due to being unable to feel their feet or legs, together with pain or through deterioration of a portion of their brain, as in dementia, or through side effects from medication. Physical Therapy, bracing, and assistive walking devices such as a can or walker/Rollator may be needed to help prevent falls and injury.

Charcot

Deformities of the feet can also result from neuropathy. In the case of severe nerve damage in the foot or leg, the muscles may weaken, leading to overpowering of the small muscles of the foot, resulting in hammer toe deformities. Further, patients have the possibility of developing a rare, but devastating, foot deformity called the Charcot deformity. It is estimated that 35% of diabetics suffer from the Charcot deformity. Charcot’s deformity may manifest as painful, hot, swollen feet that appear red, hot, or infected. This may result in softening of the bone in that area because of increased blood flow, which can weaken, deteriorate, and cause major deformity. In addition to casting, bracing, and non-weight bearing, healing can be helped by reconstruction to reduce the risk of ulceration, amputation, and further deterioration.

Diabetic Foot Ulcers (DFUs)

There is a possibility of foot wounds because of reduced pain and pressure sensation as well. Approximately 34% of diabetic patients develop diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). In many cases, wounds are effectively treated by surgery, dressings, offloading devices, and specialized shoes. However, advanced treatment may sometimes be required. hospitalized. There is a very high risk that the wound will recur even after it heals because the wound is just a symptom of numbness and deformity. In some cases, surgery may be needed to rebuild the wound area because the neuropathy isn’t reversible and bracing options are limited.

The possibility of infection increases when there is a wound. Our skin protects us against infection. It keeps the good guys in and the bad guys out like a castle wall. An open wound increases the chances of germs invading and causing infection. Wound care, dressings, and antibiotics can often treat most infections in the office, but some may require hospitalization, surgery, or even amputation. When an individual has severely infected feet, they may require amputation to save their lives, remove infected tissue, or save a limb. Up to 20% of diabetic foot ulcerations may require amputation.

Considering this, how can we decrease the risk of such issues occurring?

These are some of the recommendations made by the American Diabetes Association:

  • Manage your diabetes well.
  • Lose weight and stop smoking as part of a lifestyle change.
  • Be sure to check your cholesterol and blood pressure regularly.
  • Never take a bath or a shower at too high a temperature.
  • Cleanse and dry your skin regularly.
  • Avoid soaking your feet.
  • You should moisturize your skin after bathing (but don’t put it between your toes).
  • Make sure your feet are free of cuts and sores every day.
  • Think about special therapeutic shoes covered by Medicare and other insurances (e.g., broad, flat shoes that fit well).
  • Before wearing your shoes, check for foreign objects.
  • It is not a good idea to trim your own nails, corns, or calluses.
  • You should see a podiatrist regularly if you have foot or ankle problems.

In order to reduce your risk of suffering from diabetic neuropathy, be sure to see your doctor regularly. Keep in mind the old saying: Prevention is better than cure, an ounce at a time.

So if you are in need of a podiatrist that specializes in diabetic foot care you should call Associated Foot and Ankle care. We help our patients with all of their podiatry needs.


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03/Sep/2021

Your Flip Flops may be the cause of your Heel Pain…

Flip flops and sandals take up a lot of space in our closets in Florida. This is a fact of life when you live in a place that is consistently hot. Many of us wear sandals and flip flops all year round. 

A lot of people experience intense heel pain and the reasoning behind this may seem unrelated to the Florida lifestyle, but it in fact is. 

This is not about ruining your fun. In hot and humid weather, wearing good open-toed shoes is certainly more preferable to damp, sweaty shoes. Although we here at Associated Foot and Ankle Care want you to know the facts. 

Your Feet Require Support 

Despite how fashionable barefoot or minimalist shoes have become in some circles, you have to keep in mind that most “comfortable” shoes on the market come with solid arch support, cushioning, and a moderate heel-to-toe drop.

According to science, your feet should support you naturally, cushion your steps, and minimize pressure on you. In addition, we’re accustomed to walking on surfaces that are a lot harder and flatter than those our forefathers did hundreds of years ago. Concrete, hard wood, and stone tile have replaced grass, clay, and dirt.

Of course, today’s people are taller and heavier on average than those that came before us. So that adds even more pressure on the heels.

heel painHow Flip Flops and Bare Feet Lead to Heel Pain

The heat makes heel pain that much worse. What person wants to spend all day in sweaty shoes when flip flops are so convenient?

Wearing flip flops every day can cause some big problems. Obviously, they lack any kind of arch support whatsoever, so they can’t provide any shock absorption for your feet. Therefore the impact is mainly taken by your feet themselves.

The way you walk can be affected negatively by walking in flip flops as well. Whether you realize it or not, you probably end up taking shorter, shuffling steps to prevent your footwear from slipping right off your feet. An increase in heel pain is linked to this change in foot position and alignment, along with discomfort in the knees and back.

In 2020, there has been an increased trend of people going barefoot or just wearing socks. Due to COVID-19 concerns and the shift to working from home, many of us are spending more time indoors than usual. The majority of us do not wear shoes indoors either. You can also experience more heel pain if you spend less time in shoes overall.

How can we solve this problem? Is it necessary to give up my flip flops forever?

While we wouldn’t say you should toss your flip flops in the trash, you should understand that they should be used sparingly, specifically when needed.

If your plan is to just lounge around by the pool or beach for the day? Well, flip flops should be fine. In that instance, you probably won’t be walking for very long or standing for long periods of time, and using just a thin layer of protection on your feet will help you avoid injuries or infections more easily than going totally barefoot.

Nevertheless, if you plan on doing any more exercise or walking, even if it’s just a short stroll around the block, you should use something more supportive. It’s OK to wear open-toed shoes, but you should insist on good shoes!

So Here’s a few Things to keep in mind: 

  • A pair of comfortable sandals with solid arch support is a must. When walking farther than a few steps to the backyard or the bathroom, avoid thin, flimsy, or flat sandals.
  • Having an adjustable heel strap ensures that your sandals stay firmly in place and that you can walk confidently without causing biomechanical issues.
  • The vast majority of people prefer slightly raised heels over completely flat or “zero drop” sandals. In most cases, this can be achieved by having the part of the sole under the heel be thicker than the part under the ball of the foot and the toes.
  •  Grips are important! Choose sandals with a rubber outsole and good traction if you plan to walk a lot on different types of terrain.
  • In addition to providing protection and support for your toes and ankles, it is paramount that your sandals offer more support and protection as you become more active. When hiking or cruising in cities, you might consider sandals with closed-toes or with extra shoulder and ankle straps (especially at the ankle).

Don’t Let Heel Pain Hold You Back 

Wear a comfortable pair of supportive sandals or shoes instead of flip-flops if your heels are bothering you.

In the event that your pain persists even after switching footwear, call our office. There is almost always a non-surgical solution to heel pain within a couple of months, but sometimes it takes a professional evaluation and treatment to identify the primary causes of discomfort (and therefore the appropriate treatment protocol).


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24/May/2021

Flat Feet in Children and Why You Shouldn’t Worry

Flat feet in children under the age of 5, is a common occurrence and this causes concern in parents. Although it is important to note once they turn about 5 either some arches as the ‘baby pudge’ goes away or it doesn’t. When parents find ways to help kids feet to grow an arch it doesn’t grow in a natural way, therefore leading to issues such as foot pain, frequent tripping, and sometimes difficulty walking. So here’s just a few reasons you shouldn’t worry if your kids have flat feet.

A Little Bit About Feet

The foot has four main parts to it: The arch, the heel, the toes, and the ball of the foot. When a child is growing their arch is in a horizontal position and doesn’t develop correctly because it doesn’t have a bulbous base that’s proportionately proportionate to the rest of their foot. This prevents the arch from growing properly and leads to the flat footed look. The evolution of an arch is essentially the shape of the heel to toe ratio. Humans evolved from flat feet but due to things such as wearing shoes for the first time and due to changes in environment such as being on a hard surface more so the foot bones started to angle downwards and this is what led to the flat footed feet. It is not as straight in shape as you may think and this is what causes problems in children.

flat feet in kidsWhat causes flat feet?

Children who have flat feet can be caused by shoes that are too narrow, are too tight, too high, and not worn correctly. Some types of footwear make it harder for the foot to move as the arch fails to form correctly. Also it’s important to note flat feet is a normal occurrence up until the age of 5. As children’s feet grow and the baby fat starts to dissipate arches usually start to form. A good way to ensure a child’s arches will properly form is to use stretching exercise. If you are very concerned you can buy arch supports or find ones that are custom made.

Why you shouldn’t worry about your Child’s Flat Feet

Flat feet aren’t a sign of poor growth as long as they have a good total gait they are fine. In addition, it doesn’t mean that their pediatrician should not be keeping an eye on their feet. This will determine what needs to be done in this situation. So just focus on preventing them from tripping and falling. Flat feet are a normal condition. Yet if you notice your child is crawling and not able to get up on their tiptoes and heel then they are far more likely to have flat feet and very likely to grow out of it. So your child needs to understand that crawling is a movement, not just standing and walking, and they must work on both.

What can you do to help?

Many arches are genetically determined, this means it’s determined from the first month the child is born. For a long time parents were advised not to try to correct flat footed children with shoe orthotics because they have to have a perfectly straightened foot to be able to help their child. This was based on the fact that orthotics were just too complicated and didn’t work for all kids. When looking at the entire body and including other factors such as movement it was found that there were in fact some kids who were ‘darn near’ naturally flat footed. So it was a matter of helping the child’s foot align by correcting their other foot pronation. This method works, but you need to remember that you must be consistent, and not always changing the shoe style when they turn 5.

Things You Should Note

So if your child has flat feet, there’s nothing to be alarmed about. As long as they grow an arch and take care of their feet they should grow out of it without any problems. Don’t believe the myths that are there, because those few types of problems do lead to health issues, however if everything is fine your child will have an arch as they grow, and they should both be good with it. This is how you ensure that they have their feet growing correctly as they go through life. You can find out more about flat feet, how to stop them, and the best way to deal with them here. Contact  Associated Foot and Ankle Care for any and all your feet needs.


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15/Mar/2021

Stretching Your Feet is as Important as the rest of your body

It is easy to stretch your body before doing exercise but it’s even easier to neglect certain parts of the body like your feet. Stretching your feet is extremely important, those extra five seconds spent can help alleviate stress on the muscles that are there, after all they are the base of your body. 

Benefits of Stretching Your Feet

Your feet are the base of your body therefore it is very important to take care of them. Stretching your feet daily is important because they are involved in your everyday activity, not to mention it can help with cardiovascular health, circulation, muscle tone, and overall mood. 

podiatrist near meExercises to Try

There are so many little things that you can do to stretch your feet including just going for a short walk. It allows you to use all the muscles in your feet and bonus it’s good for your whole body. Stretching helps relieve any tension built up in those muscles as well as relieve any pain in the area. 

As people get older our range of motion gets more and more limited thus making stretching that much more important. You increase the blood flow to your muscles, improve your posture, and keep your muscles loose by stretching and that will help prevent falls as well as other issues.

If you are looking for an easy way to stretch your feet here are some things to try. Sitting with your legs straight out pulling your toes towards your body or try to spread your toes as far apart as you can and hold for 5 seconds.

Things to Keep in Mind while Stretching

If your feet hurt when you stretch, stop! None of the exercises you do should hurt you. In fact the purpose is to help you. Try to do these exercises once a day, hold each stretch for 30 seconds without bouncing or shaking, and take deep breaths while you do so. This should be a perfect time to relax. 

Ankle and Foot Care

If you are looking for the help of a podiatrist try the team at Associated Foot and Ankle care. These board certified podiatrists specialize in numerous areas and can help you ensure your feet and ankles are doing well.


Associated Foot and Ankle Care

Our offices offer gentle care that includes; diabetic foot care, wound care, sports medicine, pediatric care, as well as treating common foot/skin conditions. Saturday hours are available for your convenience.

Boca Raton Location

Associated Foot & Ankle Care
21679 State Road 7, Boca Raton, FL 33428

Margate Location

Associated Foot & Ankle Care
7620 Margate Boulevard, Margate, FL 33063