Items filtered by date: October 2023
Peripheral vascular disease, also known as PVD, is a prevalent issue, especially among diabetics. It affects over five million people each year and contributes to complications such as lower extremity wounds and amputations. Given its widespread incidence, obtaining an accurate diagnosis is critical for effective management and prevention of severe outcomes. There are non-invasive screening methods that podiatrists can incorporate into their initial patient evaluations, and they are deemed highly effective for identifying peripheral arterial diseases, particularly in at-risk populations. If you have PVD or lower extremity issues, it is strongly suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a comprehensive vascular assessment and treatment.
Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Paul A. Santangelo, DPM from Illinois. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
What Is Vascular Testing?
Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.
How Is it Conducted?
Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.
The most common tests include:
- Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
- Doppler examination
- Pedal pulses
These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.
Our feet are our body's foundation, and taking proper care of them is important for our overall well-being. A podiatrist, who is a specialized foot and ankle doctor, can provide essential care and expertise for a range of foot-related issues. Firstly, chronic foot pain, especially if it persists for an extended period, is a clear indicator that it is time to consult a podiatrist. They can diagnose the root cause and recommend appropriate treatment. Ingrown toenails, corns, calluses, and fungal infections are common problems that podiatrists can address effectively. Foot injuries, such as sprains or fractures, also require professional evaluation from a podiatrist to ensure proper healing. Additionally, it is wise for individuals with diabetes to have regular check-ups with a podiatrist to prevent and manage diabetes-related foot complications. Overall, visiting a podiatrist is essential for maintaining the health and functionality of your feet, ensuring you can stay active and pain-free. If you have pain in your feet for any reason, it is strongly suggested that you visit this type of doctor who can properly diagnose and treat foot pain.
If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact Paul A. Santangelo, DPM from Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is a Podiatrist?
Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.
A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:
- Physical therapy
- Orthotic inserts or soles
- Surgery on lower extremity fractures
A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.
Big toe arthritis, also known as hallux rigidus, is a condition that can cause significant discomfort and limitation in mobility. In the initial stage of big toe arthritis, patients may experience mild pain when bending the great toe joint. This discomfort might start as a dull ache, but pain may gradually intensify as the joint warms up. Some individuals may notice slight warmth and swelling after physical activity. As the condition progresses, the range of motion in the affected joint decreases due to cartilage loss. In advanced stages, the joint may become nearly immobile. Bone spurs and calcifications around the joint cause it to appear bulkier, leading to discomfort when wearing shoes. Some patients may experience a burning sensation, numbness, or tingling in the toe due to pressure on skin nerves between bone spurs and shoe wear. Definitive diagnosis of big toe arthritis requires standing X-rays of the feet. While X-rays don't directly show cartilage, they reveal narrowing or loss of joint space, bone spurs, and bone erosions, all indicative of arthritis. If you're experiencing persistent toe pain or suspect big toe arthritis, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.
What Causes Toe Pain?
Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.
Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:
- Sports injury
- Wearing shoes that are too tight
- Corns and calluses
- Ingrown toenails
- Fractures (broken bones)
When to See a Podiatrist
- Severe pain
- Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
- Signs of infection
- Continued swelling
- Pain that prevents walking
In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.
Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.
Pregnancy is a transformative journey filled with numerous physical changes, some of which can lead to aches and pains in the feet. These discomforts are often attributed to the body's natural adjustments to accommodate the growing baby. One common issue is swollen feet and ankles, caused by increased blood volume and pressure on leg veins. This can result in edema, a condition where excess fluid accumulates in the feet and ankles, causing swelling and discomfort. Another reason for foot pain during pregnancy is weight gain, which places added stress on the feet, leading to arch pain or plantar fasciitis. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also affect ligaments and tendons, potentially causing instability and discomfort. To alleviate these discomforts, pregnant individuals are advised to wear supportive, comfortable shoes, and to elevate their feet whenever possible. Additionally, engaging in gentle foot exercises can help to improve circulation and flexibility. Understanding these common aches and pains can help expectant parents navigate this incredible journey with more comfort and confidence. If you would like more information about specific foot conditions during pregnancy, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.
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 Paul A. Santangelo, DPM from Illinois. 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 left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!
Heel pain is a prevalent complaint that can hinder daily activities and mobility. One of the primary culprits is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a broad band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot. This condition often results from overuse, wearing improper footwear, or excessive weight-bearing. Achilles tendinitis is another frequent source of heel pain, affecting the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel. It can stem from intense physical activity, tight calf muscles, or inadequate warm-up. Heel spurs, which are bony growths on the underside of the heel bone, can lead to discomfort, although they do not always cause pain. Other causes may include stress fractures, arthritis, or nerve irritation. Wearing unsupportive shoes, sudden increases in activity levels, and obesity can make heel pain worse. Treatment options range from rest, stretching exercises, and orthotics to more invasive interventions, depending on the severity and cause of the pain. If you have heel pain, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can accurately determine the cause and offer appropriate treatment options.
Causes of Heel Pain
Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.
Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.
Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.
Why Might Heel Pain Occur?
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes
- Wearing non-supportive shoes
- Weight change
- Excessive running
Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.