Managing your diabetes is important. Watching what you eat and monitoring your insulin levels is likely something you do every day, but you may be unaware of the complications that can develop if you have a scrape, blister or nail injury on your foot. Dr. Stephen Levin, Dr. Martin Port and Dr. Brendan Barrett, our podiatrists at New Tampa Foot & Ankle in Wesley Chapel and New Tampa, FL, have provided their patients with some information about foot health and how it relates to diabetes.
How does diabetes affect foot health?
In addition to affecting the function of the pancreas, diabetes can also slow the normal flow of blood. Since blood circulation is needed for healing, lesions can be difficult to heal due to the decreased flow of blood to the affected area. This is especially true for foot wounds, as they are located furthest from the heart and therefore the last part of the body to receive oxygenated blood. In addition, diabetes can also affect the way nerves respond; wounds on the feet of a diabetic person may be overlooked because of the lack of pain. Some patients neglect to contact their Wesley Chapel and New Tampa podiatrist until signs of a severe infection - fever, discoloration and inflammation - have developed, at which point the wound can be extremely difficult to treat.
How can I prevent foot wounds?
Your podiatrist recommends that all diabetic patients follow a strict routine to avoid even minor injuries to the foot; prevention is much easier than treatment in most cases. Comfortable but protective footwear should be worn at all times, even indoors, and care should be taken to never go outside without shoes, even for short periods of time such as walking to the mailbox. Both feet should be carefully cleaned and inspected each day; a mirror can be used to view the bottoms of the feet more easily. Any sign of an injury, even a small blister or ingrown toenail, should be evaluated by one of our podiatrists at New Tampa Foot & Ankle as soon as possible.
If you're diabetic and have questions about a foot injury, don't delay! Make an appointment today with one of our podiatrists, contact New Tampa Foot & Ankle in either Wesley Chapel or New Tampa, FL.
Don’t let a fungal infection ruin the health of your toenail!
The sun is shining and your flip-flops are calling your name; unfortunately, the only thing you seem to notice is that embarrassing yellow toenail. You wouldn’t dare sport those flip-flops with that thick, brittle nail. It’s time you did something about it and our Wesley Chapel and Tampa, FL, podiatrists Dr. Stephen Levin, Dr. Martin Port and Dr. Brendan Barrett know just the thing.
You have options when it comes to treating your toenail fungal infection in Wesley Chapel and Tampa, FL. The sooner you seek treatment the better. There are a couple different treatment options to consider:
If your fungal infection is mild then we may provide you with medication that you can apply right on the nail itself to kill the fungus. This treatment will help to protect the nail from another potential fungus infection as the nail grows out. Of course, you’ll need to use it exactly as instructed. People who may forget to apply the medication as directed might not be right for this treatment.
If you have a rather nasty infection then you’ll need something that can really tackle the problem. In this case, you may need to take a prescription anti-fungal medication. You will be prescribed an appropriate dose to make sure that the medication is enough to thoroughly rid your nail of infection.
If you find that your fungal infection doesn’t respond to topical or oral medications then it’s time to talk to our podiatrists about whether laser fungal treatment is the best option. Laser treatment painlessly penetrates through the hard layers of the nail to heat up and destroy the fungus.
Laser treatment can be a great option for someone with a severe or persistent fungal infection. In many cases, only one treatment is needed to clear the fungus, though the number of treatments required will depend on the severity of the fungal infection. Of course, just like other treatment options, you won’t immediately notice results until the nail grows out, which will take several months to see.
New Tampa Foot & Ankle is proud to serve the Wesley Chapel and Tampa areas, providing excellence in foot care for over 14 years. Don’t let foot fungus, plantar fasciitis or other foot problems affect your life. Make your appointment today!
Learn some helpful everyday stretches you can do to improve mobility and the health of your feet.
If you are experiencing foot pain then you are probably looking for a way to ease your symptoms. It’s amazing how much abuse our feet take on a day to day basis. Fortunately, our Wesley Chapel and Tampa, FL, podiatrists - Dr. Stephen Levin, Dr. Martin Port and Dr. Brendan Barrett - can offer up some simple stretches to do that can help to ease your discomfort and improve the mobility and range-of-motion of your aching feet.
If you are on your feet for long periods of time throughout the day then you may be prone to toe cramps. Fortunately, performing heel raises is a simple but effective way to not only improve cramps but also strengthen those calf muscles.
Stand up and, if necessary, hold on to something for support. Then stand on the balls of your feet only, making sure your heels are raised off the floor. Hold this position for about 10 seconds and then repeat 10 more times.
If your feet are in pain or feel achy all you may need to do is stretch out those small muscles at the bottom of your feet. Luckily by pointing and flexing your feet you can help get those muscles moving and improve blood flow to these areas to reduce achy feet. This is a helpful stretch that you can do anywhere, whether you are sitting at your desk or kicking back after a long work day.
Use a Tennis Ball
You don’t need to get an expensive foot massage in order to improve how your feet feel. In fact, our Wesley Chapel and Tampa foot doctors bet you probably have a tennis ball or something similar that you can use to alleviate heel and arch pain and foot cramps. Place the arch of your foot over the tennis ball and apply as much pressure as you need. Then gently and slowly roll the ball over areas of the foot to help massage trigger points and other painful areas.
Experience Some Resistance
If you don’t have resistance bands your local gym probably will. These bands are a great way to perform a series of standing or lying exercises to improve the health of your feet and to challenge yourself when it comes to your exercises. If daily foot exercises have become too easy then it’s time to add a resistance band into the mix.
If your feet continue to hurt after rest and at home exercises and care, turn to New Tampa Foot & Ankle in Wesley Chapel and Tampa, FL, for all of your foot care needs. Don’t let pain and inflammation keep you from doing what you love. Call us today!
Foot problems can take you from an active, healthy lifestyle to not being able to walk or even stand. Unfortunately, this occurs all-too-commonly and, for many people, can mean a major change to their everyday routine. Fortunately, most common foot problems are treatable. Learn more about treating foot pain with New Tampa Foot and Ankle in Wesley Chapel and Tampa, FL.
What are some common foot problems?
Your foot has dozens of moving parts, often making the underlying cause of foot issues hard to pinpoint. However, some of the most common foot ailments fall under the same causes, including:
- plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendonitis
- flatfeet or fallen arches
- too high arches
How will my podiatrist diagnose my foot problems?
Your doctor will begin with a physical examination. This will help you doctor visually see or physically feel abnormalities in your foot, ankle or leg which could contribute to your foot pain. If necessary, MRIs or x-rays can give your doctor access to the inside of your foot and its connective tissues and bones. After confirming questionable irregularities, your doctor can investigate them and come up with an appropriate treatment plan.
Treating Foot Pain in Wesley Chapel and Tampa
Treating your pain will depend on you, your lifestyle, your condition, and your doctor. Many cases of foot pain need only rest, ice, compression and elevation, a treatment known as the RICE method. If at-home treatments like this do not prove successful, your doctor may suggest a customized orthopedic insole worn inside the shoe or a brace to properly align your foot. Other treatments like physical therapy may also prove beneficial. In rare cases, surgery could be your best bet. Consult with your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.
For more information on common foot issues and how to deal with them, please contact Dr. Stephen Levin, Dr. Martin Port and Dr. Brendan Barrett at New Tampa Foot and Ankle in Wesley Chapel and Tampa, FL. Call to schedule your appointment with your podiatrist today!
Heel pain is a condition that usually starts off as a minor annoyance, but it can develop into a major problem that interferes with your life if the causes aren't addressed. In many cases, the pain goes away on its own but in some cases, it can become a chronic problem. One modern way to relieve persistent heel pain is to go to your podiatrist for Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT). This treatment is available at New Tampa Foot and Ankle in Wesley Chapel and Tampa, FL.
What Causes Heel Pain?
Heel pain has a number of potential causes, including heel spur syndrome (also called plantar fasciitis) and bursitis. It's most often due to some type of weakness in the tendons or inflammation of the ligaments that happens when playing sports, walking and running often or wearing poorly made shoes. Shock Wave Treatment is a therapy that targets those tendons, muscles and ligaments to give you healing and pain relief.
How Shockwave Therapy Helps Your Heel
The waves that are emitted by the ESWT probe are either low or high energy. The energy causes a “microtrauma” to the targeted tissues in the heel that stimulates healing and blood flow to the area. In the case of plantar fasciitis, those waves can heal the ligaments that run along the bottom of your feet. You could feel an improvement in your heel after just one shock wave treatment by your Wesley Chapel and Tampa podiatrist.
Your Shockwave Appointment
You will spend most of your time simply relaxing at your shock wave appointment. It is similar to getting a foot massage to soothe your pain and tension. A gel is applied to the targeted area, then the probe. You can go home right after the appointment but it's important to follow aftercare instructions carefully.
Get Fast Heel Pain Relief
There are a number of ways that your podiatrist can help ease your heel pain—Shock Wave Treatment is one of the most modern and effective treatments available today. Call New Tampa Foot and Ankle today to schedule an exam and consultation with a podiatrist in Wesley Chapel and Tampa, FL.
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