Understanding Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral Arterial Disease, PAD, is a condition where the arteries that supply blood to your limbs become narrowed or blocked due to plaque, a buildup of fatty deposits. Due to reduced blood flow, symptoms such as leg pain, cramping, and fatigue may develop, particularly during physical activities like walking. PAD is both an uncomfortable and serious condition, as it can lead to more severe complications, including infections, sores that won't heal, and even an increased risk of amputation, if not treated properly. Early diagnosis and management are essential to improving blood flow, relieving symptoms, and protecting your overall limb health. If you notice these symptoms, it is suggested you meet with a podiatrist to discuss the best plan to improve and maintain your foot health.  

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Scott Samera, DPM from Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.


Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.


While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.


Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Lake City and Branford, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Effective Exercises to Enhance Foot Strength for Ballet Dancers

For ballet dancers, strong and flexible feet are essential for mastering intricate movements with precision and grace. Various foot stretches and exercises can help strengthen the muscles and improve the articulation of the feet. Using a hair elastic around the toes to create resistance while pointing and flexing helps develop intrinsic foot muscles. Thera bands provide resistance for exercises such as ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion, enhancing ankle stability and strength. Towel scrunches, where dancers use their toes to gather a hand towel, target the muscles of the feet and toes. Practicing tennis ball massages can alleviate tension and promote flexibility in the arches. Exercises like doming, toe teasers, and piano toes engage different foot muscles, enhancing overall strength and control. If you have injured your foot due to ballet moves, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can offer appropriate treatment and guide you toward additional stretching techniques.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Scott Samera, DPM from Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Lake City and Branford, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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The Role of Podiatrists in Foot Health

Podiatrists are medical professionals specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions affecting the feet, ankles, and lower limbs. These doctors play a critical role in maintaining foot health and addressing a wide range of foot-related issues. Podiatrists treat various conditions, including ingrown toenails, plantar fasciitis, and bunions, in addition to corns, calluses, heel pain, and foot deformities. During an appointment with a podiatrist, patients can expect a thorough examination of their feet, ankles, and lower legs to assess their condition and identify any underlying issues. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment options may include custom orthotic devices, medication, or minimally invasive procedures. Podiatrists also provide guidance on proper foot care, footwear selection, and preventive measures to promote overall foot health and prevent future problems. With their specialized knowledge and expertise, podiatrists help patients maintain mobility, alleviate discomfort, and achieve optimal foot function. If you are experiencing any type of foot or ankle pain, it is strongly suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can make an accurate diagnosis and provide the necessary treatment.

If you are dealing with pain in your feet and ankles, you may want to seek help from a podiatrist. Feel free to contact Scott Samera, DPM from Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine who diagnoses and treats conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Your podiatrist may specialize in a certain field such as sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care. Podiatrists have the ability to become board certified through training, clinical experience, and then taking an exam.

What Do Podiatrists Do?

On a daily basis, a podiatrist may perform the following activities:

  • Diagnose foot ailments such as ulcers, tumors, fractures, etc.
  • Use innovative methods to treat conditions
  • Use corrective orthotics, casts, and strappings to correct deformities
  • Correct walking patterns and balance
  • Provide individual consultations to patients

It is very important that you take care of your feet. It’s easy to take having healthy feet for granted, however foot problems tend to be among the most common health conditions. Podiatrists can help diagnose and treat a variety of feet related conditions, so it is crucial that you visit one if you need assistance.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Lake City and Branford, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.


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Are You Suffering From Nerve Damage?

Neuropathy is a condition that can lead to numbness or loss of sensation in the feet, but it can also cause pain. This condition is more likely to develop for those who are diabetic, obese, or with high blood pressure.

How Podiatrists Can Help With Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetic foot ulcers are open sores or wounds that develop on the feet of individuals with diabetes. Ulcers may arise due to poor blood circulation, nerve damage known as neuropathy, and high blood sugar levels, which impair the body's ability to heal. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and drainage from the ulcer, and they may become infected if not properly treated. Some risk factors for diabetic foot ulcers are prolonged diabetes, poor glycemic control, smoking, and wearing inappropriate footwear. Additionally, foot deformities and a history of foot ulcers or amputation increase the likelihood of developing these sores. Treatment involves keeping the ulcer clean and covered, managing blood glucose levels, and taking antibiotics to prevent or treat infection. A podiatrist plays a crucial role in managing and preventing diabetic foot ulcers. They can provide routine foot care, recommend proper footwear, and offer guidance on foot hygiene. If you have diabetes and notice any foot abnormalities, it is strongly suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to prevent complications.


Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Scott Samera, DPM from Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Lake City and Branford, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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