Are Flat Feet Problematic?

Flat feet is a condition that occurs in an individual when they do not exhibit any natural arch in their feet. This is to say that their entire foot rests completely against the floor. It is true that many cases of flat feet are not particularly problematic. For example, many cases rarely cause other complications or preclude you from engaging in physical activities. However, some cases of flat feet can cause the individual pain. If you find that you are prone to foot or ankle injuries, you are having difficulty walking, or only one foot has lost its natural arch, it might be a good idea to consult a podiatrist. This foot specialist will help you identify and address the problem with your flat feet. Don’t take any chances with the health of your feet–visit a podiatrist today.


 

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Scott Samera, DPM from Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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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Why Do Bunions Develop?

There are some people who refer to bunions as a bone disorder. This foot condition is the result of a foot structure abnormality, and can be caused by genetic factors. Additionally, patients who choose to wear shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in may notice a bunion is developing. It is defined as a bony protrusion on the side of the big toe, and in severe cases, may be large enough to shift the other toes toward each other. There may be existing medical conditions that may lead to getting a bunion. These can include having a low arch, rheumatoid arthritis, or possibly from having endured a foot injury. Common symptoms that affect many people with bunions can consist of redness, numbness, and there may be a burning sensation in the affected joint.  Mild relief may come from wearing shoes that are larger which can accommodate the protrusion, and it may help to place a protective covering over the bunion. If you have a bunion, it is advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can offer you effective treatment options.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Scott Samera, DPM of Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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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Heel Pain in the Morning?

Heel pain can negatively affect your day-to-day life. Simple activities like walking can become incredibly uncomfortable or painful due to heel pain.

Don’t live with heel pain and get treated.

Surgery for Big Toe Arthritis

Big toe arthritis is a form of osteoarthritis, and it causes the joints of the big toe to become inflamed. This usually affects the first metatarsophalangeal, or MTP joint. This condition can cause pain, numbness, and difficulty in walking. Risk factors can include being older, female, obese, and having muscle weakness or joint injuries. This affliction is often diagnosed with an X-ray to see the amount of space between the joints. Less spacing leads to more severe arthritis. The extent of pain, stiffness, and movement of the big toe are also used to gauge the severity of this condition. While one can try physical therapy, rigid orthotics, and cortisone injections to relieve pain, the most effective long-term treatment for this condition is surgery. Surgical treatments for big toe arthritis include a cheilectomy, which involves removing a portion of the bone within the big toe, or fusing the bones in the big toe, which is referred to as arthrodesis. If you suffer from big toe arthritis and have tried other remedies with little or no relief, please consult with a podiatrist to see if you are a candidate for one of these surgeries.

In certain cases, in which the patient suffers from extreme pain or damage in a joint, joint replacement surgery may be deemed useful. If you have constant pain in a foot joint, 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 Joint Replacement Surgery?

Over time, joints wear down; this can be exacerbated by diseases and conditions. Joint replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is when a damaged joint is surgically removed and replaced with a prosthesis. Prostheses, which can be made of ceramic, plastic, or metal, act as joints in lieu of an actual joint. One of the most prevalent causes for joint replacement is arthritis.

Arthritis in the Foot

Arthritis can occur in any joint in the body, including in the feet. Common types of arthritis in the foot are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. The big toe is usually where arthritis occurs in the foot; this is known as hallux rigidus.

Joint Replacement Surgery in the Foot

The most common form of joint replacement in the foot is a first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint placement. MTP joint replacement surgery is designed to treat hallux rigidus. Surgery is not intensive, and recovery occurs within one to two months after the procedure has been done. Overall, joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective way to treat pain in the joint of the foot.

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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Cracked Heels in Runners

Running is a cherished form of exercise that many people across the country engage in every day. However, if a runner is not careful, they may be at risk of developing certain foot conditions. For example, running can increase the risk of developing cracked heels. Also known as heel fissures, cracked heels occur when the skin on the back of the heel becomes significantly dry and hardened. The skin may even crack due to the lack of moisture. Running can lead to cracked heels because as an individual is running, they are repeatedly hitting their heels on hard surfaces. This pounding of the heel on the ground can lead to cracked heels. Although cracked heels may not always be a serious condition in runners, they can be unsightly and uncomfortable. If you are a runner, you may protect yourself from developing this condition by removing dead skin cells from your feet with a pumice stone. You might also choose to apply a heavy moisturizer to the heels to keep them from cracking. Contact a podiatrist for more tips and tricks about preventing cracked heels in runners.


 

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, 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.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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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Walking and Other Tips for Elderly Foot Care

Maintaining the health of one’s feet is important for everyone, regardless of their age. However, it is especially important for senior citizens, who tend to lose their natural fat cushioning and muscle strength in the feet. There are a number of tips that seniors might consider following to look after the health of their feet. First, you could consider taking walks regularly. Although this may seem simple, walking is one of the easiest ways to strengthen and exercise the feet. Walking can give seniors the full range of motion in the feet needed to keep the feet strong and agile. As an added bonus, walking can additionally improve circulation to one’s feet, helping blood flow throughout the feet and lower legs. Second, you can regularly examine your feet. If a senior can identify any cuts, calluses, or other abnormalities early enough, they might be able to prevent a larger complication down the road. If a senior is unable to examine their own feet, a loved one or care provider might be able to perform these examinations. If you are a senior, don’t take the health of your feet for granted  –see a podiatrist today.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, 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.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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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How Custom Orthotics May Help Those With Arthritis in the Feet

Custom orthotics can often provide much needed relief from foot pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Custom orthotics can help distribute the body’s weight more evenly across the feet and reduce pressure and stress placed on joints that are swollen and otherwise compromised by these arthritic conditions. Custom orthotics can also help correct certain alignment and gait issues through improved  biomechanics. Oftentimes, custom orthotics can help a person with arthritis reduce the amount of pain medication they take. Some even believe custom orthotics may contribute to a slowing down of the progression of arthritis in certain cases. If you suffer from arthritis in the joints of your feet or ankles, speak with a podiatrist about custom orthotics. If your podiatrist believes custom orthotics can help you (after examining you and diagnosing your condition), they will prescribe a set based on your foot structure and specific needs. They will then create a custom imprint of your feet either digitally or with a plaster cast, and your custom orthotics will be created to offer you the relief you seek.


 

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, 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 Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please 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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All About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease where the body’s own immune system actually attacks its joints. Antibodies are produced that target the lining around joints called synovium, causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects the feet and ankles, eventually damaging the joint, cartilage, and bones. Side effects include anemia, loss of appetite, and fever. RA may also develop in other parts of the body, such as the skin, heart, lungs, eyes, and blood vessels. Symptoms of RA often flare up and then recede, and over time, they can cause joints to deform and shift out of place. Women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than men, and it often starts after the age of 40. Smoking, obesity, and genetics also may be contributing factors. A number of treatment options are available for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis in the feet and ankles. If you think that you may have RA, seeing a podiatrist for an exam and diagnosis is a good idea.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Scott Samera, DPM of Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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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Keep Your Feet Healthy So You Can Stay Active

Have your feet inspected by a professional before starting a new sport or physical activity. Taking charge of your foot health will keep you in good physical condition and can help you avoid a potential injury, such as a fracture or sprained ankle.

Prevent injuries and see a foot specialist.

Heel Pain, Plantar Fasciitis, and Obesity May Be Connected

Research has indicated there is a large percentage of Americans that are considered to be obese. This condition is known to increase the risk of many physical ailments, including heel pain and plantar fasciitis. It can happen as a result of the added impact the feet endure from completing daily activities, and this may possibly damage the plantar fascia. This is defined as the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, and connects the heels to the toes. Walking can become difficult, and heel pain may increase. Partial relief may be found when a low-impact exercise routine is frequently followed. This type of exercise can include swimming, water aerobics or cycling, and some patients can feel the benefits of practicing yoga and Pilates as part of their exercise regime. This, along with eating foods that are healthy, are often effective ways to lose weight, which may relieve some of the pressure on the plantar fascia. If you have any type of foot pain, and feel your weight may be a contributing factor, please speak with a podiatrist who can treat foot conditions, and offer additional solutions for weight loss.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, 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.

Obesity and Your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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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