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August 2020

Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

What Is Causing My Heel Pain?

Heel pain when first getting out of bed in the morning, a burning or sharp sensation in the heel, and increased pain while walking, can all be indicative of the foot condition known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can be an uncomfortable foot condition to deal with, especially if it is left untreated. Common causes of this condition can include ill-fitting footwear, poor foot structure, certain exercises like long distance running, and occupations that require you to be on your feet for the majority of the day. Obesity may also lead to the development of plantar fasciitis, due to the excess pressure put on the foot. If you have heel pain, please seek the care of a podiatrist immediately for a proper diagnosis.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM  from Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

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Published in Blog
Monday, 24 August 2020 00:00

What Causes Blisters?

Blisters occur when the skin is stretched too much and the skin cells become fatigued and break apart. After the skin breaks apart, it will naturally fill with fluid as a protective measure. The most common issue that causes these skin breaks is repetitive trauma. Those who run long distances or hike are at a higher risk for developing blisters. When the foot steps forward and the heel hits the ground, the bones in the foot slide forward relative to the skin. Thankfully, the feet can handle a lot of repetitive steps before blisters form, but everyone’s tolerance is different. If you are struggling with blisters it is suggested to check with a podiatrist to see which preventative measures are right for you.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM of Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How Do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

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

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Published in Blog
Monday, 17 August 2020 00:00

What Causes Cracked Heels?

Cracked heels involves the splitting and cracking of skin, also known as fissures, around the border of the heel. These cracked heels primarily occur when the skin becomes dried out, causing it to lose its strength and elasticity. This causes the skin to crack under pressure which can be very painful. Some factors that can lead to cracked heels include walking barefoot, wearing flip flops, standing for long hours on hard floors, dehydration, a decreased blood supply to the leg, and diabetes. If you are suffering from cracked heels, it is important to consult with a podiatrist for treatment. Treatment options may include a heel balm, a pumice stone, wearing close toed shoes, staying hydrated, and using a topical antiseptic in sever cases when there is bleeding.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM from Arizona Foot Health Center. 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 Sun City West, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog
Wednesday, 12 August 2020 00:00

Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Published in Blog
Monday, 10 August 2020 00:00

Do I Have a Bunion?

Bunions are bony lumps that are on the side of the foot next to the big toe. Some common symptoms include the big toe pointing towards the other toes or hardened and red skin over the bump. Bunions may also cause pain on the bottom or side of the foot when walking or wearing shoes. If you are experiencing pain from a bunion, some tips include wearing wide shoes with a soft sole, using bunion pads, or losing weight. If the pain is getting worse, or you have diabetes, it is important to consult with a podiatrist. A podiatrist can provide options for pain relief, and bunions can only be removed via surgery from a podiatric surgeon.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM of Arizona Foot Health Center. 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 Sun City West, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 03 August 2020 00:00

Stretching the Feet May Benefit the Body

Stretching the body has numerous benefits, and this also applies to the feet. One of the benefits is increased mobility, which may help to prevent tight calf muscles. Additionally, the body may gain strength as foot stretches are performed, and the risk of injury may be reduced. Ankle stretches can help to improve balance, and these can be easily practiced by sitting in a chair while flexing and pointing the foot. After repeating several times, it is important to switch feet. An effective Achilles tendon stretch can be accomplished by standing against a wall with one leg stretched back, until a gentle stretch is felt. A podiatrist can recommend foot stretches that are best for you, and it is suggested that a consultation be scheduled. 

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Michael F. Esber, DPM from Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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

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