Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Foot Pain Making 72% of Americans Fat

From the American Podiatric Medical Association:

Bethesda, MD – A staggering 72 percent of Americans say they do not exercise because foot pain prevents them from doing so, according to a recent survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). This finding, when viewed in light of the soaring rates of US obesity as reported by the Centers for Disease Control, makes visiting a podiatrist and addressing foot pain critically important.

The study surveyed 1,000 US adults, ages 18 and older, to gain public opinion on attitudes toward foot health and foot care. Results showed that Americans view their feet as the least important body part in terms of their health and well-being. However, feet were the number one body part to experience pain, even more so than the teeth or skin. As foot pain contributes to a variety of negative health consequences, it is important that Americans seek the care of a podiatrist immediately if problems arise.

The survey results support the launch of the Today’s Podiatrist campaign, which increases awareness about the specialized medical training and unique qualifications a podiatrist has in treating the foot and ankle.

“Podiatrists are physicians, surgeons and specialists who treat diseases, injuries and deformities of the foot and ankle,” said APMA president Kathleen Stone, DPM. “We should be part of everyone’s health-care team, but it is especially important for those experiencing regular foot pain to seek care from a podiatrist.”

It is critical that people pay attention to their feet and seek expert treatment for foot problems. A podiatrist can not only help ensure Americans are able to exercise, but also help catch signs of diabetes, arthritis, and nerve and circulatory disorders, which can all be detected in the feet.

Dr. Tina A. Boucher, DPM
Central Connecticut Foot Care, LLC
Podiatrist Meriden CT

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Flaking, Red Skin on My Feet!

Although it is winter out, you can still have flaking, itchy, red skin on your feet. This condition is more commonly known as Athlete's foot, or tinea pedis, and while this condition is more prevalent in the warm months, you can get Athlete's foot in the cold winter months. Athlete's foot is caused by a fungal infection. Our feet typically tend to get fungal infections because fungus breeds in dark, moist, warm environments and our shoes are a perfect place for it to grow. Fungus also loves to grow in places like swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms. In fact, athletes are so prone to Athlete's foot that was partly how it got its name! Athlete's foot is the most common fungal infection of the skin and can often go hand-in-hand with fungal toenails.
Besides the itchy, scaly, dry skin, Athlete's foot loves the feet of those who sweat a lot. This condition tends to occur on the bottoms of our feet and in between the toes. Those with acute problems may experience blisters or fissures. If the blisters break the fungus is likely to spread to other parts of the foot, as fungus is highly contagious. The burning and itching that goes with blisters may be relieved by draining the blisters or applying cool water compresses. Prolonged Athlete's foot infections may cause secondary bacterial infections.
Podiatrists diagnose Athlete's foot from a clinical examination. Doctors looking for a more definitive diagnosis may scrape the affected area and culture the fungus, which can take up to three weeks for it to grow. Culturing is not always the best method of determining if Athlete's foot is present as it can produce a false negative result because the scraping was not sufficient.
Your podiatrist will seek to control the fungal infection and prevent any secondary infection from occurring. Oral antibiotics will be prescribed, as well as soaking the feet in Epsom salts and warm water, and thoroughly drying the feet, especially between the toes.  In the warmer months, wearing sandals to reduce moisture accumulation will be helpful. If you have feet that sweat a lot, you should change your socks often throughout the day. There are also antifungal powders, sprays, and/or creams that may be helpful in your particular case.
Dr. Tina A. Boucher, DPM
Central Connecticut Foot Care, LLC
Podiatrist Meriden CT

January Shoe of the Month: Pumps

The perfect pumps is always classy and never goes out of style. Ageless and refined, it comes in many styles, including the ever-fierce stiletto. Be aware if pumps are too pointy, the pressure placed on toes over time can contribute to unsightly bony prominences called hammertoes or bumps at the base of the big toe called bunions. Search for deep toe boxes, which give more wiggle room. And of course, see a podiatrist if pain exists to determine necessary treatment options.
A personal favorite is Triple Play in leopard print, available from Aerosoles and currently on clearance. Comfortable, stylish, and easy to walk in, this shoe is perfect for a night out on the town!

Dr. Tina A. Boucher, DPM

Central Connecticut Foot Care, LLC



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Knot In My Foot!

Have you noticed a lump in your arch that may be causing you pain? Has this lump grown in size or have you found other lumps in the same general area?

You most likely have a plantar fibroma which is found in the plantar fascia, which runs from your heel to your toes. Fibromas can be located in both of your feet and typically will not go away or reduce in size without treatment. Most importantly, plantar fibromas are benign. Podiatrists have not been able to determine definite causes for plantar fibromas.

Those with plantar fibromas may not have pain, but those who may find that pain is caused by shoes rubbing against the lump.

To determine ifwhat you have is indeed a plantar fibroma, a podiatrist will need to perform an examination of the affected area. During this examination you may experience pain that extends into your toes. A podiatrist may also need an MRI or biopsy to further confirm the diagnosis.

The only way to truly get rid of a plantar fibroma is through surgery, but this may cause the arch of the foot to collapse and promote the development of hammertoes. Most fibromas are treated with nonsurgical treatment. These treatment options include:

Orthotic Devices: Orthotics will help alleviate the pain caused by your fibroma by shifting the weight away from the mass. Orthotics can only be prescribed if the size of the fibroma has not changed.

Steroid Injections: An injection at the site will help decrease the size of the lump. An injection will also help reduce the pain associated with the mass. However, the relief and reduction of the fibroma can be temporary and it can return to its original size and pain.

Physical Therapy: The pain can be treated through physical therapy methods that transmit anti-inflammatory medication directly to the site.

Follow-up is key to treating a fibroma, so make sure to keep your appointments with your podiatrist.

Dr. Tina A. Boucher, DPMCentral Connecticut Foot Care, LLC Podiatristhttp://www.centralctfootcare.com