Spending more time on foot care is particularly important if you have diabetes. Bentonville, AR and Grove, OK foot doctor Dr. Bryan Sheehan of Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America explains why diabetic foot care is crucial and shares a few tips that will help you avoid infections.
How does diabetes increase the risk of infections?
Uncontrolled diabetes can make your feet feel number due to nerve damage. If you can't feel your feet, you won't notice if you get a cut or sore. Diabetes may also be responsible for reduced blood flow to your feet. Because of circulation problems, healing takes longer and your risk of tissue death rises. If you have diabetes, you may also have a higher-than-normal risk of developing bone infections.
What can I do to prevent infections?
There are two steps you can take to ensure that you don't develop an infection:
Perform Self-Exams: Taking a good look at your feet at least once a day can help you identify problem areas, such as blisters, red spots, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails and sores.
Take Corrective Action: If you do notice a blister or red spot, applying a bandage or cushion over the blister or red spot will help prevent the blister from breaking or the spot from becoming a blister or open sore. It's also important to change the shoes you wear if a particular pair rubs against your foot. Orthotics, special shoe inserts custom designed to fit your foot, can help reduce pressure that causes red spots or blisters.
When Should I Call the Foot Doctor?
When you have diabetes, even minor foot problems can quickly become major infections. If you're concerned about a corn or callus, it's best not to try to remove it yourself. Instead, call our Bentonville, AR and Grove, OK offices to schedule an appointment. Ingrown toenails also should not be handled at home. If you notice any of these warning signs, call us as soon as possible:
- Black skin
- Red streaks on your foot
- Open wounds
- Abnormally pale or blue skin
- Tingling or numbness
- A burning feeling in your foot
- Complete lack of sensation in your feet
Protect your feet with daily self-exams and regular podiatric care. Call Bentonville, AR, foot doctor Dr. Bryan Sheehan of Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America at the Bentonville, AR, office (479) 224-6411 or Grove, OK, office (918) 787-6893 to schedule your appointment.
The feet and ankles are relatively small but strikingly complex structures, with 26 bones in each one and a vast network of muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Your Bentonville, AR and Grove, OK foot doctor, Dr. Bryan Sheehan, has extensive training in diagnosing problems that develop within the feet and ankles. Three of the common ailments he treats at Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America - Achille's tendinitis, neuromas and plantar fasciitis - are discussed here.
The Achilles tendon runs along the back of the leg and connects the calf to the heel bone. Overuse of this thick band of tissue can cause inflammation to develop; aching in the back of the leg and above the heel are the typical complaints your Bentonville and Grove foot doctor hears from his patients who have Achilles tendinitis. While most cases of Achilles tendinitis can be treated with simple physical therapy routines and shoe inserts, called orthotics, can help relieve the pain, surgery may be required if the tendon has torn.
When the nerve tissue between the base of the toes - typically the third and fourth toes - thickens, a neuroma has developed. Many patients, most of whom are women, describe the pain associated with neuromas as feeling like they have a rock in their shoe, although numbness, tingling and swelling are symptoms as well. Neuromas can be treated with orthotics and specially-designed shoes, although surgery to remove the affected nerve may be necessary for advanced cases.
Like Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis is inflammation that develops in a ligament from overuse. The difference is that the ligament is located on the underneath side of the foot, as the plantar fascia connects the ball of the foot to the heel. Many patients of your Bentonville and Grove foot doctor successfully treat this condition with physical therapy, rest and properly-fitted shoes, but a few will need surgery to sever the ligament before finding relief.
Regardless of your foot or ankle problem. Dr. Sheehan can help diagnose and treat it! Contact Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America in Bentonville, AR and Grove, OK to set up an appointment with him today!
What your podiatrist in Grove and Bentonville wants you to know
You’ve probably experienced blisters on your feet at some point. You know the stinging pain they can cause, and how difficult it becomes to wear shoes. Dr. Bryan Sheehan at Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America in Grove, OK, and Bentonville, AR, wants to help you avoid getting blisters and learn about blister treatment.
Blisters show up as elevated bumps just under your skin. They can appear clear, red if they contain blood or yellow if they contain pus. You can get a blister if your skin is damaged from repeated trauma or friction. Short periods of intense friction can cause blisters, however, long periods of mild friction are more likely to cause a callus or a corn.
Runners and walkers commonly get blisters from friction. Wearing new or poorly-fitting shoes can also result in blisters.
Other factors that can cause blisters include:
- If the temperature is hot and ultraviolet light exposure is high
- If the temperature is extremely cold which damages skin
- If your skin is moist, warm or heavy with perspiration
- If your skin is sunburnt or frostbitten
- If your skin has been exposed to harmful chemicals or solvents
- If you have a reaction to cosmetics or detergents
You can prevent and care for blisters by following a few simple tips. Remember to:
- Wear supportive, comfortable shoes that are broken in, with ample toe room
- Apply sunscreen on your feet, and between your toes
- If you get a blister, don’t break it open
- If the blister breaks, leave the skin intact and bandage the blister
Don’t let blisters keep you from enjoying activities. Your podiatrist can help you get relief from painful blisters. To find out more or schedule an appointment, call Dr. Sheehan at Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America with offices in Bentonville, AR, and Grove, OK. Call today and get some healing relief from blister pain!
As we ease back into winter from the warmer months, your feet require the help of cozy socks and shoes to stay warm. However, before cooping up your feet for the season, you may want to cure your toenail fungus. Learn more about toenail fungus and its treatments with Dr. Bryan Sheehan at Ankle and Foot Centers of Mid-America in Bentonville, OK.
Do I have toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus often begins as a small white dot on the nail. This condition is generally painless and advances slowly over time. However, toenail fungus in its later stages can cause your nail to become unsightly and begin to cause problems. Symptoms of toenail fungus include:
- yellowed nail
- thickened nail
- soft or powdery appearance of the nail
- separation of the nail from the nail bed
- a nail which crumbles at the edges
- a nail which appears matte or dull
Toenail Fungus Treatment in Bentonville, OK
There are various over-the-counter toenail fungus treatments available at drug stores. However, if these treatments fail to work, you will need help from Dr. Sheehan to get rid of your toenail fungus once and for all. Treatment may begin with prescription creams or nail lacquers applied to the nail to help kill off the fungus. Laser treatment is another option which has proven to be successful. In severe cases, Dr. Sheehan may suggest surgery to remove the nail from the nail bed.
Preventing Toenail Fungus
Preventing toenail fungus is as easy as following a few precautions. Always keep your feet clean and dry. If you frequent damp, public areas, like public pools or gym locker rooms, wear shower shoes and prevent any contact between the floor and your feet. Try to wear socks made from materials which wick moisture, especially if you are an athlete or sweat excessively. Clip your nails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails which can become infected and painful. Finally, see your podiatrist for a foot examination if you suspect any signs of toenail fungus.
For more information on toenail fungus, please contact Dr. Sheehan at Ankle and Foot Centers of Mid-America in Bentonville, OK. Call (479) 224-6411 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sheehan today!
Don’t let heel pain affect your daily life. Find out what you can do to ease your symptoms.
Heel pain is a common problem that our Bentonville podiatrist Dr. Bryan Sheehan sees on a regular basis. While not all heel pain is severe enough to affect someone’s activities, there are some that are plagued with such severe discomfort that it completely changes day-to-day routines. Before heel pain impacts your life, find out what you can do to treat it.
One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, a condition that affects the thick band of tissue that runs from your heels to your toes. If plantar fasciitis is causing your heel pain, you’ll find that your pain is worse when first waking up or after physical activity. Of course, a proper diagnosis from our Bentonville foot doctor is a good idea, but in the meantime here are some good at-home tips for soothing your discomfort:
- Use an ice pack on the heel several times a day for about 10-15 minutes at a time. Ice is a great way to target both pain and swelling.
- Try an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen to help with inflammation and pain.
- Avoid strenuous or high-impact physical activities that will just exacerbate your condition.
- There are some great exercises and stretches recommended by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society to alleviate plantar fasciitis-related heel pain.
- Wear shoes that provide arch and heel support. When you come in for proper care ask us whether orthotics could improve your foot health.
- Avoid walking on uneven surfaces.
- You can also wear a night splint or braces while you sleep.
If these options don’t work then more aggressive treatment options may need to be considered such as,
- Cortisone injections
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT)
Don’t let heel pain slow you down. Turn to our Bentonville, AR foot care specialists at Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America. We are here to make sure that you get the care you need to get back to your life fast.
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