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Houston, TX 77019

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May 2021

Many common foot and ankle injuries can be caused or influenced by the shoes that you wear. Although high heels are pretty and stylish, they are also potentially damaging to the feet and ankles. Sprained ankles, a condition in which one or more ligaments in the ankle become overstretched or torn, may occur in those who frequently wear high heels taller than two inches. Strained and shortened calf muscles, plantar fasciitis, and back and knee pain may also develop due to high heels. Foot deformities, such as bunions and hammertoes, as well as skin changes like blisters and calluses, may occur also. If you choose to wear high heels, be sure to wear shoes that have good arch support, fit comfortably, and have a heel that is wide and two inches or shorter. Switch out your high heels for flats or more comfortable and supportive shoes regularly, and stretch your calf and foot muscles to help prevent injuries. For more information about the effects of high heels on the feet and ankles, please consult with a podiatrist. 

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Maria Buitrago, DPM from Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Monday, 24 May 2021 00:00

Effect of High Heels on the Feet

For hundreds of years, women have been wearing various kinds of high heels for aesthetic reasons. Women who wear high heels appear to be taller and have longer and thinner legs, and the wearer’s gait and posture changes. Though high heels have had an association with femininity and have kept them popular over the years, there are definite health problems caused by wearing them too frequently.

The motion of the ankle joints is limited when heels are worn. The ankle joint is very important to the body when it comes to walking. Because of their location, these joints have a great deal of weight put on them. Thus, it is very important to keep them as healthy as possible. The Achilles tendon is the main tendon in the ankle. Wearing high heels too often, studies have shown, can cause the calf muscle and Achilles tendon to shorten and stiffen. This can cause problems when shoes without heels are worn.

By putting a great deal of pressure on the ball of the foot and by forcing the toes into a small toe box, high heels can cause or may worsen many foot problems. These include corns, hammertoe, bunions, Morton’s neuroma and plantar fasciitis.

Not only does wearing high heels regularly have negative effects on the feet, the rest of the body can suffer as well. The knees, one of the most important joints in the entire body, can be affected by wearing high heels.  High heels can cause the knees to stay bent all the time. Also, it can cause them to bend slightly inward as well. Doctors believe that women can suffer from osteoarthritis later in life because of constantly walking like in high heels. By limiting the natural motion of the foot during walking, high heels also cause an increased in stress on the knees.

Similarly, high heels can cause the back to go out of alignment. If high heels are worn constantly, the spine’s ability to absorb shock can cause continued back pain. They can compress the vertebrae of the lower back, and can overuse the back muscles.

However, this is not to say that high heels can never be worn. If worn occasionally and not often, they will not cause serious problems. They should not be worn every day. It’s important to wear them modestly to avoid the long-term physical health problems of the feet, knees, ankles, and back mentioned above.

Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00

Types of Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition characterized by reduced blood flow to the lower limbs. This can cause symptoms such as leg cramps, pain, fatigue, numbness, skin discoloration, and foot wounds. There are two types of PAD. Occlusive PAD occurs when the blood vessels are blocked. This can be caused by the arteries thickening and hardening over time (atherosclerosis), an excess buildup of lymph fluid (lymphedema), blood clots forming in the veins of the leg muscles (deep vein thrombosis), or narrowed carotid arteries (carotid artery stenosis). Functional PAD occurs when the blood vessels are not blocked, but rather malfunctioning due to spasms. This can be seen in cases of varicose veins, Raynaud’s disease, and chronic venous insufficiency. Functional PAD is typically made worse or triggered by environmental or lifestyle factors, such as exposure to cold, excessive stress, and smoking. If you are experiencing any symptoms of PAD, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Maria Buitrago, DPM of Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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

Read more about Causes Symptoms and Treatment for Poor Circulation in the Feet

The purpose of the body’s circulation system is to transport blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body. A reduction of blood to a specific part of the body may cause one to experience symptoms of poor circulation. The most common causes of poor circulation in the feet are obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD). Common symptoms of poor circulation include tingling, numbness, throbbing, pain and muscle cramps.

Peripheral artery disease is a common cause of poor circulation in the legs. Symptoms of PAD are cramping, pain or tiredness in the leg or hip muscles while walking or climbing stairs. This pain tends to go away with rest and starts back up when you begin to walk.  It is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to become narrow. Although PAD is more common in adults over the age of 50, it may also occur in younger people.  A similar condition called atherosclerosis causes arteries to stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels.

Blood clots are also a common cause of poor circulation in the feet. Clots may obstruct blood vessels and if they occur in the legs, they may eventually lead to pain and discoloration. This occurrence is commonly known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and it may travel to the lungs. Varicose veins are another condition that may lead to poor circulation, and it is caused by incompetence of the valves in the veins. Women who are overweight are prone to developing this condition. Lastly, diabetes, which is correlated with poor blood sugar metabolism may lead to chronic poor circulation. Those with diabetes often suffer from cramping in the legs, calves, thighs and buttocks.

If you are looking for ways to avoid poor circulation there are some tips you can follow. One tip is to avoid sitting for too long. If you plan to sit down for a long period of time, you should try standing up occasionally, to improve your circulation. Another great way to avoid poor circulation is to exercise. Exercise is an excellent way to pump the heart and increase blood flow. Those who suffer from poor circulation should also avoid smoking, reduce their salt intake, and try to lose weight.

If you are experiencing symptoms from poor circulation in your feet, you should consult with your podiatrist to determine the best method for treatment for you. He or she may prescribe medication in addition to recommending specific lifestyle changes to improve your circulation.

Sunday, 16 May 2021 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection caused by fungi that thrive and grow in warm and moist environments such as showers, locker rooms, and pools. Because Athlete’s foot is very contagious, it can even spread from towels, floors, or clothing. Athlete’s foot presents itself as a red, scaly rash between the toes. The infection will become itchy and form blisters, and the skin will become cracked and peel. As the infection spreads to the toenails, they will become thick and discolored as well. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the entire foot and even to the hands. Because of how contagious it is, it is important to keep the feet dry and to not share any personal items such as socks, shoes, or towels. If you notice the signs of Athlete’s foot, visiting a podiatrist is suggested.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Maria Buitrago, DPM from Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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

 

Read more about Athlete’s Foot
Monday, 10 May 2021 00:00

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a skin disease caused by a fungal infection.  The infection typically occurs between the toes, and the feet are most subject to this disease because shoes best create the warm, dark, and moist environment in which fungus thrives.  Other areas that create a similar environment, such as swimming pools, public showers, and locker rooms; can also promote fungi growth. 

Symptoms of athlete’s foot include dry skin, itching, scaling, inflammation, and blistering.  Sometimes, blisters can evolve into the cracks or breaks in the skin.  The exposed tissue can then create pain, swelling, and discharge.  The spread of infection can cause itching and burning as well.

While athlete’s foot commonly occurs between the toes, it may also spread to the toenails or soles of the feet.  Other parts of the body, such as the groin or underarms, can also become infected if they are touched after the original area of infection is scratched.  Aside from physical contact, athlete’s foot can also spread through the contamination of footwear, clothing or bedsheets.

Proper foot hygiene is essential in preventing athlete’s foot.  You can prevent the fungus from spreading by frequently washing your feet using soap and water, thoroughly drying the feet between the toes, changing shoes and socks every day to reduce moisture, and ensuring that bathroom and shower floors are disinfected.  Other tips include using shower shoes, avoiding walking barefoot in public environments, wearing light and airy shoes, and wearing socks that keep the feet dry.

While treatment for athlete’s foot can involve topical or oral antifungal drugs, mild cases of the infection can be treated by dusting foot powder in shoes and socks.  Any treatment used can be supplemented by frequently bathing the feet and drying the toes.  If proper foot hygiene and self-care do not ease your case of athlete’s foot, contact your podiatrist.  He will determine if the underlying cause of your condition is truly a fungus.  If that is the case, a comprehensive treatment plan may be suggested with the inclusion of prescription antifungal medications.

Monday, 03 May 2021 00:00

Corns and Calluses

A corn is a lesion that forms in the skin of the foot, and it is typically circular in shape, small in size, and thick and rough in texture.  A corn generally occurs as a result of repeated pressure on the skin; one example of this is the rubbing of a shoe against the skin.  Corns differ from calluses in that their central cores are harder in texture.

A corn is a relatively common condition with a wide variety of treatment options.  If a corn becomes overly uncomfortable or painful, consult with your podiatrist; he can determine the best method of treatment that is appropriate for you.  Corns may return if the underlying cause of its development is not treated or removed.  Avoid removing corns at home, as improper removal may cause infection.

A callus, similar to a corn, is an area of skin that has become thickened due to repeated pressure and rubbing.  The rubbing causes the skin to create a layer of protective skin, which is the formed callus.  Calluses can differ in size between people, and they can also become painful.

Multiple treatments are available for calluses.  At-home treatment and removal should be avoided, as this can potentially lead to infection.  Your podiatrist can best determine the cause of your calluses and suggest the treatment most appropriate for you. 

Monday, 03 May 2021 00:00

An Overview of Corns

Corns are small, circular, thickened areas of skin on the feet that have a central core of hard material. They get their name due to their resemblance to a kernel of corn. Corns are caused by repeated pressure on the skin, usually from shoes rubbing against the area. They can form on the soles of the feet, the tops of the toes, or in between the toes. Usually, the corns that form in between the toes are softer than those that form elsewhere on the foot. If you have corns that are causing pain or discomfort, a podiatrist can help treat them. The doctor may suggest changes to your footwear, prescribe orthotic inserts, or remove the thickened skin. For more information about corns on the feet, please speak with a podiatrist.

Corns can make walking very painful and should be treated immediately. If you have questions regarding your feet and ankles, contact Maria Buitrago, DPM of Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? And How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns are thickened areas on the skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure and friction on the skin. Corns press into the deeper layers of the skin and are usually round in shape.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as:

  • Wearing properly fitting shoes that have been measured by a professional
  • Wearing shoes that are not sharply pointed or have high heels
  • Wearing only shoes that offer support

Treating Corns

Although most corns slowly disappear when the friction or pressure stops, this isn’t always the case. Consult with your podiatrist to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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

Read more about Corns and Calluses
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