A diabetes diagnosis comes with its fair share of important medical obligations such as checking blood sugar levels and, if necessary, administering insulin. However, an often-overlooked aspect of diabetes is diabetic foot care. Read below to learn what makes foot care so crucial to diabetics, and contact Dr. Stefanie Thomas, Dr. Ashley Blackwell, and Dr. Timothy Adams at Premier Foot Clinic with locations in Clinton & Jackson, MS, and Cleveland, MS, for more information.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition which impairs the body’s ability to produce insulin, a hormone necessary to regulating the glucose (blood sugar) levels in blood. Insulin helps the body allocate energy from consumed foods to the cells in your body, but people with diabetes create too little or no insulin, resulting in glucose remaining in the blood and not entering the cells to power the body. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes means your body does not produce insulin at all while Type 2 diabetes indicates that your body does not make enough insulin or does not use it correctly.
Why is diabetic foot care important?
Diabetes decreases blood flow, especially in the extremities like the hands and feet. Less blood flow means less feeling, meaning that a simple cut or scratch left untreated can potentially advance into a more serious condition without a patient feeling discomfort or even noticing at all. To avoid complications such as infection, people with diabetes should take extra care to thoroughly examine their feet on a daily basis and partner with their podiatrist to ensure that their feet remain healthy for years to come.
Proper diabetic foot care routines
People with diabetes should take time to examine their feet every day, looking for anything out of the ordinary and taking note of any scratches, bruising, cuts, or scrapes. In addition to checking your feet, shake out your shoes to ensure they are free from debris which could cause injury. Always cut the toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails. See your podiatrist for regular foot examinations and to ensure that your feet are healthy both inside and out.
For more information on diabetic foot care or why it is crucial to the health of a patient with diabetes, please contact Dr. Stefanie Thomas, Dr. Ashley Blackwell, and Dr. Timothy Adams at Premier Foot Clinic with locations in Clinton & Jackson, MS, and Cleveland, MS. Call (601) 926-1500 to schedule your appointment at our Clinton & Jackson office, or (662) 843-3668 to schedule your appointment at our Cleveland location!
Heel pain is a common complaint. If you are experiencing chronic or recurring heel pain, it may be a sign of an injury or condition like plantar fasciitis. The podiatrists at Premier Foot Clinic serving Clinton, Cleveland, and Jackson, MS, Dr. Stefanie Thomas, Dr. Ashley Blackwell, or Dr. Timothy Adams, offer diagnostic and treatment options for chronic heel pain and other foot and ankle injuries.
Heel Pain Diagnosis and Treatment
There are a number of possible causes for chronic heel pain. One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which develops when the long band of tissue that runs the length of the foot from the ankle to the base of the toes becomes inflamed. Anyone can develop plantar fasciitis, but it is usually caused by prolonged pressure or stress from physical activity like distance running, spending a lot of time on your feet, wearing shoes with insufficient arch support, or being overweight.
Other potential causes of heel pain include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Tendon rupture
- Heel spurs
- Stress fractures
Depending on the cause and severity, heel pain can usually be relieved with conservative, non-surgical treatments like rest, physical therapy, orthotics, medication, and ESWT (Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy).
Can Heel Pain Be Prevented?
Although pain and foot and ankle injuries are not 100% preventable, there are a few precautions that you can take to support your feet and ankles, especially during strenuous physical activity and exercise that can cause wear and tear over time.
- Be sure to stretch and warm up properly before and after physical activity
- Wear comfortable and supportive shoes for walking and working out, or if you spend long periods of time on your feet
- Speak to a podiatrist about orthotics or supportive insoles if you have flat feet or low arches
- Maintain a healthy weight to avoid excess pressure on your feet and joints
Find a Podiatrist
For more information about diagnostic and treatment options for heel pain and other podiatry problems, contact Premier Foot Clinic today serving Clinton, Cleveland, and Jackson, MS to schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists today.
You probably don’t think much about your heels in the course of the day, but if they start to become painful they become all you can think about. Some people with severe heel pain wake up in the morning feeling discomfort without ever setting their feet down. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, get help as soon as possible at Premier Foot Clinic, serving Clinton, Cleveland, and Jackson, MS.
Your Aching Heels...
Your heels take on a significant amount of load when you're standing, walking, and running. This is why over half of Americans who report foot problems specifically complain to their doctors about heel pain according to an American Podiatric Medical Association Study. The pain may begin in the heel and emanate upwards to the ankles and lower legs. If caused by plantar fasciitis, the bottom of the foot may also be tender or numb.
What Caused Your Heel Pain?
There’s a very good chance that your heel pain was caused by the type of shoes that you wear each day. Are they designed for support and comfort, or only for looks? Uncomfortable shoes put too much stress on the plantar fascia tendon, which is connected to the heel. Patients who have flat feet may be more prone to experiencing heel pain. Another potential cause is a callus that turns into a blister or sore on the heel. No matter the cause, a Clinton, Cleveland, and Jackson podiatrist can help.
The first step to getting healing for heel pain is to schedule a foot exam to get advice from a professional. These are some of the treatment options you may be presented with:
- Supportive custom orthotic devices.
- Corticosteroid injections and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the sensation of pain.
- Stretching and physical therapy.
- Callus removal and wound therapy.
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT), which sends waves of energy to the damaged tissue that’s causing heel pain.
Do Your Heels Need Help?
If your heels cause you pain even while you’re sleeping or sitting still, that’s a sign that you should see a Clinton, Cleveland, and Jackson, MS, podiatrist soon to explore treatment options. Call today to schedule a heel pain appointment with Dr. Stefanie Thomas, Dr. Ashley Blackwell, or Dr. Timothy Adams at Premier Foot Clinic.
Are you worried about your foot care? Diabetes can be dangerous for your feet if you don't take proper care of them and control your diabetes. This can be problematic for many individuals, which is why your Clinton and Jackson, MS, podiatrists are here to help.
Diabetics need to take special care of their feet, a small cut may result in serious foot issues like nerve damage. A cut or injury may:
- Reduce blood flow to the feet
- Make it harder to heal an injury or resist infection
- Increase the risk of an infection
To avoid serious foot problems try the following at home steps: Examine your feet every day to make sure there are no cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, or nail problems. Also, wash your feet in warm water on a daily basis. People sometimes skip moisturizing their feet, but moisturizing can help prevent dry skin from itching or cracking.
Here are a few more tips to help you take better care of your feet:
- Cut nails straight across and file edges or visit your podiatrist if you are unable to cut them yourself
- Visit your podiatrist to treat corns or calluses
- Avoid tight elastic bands that reduce blood circulation, and control your blood sugar levels
- Change socks every day, make sure you're feet are dry and wear socks during frigid nights
- Get periodic foot exams, and regularly visit your foot and ankle surgeon
If you have any questions or concerns about diabetes, you should contact your Clinton and Jackson, MS, doctors Dr. Stefanie Thomas, Dr. Ashley Blackwell and Dr. Timothy Adams. They have the expertise to help figure out and treat your foot issues. Don't hesitate to call today!
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says that approximately 20 million Americans suffer from some degree of peripheral neuropathy--that is, irreversible damage to the nerves supplying sensation and function to the hands and feet. Diabetics are particularly prone to neuropathy in the feet. That's why Dr. Stefanie Thomas and Dr. Ashley Blackwell of Premier Foot Clinic in Clinton and Jackson, MS, take a particular interest in neuorpathy and its impact on their patients' well-being. Do you suffer from neuropathy?
What is neuropathy?
It's a chronic and progressive condition of the nervous system, affecting the small nerves of the hands and feet. Characterized by a pins and needles sensation, numbness, burning pain and loss of functional ability (walking comfortably, keeping balance and more), neuropathy in Clinton and Jackson happens to people with autoimmune disorders, stroke and most notably, to people with poorly controlled diabetes.
Neuropathy complicates the diabetic's ability to keep his or her feet healthy. Other common problems associated with high glucose levels in the blood are decreased peripheral circulation, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and increased chance of skin infection. Diabetics who cannot perceive what's happening to their feet often miss injuries, blisters and sores that other individuals feel right away. So infection may develop, creating wounds on the feet that are deep and difficult to treat and in the worst of cases, lead to wound debridement or even amputation.
What can be done?
Unfortunately, once a nerve is damaged, it's damaged. However, Dr. Thomas and Dr. Blackwell offer treatments for neuropathy that can slow its progress and relieve the many uncomfortable symptoms.
Some medications work on the painful burning and tingling. Topical capsaicin is one, and over the counter ibuprofen is another. Doctors may advise prescription antidepressants and anticonvulsant medications such as gabapentin.
However, podiatrists take a simpler approach to controlling peripheral neuropathy. Dr. Blackwell and Dr. Thomas offer TENS treatments. Also called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, this simple therapy involves attaching electrodes near the source of symptoms. A mild electrical current stimulates the nerves, helping them function more normally.
Additionally, the podiatrist offers customized shoe inserts and specialized diabetic shoes constructed to take pressure off areas of the feet that are prone to pain. Relieving pressure points allows proper nerve conduction and blood flow so the feet are properly stimulated and supplied with oxygen and nutrients.
Finally, Dr. Blackwell and Dr. Thomas ask to see their diabetic patients on a regular basis. Partnering with them in routine visual inspections of their feet and helping them track their neuropathy symptoms leads to better function and overall well-being.
You can have a good life even if you have peripheral neuropathy. The capable staff at Premier Foot Clinic in Clinton and Jackson, MS can help. For an appointment with one of our podiatrists, please call (601) 926-1500.
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