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North Andover (978) 686-7623
Tewksbury (978) 640-1010

March 2020

Monday, 30 March 2020 00:00

Do I Have a Severe or Mild Ankle Sprain?

An injury that has damaged the ligaments of the ankle is often referred to as an ankle sprain. If the ligaments completely tear, the sprain is said to be severe, and can produce extreme pain and discomfort. If the ligaments become irritated, you may have endured a mild ankle sprain, and this may happen as a result of overstretching. Once the injury has occurred, a proper diagnosis is typically performed, which can be helpful in ruling out a broken ankle. Many patients find it beneficial to wrap the affected ankle in an elastic bandage, as this aids in providing necessary support as the healing process occurs. If you feel you have sprained your ankle, please consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible so they can effectively treat this condition.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Saturday, 28 March 2020 00:00

Before you start dancing...

 

Monday, 23 March 2020 00:00

Painful Plantar Fasciitis

Located on the bottom of the foot, there is a large portion of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. This is known as the plantar fascia, and if it becomes inflamed, the condition known as plantar fasciitis may develop. This condition can occur for a variety of reasons. These can include standing for extended periods of time throughout the day on a hard surface, participating in running or jumping activities, or from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Common symptoms that are often associated with plantar fasciitis can include swelling, severe pain after arising in the morning, and it may be difficult to walk. You may find relief when proper foot stretches are performed, and when the affected foot is elevated, as this may help to diminish existing swelling. It is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist if you experience any symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 16 March 2020 00:00

Flat Feet and Tip-Toe Walking

As your child's feet become stronger, it is important that the correct size shoes and socks are worn while walking outside. Research has indicated the importance of having your child's feet measured approximately every three months, as this can be helpful in determining the correct shoe size. The feet will typically become stronger while walking barefoot indoors, which can be a result of the toes grasping the floor. Many babies are born with flat feet, however the arch generally will develop during the teenage years. Additionally, it is common for many children to walk on their tip-toes, which can be indicative of an existing foot issue. If you would like more information about how to properly care for your child’s feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy

If a wound has developed on your foot, it’s extremely important that you identify which kind of wound it is and take the necessary steps to ensure it heals safely and properly. Oftentimes, wounds go unnoticed on the feet, which is why you should check them daily for any abnormalities. Some common types of wounds that can form include scrapes, abrasions, cuts, or puncture wounds. To care for your wounds, you should begin by washing the affected area with soap and water, followed by thoroughly drying the feet. An antibiotic ointment should then be applied, followed by fully covering the wound. If you find the damaged area has not stopped bleeding after a few hours, professional help should be sought, as stitches may be required. If you also experience redness, swelling, pain, drainage from the wound, or develop a fever, you should seek professional care, as this may be signs that the wound has become infected. In order to safely treat any wounds of the feet, consult with a podiatrist for professional care and an advised plan of action.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care
Monday, 02 March 2020 00:00

Possible Causes of Cracked Heels

The medical condition that is known as cracked heels is defined as splits in the skin that may gradually develop into deep fissures. This may cause pain and discomfort, and in severe cases, the skin may begin to bleed. Common symptoms that are associated with this ailment can include hardened and itchy skin, and it may be difficult to walk. This condition may develop from standing for extended periods of time throughout the day, or from frequently wearing shoes that have an open back. Some patients have found mild relief when the feet are washed and dried, followed by using a good moisturizer. Additionally, it may be beneficial to drink plenty of water on a daily basis, and to implement a gentle exercise routine. If you are afflicted with cracked heels, it is strongly advised that you speak with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
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