Items filtered by date: January 2017

Thursday, 26 January 2017 12:14

Meeting the Needs of Seniors

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we know that our senior patients have special health care needs. Paying attention to and caring for your feet is essential to your overall health as many diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and certain nerve or circulation problems may first show symptoms in the feet. Maintaining mobility also means freedom to go where you wish and participate in the activities you love. Here are some ways that you can help protect the health of your feet if you are over 60:

  • Take care of your eyes—wait, weren’t we just talking about feet? Yes, but many patients whose vision is failing have trip or fall accidents which result in sprained ankles or fractures in the foot. January is Glaucoma Awareness month. This disease currently affects more than 3 million Americans. Called “the sneak thief of sight,” vision loss from glaucoma can come on gradually and is irreversible. However, a simple eye exam can test for glaucoma (and other eye disorders) and treatment can prevent blindness. In fact glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly without rubbing or squeezing any part of your foot. Choose shoes that have good arch and ankle support and a non-slip tread. Replace worn out shoes.
  • Protect your circulation by walking frequently, avoiding sitting for long periods with your legs crossed and by not smoking.
  • Keep toenails trimmed straight across and not too short to avoid ingrown nails.
  • Inspect your feet daily (or if you are unable to do so ask someone to do for you). Look for bumps, bruises, swelling, changes in color, shape or skin discolorations or rashes. Report any changes to our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas. Regular podiatric checkups are also an essential part of senior foot health. Most foot problems can be more easily treated and with less invasive measure if detected in their initial stages. If you have any foot concerns, contact our Long Beach office for an appointment today by calling: (562) 420-9800.
Thursday, 19 January 2017 12:09

Don’t Let Diabetes Slow You Down

Meet Joe Plank: He’s 81 years old and loves to skateboard! A Long Beach resident, Joe works as a grief counselor at the VA, helps autistic children in the county of Orange and enjoys lots of activities with his daughter and her family. Joe also has diabetes. As a patient of Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we see Joe as living proof that diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from living a full and (very!) active life.

One of the best ways to help control your blood sugar is through exercise. In addition, many diabetic patients suffer from neuropathy and circulation issues. Exercise is an excellent way to keep the blood flowing. Before skateboarding, Joe was an enthusiastic surfer for more than 6 decades. Although the activities that you choose may change over time, it’s important to make exercise and fitness a lifelong habit. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas can make recommendations of activities and footwear that would best suit your feet and ankles. Your podiatrist can also tell you other ways to help take care of your feet if have diabetes. A few items that should be on your daily foot care regimen checklist include:

  • Wash feet with a mild soap and warm (not hot) water. Dry completely, especially between the toes (to help prevent athlete’s foot).
  • Inspect your feet, toes and ankles for changes. Look for swelling, cuts, bruising, changes in color, shape or size, bumps, rashes or blisters. Report anything unusual to the foot doctor immediately.
  • Apply a rich moisturizer to keep feet supple and prevent skin and heel cracks.
  • Keep toenails cut straight across and not too short to prevent ingrown nails from developing.

If you want to learn more about diabetic care and how to maintain an active lifestyle with this disease, contact our Long Beach office. And, be sure to wave to Joe if you see him skate boarding at Huntington Beach Pier. Remember, as Joe says, “Being a geezer is a conscious choice.”

Friday, 13 January 2017 12:07

Dealing with Bunions

A common condition that we treat at Superior Foot & Ankle Center is the bunion. A bunion, also known as hallux valgus, is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe which forms when the bone of the joint moves out of place and toward the second toe. The further the toe moves the more the framework of the foot becomes deformed and the bigger the bump that forms on the outside of the toe grows. Bunions can cause considerable pain due to all the weight and pressure put on the big toe as you walk and also from the friction that occurs from shoes rubbing on the protrusion. Other symptoms include inflammation and redness, a burning sensation and numbness. Bunions are progressive. Over time, corns or calluses may form on the toe and the range of motion may become limited.

What’s Behind a Bunion?

Bunions form as a result of an abnormality in the structure of the foot which shifts the forces exerted on the joints and tendons in a way that causes instability and ultimately deformity of the joint. Possible reasons for this include:

  • Inherited faulty foot mechanics
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Consistently wearing shoes that have narrow toe boxes and/or are too small, squeezing the toes together in an unnatural position

Treatment and Relief

Many people suffer unnecessarily with bunions. It is true that when bunions are severe and causing serious disability and pain that surgery may be needed to remove the bony enlargement and correct the alignment of the toe joint. Before reaching that point, however, there are several conservative treatment options available, including:

  • Changing to shoes with wide toe boxes and avoiding high heels
  • Padding and/or taping the toe to reduce pain and keep the toe in its correct position
  • Ice packs, anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections to lessen pain and inflammation
  • Custom orthotic inserts for your shoes to correct toe alignment and take pressure off the painful area

You won’t know what relief is available until you have one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas examine your bunion and determine its severity. If you are suffering with bunion symptoms, contact our Long Beach office by calling 562-420-9800 for an appointment today.

Friday, 06 January 2017 12:06

Resolve to Walk in the New Year

If getting in shape is one of your New Year’s resolutions, we at Superior Foot & Ankle Center would like to encourage you to consider walking. Walking is a very effective exercise, particularly if you have been inactive in the recent past. Consider these benefits:

  • Can be done all year round outdoors (especially with our beautiful Long Beach weather) or indoors on a treadmill
  • Walking is an activity that can be enjoyed alone or with others
  • Walking lowers blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol while also providing a cardiovascular workout, improved circulation, stress relief and weight loss
  • No special equipment is needed (except a good pair of walking shoes)

Of course walking can cause problems as well. Blisters, corns and calluses, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and Achilles tendonitis are all potential conditions that can occur as a result of walking. You can help prevent these problems from developing, however, by following a few simple tips:

  • Make an appointment for a podiatric check up before starting your new walking routine. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas will examine your toes, feet and ankles and determine if there are any pre-existing problems that need to be treated. The foot doctor can also analyze your gait and see if you tend toward over-pronation, which may affect your shoe choice.
  • Choose a sensible walking program that starts out slow and gradually increases distance and intensity.
  • Always remember to stretch before and after you walk.
  • Invest in good walking shoes and get professionally fitted at a sports or fitness store.

A little soreness or stiffness when you start a new fitness routine is normal but if you find you are experiencing ongoing pain or any swelling or other unusual symptoms contact our Long Beach office by calling: 562-420-9800.

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