Items filtered by date: December 2017

Wednesday, 27 December 2017 15:26

6 Ways to Prevent Diabetic Foot Complications

Here at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we believe in the importance of good foot care for all or our patients. For those with diabetes, however, extra precautions are necessary. Diabetes has several conditions associated with it that can result in major medical complications being caused by what other patients may deem minor foot issues. A compromised immune system, reduced circulation and neuropathy (or lack of sensation) all require additional measures to keep feet safe and healthy. Below are 6 podiatric tips for patients with diabetes:

  1. Choose footwear carefully. Shoes should have roomy toe boxes that don’t cramp or squeeze toes together. This will reduce the risk of ingrown toenails. Shoes should be made of natural, breathable materials. Inspect shoes periodically to make sure there are no rough spots, loose stitching or other elements that could rub on the skin and cause a blister or ulcer.
  2. Watch the heat. Don’t expose feet to high temperatures from fire places or electric blankets. Carefully monitor water temperature in baths and showers. A loss of sensation can result in burns due to the fact that the patient does not perceive pain from heat or burning.
  3. Stay dry. Fungi love moist, dark places to grow, such as the inside of sweaty socks. Change socks as soon as you notice they are damp to help avoid fungal infections.
  4. Keep the blood flowing. You can help improve circulation by exercising regularly and not sitting or standing in one position for long periods of time. Don’t cross your legs or wear socks that are tight or have elastic in the top to hold them up.
  5. Inspect feet daily. Wash your feet in warm soapy water every day and while you do so, check for cuts, blisters, bumps, bruising, swelling, growths or anything unusual or different on your feet. Report any changes to the foot doctor promptly.
  6. Make your podiatrist a care partner. Regular podiatric checkups with our podiatrists, Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas can go a long way toward prevent footing health problems. If seen regularly, the foot doctor can detect changes and potential issues in your feet in the very earliest stages and stop problems before they start.

If you are a patient with diabetes and you have questions about the health of your feet, contact our Long Beach office by calling: 562-420-9800.

Thursday, 21 December 2017 15:25

Give Your Feet a Gift this Holiday

Tis’ the season for shopping, baking, mailing and attending festive gatherings. And who is it that enables you to enjoy all the merry making of the holiday season? It’s your feet! At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we’d like to suggest some great gift ideas for those two very helpful parts of your body.

Moisture Wicking Socks—if you’re a sports enthusiast or just someone who’s on the go all the time these socks will whisk perspiration away from your feet. They can also be the inner layer of a double pair of socks if a ski vacation or other colder climate trip is part of your holiday plans. Keeping feet dry helps them stay warm and can prevent fungal infections (which love moist, dark places) from developing.

Insulated Water Bottle—you may not see the immediate connection to your feet on this one but drinking plenty of water is one way to prevent edema or swelling of your lower legs, ankles and feet. This means less pain at the end of a long day.

New Pair of Walking or Running Shoes—treat your feet to top quality exercise shoes. Have your foot professionally measured at a store that specializes in fitness footwear. Be sure to tell the shoe salesman about any conditions you have such as plantar fasciitis, flat feet or overpronation. Shoes that fit properly and accommodate any deformities or existing conditions will make exercising much more pleasurable and less likely to cause an injury. An added bonus: if you’re motivated to exercise you’ll have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight—a positive factor in preventing several foot disorders.

Super Emollient Foot Cream—nothing says “thanks” like a foot massage at the end of the day with a rich lotion or cream. Feet will stay moist and supple and unlikely to develop cracks or red, flaky patches.

Podiatric Checkup—if you’ve been putting off a visit to the foot doctor to find the source of a nagging pain, stiffness or something unusual that you’ve noticed on one of your feet this may be the best gift of all. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas will not only diagnose any discomfort you’ve been experiencing, they can also help make recommendations for shoes that will best suit your individual foot and the activities you do. To make an appointment, contact our Long Beach office at: 562-420-9800.

Thursday, 14 December 2017 15:22

Stress Fractures and Vitamin D

With approximately 25% of all the bones in your body residing in your feet, fractures are an important concern here at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center. A general fracture, one that goes all the way through a bone, usually occurs as the result of an accident or other trauma and is immediately apparent. There is a second kind of fracture, however, that is not always so obvious: a stress fracture. Stress fractures are tiny fissures or cracks in the surface of a bone. They typically occur in the area from the middle of your foot extending to your toes, also called the forefoot.

Symptoms of a stress fracture are similar to those of a general fracture:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising at the site of injury
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot

The difference, however, is in the way the symptoms present. Often with a stress fracture the discomfort will be intermittent; worse when you are active and on your feet and better when you are resting your foot. That’s why it’s important to make an appointment at our Long Beach office if you experience any of the above symptoms even if they don’t seem very intense. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas will be able to determine if you have a stress fracture or if your symptoms are due to another condition.

One important way that you can help prevent stress fractures is by making sure that you have an adequate intake of vitamin D. Although calcium seems to get all the credit when it comes to bone strength, it’s actually vitamin D that enables your body to absorb and regulate the calcium.

Many people have a vitamin D deficiency and don’t even realize it. Vitamin D deficiencies are more common if you have one or more of the following factors:

  • Being over 50
  • Limited sun exposure (the sun being a good source of vitamin D)
  • Dark complexion
  • Overweight
  • A medical condition that causes fat malabsorption

Your doctor can do a blood test to check your vitamin D levels.

Other ways to help prevent stress fractures include avoiding injury and repetitive activities that put pressure on the forefoot. If you believe you may have a stress fracture contact us by calling: 562-420-9800.

Friday, 08 December 2017 15:19

Holiday Shopping May Inflame Varicose Veins

Perhaps you never even noticed them before or maybe those unsightly veins were something you saw but didn’t think twice about because they weren’t bothering you in any way. During the holiday season, however, we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center often see an increase in the number of patients complaining about this disorder. Why? Standing for long periods of time—such as waiting on long lines to purchase your holiday gifts—puts extra pressure on veins and can result in pain and discomfort.

If you have varicose veins, you may notice that after a day at the mall your legs feel heavy and achy. The skin around the veins may be itchy or dry and the veins may actually throb or hurt. It’s not uncommon to have swelling in your feet, ankles or lower legs as well.

Getting Relief

If this occurs, it’s a good idea to make an appointment at our Venice office so that our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas can examine your legs and feet. In some cases, varicose veins can signal a problem with your circulatory system. There are several conditions such as diabetes and peripheral vascular disease that are associated with blood flow issues. The doctor will want to rule out a more serious condition.

The treatment for your veins will depend on the source and the foot doctor will go over the options available and the best one for your particular situation. In some cases, the podiatrist will recommend minimally invasive surgery or laser therapy. Most often, however, conservative measures can be utilized to lessen the irritation to the veins. These include:

  • Wearing compression stockings
  • Elevating the legs, especially at the end of the day
  • Avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time; take breaks if your job requires hours at your desk or standing up
  • A consistent exercise routine
  • Weight loss if you are currently overweight as this puts additional strain on your veins

If you are concerned about varicose veins or have additional questions about this condition, contact us by calling: 562-420-9800.

Friday, 01 December 2017 15:13

Eat this Not That During the Holidays

A common concern during this festive time of the year is navigating all the rich, calorie-laden holiday food offerings. From Christmas cookies to eggnog to roasts, to chips, dips, and other classic favorites menus can be landmines just waiting to blow up your healthy eating plan. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we know that what you eat also impacts the health of your feet. Your feet carry the weight of your entire body and when you are overweight or obese you significantly increase your risk for several foot conditions and can make existing disorders much worse. In addition, foods can trigger an inflammatory response in conditions such as arthritis and gout.

If you have a podiatric condition that is associated with inflammation check with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas, about the best strategies for relieving or preventing inflammation. In some cases the foot doctor may prescribe medication or other treatments. If the inflammation seems to be increasing it’s important for the podiatrist to re-evaluate your condition to check its progression and rule out other complications.

Below are some healthful swaps to keep in mind as you make your way around the party buffet:

  • Eat nuts and berries instead of chips and pretzels. Not only are nuts and berries healthier choices they also help fight inflammation whereas chips and pretzels are made with refined flour that can increase inflammatory response.
  • If you are prone to gout eat chicken instead of red meat.
  • Choose sparkling seltzer or wine spritzers over multiple alcoholic beverages. Excess alcohol intake can trigger gout, increase inflammation and pack on the pounds.
  • Pick the smoked fish over the fried oysters. Fatty fish are known to decrease inflammation while fried foods increase it and are also are much higher in calories.
  • Load up on greens and salads instead of potatoes and rolls. If you plate your salads and vegetables first there will be less room for higher calorie foods.

Healthy eating is just one way to protect your feet this holiday season. If you have questions about your feet and how to best care for them contact our Long Beach office by calling: 562-420-9800.

Connect With Us