Items filtered by date: August 2017

Thursday, 24 August 2017 14:24

All About Sesamoiditis

Chances are if you haven’t had sesamoiditis, you may not have any idea what it is. However, at Superior Foot & Ankle Center we often find that for patients suffering from pain in the ball of the foot, sesamoiditis is the cause.

What are Sesamoids?

Sesamoids are a unique structure in the body. They are tiny bones that are embedded in a tendon and are not connected to other bones. They are only found a few places in the body and your feet are one of them. Two sesamoids are located on the bottom of your foot at the base of the big toe. They act kind of like pulleys in the tendon, enabling it to move more easily and helping the big toe with pushing off.

Too Much Pressure

Due to their location and function in the foot sesamoids are exposed to excessive amounts of pressure and force. They can become over stressed or even injured from activities such as running and other sports, dancing, jobs that require you to be on your feet all day and having high arches or wearing high heels frequently. When the sesamoids become inflamed and irritated that is the condition of sesamoiditis.

Diagnosis and Treatment

In addition to pain in the ball of the foot, patients with sesamoiditis may also experience pain at the base of the big toe as well as swelling and bruising in that area. The big toe may be stiff and difficult to bend. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas, will want to examine your foot, paying particular attention to the big toe. Digital x-rays (which can be done right in our Long Beach office) and other imaging studies may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

There are a number of treatment options available for sesamoiditis, depending on the extent of the condition, including:

  • Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections to help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation
  • Bracing, taping or strapping the toe to relieve pressure and allow healing
  • Wearing soft-soled, low-heeled, cushioned footwear.
  • Orthotics
  • Physical therapy

If you are experiencing symptoms of sesamoiditis, stop any activities that cause pain and contact us for an appointment by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Did you know that August 17th is National I Love My Feet Day? At Superior Foot & Ankle Center we can think of no better way to tell your feet you care then by buying shoes that fit properly and are good for your feet. Many common foot problems can be avoided by wearing the correct shoes for your feet. Here are some tips on shoe shopping:

  • Buy shoes based on quality of construction and materials that are designed for the health of your feet not on fads and appearance.
  • Be sure any shoes you choose take current foot problems you have into consideration. At your next checkup with our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas, ask if there are special features you should look for or avoid when buying shoes. In many cases, such as with bunions, hammertoes, flat feet or high arches, the foot doctor can make recommendations about shoe design that will decrease discomfort and help prevent a foot condition from getting worse. In some cases, a custom orthotic device may help shift pressure away from an area that hurts. If the podiatrist prescribes an orthotic be sure to bring it with you to try on with the shoes you are considering buying.
  • Get your feet professionally measured. Feet can change size as you age. It’s not uncommon to find that one of your feet is larger than the other. You should always buy shoes to fit the bigger foot. Also, don’t assume once you know your size that you all brands will fit the same. Always try on shoes before purchasing.
  • Heel heights of 1 inch or less are best. The higher the heel, the more pressure that is exerted on the forefoot. Avoid pointy shoes and those with narrow toe boxes.
  • Shop for shoes at the end of the day. That’s when your feet are their largest and most swollen.
  • Run your hand around the inside of both shoes to be sure there is no loose stitching or rough spots that might rub on your skin.
  • Don’t rush! Try on both shoes and take some time to walk around the store to make sure that shoes fit well and are comfortable from the moment you leave the store.

If you have questions about other foot health care issues contact our Long Beach office by calling: 562-420-9800.

If you’re packing for a summer trip, your feet may not be the first thing on your mind, but at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we want to remind patients that if your feet are hurting on vacation, you won’t enjoy yourself. The good news is your feet won’t need their own bag, just a few small items that can have a big impact on comfort, health and safety of your feet. Here’s what to bring:

  • Moleskin—it’s a good idea not to bring brand new shoes that you haven’t worn before on a vacation. Chances are you’ll be doing more walking than usual and when you’re away from your closet is not the ideal time to discover that the shoes you brought are uncomfortable. Sometimes, however, even previously comfortable shoes can start to rub if it’s especially hot and your feet are sweaty from the increased activity. Moleskin can save the day. Put a small piece on the part of your foot that is feeling irritated and it will hopefully help you get through the day without a blister. Of course, you should still change your shoes as soon as possible.
  • Sunscreen—this is probably already in your travel bag, but make sure you remember to apply it to the tops and bottoms of your feet as frequently as you apply to the rest of your body. Don’t forget to reapply after swimming.
  • Emery board and nail clippers—a rough nail can become torn and painful. Keep an emery board with you for filing and bring along your nail clippers too. Remember to clip toenails straight across to help prevent ingrown nails from forming.
  • Extra socks—if your feet tend to sweat excessively or you know you’ll be in a warm place where you’ll be doing activities like hiking or sightseeing, change your socks as soon as you feel that your feet are damp. This will help prevent a case of athlete’s foot from becoming your vacation souvenir. Fungal and bacterial infections thrive in dark, damp places.
  • Flip flops—use these around the pool or at the beach to prevent feet from coming in contact with fungi in public places. Don’t wear these as your everyday shoes however, or you risk injury and other painful foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis and flat feet.

If you do injure your foot while you are away be sure to seek treatment promptly and follow up by contacting our Long Beach, CA office for an appointment when you return. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas will want to check your foot and be sure that it is healing properly.

Sunday, 06 August 2017 14:55

Shoe Choice Affects Foot Health for Women

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we treat many women with foot problems that could have been avoided by choosing different shoes. Today, there are many attractive shoe designs that do not harm your feet. Short-term fashion choices can lead to long term foot health problems. Below are 3 types of shoes to avoid:

  1. High heels—shoes with high heels (2 inches or more) can cause a host of foot problems. First, the height of the heel can cause wobbling and instability which results in ankle sprains. High heels put extra strain on the muscles and ligaments of the ankle as they struggle to keep your foot in proper position. Continuing to wear high heels after a sprain is likely to set up a dangerous cycle of repeated sprains, increased weakness and eventually chronic ankle instability and pain. In addition, the design of high heels forces your toes forward, causing them to spend long hours cramped and squeezed. This increases the risk of bunions, hammertoes and other toe deformities.
  2. Stiff backed pumps—shoes with an overly hard heel counter can lead to a condition commonly referred to as “pump bump.” Officially known as Haglund’s deformity, a hard, bony enlargement forms on the back of the heel. When the back of pump rubs against the growth it causes irritation and inflammation. In some cases the bursa sac surrounding the deformity can become inflamed causing bursitis.
  3. Flip-flops—yes, these are comfortable and oh-so-easy to slip on and off but flip flops provide no support whatsoever for your feet. This increases the risk of your feet coming out of the shoe and getting cut or scraped and also the chances of twisting an ankle. The one exception to this is in gyms, public pools, spas and other places where covering your feet prevents contact with fungi and bacteria that can cause athlete’s foot, fungal toenail and

If a part of your foot, toe or ankle is causing you pain or you notice other symptoms such as bruising, swelling or redness, contact our Long Beach office for an appointment by calling: 562-420-9800. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas will examine your feet and prescribe the correct treatment (in addition to changing your shoes) to relieve pain and prevent further injury.

Tuesday, 01 August 2017 14:16

Psoriasis and Your Feet

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month and at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we want to offer our patients some information about this disease and how it affects your feet. Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects approximately 7.5 million Americans. In patients with psoriasis, skin cells are produced at an overabundant rate and cause red, scaly, itchy patches to form on the skin. There are two forms of psoriasis that most commonly affect your feet. One type causes the skin on your feet to become dry and scaly, the other, more severe, can also include pustules (blisters).

Triggers and Treatment

It’s important any time you see changes in the skin on your feet that you have one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas examine you. Psoriasis symptoms can mimic athlete’s foot and other conditions. If the foot doctor believes you have psoriasis, there are topical ointments and steroids that can be used on your feet to treat the condition. The foot doctor will also want to refer you to a doctor who specializes in psoriasis as this is a systemic disease that will require additional medical management.

While it’s estimated that 10% of the population are genetically predisposed to psoriasis, only 2-3% of those actually get the disease. Researchers believe that there are specific triggers that can cause psoriasis to flare up. Some steps you can take to avoid these include:

  • Not smoking
  • Limiting alcohol intake
  • Consulting with your doctor about other medications you are taking (some given for high blood pressure, heart disease and depression may be triggers)
  • Find ways to manage and reduce stress
  • Wear comfortable shoes with adequate padding on the soles
  • Protect your feet from injury and infection

Psoriasis is not contagious. If affects men and women at equal rates and most often develops between the ages of 15-35. If you are experiencing any unusual skin changes or symptoms, contact our Long Beach, CA office for an appointment today by calling: 562-420-9800. Most foot conditions will get worse, not better, if left untreated.

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