Items filtered by date: February 2019

Wednesday, 27 February 2019 19:31

5 Foot Symptoms and What They Mean

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we urge all of our patients to inspect their feet regularly and report any unusual changes to our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas. Sometimes, however, we find out that patients put off making an appointment at our Long Beach office because the change they’ve noticed just doesn’t seem that serious. Small changes can mean big foot problems, and your feet can also act an “early warning system” for diseases that can affect your whole body. Below are some changes in your feet and what they may mean:

  1. Red skin. Although short-term redness of the feet could just be due to temperature change or an allergic reaction to your laundry detergent, consistent redness can mean something more serious. Infections, such as athlete’s foot, can start with redness of the skin and an itchy rash. Consistently red or inflamed feet can also be a sign of the autoimmune disease of lupus.
  2. Black toenail. Unless you’ve recently stubbed your toe or you’re a runner, a black or discolored toenail is characteristic of a fungal infection. These may not be painful initially but will continue to progress and are contagious if not treated.
  3. There are several diseases which can cause excess fluid buildup (also called edema) in your legs and feet. These include: kidney or liver failure, heart disease and diabetes. If you are pregnant, a certain amount of swelling is normal but if in the last trimester of your pregnancy you experience sudden or excessive swelling, it may be a sign of a preeclampsia, a serious condition that requires immediate treatment.
  4. Cold feet. If your feet are always cold, regardless of the season or temperature, it can be an indicator of poor circulation. There are several possible causes for this, including diabetes, anemia and an underactive thyroid.
  5. Everyone gets a foot cramp occasionally, but if you are getting them regularly, it’s something to get checked out. In some cases, it may simply be a case of dehydration or a lack of certain minerals in your diet like magnesium, potassium or calcium. On the other end of the spectrum, however, ongoing foot cramps can be an indicator of nerve damage.

If you notice anything different about your feet or ankles—even if the changes are not painful or dramatic—contact us as soon as possible at: (562) 420-9800.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019 19:30

What’s this Lump in My Arch?

Patients usually panic when they find a lump in their foot (or anywhere else on their body for that matter). At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we urge patients to arrange an appointment with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas to get any unusual growths checked out promptly. One that we can put your mind at ease about, however, is a plantar fibroma.

Benign but Challenging

Plantar fibromas are benign fibrous tumors that develop in the arch of your foot. They are embedded in the plantar fascia, the long ligament that stretches along the bottom of your foot. The first and most obvious sign of a plantar fibroma is being able to feel a hard lump in the arch of your foot, which may or may not be painful, at least initially. This lump may stay the same size or grow over time, and additional fibromas may also grow. The condition may occur in one or both of your feet. Because of their location, plantar fibromas can cause pain and pressure in multiple areas of the foot.

Treatment Options

If you find a lump in the arch of your foot, the podiatrist will examine your foot and also order x-rays or an MRI to confirm the diagnosis. Non-surgical treatment options are aimed at reducing pain but cannot eliminate the fibroma. Corticosteroid injections may be recommended in an attempt to reduce pain and inflammation and shrink the fibroma, but the results are often temporary. Traditional surgery has the risk of nerve damage. A new development in the treatment of fibromas is cryosurgery. This procedure, done on an outpatient basis, freezes the tumor and shrinks it with little to no post-surgical pain or complications.

To learn more about this condition, contact our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Thursday, 14 February 2019 19:28

Take a Total Body Approach to Health

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we support a whole-body approach to foot health. February is American Heart Month. Part of keeping your heart healthy is eating correctly to maintain a healthy weight and staying active. Your feet play a key role in an active lifestyle. But, if the rest of your body isn’t being properly cared for, your feet can’t do it on their own. Below are areas that need your attention to in order to have good heart, foot, and overall body health.

Stress Busting—negative stress not managed correctly can lead to a lack of motivation and caring about our health. It’s easy to throw aside your exercise program because you’re in a bad mood or sad. Cultivate tools that can help you reduce stress and get you back on track:

  • Practice positive self-talk. If you stop and listen, we’re talking to ourselves all the time in our heads. When stressful things occur, you can start to change your outlook by changing your self-talk. Instead of “I can’t believe this is happening,” try “Okay, I can handle this. The first step is…” or “There’s no way I can do this,” change to “Where can I find help with this issue?”
  • When stressful situations hit, put some space between yourself and the situation. Take a walk, spend some time with a pet or even count to 10 and do some deep breathing exercises to help you get under control.
  • Cultivate ongoing stress-reducing activities such as hobbies, prayer, getting together with friends, reading, home improvement or gardening project.

Sleep it Off—not getting enough sleep (and enough is defined as 7-9 hours a night) can negatively impact your mood, eating habits, mental sharpness, physical functioning and more. Try some of these tips for a better night’s sleep:

  • Set your cell phone on silent or do not disturb and don’t keep it close to your bed. Falling asleep to your Facebook feed is not restful.
  • If you like to fall asleep while watching television, make sure you set it on a timer to go off. Studies show that sleep is less deep when a flashing screen plays all night in your room.
  • Take time to wind down before bed. A cup of decaffeinated tea, warm shower or bath, and some light reading are all excellent ways to relax and prepare for sleep. Establishing a routine before bed helps signal your body it’s sleep time.

Your feet work in conjunction with your heart and the rest of your body to achieve good health. If you have concerns about your feet, make an appointment to see one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas, at our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Wednesday, 06 February 2019 19:26

Common Reasons Exercise Programs Fail

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we know the importance of exercise to your feet as well as the rest of your body. That’s why we applaud patients who make a resolution to get in shape in the New Year. Too often, however, by the time February rolls around many exercise plans have already been shelved. Below are some scenarios that can bring fitness plans to a halt and how to work around them.

“Let’s do this! I am going to work out every day to get in shape fast no matter what it takes.”

Not so fast, or you’ll likely end up with an injury. Achilles tendonitis, ankle sprains, and shin splints are just a few of the conditions that can be caused by doing too much too quickly. Not to mention that an overly ambitious start, especially if you’re out of shape, can lead to fatigue and discouragement before you even really get started. The best bet for long-term success is to do an activity or program that allows you to start slowly and gradually increase the level of your workout.

“I started a running program a few years ago and still have my shoes—yay! I won’t have to go out and buy new ones.”

Footwear is one of the most important factors in the success of an exercise program. Getting fitness shoes that are designed for the sport or activity, you’ll be doing is key. However, foot size can change over time. It’s best to get your foot measured professionally and try your shoes on to make sure they are still comfortable.

“I have a bunion, but I think if I put a pad over it I should be able to exercise without a problem.”

Before starting a new exercise program, it’s always best to consult your general practitioner and also your podiatrist. Our foot doctors, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas, will examine your feet completely. If you have a chronic foot problem, the podiatrist can recommend shoe styles and make suggestions for how to best accommodate your condition. In some cases, a custom orthotic device can increase comfort and performance.

“I’m going to join a gym—there are lots of good deals available now.”

Take the time to consider your likes and lifestyle. A gym is a good option if you like the classes and machines offered and you need to schedule around your work. Consider if you want a more social setting or if you like to work out alone, if you prefer an indoor or outdoor activity and how much time you can devote to your fitness plan. You’re more likely to stick to a plan that suits your interests and your availability.

If you experience any foot or ankle pain or discomfort when exercising, contact our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800.

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