Wednesday, 12 June 2019 12:16

Losing Weight: Your Feet Will Thank You

It’s a sad fact that 74% of overweight Americans have foot problems. So, while you may wonder what the connection is, at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we know there is a direct correlation between being overweight or obese and the health of your feet. It’s easy to see when you stop and think about it: your feet are carrying the weight of your entire body—the more you weigh the more stress and hard work for your feet. Below are three benefits for your feet to losing weight:

  1. Less foot pain—excess weight puts strain on your tendons and joints and can cause a flattening of the arch of your foot. This can increase your risk or the severity of several foot conditions, including:
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Arthritis
  • Sesamoiditis
  • Gout

Changes and discomfort in your feet can also lead to problems with your back, hips and knees. If you are experiencing pain in any part of your foot, it’s essential that you make an appointment at our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800 so that our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas can examine your feet and determine the source of your foot problem.

  1. Prevention of diseases—maintaining a healthy weight can also help lower your risk of certain medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and peripheral arterial disease. These systemic diseases can have devastating affects on your feet like neuropathy and circulation problems.
  2. Greater mobility—the less you weigh, the easier it is to be active. Being active can help in losing and maintaining a proper weight. A regular exercise routine will also help keep foot joints flexible and preserve a full range of motion.

The good news is that it doesn’t require a huge drop in weight to see big results for your feet. For example, for every pound you lose, this reduces the pressure on your knees by up to four pounds. If you are concerned that your weight may be affecting the condition of your feet, contact us today for more information.

Thursday, 06 June 2019 12:12

Avoid Summer Foot Hazards

During the summer months your feet experience some particular challenges. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we want to alert our patients to some potential foot and ankle problems and ways to prevent them.

Puncture Wounds and Cuts—going bare foot increases your risk of stepping on a sharp object. If this does happen and you sustain a puncture wound or cut be sure to clean it out completely and apply an antibiotic ointment and a bandage. Avoid swimming in lakes or the ocean while the wound remains open to prevent an infection from developing. If the area around the wound starts to feel warm or you notice redness or any pus or discharge, contact our Long Beach office immediately by calling: (562) 420-9800. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas will examine your foot and determine if you need treatment.

Fungal Infections—athlete’s foot, fungal toenails and warts are among the bacterial and fungal infections that are spread by direct contact. For this reason, we recommend keeping your feet covered in public places like community pools, gym locker rooms and showers and the nail salon.

Heel Pain—if flip-flops are your summer go-to shoes, you may notice an increase in heel pain. The average pair of flip-flops provides no arch support. Flattening of the arch exerts more pressure on your heel. If this is your footwear of choice, invest in a pair designed with sturdy soles and built in arch support.

Ankle Sprains—unfortunately many other summer shoe styles are also lacking in side, ankle and arch support. While these may be fine for dinner out or a special occasion, be sure not to wear them for extended periods of walking or sports activities as this likely to result in an ankle twisting injury.

Fortunately, a little common sense and smart choices can go a long way toward protecting your feet this summer. If you have foot pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019 12:10

5 Best Practices for Older Patients

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we take care of the feet of patients of all ages. This month—Older Americans Month—we want to offer some information for taking good care of senior feet. While it’s true that some conditions are more likely to occur with age, there are still many ways to prevent disabling problems and ensure that your golden years remain active. Below are 5 tips for better foot health for older patients:

  1. Keep feet clean and dry. Wash feet every day with warm soapy water and dry completely. If you tend to sweat excessively, use an anti-fungal powder each morning and change your socks as soon as you notice that they feel damp. This will go a long way in preventing athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.
  2. Inspect your feet weekly. Look for changes in shape, color of skin and toenails, lumps or growths, rashes, bruising and swelling. Report anything that seems abnormal to our podiatrists, Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas so they can evaluate your feet and determine if a condition exists that needs treatment.
  3. Maintain good circulation. This means not smoking and avoiding standing or sitting—especially with your legs crossed– in one position for a prolonged period of time. Don’t wear tight hose and socks.
  4. Move it along. Exercise will also help with circulation. In addition, it will keep feet and ankles flexible, maintain good range of motion and control weight.
  5. Buy good shoes. Roomy toe boxes, soft and flexible materials and a proper fit will help you avoid many common foot problems. Forgo heels that are higher than two inches and rotate your shoes from day to day.

Don’t put off making an appointment if you are experiencing foot pain or discomfort. This leads to an increase risk of falls and the chance that your condition will worsen and require more invasive treatment. Contact our Long Beach office today for an appointment by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019 12:09

Stress Fractures May Signal Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis causes a bone fracture in one out of every two women and one out of every four men over the age of 50. Since May is National Osteoporosis Month, we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center think this is a good time to talk about this disease, which can have a big impact on the health of your feet.

Although stress fractures can occur due to trauma, accidents or overuse from an exercise or sport, they can also be the sign of weak bones.

What Causes Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis occurs when you lose too much bone, make too little bone or both. Many patients don’t realize that bone is living tissue that is constantly being torn down and built up. There are many conditions and factors that can result in loss of bone strength. These include:

  • Age—your risk increases over the age of 50
  • Sex—women have a higher risk, particularly post-menopausal women
  • Ethnicity—Latinos, Asian Americans and African Americans are more at risk
  • Disease—osteoporosis is often associated with other disease, such as diabetes, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Family history of osteoporosis

If you are experiencing symptoms such as pain, tenderness, swelling, bruising or difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot, it’s important that you not put off getting these symptoms evaluated. Make an appointment at our Long Beach office so that our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas can examine your foot and diagnose the problem and its cause. The foot doctor can help determine your personal risk for osteoporosis and whether or not bone density or other tests should be ordered at this time.

Making Choices for Healthy Bones

Fortunately, there are many ways you can help increase bone strength and lower your risk for fractures, such as:

  • Get enough calcium—know how much you should be getting each day and increase your intake of s of yogurt, milk, cheese, leafy greens and other foods that are high in this nutrient. Be sure to also get adequate amounts of vitamin D as this is essential for body to absorb calcium properly.
  • Exercise regularly—weight-bearing and muscle strengthening build stronger bones. In general, being active can reduce your risk for decreased bone strength.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Fall-proof your home inside and out.

Being educated is your best defense against osteoporosis. Have more questions? Contact us at: (562) 420-9800.

Thursday, 16 May 2019 12:07

A Beautiful Pedicure in 8 Easy Steps

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we know that many of our patients enjoy getting professional pedicures but recent stories in the news about fungal and bacterial infections lurking at some salons may leave you feeling hesitant. If you don’t have a salon you trust to follow proper sanitizing procedures, we want you to know that you can give yourself a relaxing and pretty pedicure at home. Here’s how:

  1. First remove any old nail polish using cotton balls and nail polish remover.
  2. Fill a small tub with warm, soapy water and soak your feet for 5-10 minutes. Use a nail brush to gently scrub toenails and then rinse feet with clear water and dry.
  3. Rub a pumice stone or foot file on rough areas of the foot such as the heel and ball. This will exfoliate dead skin and help smooth calluses. If you have large or deep calluses or corns, make an appointment at our Long Beach office and let our podiatrists, Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas safely remove or trim them.
  4. Trim toenails straight across and not too short. File the edges with an emery board. Do not curve the edges downward as this can lead to ingrown toenails.
  5. Gently push back your cuticles with an orange stick. Cuticles that extend from the nail margins can be trimmed using a cuticle trimmer. Do not cut so close that they bleed.
  6. Apply moisturizer to the cuticles and then the rest of your feet. Give yourself a soothing foot massage, using your fist to rub the balls of your feet and heel. Massage the top of your foot and your toes as well. You can also roll your feet on a bottle or rolling pin.
  7. Remove excess lotion from toenails with nail polish remover.

Brush on a base coat, then two coats of your favorite color and a top coat. Put your feet up and allow time for nails to dry completely. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 08 May 2019 12:03

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that over 5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year? In fact, it’s the most common kind of cancer. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we want to draw attention to this condition because, while the skin on your feet is just as susceptible as that on the rest of your body, many patients don’t think of their feet as a possible site for skin cancer.

Protect and Detect

The good news is that skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. It’s estimated that nearly 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 85% of melanomas are caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. There are some simple ways you can greatly reduce or eliminate your risk of danger from the sun’s rays:

  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays and that has an SPF of 15 (30 is even better if you will be out for a long period of time). Use sunscreen on your feet even if you will just be out for a day of shopping and are wearing sandals or other open-style shoes that expose the skin on your feet.
  • At the beach or pool, apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet. Reapply every two hours and after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Never use UV tanning beds.
  • Try to avoid the sun when it is at its strongest: between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

One of the most important ways to protect yourself is by conducting regular self-exams of your skin. For your feet, this means examining both the tops and bottoms. Be sure to also take the time to look between your toes. If you have any moles or freckles, note any changes in them. It’s helpful to remember the ABCD method of evaluating skin spots. Danger signs include:

A—asymmetrical shape

B—borders that are uneven

C—colors that are mottled or multiple colors in one mole

D—diameter larger than ¼ inch (about the size of a pencil eraser)

If you notice anything suspicious looking on the skin of your feet, contact our Long Beach office (562-420-9800) for an appointment so that our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas can examine your examine your feet and determine if further testing or evaluation is needed.

Wednesday, 01 May 2019 12:02

Mow Your Lawn, Not Your Feet!

Did you know that each year it’s estimated that over 35,000 injuries occur while mowing the lawn? At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we care about your feet and want to help you protect them. Most podiatric mower injuries can be prevented with common sense and a few precautions.

Start Safely

Have your mower serviced at least once a year to ensure safe operation. If you have purchased a new mower, be sure to read the direction manually carefully before using the mower for the first time. Do not mow your lawn when you are sick or extremely tired.

Take Precautions

Start with the right attire: wear long pants and work boots or other shoes made of sturdy material. Don’t mow wearing flip flops, sandals or open toed shoes and—hard as it is to believe that anyone would—never mow barefoot. Pick up sticks, rocks and toys before mowing.

Avoid Not-Smart Moves

There are several choices that will help you avoid injury:

  • Don’t mow a lawn when it’s wet
  • Mow steep slopes slowly from side to side, not up and down
  • Don’t pull a mower backwards while it is running

Keep Kids Safe

Lawn mowers are often like magnets for children. Make sure you set firm rules with your children so that they know not to come out to you on the lawn while you are mowing. Never give children rides on the mower. Keep the clip bag attached to the mower to avoid objects being picked up and shot out like projectiles while children are playing nearby.

Make sure that if you do get even a minor cut from the mower blades that you stop immediately and clean the area completely and apply an antibiotic ointment. If the cut appears not to be healing or gets warm, red around the edges or starts oozing, contact our Long Beach office immediately by calling: (562) 420-9800. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas will want to check your foot and see if an infection has developed.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019 11:59

What’s Behind Bunions?

At first, a bunion may appear very subtle. You may look down and notice your big toe seems to be leaning slightly toward the second toe. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we find many patients are unfamiliar with how bunions develop and therefore may not come in promptly to get them evaluated.

Know Your Risk Factors

Most often, bunions are caused by a biomechanical defect in your feet. This may be a neuromuscular problem, flat feet or overpronation. In many instances, this fault in the mechanics of your feet may be inherited. There are other factors, however, that can also increase your risk of developing a bunion, including:

  • Wearing tight-fitting shoes with pointy or narrow toe boxes
  • Spending long periods of time in high-heeled shoes or boots
  • A previous foot injury
  • Congenital defect
  • Repetitive stress to the foot
  • Arthritis

Seek Treatment Early

In its early stages, a bunion may not cause you any pain or discomfort. However, bunions are a progressive disorder. As time goes on, the big toe joint will move further and further out of place until it begins to cause pain when you walk. It will also become increasingly difficult to wear shoes due to the pressure exerted on the bunion by your footwear. The toe can eventually become rigid in the defective position and cause other deformities such as hammertoes to occur. It’s essential that you make an appointment at our Long Beach office so that our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas can examine your foot. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available which can slow the progression of the bunion and prevent foot pain and discomfort. These include:

  • Altering your activities to avoid motion that exerts adverse pressure on the bunion
  • Using a custom orthotic to correct the biomechanical problem and increase stability
  • Exercises to increase joint mobility
  • Night splints to realign the joint

If you think you have a bunion forming, don’t wait. Contact us today for an appointment by calling: (562) 420-9800.

As we age, many of us just accept joint stiffness and pain as an unavoidable part of getting older. But, at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we want to encourage patients to bring those symptoms to our Long Beach office as soon as they start to notice them. Arthritis can be treated, and its progression can be slowed. It’s also important to have our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas examine your feet and properly diagnose your condition because there are multiple kinds of arthritis and they require different treatments.

Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis is actually a category that contains over 100 different conditions. The two major forms of arthritis, however, are osteoarthritis (the “wear and tear” kind) and rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most serious of the two. It is actually an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own cells. This leads to an intense inflammatory response within the body. Symptoms may include:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Redness and warmth at the joints
  • Swelling

These are also common signs of osteoarthritis. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may notice additional symptoms, including:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Symmetry of symptoms—meaning that what is going on in one side of the body is also going on in the other side, i.e., joint pain will occur in both hands or both feet
  • Weight loss
  • Nerve damage that results in numbness or tingling
  • Decreased range of motion

Because rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic condition that can also affect other symptoms in the body, a patient with this disease will need a rheumatologist or other physician to coordinate and mange their care.

Podiatric Help

The foot doctor is part of the care team for a patient with rheumatoid arthritis will help with treatment designed to relieve foot pain caused by the arthritis. Some options may include:

  • Steroid injections
  • Accommodative shoes
  • Orthotics

If you have begun to experience joint discomfort, soreness or pain, it’s important that you make an appointment as soon as possible. Contact us by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019 11:56

Fixing Flat Feet

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we treat many patients with flat feet. This common condition can be a source of ongoing pain and also cause swelling and a lack of flexibility in the foot. Oftentimes, people with flat feet also suffer from heel pain due to the biomechanical dysfunction that alters the structure and motion of the foot.

In some people, flattening of the arch begins during adolescence and continues into adulthood. For others, it is caused by Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction or PTTD—a condition that has to do with changes in this tendon that provides major support for the arch of your foot. Other contributing factors to flat feet include:

  • Genetics
  • Weight gain
  • Injury or trauma
  • Aging
  • Arthritis

Getting Relief

Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas will want to examine your feet and determine the source of the your deformity. If your fallen arches are not causing you pain, the foot doctor may just take a wait and see approach and monitor your condition. Flat feet is usually a progressive disorder and therefore is best treated sooner rather than later. Regardless of the cause, however, there are several non-invasive treatment options available. These include:

  • Icing the painful area
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Arch supports, braces or supportive tape
  • Custom orthotics
  • Rest
  • Choosing more supportive shoes

When these measures fail to bring relief or the arch continues to fall, surgery may become necessary. We offer flat foot reconstruction surgery that can provide a long-term correction of your fallen arches. If you are suffering with painful flat feet, contact our Long Beach office as soon as possible by calling: (562) 420-9800. The podiatrist will discuss the best surgical option for your specific case of flat feet and let you know what you can expect as far as results and recovery time.

Page 8 of 28

Connect With Us