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Thursday, 05 November 2015 08:34

Congratulations to Dr. Connie!

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A Big Congratulation to Dr. Connie!

We couldn’t be more thrilled to share in the joy of Dr. Connie’s upcoming bundle of joy. We have been blessed to have her here with us at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center. Her expertise in podiatric surgery has been invaluable, and her wonderful personality has always been a great source of joy for our patients, as well as our staff.

Dr. Connie Enjoying a Great Time at the Baby Shower

doctor connie new baby 300x268

Recently, we were able to say thank you and to celebrate the arrival of her upcoming baby with a wonderful baby shower. Friends, colleagues and extended “family” (here’s Dr. Vikki’s mom with Dr. Connie at the shower) came together to celebrate this time of joy in Dr. Connie’s life.

She’s having a…

And for all of you wondering if she’s having a boy or a girl; well, we’ll let the last picture be the answer to that.

doctor connie baby shower

Congratulations, Dr. Connie!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015 08:31

ITB Syndrome and how to Care for it

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For many runners, hitting the pavement isn’t only a healthy form of exercise, it’s a passion and a way of life. However, no matter what the motivation behind the activity may be, the unfortunate fact is athletes are often prone to an onset of physical complaints, including foot problems, heel pain and other ailments.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS), is one of the leading knee injuries that runners experience. It can impact activity levels and lead to disabling pain. Discovering more about this common injury and how to care for it can help keep runners on track…literally.

What is ITBS?

ITB Syndrome involves the iliotibial band, the ligament that runs from the hip to the knee, which helps to stabilize the knee and aid in joint movement. When friction of the ITB band on the side of the knee occurs, the result is inflammation and irritation. This causes sharp pain that is located on the outside of the knee. It may also include the following symptoms:

Swelling around the outside of the knee
Pain that increases with continued running or activity
Feeling the band “snap” as the knee bends and straightens
Feeling intense pains strike when knee is slightly bent
In some cases, pain and tightness at the outside of the hip

What Causes the Syndrome?

Classified as an overuse injury, ITB syndrome is caused by the repetitive bending of the knee. However, there are several different factors that can contribute to the knee pain and increase the chances a person will experience it. Common risk factors include:

  • Overpronation of the foot
  • Muscle imbalance
  • Bowed legs
  • Legs that are uneven in length or an uneven running stride
  • Wearing worn-out footwear
  • Running downhill
  • Improper training techniques: too much too soon, insufficient warm-up before activity or not enough rest in between periods of exercise

What Can Be Done For Care & Treatment?

If nothing is done to take care of ITBS, the pain can become chronic and bring activity to a halt. There are several things that can be done to alleviate the pain and prevent the problem from worsening.

Resting is perhaps the most obvious form of care. For runners, it may be one of the most difficult. Running less often and/or shorter distances should be done to allow the ITB band time to heal. However if pain continues, running should be stopped completely, and another treatment pursued. Other methods for caring for ITBS may include:

Ice – Applying ice to the area can help reduce inflammation and pain. This can be done for a length of about 15-20 minutes or until pain diminishes.
Orthotics – Visiting with a podiatrist and possibly having footwear fitted for orthotics can help to ensure proper support.
Stretches – Regularly doing side stretches that stretch the ITB band and hip muscles are helpful for treatment and preventative measures.
Roll It Out – Using a foam roller can work to stretch out the ITB band and act as a deep tissue massage. This can be done by sliding down on one’s side and putting the foam roller under the leg. Next, roll the foam from the hip to the knee using the pressure of body weight.
Strengthening Exercises – Performing lower body exercises like squats and lunges can help build up weak butt and hip muscles. These weak muscles may be contributing factors to the syndrome.

In certain cases, a doctor may recommend additional treatment options such as medication and electrotherapy. Surgery is another option, but it is only performed as a last resort.

The most important thing is that something should be done to care for ITBS in order for runners to once again tackle a path without pain. If you need to be fitted for orthotics, or have another foot issue, contact Super Foot & Ankle Care Center in Long Beach. Our experienced podiatrists and staff are dedicated to helping patients achieve proper foot health in order to get back to being active in the things they love in life.

Monday, 05 October 2015 08:29

How to Treat Your Bunions Without Surgery

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In terms of leading foot disorders, bunions certainly make the list. This common condition occurs when the big toe joint becomes misaligned and a bump forms at its base. Early on, this deformity can cause a person little to no discomfort, but in more severe cases, bunions can become very painful and interfere with normal day-to-day activities.

While advances in medical techniques have helped bunion surgery make great strides, sometimes more conservative methods can work to provide sufficient relief. These top 4 treatments won’t completely get rid of the bunions altogether, but they can work to ease the pain and prevent the situation from progressing.

Change it Up:

Often, altering your footwear choice is a great initial start for treating your bunions.This generally means avoiding irritation by wearing shoes that are roomy and wide in the toe box, rather than tight or pointed. A knowledgeable podiatrist can help you find appropriate footwear. These shoes not only will offer a better orthopedic fit, but will be better designed or made of materials like soft leather, as to prevent inflaming the bunion.

Protect it:

Moleskin pads and gel guards can work as a type of shield for the bunion, protecting it from agitation and friction. In addition to their pain-relieving qualities, these items can help to prevent the development of corns, calluses and hammertoes, which often can be a subsequent result of the condition.

Support it:

Inserts and orthotics are additional conservative treatments that can provide valuable bunion relief. By redistributing weight, they lessen the pressure that’s placed on the misaligned toe joint. There are several over the counter options available in stores, but for a more customized insert to fit your foot, your podiatrist may prescribe a specific orthotic.

Ice it:

If your bunion is agitated or inflamed, ice can alleviate the pain. Applying ice packs several times a day, for roughly 20 minutes, will work to reduce swelling and discomfort.

Discover the Best Option for Your Bunion

At times, home remedies and conservative treatments can be great avenues for bunion relief. However, as each case is unique, getting the most appropriate care is done after meeting with a podiatrist. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we view surgery as the last resort, but we also understand the benefits it can offer certain patients. Now that these procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and require less downtime, bunion surgery is easier and far more convenient for patients. Whatever your individual case may be, we will carefully determine the best treatment plan to get your feet back on a healthy track. So, if you would like to discover the best option for your bunion, please schedule an appointment at our Long Beach office today.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 08:27

Why Hammertoes Will not Heal on Their own

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Your feet are the foundation of your body. Often, people do not even realize how much they depend on them. Nevertheless, if foot problems occur, the value of keeping feet healthy and happy undoubtedly becomes an understatement. Your daily life, health, and the level of participation in enjoyable activities, can all be greatly impacted by problems of your feet.

One issue that particularly arises is called “hammertoes.” Simply judging by its name, it may be hard to take this foot problem seriously. However, it’s important not to be fooled. This buckling, or curling, of the toe joints is a progressive and often painful condition.

Although in the beginning stages, the buckled joints may be flexible and not the source of much discomfort, treatment for hammertoes from a specialist should always be sought out as soon as possible to help address the deformity before it worsens.

Why Do People Get Them?

Hammertoes occur due to a muscle and tendon imbalance around the joint of the toe, causing the joint to curl and possibly become buckled in an arched position. As structural deformities, hammertoes can often result in handicapping a person. They can also cause the development of corns and calluses and lead to other concerning foot problems.

People can get hammertoes for a variety of reasons. One leading cause is genetics. Those with inherited foot types, such as flat feet or high arches, have feet that are less stable and are often predisposed to develop this deformity. Other factors that can lead to hammertoes include:

  • Wearing Narrow/Small Shoes
  • Arthritis
  • Daily usage of flip flops
  • High Foot Arches
  • Pressure from Bunions
  • Foot Trauma

Why Don’t They Go Away On Their Own?

Because this is a progressive condition, hammertoes don’t just go away or heal on their own. Instead, without intervention, the problem only exacerbates. Different degrees of severity do exist, but each should be addressed with attention and care. For serious conditions, where the joints have become painful and rigid, surgery may be the best solution to permanently correct the deformity.

In other cases, more conservative treatments and custom foot orthotics can be utilized to alleviate the problem and prevent its progression.

Helpful Tips

Prior to seeing a podiatrist, there are a few things a person can do to possibly help treat their hammertoes:

  • Wear better, wider-toed footwear. Uncramp your toes and give them the opportunity to lay flat.
  • Toe stretches and exercises. This can help imbalanced toe joints. Picking up items off the floor with your toes is one simple and effective exercise that can be done easily.

Nailing Those Hammertoes Down

When it comes to hammertoes, it’s really not a wait and see situation. The sooner you seek treatment, the quicker you can get your feet on a healthier and happier track. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we see surgery as a last resort, but will carefully review your specific situation to best determine which avenue of treatment is right for you.

Please contact our office today to set up an appointment to find hammertoe relief for your feet.

Often times, the importance of keeping feet healthy can get kicked under the rug and then easily forgotten. However, whether you’re going out for a run, shooting some hoops, or getting involved and supporting the Special Olympics, the value of proper foot care comes swiftly into play. While treatment from a Long Beach foot doctor is an appropriate way to ensure your individual needs get met, there are some general steps you can take to leading an active lifestyle with happy, healthier feet.

Lending a Helping Hand to Treat Feet

In the spirit of inclusion, involvement, and fun, thousands of people will come together for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. With the help of students, residents, and other podiatrists, Dr. Foley of Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center will serve her cause by performing foot screenings on the 7,000 participating athletes from 177 countries. The goal of this service is to ensure each competitor has appropriate shoes and gets foot care advice, in the hopes of keeping their feet and the games going strong.

Foot Screenings Will Focus on These Feet Factors:
  • Proper footwear
  • Toenail fungus
  • Athlete’s foot

How to Handle After-Exercise Foot Pain

Athletes are commonly more afflicted by foot pain, as they rely on their feet to perform. Athlete or not, everyone can use a helping hand in dealing with this discomfort. Try following these 3 helpful tips, the next time you encounter foot pain after intense physical activities:

  1. Rest & Foot Elevation – While it may not be easy to tell an athlete or heavily active person to give it a rest, that’s just what might be necessary to find a little foot pain relief. Also, as you are in a relaxed position, elevate your feet above the waist to reduce the foot pain and reduce possible swelling.
  2. Ice – Applying ice is another way to alleviate foot discomfort, decrease inflammation, and numb the aches. This can work to relieve heel pain from a strained plantar fascia, but may be inadvisable for those with diabetes or circulation issues.
  3. Listen to Your Body – Just like in other areas of the body, if pain persists, your feet are possibly trying to get your attention. Forget the no pain, no gain adage and visit your Long Beach foot doctor. Regular foot check-ups and preventative care measures will help keep healthy feet strong and foot pain at bay.

Consult a Long Beach Podiatrist for Foot Pain Relief

No matter if you are involved in the Special Olympics or not, foot discomfort certainly has a way of getting in the way of exercise and day-to-day activities. The experienced doctors and staff at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center are dedicated to helping out in the community and helping people everywhere have happy and healthy feet through quality treatment. Feel free to contact our office to schedule an appointment for foot pain relief.

Dealing with heel pain can be a real pain in the foot, and unfortunately it’s not uncommon. Affecting many, is a condition called plantar fasciitis, where the tissue existing on the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed and causes sharp, stabbing heel pain. Typically, this pain is strongest when you initially step out of bed in the morning. Plantar fasciitis treatment may be the best solution to handle your foot pain, but it pays off to have your Long Beach podiatrist review your case once pain becomes apparent.

Who’s Most Commonly Affected?

From exercise to work, to our daily activities, we are on-the-go and on our feet. For some, the increased amount of pressure to the plantar fascia tissue can create pain, damage or torn ligaments. Most commonly affected are people who are:

  • Overweight
  • Runners
  • Pregnant
  • On their feet constantly at work

How in the Heel Am I to Deal?

Undealt with, it’s possible that plantar fasciitis can eventually alter the way you walk. It can also lead to surgery. However, the good news is that most times it can be treated with conservative methods. Here’s a look at the top 4 steps you can take to help heal the heel pain:

Healing Steps:
  • Apply Ice: Several times a day you can ice your feet to decrease the inflammation and reduce the pain.
  • Evaluate Your Shoe Choice: Consider the possibility that your shoe selection may not be providing adequate support. By using proper footwear and/or using inserts/custom orthotics, heel pain can be relieved.
  • Stretches: Instructed stretches for your Achilles heel and plantar fascia  exercises can work to strengthen leg muscles and diminish the pain.
  • Visit a Doctor: Often, conservative methods tend to lead to recovery, however if pain persists you should visit a doctor. After an examination, your doctor will evaluate your initial condition and review your options. Treatments may involve medications, various therapies, and in some cases, surgical procedures.

Healed Heels and Happy Feet

With all the hustle and bustle of life, no one wants plantar fasciitis to cross their path. But if you are dealing with this heel pain or discomfort, the dedicated doctors and staff at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center can help. We see surgery as a last resort and strive to keep feet happy and healthy with educated assessments and preventative care methods. Contact our office today and voice any of your questions or concerns, or schedule an appointment with our podiatrists in Long Beach.

[Photo Credit: Laia Solanellas]

Monday, 13 April 2015 08:17

Top 5 Bunion Facts From Superior Foot & Ankle Center

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Five Facts on Bunions & Treating Them

Most people have heard about bunions, or have even experienced them. The painful bump that forms at the base of the big toe can lead to toe displacement and ultimately lead to bunion treatment. Affecting millions, this common condition can often be misunderstood. To shine some light on some of the confusion, here are the top 5 facts you should know about bunions.

Bunion Facts

Fact #1: A Bunion is Not Just Another Bump
Although the severity of bunions can vary, it’s important not to brush a bunion off as simply another bump. Even mild bunions can cause pain and irritation that can affect daily activities. When the big toe deviates towards other toes, the bunion forms at the toe joint. The importance of this is that being at the joint where the toe bends, pressure and pain can occur and make it very difficult to walk.

Fact #2: You Will Not Develop Large Scars
With just about any surgery, people often are concerned about scars. Due to incisional approaches and surgical techniques, scarring from bunion surgery is often minimal. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we also have patients use scar cream or silicone gel after bunion surgery. This further helps to control swelling and minimize the chances of large scarring.

Fact #3: Bunions Do Not Always Return
While bunions can possibly come back after surgery, it’s not an extremely common occurrence. Their return is more likely for patients who are prone to having bunions run in their family, and for patients who have excessive foot motion. Steps such as giving patients a post-surgery orthotic, helps to make sure the recurrence does not happen.

Fact #4: You Shouldn’t Wait for Bunion Pain to Increase
As humans we are often prone to putting things off and waiting until a condition becomes more painful before we do anything about it. However, in terms of bunion surgery patients really should not wait too long. As we age, our bone density decreases. This can make recovery from surgery much more difficult, so bunion surgery is recommended more for those in their 40’s and 50’s, rather than later in life.

Fact #5: Foot Exercises Do Help
Conservative treatments such as foot exercises and toe stretches do help to alleviate bunion symptoms and slow bunion progression. While they do not eliminate their existence, foot exercises such as toe curls and reflexing and contracting, make bunion pain much more manageable.

Schedule a Foot Friendly Consultation

We’ve had the chance to clear up some general confusion about bunions. However, bunions can often require different courses of treatment based on every individual. If you are suffering from this condition or need any other bunion facts cleared up, contact our experienced foot doctors at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center today.

Thursday, 09 April 2015 08:15

Keeping the Heart Healthy With a Heart Walk

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It is no surprise that at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we care about feet, but another health concern we hold close to our hearts is heart disease. That is why our team took their feet to the pavement and eagerly participated in the 2015 Orange County Heart and Stroke Walk. This event strove to raise money and awareness for the severity of cardiovascular disease for medical research and for methods of prevention.

You aren’t alone if you didn’t realize the seriousness of this condition, but here are some important facts about heart disease that reveal exactly how concerning it can be.

Facing the Facts about Heart Disease

According to the American Heart Association:

  • Heart Disease is the leading cause of death
  • Over 375,000 U.S. citizens die from heart disease
  • No. 1 cause of death in women
  • Every 43 seconds, someone in America is affected by heart disease
  • About 635,000 people a year have their first heart attack

Prevention Intervention

These statistics are no doubt alarming to say the least. So, what are a few steps you can take to help prevent heart disease?

Whether you are taking part in a Heart Walk or playing soccer or working out at the gym, physical activity is one important factor in reducing the risk of this disease. Exercising 30 minutes or more a day can manage your body weight and help eliminate conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure that put stress on the heart.

Hand in hand with exercise, is the factor of maintaining a healthy diet. Heart healthy foods like beans, grains, fruits and vegetables are excellent choices. However, foods that are deep-fried or loaded with trans and saturated fats are unnatural and unhealthy. They can increase your cholesterol as well as your chances for a heart attack. Eliminating these food choices from your diet and other health-risks like tobacco, are great ways to prevent heart disease.

Healthy Heart & Happy Feet

These were just a few steps to take to keep your heart healthy. If those steps have literally left you with foot issues or if you are interested in participating in a Heart Walk with us in the future, please contact our foot and ankle care center. We are eager to help you follow the road to better health.

Tuesday, 02 December 2014 08:13

Bunion Surgery Myths – Busted!

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Bunions are common but can be a painful disturbance and can begin to intrude on your daily activities. There are several methods to slow the progression of bunions; however bunion surgery is the only way to rid your feet of them properly. Many times, individuals have simply avoided surgery because of things “they’ve heard”; here are a few myths – busted.

Myth #1 – Bunion Surgery is Too Painful!

Reality: Bunion surgery is no more painful than any other surgery. Any foot surgery can have its fair share of pain because of the little tissue surrounding the foot. However, patients do feel some discomfort post-surgery but feel it is tolerable with pain medication and rest.

Myth #2 – I Will Be Forced to Wear a Cast

Reality: Long before, it was necessary to wear a cast after bunion surgery, but now with medical advances and minimally invasive techniques the procedure typically does not require patients to wear a cast. Patients are able to mobilize a lot quicker and are provided a surgical shoe instead. However, your surgeon may consider a cast for larger bunions that require a more complex procedure.

Myth #3 – I Will Not Work for 2-3 Months!

Reality: Length of recovery depends on your type of workplace and whether your bunion surgery was more complex. Patients with mild bunion surgery can return to their desk job within two weeks, jobs that require constant walking and or standing may require a medical leave of absence for about three to four weeks.

Not all bunions are treated the same. Bunion surgery, like all surgeries, is different for each individual. Contact your foot doctor at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center to learn more about your bunion treatment options today.

Thursday, 06 November 2014 08:07

Top Four Tips for Nail Fungus Prevention

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Toenail fungus also known as onychomycosis, is a common occurrence among adults. Many people get a nail fungus infection when using public gyms, shower stalls, swimming pools, or even unsanitary nail salons. Nail fungus is an infection that begins as a white or yellow spot under your nail. As the infection continues to grow it can lead to nail discoloration and your nail can begin to crumble. Prevent nail fungus by taking the following precautions:

Visiting a Nail Salon
This is one of the easiest ways to contract a nail fungus infection. There are so many people going in and out of theses shops that it is hard to tell whether the staff is taking proper precautions and sterilizing their tools properly. Prevent toenail fungus infection by taking your own pedicure kit with you when getting a pedicure at a salon protect your feet.

Keep Toenails Dry
Toenail fungus thrives in warm and moist environments making it a bit more difficult to get rid of. Be sure to change your socks frequently, especially after any sports or physical activities. Sprinkle antibacterial foot powder on your toes and shoes to soak up some of the moisture.

Prevent Fungus from Spreading
If you see white or yellowish spots beginning to form, soak your nails to prevent infection. Soak your feet in a mixture of 1 ounce of vinegar and 5 ounces of water, this solution can kill the bacteria that’s forming.

Cutting Nail Incorrectly
It’s important to know what the appropriate length is for toenails and how to cut them properly. Your toenail should line the tip of your toe and should be cut straight across and not round. Cutting them any lower than your normal length can leave your nail beds unprotected leading to a toenail fungus or an ingrown toenail.

Removing toenail fungus is difficult, which is why you should always take the proper precautions to prevent it. If your toenail is completely discolored and unattractive, contact your foot doctor in Long Beach to schedule an appointment to learn about your treatment options.

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