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December 2019

Monday, 30 December 2019 00:00

The Difficulties of Having a Hammertoe

Having a hammertoe can make simple activities such as walking or wearing shoes feel like agony. The discomfort and pain that comes with having a hammertoe is due to the curling affect it has on the joints of the affected toe or toes, pushing them downward. The development of other foot-related conditions, such as corns and calluses, are common among those who have hammertoes. Hammertoes tend to be more common as you age, as well as for those with arthritis. To help ease the pain and discomfort of having a hammertoe, it’s recommended you refrain from wearing tightly-fitting shoes. For further guidance and a professional treatment plan, we recommend you speak with a podiatrist.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Kirk Sherris of Liberty Bay Foot & Ankle. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Poulsbo, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe
Sunday, 29 December 2019 00:00

Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Monday, 23 December 2019 00:00

Diabetes and Foot Ulcers

Wound care is generally a familiar concern for diabetic patients. When the insulin levels are elevated for an extended period of time, there may be a loss of feeling as a result of neuropathy. A small cut or scrape on the foot may have the potential of developing into a dangerous wound, and prompt treatment is necessary in possibly preventing a painful foot ulcer. Proper treatment may begin with cleaning the affected area thoroughly, followed by applying an antibiotic cream. It is important the wound is covered, and this may help to prevent bacteria from multiplying at the site of the foot ulcer. If you are affected by diabetes, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help this condition.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Kirk Sherris from Liberty Bay Foot & Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Poulsbo, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care
Tuesday, 17 December 2019 00:00

Levels of School for Podiatrists

People who have the desire to learn about the treatment and prevention of foot disorders may work in the field of podiatry. They learn about how the foot is constructed, and the importance of maintaining proper foot care. The levels of education consist of earning a bachelor's degree, followed by enrolling in a college of podiatric medicine. This is a four year program, and incorporates two years of laboratory work. Upon completion, the student will become a doctor of podiatric medicine, which is referred to as a DPM. Residency training provides the skills needed to perform a variety of foot surgeries, in addition to learning about different medical techniques. If you are interested in pursuing a career in podiatry, it is advised that you confer with a podiatrist who can guide you in determining if this is a correct choice for you.

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact Dr. Kirk Sherris from Liberty Bay Foot & Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drugs
  • Orthotic inserts or soles
  • Surgery on lower extremity fractures

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Poulsbo, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What is a Podiatrist?
Monday, 09 December 2019 00:00

Three Types of Orthotics

Orthotics are devices that are worn in the shoes which may help to correct foot structure. These are generally designed by a podiatrist who can determine the reason why wearing orthotics can be beneficial. Research has noted that there are three types of orthotics to choose from. People who participate in sporting activities that include jumping may benefit from wearing soft orthotics, as this may help to increase cushioning. Patients who have flat feet may find that wearing semi-rigid orthotics can help to provide the stability that is needed to accomplish daily activities. Wearing rigid orthotics may be beneficial in diminishing pain that can be present in patients who have neurological illnesses. If you have pain in your feet, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can determine if wearing orthotics is right for you.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Dr. Kirk Sherris from Liberty Bay Foot & Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Poulsbo, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes
Monday, 02 December 2019 00:00

Bacteria and Sweaty Feet

When the feet sweat continuously, it may be a condition that is known as plantar hyperhidrosis. Sweaty feet can be uncomfortable and may lead to bacterial and fungal infections. It is beneficial to wear socks and shoes that are made from a breathable material, which may help to control any odor that can come from the feet. Research has indicated that walking barefoot as often as possible may help to manage  this condition, in addition to refraining from wearing the same pair of shoes for two days in a row. Some patients find it helpful to use an antiperspirant on their feet, as well as wear insoles that can absorb the sweat. If you are suffering from this condition, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can help you to control plantar hyperhidrosis.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. Kirk Sherris of Liberty Bay Foot & Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Poulsbo, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Hyperhidrosis of the Feet
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