My Blog

By David T. Magnesen, DPM
May 15, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Health   Aging Feet  

As you age, it becomes even more important to take care of yourself, especially your feet. Foot health tends to decline in seniors for many reasons, including:

∙       Years of walking

∙       Improper footwear

∙       Poor circulation

∙       Diseases related to foot problems such as diabetes and gout

∙       Improperly trimming toenails

When problems are ignored, they may worsen and lead to more dangerous issues. There are easy ways to take care of aging feet and nonsurgical treatments to relieve pain.

When to talk to your doctor

It’s important to know when symptoms are just common aches and pains and when they might be something more serious. Even if your pain isn’t related to something serious, you still need to take care of your feet since they are the foundation of the body. Aging foot pains may cause pain in the knees, hips, or back.

Some symptoms to look out for are:

∙       Brittle or discolored toenails

∙       Discoloration or cold/numb feet

∙       Severe pain in feet and ankles

∙       Blisters or cracked skin

∙       Sores and wounds

Tips for maintaining healthy feet

Taking care of feet is simple and will pay off in the long run. Some easy tips for foot health are:

∙       Inspect your feet and nails regularly

∙       Use soap to wash your feet and always thoroughly dry them

∙       Use lotion to prevent dry, itchy, and cracked skin

∙       Wear properly fitted shoes and clean socks

∙       Trim your toenails regularly

∙       Don’t cross your legs

∙       Elevate your feet when seated

Taking care of aging feet is simple, and your dedicated foot doctors are here to help. Foot care is something you shouldn’t avoid, and individuals that aren’t able to take care of their feet are encouraged to see their podiatrist for foot care appointments. If you have any questions about taking care of your aging feet, call our office today to make an appointment!

By David T. Magnesen, DPM
May 01, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

BunionsWhat is a Bunion?

Are you dealing with a bunion? A bunion is a protrusion of the bone at the base of the big toe. While a bunion may seem like a bump, according to the (APMA) American Podiatric Medical Association a bunion is actually the enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe – the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. While bunions are a common foot disorder, it is not something that you should ignore as bunions can cause discomfort and become inflamed if left untreated.
 

What Causes Bunions?

Bunions can be hereditary and aggravated by the shoes you wear, especially high heels or shoes that don’t have enough room for your toes. Certain factors can also contribute to the development of bunions, such as if you have flat feet or low arches or if your feet pronate (when the ankles roll in towards each other during movement and cause excessive and prolonged pressure on the joints in the feet). If you are dealing with bunions, or think that you are, it’s important to seek help from a qualified podiatrist to get the care you need to relieve your pain and discomfort.
 

How a Podiatrist Can Help

Your podiatrist may recommend certain conservative at home steps you can take to minimize the discomfort. The first thing they may recommend is that you look at or change the kind of shoes you wear. It’s important to find shoes that are wide enough to accommodate your toes. Shoes such as high heels are likely to make the problem worse. Bunion pads can also help with your discomfort.
Severe bunion pain can restrict your mobility. Untreated bunions can continue to get worse if you don’t do something about them and can lead to other issues such as calluses and corns, or you may experience pain or redness on the site of the bunion, as well as swelling.
Other treatment options include orthotics or a combination of physical therapy and medication to relieve pressure and inflammation of the bunion. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to resolve the issue.
 

Prevention is Key

We all like to remain active, and oftentimes it is the result of this activity that can make your bunion pain worse. You should visit your podiatrist if you notice any issues so they can be caught and treated as early as possible. Call our office today.
By David T. Magnesen, DPM
April 17, 2018
Category: Foot Care

The feet of children grow and change rapidly during their first year, reaching almost half their adult foot size. Most changes in children’s feet are a natural part of development, but others require attention and treatment from a professional. That’s why it’s important for parents to pay close attention to their child’s feet to ensure proper growth during every stage of development. A podiatrist provides expert care, diagnosis and treatment of ankle and foot disorders in children.

Here are some tips to help parents guide normal development for their child’s feet:

  • For babies, avoid covering the feet too tightly, as this restricts movement and can delay normal development.

  • If your child participates in sports, choose sport-specific shoes that fit his or her feet properly

  • Observe walking patterns. Does the child toe in or out; have bowlegs or knock-knees; limp or experience other gait abnormalities? These problems can be corrected if they are detected early.

  • A child’s feet change rapidly, so check your child's shoe size often. Shoes should be supportive, well-cushioned and roomy.

  • When applying sunscreen, remember to apply to the feet.

  • Kids love the freedom of being shoeless, but walking barefoot may increase a child’s risk of infection, sprains or fractures.

Remember, your child doesn’t necessarily have to show signs of foot pain or discomfort for something to be abnormal. A child’s feet are very pliable and can be deformed without the child recognizing the warning signs. Carefully monitor your child’s feet. If you notice unusual symptoms, seek professional care immediately. Deformities will not be outgrown by themselves.  

Your child will depend on his or her feet for the rest of their life to get them where they need to go. Whenever you have questions about your child's foot health, contact your trusted podiatrist. Any pain that lasts more than a few days, or that is severe enough to limit the child’s walking, should be evaluated by a professional.

By David T. Magnesen, DPM
April 02, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Running   Marathon Training  

marathon runningWhether you’re training for your very first marathon or preparing for your 10th, it’s important to begin your training program on the right foot. A lack of experience coupled with the repetitive impact placed on the feet and ankles during a long run can produce enough stress to cause hairline fractures and other debilitating foot injuries.

Many foot problems seen in marathoners are caused by the repetitive pounding over the months of long-distance running. With some people, injury is triggered by the abnormal foot biomechanics, and in others it is because of poor training. During a 10-mile run, the feet make about 15,000 strikes, at a force of three to four times the body's weight. Even if you have perfect foot mechanics, injuries and pain are often unavoidable with this amount of stress.  

To prevent injury during training, it’s important to pay close attention to your feet.  When increasing mileage, avoid doing so too quickly. The increased forced can make your feet more susceptible to stress fractures.

Basic tips for training include:

  • Follow a training schedule that is appropriate for your experience level
  • Start easy and increase your mileage slowly
  • Stretch and warm up properly to reduce strain on muscles, tendons and joints
  • Choose appropriate footwear based on your foot structure, function, body type, running environment and training regimen
  • Never ignore pain. If the pain gets worse with reduced exercise and rest, stop training and visit your podiatrist

Aside from stress fractures which often occur from overtraining, additional foot problems you may experience include:

  • Toenail problems, including ingrown and fungus
  • Heel pain, such as plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendon and calf pain
  • Toe pain, such as bunions
  • Shin splints

Before you start training, our practice recommends visiting a podiatrist for a complete evaluation of your lower extremities. Our office will examine your feet and identify potential problems, discuss training tactics, prescribe an orthotic device that fits into a running shoe (if needed) and recommend the best style of footwear for your feet to allow for injury free training all the way up to your race day. It is especially important to come in for an exam if you have already started training and are experiencing foot or ankle pain.  

Training for a marathon is hard work. It takes time and dedication. At our practice, we offer special interest and expertise working with marathoners to ensure good foot health throughout your entire training program to help you achieve your goals.

By David T. Magnesen, DPM
March 16, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Achilles Tendon  

Achilles TendonThe Achilles tendon is the strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. This lower leg tendon enables you to walk, jump, stand on your toes and climb stairs. You rely on it virtually every time you move your foot.

When the tendon is stretched beyond its normal capacity, a complete or partial tear may occur. Most Achilles tendon ruptures occur as a result of sport-related injuries when forceful jumping or sudden accelerations of running overstretch the tendon and cause a tear. Individuals with Achilles tendinitis -- weak and inflamed tendons -- are also more susceptible to tendon tears.

Signs of a torn Achilles tendon include:

  • Sudden, sharp pain in the back of the ankle and lower leg
  • Snapping or popping sensation at the time of the injury
  • Swelling down the back side of the leg or near the heel
  • Difficulty walking or rising up on the toes

The best treatment for a torn Achilles tendon is prevention. Avoiding this injury could save yourself months of rehab and extended time away from your game. Help prevent injury to your Achilles tendon by:

  • stretching your calf muscles regularly
  • limiting hill running and jumping activities that place excess stress on the Achilles tendons
  • resting during exercise when you experience pain
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • alternating high impact sports, such as running with low-impact sports, such as walking or biking
  • wearing appropriate, supportive shoes with proper heel cushioning

If you suspect a ruptured Achilles tendon, visit our practice as soon as possible. Until you can seek professional care, avoid walking on the injured tendon and keep it elevated. Ice the affected area to reduce pain and swelling and, if possible, wrap the injured foot and ankle. For partial tears, swelling and pain may be less severe, but prompt treatment should still be administered.

Treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture can be surgical or non-surgical. Surgery to reattach the tendon is generally recommended, followed by rehabilitation, especially for individuals who want to return to recreational sports. Our pracitce can evaluate the severity of your tear and suggest the best treatment plan. With proper care, most people return to their former level of performance within six months.





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