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Posts for category: Podiatry

By Emerald Coast Podiatry
August 08, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Sprained Ankle  

Signs and Treatment for Sprained Ankles

Do you have a sprained ankle? Ankle sprains are among the most common injuries. Ankle sprains sprain occur when the ligaments in the ankle are stretched or torn. Ankle sprains can be very painful and incapacitating. If you have an ankle sprain, it's a good idea to see your podiatrist. Read on to to learn about the signs and treatment for sprained ankles.

Signs You Have a Sprained Ankle

1. Pain: An ankle sprain can be painful and can make it hard to carry out your day-to-day activities. You may also feel discomfort when you place weight on the affected area. The pain may worsen when the area is pressed and during standing or walking.

2. Redness: A sprained ankle can cause warmth and redness around the affected area. If your ankle is warm, red, and swollen, it is inflamed. Warmth and redness is caused by increased blood flow to the area.

3. Swelling: When an ankle is injured with a sprain, inflammation occurs. Swelling is the body’s protective response to an injury. Inflammation occurs because of increased fluid in the tissue. This is a normal reaction of the body and is the start of the healing process. However, sometimes the body produces more swelling that necessary.

4. Bruising: A sprained ankle causes bruising around the affected joint. A contusion, commonly known as a bruise, is made up of blood beneath the skin. A bruise results in a discoloration of the skin. Bruising is a result of injury to the blood vessels in the skin.

5. Stiffness: A sprained ankle causes limited range of motion and stiffness. Inflammation and pain often limit movement after the injury. Your podiatrist may advise against moving the ankle to allow your ankle to heal. Your podiatrist may also design an exercise program to reduce stiffness after the injury.

Treating a Sprained Ankle

1. Rest your ankle: All ankle sprains require a period of rest. Resting your ankle will allow the healing process to begin. Stay off your feet to allow your ankle to heal. Gently exercise your ankle on a regular basis to reduce stiffness. Avoid strenuous activites, such as running and aerobics, until you can walk without it causing any pain.

2. Elevate your ankle: Keep your ankle raised above the level of your chest for several days after injury. Use pillows to keep your foot elevated. Keep your foot elevated for a few hours per day until your ankle stops swelling. Elevation is important after an injury as it helps to reduce the amount of blood flow to the injured area. This helps to reduce the inflammation, bruising, and pain.

3. Ice your ankle: Ice treatment can help decrease pain, swelling, bruising, and muscle spasms. To make an ice pack, fill a freezer bag with ice. Put an ice pack on your injured ankle for 10 minutes every 2 hours. Wrap an elastic medical bandage around the ice pack to hold it in place. You should not use ice for more than 20 minutes at a time. If you have circulation issues or diabetes, talk to your doctor before applying ice.

4. Compress your ankle: Apply a compression bandage from the toes to above the ankle. Wrapping your ankle will help to avoid bruising and swelling. Wrap the bandage around your ankle and foot, and secure it with medical tape. Make sure the bandage doesn't restrict blood flow to your toes or make the pain worse. Do combine compression with elevationa and rest whenever possible.

5. Take a pain reliever: If you have severe pain, a narcotic pain reliever can make you feel better. An OTC pain reliever may also help reduce the pain and swelling. Most medical professionals recommend anti-inflammatory medicines such as naproxen, ibuprofen, or ketoprofen. You can also take acetaminophen for pain, although this medicine does not reduce inflammation. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

6. See a doctor: A podiatrist can diagnose and treat an ankle sprain. Your doctor may order x-rays to determine if you have a broken bone in your ankle. You may receive an ankle brace to keep your ankle from moving and allow ligaments to heal. Your doctor will also give you medications to reduce swelling and pain. Once you can bear weight without increased pain, your doctor will add strengthening exercises to your treatment plan.

Whether your goal is getting back to work, hobbies, sports, the gym, or just enjoying life, a podiatrist can help. If you have an ankle sprain, search for a podiatrist in your area and schedule an appointment. A podiatrist can help you get back on track in no time!

By Emerald Coast Podiatry
July 19, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Claw Toes   Mallet Toes  

Understanding Claw and Mallet Toes

 

Think you may have mallet or claw toes? Mallet and claw toes form over years and are common in adults. Mallet and claw toes are among the most common toe problems. If you think you have mallet or claw toes, see a podiatrist right away. If you don't treat the problem right away, you are more likely to need surgery. Here's what you need to know about claw and mallet toes.

What Are Mallet and Claw Toes?

Mallet and claw toes are toes that are bent into an abnormal position. They may hurt or look odd, or both. These toe deformities usually occur in the small toes, not the big toes. Claw toe often affects the four small toes at the same time. The toes bend up at the joint where the foot and toes meet. This causes the toes to curl downward. Mallet toes often affect the second toes, but it may occur in the other toes too. Mallet toes bend down at the joint closest to the tip of the toes. 

What Causes These Conditions?

Tight footwear is the most common cause of mallet and claw toes. Wearing tight footwear can cause the muscles of the toes to get out of balance. Less often, these conditions are linked with other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, stroke, or an injury to the ankle or foot. Women are affected more often than men because they are more likely to wear narrow shoes or high heels.

How Are They Diagnosed?

Your podiatrist will take a detailed medical history and ask about your daily activities and footwear. A physical examination comes next, in which the level of deformity and scope of pain will be assessed. Diagnosis of these claw and mallet toes is usually obvious from the physical exam. To further evaluate the joints and bones of your feet and confirm a diagnosis, your podiatrist may order x-rays or other imaging tests.

How Are They Treated?

Buying shoes with more room in the toes, filing down calluses and corns, and padding the toes most often relieve the pain. If you have pain, your doctor may put a splint or pad on the toe. A custom orthotic device may be placed in your shoe to help control the muscle/tendon imbalance and alleviate your pain. This keeps the toe from rubbing on the top of the shoe. Corticosteroid injections are sometimes used to ease pain and inflammation. If these steps don’t work, you may need surgery to straighten the toes.

Podiatric medicine a branch of science that is devoted to the study, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions of the ankle, foot, and lower extremity. Podiatrists diagnose and treat various foot problems, including claw and mallet toes. They offer a variety of treatments for claw and mallet toes. If you think you may have claw or mallet toes, a podiatrist in your area can help you achieve real relief.

By Emerald Coast Podiatry
July 05, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Hammertoes  

A hammertoe is a common foot deformity that affects the middle joint of the smaller toes. As a result, this causes the toes to bend downward. Since this bend causes the joint to stick out this can put more pressure on the affected joints when wearing shoes, which can also make the deformity worse over time. As with most foot deformities a hammertoe will start out minor and continue to progress over time if left untreated.

During the earlier stages you may not notice much pain and discomfort. In fact the only way you may be able to tell that you have a hammertoe is by examining the foot and noticing that the small toes bend downward like a claw. Of course, at this stage the deformed joint is still flexible enough to be straightened out.

However, if the deformity progresses this can cause the joint to become rigid, which won’t respond effectively to simple conservative treatments. As you might imagine, the sooner you see a podiatrist to treat your hammertoe the better. Early intervention is key, as a hammertoe will not get better without the proper care.

Hammertoes are often the result of an imbalance in the muscle or tendon of the foot. Over time, this leads to structural changes in the foot. Genetics may also play a role in whether your feet are at risk for this deformity. A hammertoe can also be made worse by wearing shoes that are too tight and put too much pressure on the toes.

Along with the structural changes that occur with hammertoes it’s also common to experience redness, inflammation or the development of a corn or callus on the toe. If you are noticing symptoms of a hammertoe see your podiatrist for an evaluation. A simple physical exam is usually all that’s needed to diagnose a hammertoe; however, sometimes an x-ray will be performed in order to determine the extent of the deformity.

If you are dealing with a flexible hammertoe, more often than not simple nonsurgical treatment options are all that’s needed. Following simple treatment options and care can prevent the hammertoes from becoming rigid or painful. Some nonsurgical treatment options include:

  • Wearing the appropriate footwear. This means wearing shoes that aren’t pointy or have high heels, which can put more pressure on the toes.
  • Placing custom orthotics into your shoes, which can ease discomfort and prevent pain resulting in a muscular imbalance.
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, which can reduce both pain and inflammation.
  • Splinting the toe or toes to keep them straight, which can also reduce stiffness, inflammation and pain.
  • Applying protective non-medicated padding over the top of the toe to prevent a corn or callus from developing.

If your hammertoe is painful or rigid then you may need to discuss whether surgery is the best option for alleviating your symptom and correcting the deformity. If you are dealing with a hammertoe turn to a foot specialist for help.

By Nail Fungus By
February 24, 2017
Category: Podiatry

The Achilles tendon runs from the heel bone to the calf muscle in the back of the leg. When this tendon is injured, Achilles tendonitis can achilles tendonitisdevelop. Achilles tendonitis typically results in pain and discomfort when putting strain on the feet while standing, walking, running or jumping. Individuals who develop Achilles tendonitis should see a podiatrist for treatment, but there are also things you can do to protect yourself from developing it in the first place. At Emerald Coast Podiatry, Dr. Cosimo Ricciardi is your Crestview and Fort Walton Beach, FL, podiatrist.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is an injury that develops in the Achilles tendon when it is strained, pulled or torn. This tendon is the largest one in the entire body and runs along the back of the leg from the heel bone to the calf muscle. The Achilles tendon can become inflamed and irritated when performing repetitive movements, such as running sprints regularly. It is also possible to strain the Achilles tendon and develop tendonitis when standing for long periods of time or even from having flat feet.

There are several types of problems that can affect the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis happens to be the most common. It can best be prevented by minimizing repetitive movements and resting the feet, as needed. It is especially important for individuals who are on their feet for long periods of time regularly to rest their feet and legs. For those with flat feet, wearing orthotic shoe inserts or footwear with adequate arch support can minimize strain on the Achilles tendon and help prevent Achilles tendonitis.

Treatment Options

There are a few different options for treating Achilles tendonitis. Resting the feet and legs is important to avoid putting additional strain on the injured tendon. Anti-inflammatory medications, prescription or over-the-counter, can provide relief from the discomfort of Achilles tendonitis, as can applying ice to the injured area. Other possible treatments include orthotic heel cups or pads, a walking boot, physical therapy, laser therapy, ultrasound treatment, stem cell injections or surgery. A Crestview and Fort Walton Beach podiatrist can recommend the appropriate treatment for you.

Protect yourself from Achilles tendonitis by avoiding repetitive movements that put strain on the Achilles tendon, such as running or standing for extended periods. If you do develop Achilles tendonitis, a podiatrist evaluates your injury and determine which treatment options are best. Dr. Ricciardi is your Crestview and Fort Walton Beach podiatrist. To schedule an appointment, call Emerald Coast Podiatry at (850) 862-4119 for the Fort Walton Beach office or (850) 682-6522 for the Crestview office.

By Emerald Coast Podiatry
January 18, 2017
Category: Podiatry

Don’t let yellow unsightly nails be the end all be all to your foot health.

It’s amazing how many people can develop a toenail fungal infection. With fungus being everywhere it’s not a surprise that this could toenail fungus happen to anyone. If your nails have grown thicker, yellow and brittle then you too could have fallen victim to a pesky nail fungus. From the office of our Crestview and Fort Walton Beach, FL, podiatrist, Dr. Cosimo Ricciardi, find out what a laser treatment can do to treat your infection.

First and foremost, there are other conditions that can look similar to a fungal infection so it’s important that our Crestview and Fort Walton Beach foot doctor takes a look at your feet before proceeding with this treatment. Of course, those with weakened immune systems or diabetes should always seek medical care right away, as this infection could cause serious health complications.

Keeping your nails trimmed is a good way to get rid of some of the fungi in the nails. Remember that you don’t want to trim your nails too short or at a curve, as this can also increase your risk of an ingrown toenail.

While some patients may see results with prescription or over-the-counter creams, this isn’t always the most effective method since it’s nearly impossible for the topical cream to get through the hard layers of nail to kill the fungus. Other treatment options include an oral antifungal medication.

If you’ve tried all these options and you are still left battling a fungal infection then laser therapy might be the ideal treatment. Unlike topical medications, this laser can painlessly penetrate through the nail and kill the fungi underneath without damaging or affecting the healthy skin or nail around it.

This is an amazingly effective solution for killing stubborn and chronic fungal infections of the nails. You may need several treatments for it to take effect. There are no negative side effects as opposed to other treatment options, and there is no downtime after treatment. Laser treatment stimulates the growth of a healthy nail.

A toenail fungus doesn’t have to ruin the appearance and health of your feet. Turn to Emerald Coast Podiatry in Crestview and Fort Walton Beach, FL, for the expert care you need to get beautiful feet that you can’t wait to show off this summer.