Thursday, 26 November 2020

How Working from Home Can Affect Your Feet

Millions of people around the world are now finding out that working from home is not as great as they thought it would be. People are deprived of an ideal work set up; they no longer have the ergonomic furniture, keyboards, and monitors that they have become used to. This is affecting people’s health and causing a lot of aches and pain. One of the areas affected is the feet.

How Working from Home Can Affect Your Feet

Foot Problems Related to Working from Home

Heel pain

Big toe pain

Sore arches

Muscle cramps

Swollen feet

Swollen ankles

Causes of Work from Home Foot Problems

Resting on the Balls of the Feet

Many people rest their feet on some kind of stool. This prolonged resting on the balls of the feet can cause problems like a hammertoe, shortened Achilles tendons, arch pain, and muscle spasms.

Resting on the Outer Edges of the Feet

This is another way that people rest their feet and it can cause arch pain, pain in the little toe, ankle weakness, and discomfort.

Sitting on the Feet 

Some people are very comfortable tucking their feet under them. This can cause pain to the feet, ankles, knees, legs, and lower back.

Sitting with Legs Stretched out and Ankles Crossed. 

This puts stress on the lower back and also on the ankles and feet. It can cut off circulation and compress nerves in the feet leading to cramps, numbness, and tingling.

Sitting for Long Periods

This can cause swelling in the ankles and feet. It can also hamper blood circulation.

Also Read: Importance of At-Home Foot Care for the Elderly

Tips to Prevent These Problems 

Sit in such a way that the hips are at a level with or slightly higher than the knees.

Keep feet firmly planted on the floor or a footrest.

Take breaks at intervals and walk around.

Wear supportive footwear even when at home. 


EPAT Treatment for Pain Management

Extracorporeal pulse activation technology or EPAT is one of the most recent technological advances in pain management. It is a non-invasive treatment which uses pressure waves to stimulate the metabolism. It also helps in improving blood circulation and encourages healing and regeneration of damaged tissue. 

EPAT Treatment for Pain Management

When Is EPAT Recommended?

Our feet and ankles carry our body’s weight all day, every day and there is bound to be wear and tear. Sometimes, this is aggravated by extreme sports and training or it could worsen due to aging. If the trauma is severe, it could take a long time to heal and can quite often become chronic. EPAT treatment can help in these chronic cases and change the outcome and provide a positive solution. This is because it not only helps in pain management but also helps in tissue regeneration. With EPAT treatment, the injury heals faster and recovery is quicker.

Benefits of EPAT

Non-invasive treatment

No risk of infection

No anesthesia required

No scarring

Cost-effective

Patients can:

o Walk almost immediately

o Return to regular activities within 24-48 hours

o Resume strenuous activities after 4 weeks

Also Read: How Nutrition Can Affect Your Feet

Procedure

At the clinic, a coupling gel will be applied to the area that needs to be treated. The EPAT pressure waves will be released through the applicator and will move over the area in a circular motion for maximum effect. The treatment sessions usually take 5-10 minutes depending on what the problem is. The patient will generally need at least 3 treatment sessions with one session every week.


Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Understanding Diabetic Neuropathy and Its Effects on the Feet

Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that causes damage to the nerve cells. This can result in pain and numbness in any part of the body like the digestive system, the urinary tract, the blood vessels and the heart but it most often affects the nerves in the legs and feet.

Understanding Diabetic Neuropathy and Its Effects on the Feet
Diabetic neuropathy can be peripheral, autonomic, proximal or mononeuropathy and they are diagnosed depending on the area that they affect.

Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type and it affects the feet and legs first and if not controlled, may slowly move upwards affecting hands and arms. Symptoms in the feet include:

  • Numbness
  • Inability to feel hot and cold sensation
  • Inability to feel pain
  • Tingling
  • Burning sensation inside feet
  • Cramping
  • Sharp or shooting pain
  • Pain and sensitivity to touch
  • Foot ulcers, infections
  • Bone and joint pain
  • A diabetic who has peripheral neuropathy could have one or more of the above symptoms. People with diabetic neuropathy need to monitor their feet regularly.

Taking Care of Diabetic Feet at Home

  •  Inspect feet regularly for corns, calluses, cuts, injuries, etc. Since the diabetic will have decreased sensation in the feet, an injury or infection may get overlooked.
  •  Wear well fitting shoes that are wide and do not cause shoe bites or friction.
  •  Avoid walking barefoot to prevent injuries.

Also Read: How To Protect Your Legs and Feet If You Have Diabetes

Regular Podiatric Consult Is a Must

Apart from taking care of the feet at home, a diabetic with peripheral neuropathy must see a podiatrist regularly. The podiatrist will help in maintaining foot health and provide treatment that will help decrease pain and improve quality of life. Oral medication may be prescribed to help with symptoms. A thorough foot check will be performed regularly to check for injuries and infections. You will also be educated on how to take care of your feet at home. Diabetics with peripheral neuropathy should consult a podiatrist at least once a year.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Use of PRP Therapy in Cartilage Repair

Our ankles hold up the weight of our body throughout our lives. Hence, it is not surprising that ankle problems arise. The ankles are the area most affected by cartilage damage. They will benefit greatly from any kind of treatment that will help repair or regenerate cartilage.

Medical technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in the treatment of tissue repair and regeneration. The biggest boost to this area of medicine has been PRP therapy. PRP injections provide positive cellular changes in the joints. They help in the regeneration of articular cartilage, increase volume of lubricants in the ankle area and stimulate stem cells. 

Use of PRP Therapy in Cartilage Repair

Who Can Benefit from PRP Therapy?

  •       People with Chronic Illnesses - PRP therapy benefits patients suffering from diseases that lead to the degeneration of the ankle tissue like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  •       Sportspeople - It is a very effective treatment for cartilage damage caused by sports injuries as it reduces the friction that is caused by overwork and tearing of tissue.
  •       Seniors - PRP delays degeneration of ankle tissues by repairing them and this can be a big help for elders who are dealing with ankle problems.

PRP Procedure

It is a simple day procedure which can be done by your podiatrist in his/her clinic. The doctor will use the patient’s own blood to prepare the PRP injections. Blood is drawn from the patient and the PRP is separated. This prepared injection is now injected into the treatment area where it will release the growth factors and stimulate the stem cells to start working. It is a short procedure and usually normal activities can be resumed immediately afterwards.

Also Read: Fighting Chronic RA Pain with these Tips

When Should You Talk to Your Podiatrist About PRP Therapy?

If you are suffering from chronic ankle problems due to illness, age or injury, it could be that the cartilage of your ankle is damaged. Your podiatrist may suggest PRP therapy to help in repairing the cartilage as a non-invasive alternative to surgery.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Is Surgery the Only Option for Bunions?

What Are Bunions?

Bunions are bony protrusions on the bottom of the big toe. It is formed when the bones of the big toe and the front of the foot get misaligned. It causes the joint to stick out at an awkward angle.

Is Surgery the Only Option for Bunions?

Why Do They Manifest?

Bunions can be a genetic problem and can be seen as a slight deformity in younger people. They can worsen as they grow older. In adults, bunions can form due to tight fitting shoes. Arthritis is another reason for the formation of bunions.

How Do You Know if You Have Bunions?

Enlarged bunions can be extremely painful and may limit the movement of the big toe. An emerging bunion can cause corns or calluses due to the friction between the protrusion and your footwear. Bunions can also manifest as a swelling on the base of the big toe. It is better to see a doctor during the early stages and get it treated before it affects your movement or causes pain.

Treatment for Bunions

If treated in the early stages, non-surgical procedures may help relieve the symptoms of a bunion. This could include wearing padding over the bunions, medications and topical creams, icing and insoles. If it is severe, the podiatrist may suggest shoe inserts, corrective shoes or other orthotic devices to help provide relief.

When Is Surgery an Option?

Surgery may be considered only if alternative treatments do not help in relieving the pain or if the bunion affects your movement. Surgical options include:

·   Removing swollen tissue from around the base of the big toe.

·   Straightening the big toe by removing the protruding bone.

·   Realigning the bones of the big toe and the front of the foot.

·   Joining the bones of the affected area permanently.

As recovery after surgery will take time and rehabilitation is necessary, the podiatrist will use surgery as the last resort in the case of bunions.

 

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Use of Orthotic Insoles for Pain Management

One of the most effective pain management treatments for foot problems are orthotic insoles. These are special shoe or heel inserts prescribed by a doctor. They are usually custom-made to treat specific foot problems.

Podiatrists use orthotic insoles extensively to treat foot ailments and as an alternative to other extreme options, like surgery. Very often, with the right foot support, pain due to foot ailments can be eased effectively.

Use of Orthotic Insoles for Pain Management

Use of Orthotic Insoles for Different Kinds of Foot Problems

Arthritis

Both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can affect the feet and can cause deformities that result in pain. Use of orthotic insoles can rectify the problem and ease the pain.

Bunions

These are bony protrusions that form at the base of the big toe and they can be quite painful. Orthotic insoles with a wide toe box are used to help in reducing the pressure on the foot thus relieving pain.

Bursitis

This is caused due to inflammation of the fluid filled sacs at the joints of the heels and toes. Orthotic insoles with support arches can help reduce the discomfort caused by bursitis.

Diabetes

Diabetics can develop diabetic neuropathy which causes loss of sensation in the feet. Orthotic insoles may be recommended to protect the feet and prevent injuries and foot ulcers.

Heel Spurs

This condition causes excess bone growth on the bottom of the heel. Insoles can help in supporting the heel and reducing swelling.

High Arches

High arched feet can give rise to a number of foot problems like shin splints, knee pain and plantar fasciitis. Use of insoles can help in correcting foot position and offering pain relief.

Injuries

Trauma to feet and ankles may cause foot problems that can be relieved with the use of proper orthotic insole support.

There are various kinds of OTC insoles available but it would be better to see a podiatrist if you have a foot ailment. They will be able to advise you on the best solution for your problem.


Thursday, 20 August 2020

Cracked Heels: Symptoms and Treatment

Cracked heels or heel fissures manifest as dry and split skin around the heels and sides of the foot. If neglected, cracked heels could give rise to a thick callus. Not only are cracked heels painful, but they can also cause infections. The lock downs and work from home situations of our current reality has resulted in many people now walking barefoot at home, for most of the day. It has also prevented people from availing regular pedicures; they now go on for months together without any kind of foot treatment. This has increased the incidence of cracked heels.

Cracked Heels: Symptoms and Treatment

How Do You Spot Cracked Heels?

  •      Dry skin around the heels
  •      Roughness around the heels
  •      Split skin or fissures
  •      Thick callus
  •      Bleeding around the heels
  •      Redness around heels
  •      Swelling
  •      Pus or other signs of infection around the heels

Home Treatment for Cracked Heels

If there is redness, roughness or dry skin around the heels, it could be a symptom of the beginning of cracked heels and with some care and maintenance at home, you should be able to prevent it from getting severe.

Read More: Top 5 Tips for Cracked Heels

To take care of cracked heels at home, soak your feet in water and massage a handful of Epsom salt into your heels for an added boost. After ten minutes, scrub the heels using a pumice stone. Moisturize the feet after the treatment. There will be an improvement within a few days of this treatment.

When to Consult a Doctor

If your heel pains when you walk or if there is swelling, pus or infection, you would need the more capable hands of a podiatrist to help in relieving the foot problem. The podiatrist will use a combination of medication, ointments and pediatric procedures to relieve the problem.