Diabetes doesn't just change your diet; it is a systemic disorder that requires careful monitoring to keep your body functioning properly. One of the most important aspects of maintaining diabetes is caring for your feet, and Dr. Brian Doerr, your podiatrist in Fort Myers, Florida, has provided the information his diabetic patients need to make good decisions about their health.
How diabetes affects the feet
Since diabetes starts in the pancreas, it may surprise you to learn that it can have a dire effect on your lower extremities. But as your Fort Myers podiatrist mentioned above, diabetes is a disease that affects your entire body. It can lessen the signals that your nerves send to your brain, as well as decrease blood flow. This means that if you have any kind of foot injury that breaks the skin, even something minor like a blister, your wound may not heal properly due to the lack of circulation, leaving it open to infection. You may not even realize that there's a problem due to the lack of feeling in your feet. In advanced cases where the infection cannot be controlled, amputation may be necessary.
Diabetic foot care tips
If you're diabetic, you may be worried that there's nothing you can do to prevent foot wounds. However, caring for your feet is fairly easy, but does require adhering to a strict routine. Dr. Doerr, your Fort Myers podiatrist, suggests the following tips to his diabetic patients:
- Wash the feet daily using a mild soap, and dry them carefully afterwards to prevent any fungal growth on the toes or nails.
- After drying the feet, inspect them in a well-lit room using a mirror for the heels and any other hard-to-see places. Report any cuts, splinters, blisters or any evidence of broken skin to your podiatrist immediately.
- Wear foot protection at all times, including indoors. Shoes and slippers should have closed toes and a proper fit.
Regular checkups with your Fort Myers podiatrist, Dr. Brian Doerr, is essential to the maintenance of your diabetes. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!
Dealing with heel pain? Find out what could be causing it.
Heel pain happens to the best of us. While most of us will be able to stay off our feet for a couple days until the issue subsides it’s also important to know what’s going on and when you might need to turn to a professional for care. Our Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist Dr. Brian Doerr is here to tell you more about the causes of heel pain and what you can do about it.
What is causing my heel pain?
One of the most common causes of acute heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This occurs when the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of your feet and supports the arches) becomes inflamed.
Those with plantar fasciitis may also find that their heel pain is worse when they first get up in the morning or when exercising but often subsides throughout the day.
Other causes of heel pain include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Heel spur
- Stress fractures
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
When should I seek medical attention for heel pain?
While most causes of heel pain such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis will go away on their own as long as you give your feet proper care and rest, there are some instances in which the smartest and healthiest choice for your feet is to visit a foot doctor in Fort Myers, FL. It’s time to seek immediate medical attention if:
- Heel pain and/or swelling is severe
- You can’t put weight on the foot or bend the foot
- Heel pain is accompanied by numbness, weakness or tingling in the foot
- You also have a fever
- Your pain came about after an injury
It’s also a good idea to schedule an appointment with a foot specialist if heel pain doesn’t go away after a couple of weeks of at-home care, or if heel pain lingers even if you aren’t moving or putting weight on the foot.
No matter whether you have questions about foot care or you are dealing with symptoms that warrant an evaluation from our podiatry specialist in Fort Myers, FL, don’t hesitate to call us and schedule a consultation. We are always here to help.
Bunion symptoms can make your life more challenging, whether your bunions are large or small. Comfortable shoes are hard to find, and walking more than a few steps can trigger immediate pain. Fortunately, help is available to treat your symptoms. Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist Dr. Brian Doerr shares a few things you can do to ease your pain.
Clean your closet
Are you reluctant to give up high heels or tight shoes despite your symptoms? Although you may initially be able to cram your feet in the shoes, continuing to wear these styles may actually speed the progression of your bunion. Throwing out shoes that hurt your feet and replacing them more comfortable styles is a simple way to reduce your pain. Look for shoes that offer plenty of wriggle room for your toes and adequate cushioning.
Pad your bunion
Even the slightest amount of friction or pressure can irritate your bunion. The next time you visit a Fort Myers drugstore, buy a package of adhesive foot pads. Affixing the pads to your bunion will reduce pain, irritation and numbness when you wear shoes. Pads also protect corns and calluses that form when your big toe rubs against the top of your second toe.
Pay a visit to the foot doctor
Podiatrists offer treatments designed to ease your bunion pain, including:
- Orthotics: These shoe inserts are custom-designed to fit your foot. They help stabilize your foot and improve the position of your foot when you walk and stand.
- Taping or Splinting: Taping or splinting your foot at night can decrease stress and pain and may help slow the progression of your bunion.
- Cortisone Injections: If over-the-counter pain medications and ice packs are no longer helpful in controlling your pain, a cortisone injection may be recommended.
- Surgery: Although it may be possible to slow the progression of bunions, surgery is the only way to remove them. Surgery may be recommended if your bunion interferes with your daily activities or causes substantial pain. Bunion surgery may be used to realign your joint, remove damaged tissue or bone, or fuse the bones in the joint together.
Relieve your bunion pain with a trip to the podiatrist. Call Fort Myers, FL, foot doctor Dr. Brian Doerr at (239) 931-3668 to schedule your appointment.
Do you have pain in your heel or the arch of your foot? What about your lower back or calves--do they hurt when you walk or are on your feet for an extended period of time? If so, you may have a common podiatric condition called flat feet. Your podiatrist in Fort Myers, FL, Dr. Brian Doerr, understands this problem and treats in conservatively and effectively. You can find relief for your persistent discomfort.
They're pretty common
The Institute for Preventive Foot Health (IPFH) says that eight percent of Americans ages 21 and up have flat feet. While flat feet--that is, feet with arches that touch the ground--are ok in toddlers and kids, flat feet cause multiple problems in adults, including:
- Pain in the heel and arch of the foot
- Swollen and painful calves
- Lower back pain
- Tendonitis or tearing of the tibialis tendon along the back of the leg (it supports the arch of the foot)
In addition, some patients with flat feet simply complain--and with good reason--that their feet feel tired most of the time.
Causes of flat feet vary, but inherited foot structure, trauma to the bones of the foot, overuse, diabetes, arthritis, pregnancy, and obesity count among them. In addition, people who overpronate their feet, rolling them inward toward the midline of the body, strain and flatten the arches.
Treatment of flat feet in Fort Myers
When you see Dr. Doerr for a consultation, he'll examine your feet, check your gait, look at the pattern of wear on your shoes and take X-rays, a CT Scan or an MRI as needed. He'll also go over your medical history and ask you about your symptoms.
How will Dr. Doerr treat your flat feet? Well, know that surgery can be a treatment, but it's definitely not the first choice. Bone grafts, removal of parts of the foot bones and fusing parts of the foot and/or ankle are options, but conservative approaches serve most people best. They include:
- Over the counter analgesics and anti-inflammatories
- Shoes with well-constructed arch supports and ample room in the toe box
- Physical therapy and stretching exercises
- Custom-crafted shoe orthotics for support and proper gait
- Limiting repetitive motion sports such as running or tennis, particularly on hard surfaces such as concrete
- Use of tape and braces to support the tendons and ligaments
If you think you're developing symptoms of flat feet or have other painful conditions of the feet or ankles, contact Dr, Doerr, your podiatrist in Fort Myers, FL. You and your feet will receive modern diagnostics and treatment with the kindest of touch. Phone the office today at (239) 931-3668 for an appointment.
Do you need podiatric help from your Fort Myers, FL podiatrist?
What is a Hammer Toe?
A hammer toe is when a toe is bent at the first joint of the digit, causing the toe to look like an upside-down V. The condition usually affects the second, third, fourth and/or fifth toes, and are more common in females than males. There are two different types: flexible hammertoes, which are movable at the joint, and rigid hammer toes, which is when the tendons become tight.
An abnormal balance of the muscles in the toes develops in hammertoes, causing pressures on the tendons and joints. What are some other causes:
- Wearing tight shoes
Here are some symptoms you may suffer from:
- Pain due to pressure from footwear on hammertoe
- Formation of corns on the joint
- Redness and swelling
- Restricted motion of the toe joint
- Pain in the ball of the foot
Your Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist advises the following:
- Place a non-medicated hammertoe pad around the hammertoe to decrease pressure on the area
- Apply ice packs several times a day to help reduce pain and swelling
- Avoid heels more than two inches tall
- Wear loose-fitted shoes
- Avoid narrow shoes
- Padding and taping
- Orthotic devices
- Surgical options
There are several things your podiatrist will suggest to do to help prevent hammertoes from forming or progressing:
- Hammertoes may be related to a hereditary problem in your foot mechanics, so wear supportive shoes to help prevent deformities.
- Orthotics may slow the progression or prevent the development of hammertoes.
- Avoid shoes with pointed toe boxes that may compress the toes
If you have any questions or concerns, call your Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist today! Don't let pain persist and see Dr. Brian Doerr, because allowing an untreated hammertoe to persist may prevent non-surgical treatment options.
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