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Items filtered by date: April 2024

Tuesday, 30 April 2024 00:00

Toe Stretches for Foot Health

Toe stretches are an often overlooked yet important component of maintaining healthy feet. These simple exercises can help improve flexibility, mobility, and strength in the toes, ultimately enhancing overall foot function and reducing the risk of discomfort and injury. One beneficial toe stretch is the toe spread, where you gently separate your toes and hold for a few seconds, promoting better alignment and circulation. Another effective stretch is the toe curl, which is done by alternately flexing and extending each toe, thereby improving dexterity and range of motion. Additionally, toe scrunches, where you grip a small object with your toes and release, can help strengthen the muscles of the foot and improve balance. Regularly incorporating these toe stretches into your daily routine can help to alleviate tension, relieve foot pain, and prevent common issues, such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, and toe cramps. If you have toe pain and seek additional information about the benefits of stretching the toes, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Luis Esquerdo Cruz, DPM from Dr. Esquerdo Podiatry and Laser Center . Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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

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Wednesday, 24 April 2024 00:00

Stop Your Toenail Fungus

Have you noticed discoloration of your toenails? Have they become thickened or brittle? If so, you may be experiencing symptoms of a fungal nail infection. For some, having a fungal nail can be embarrassing. Overcome your embarrassment, and get treated.

Choosing the right running shoe is vital for enhancing comfort, preventing injuries, and optimizing performance. When selecting a running shoe, it is essential to consider factors such as arch types, and pronation, which is the natural inward rolling motion of the foot during the running gait cycle. Understanding your pronation pattern, whether neutral, overpronation, or excessive inward rolling, and supination, or insufficient inward rolling, can guide you in choosing the appropriate shoe features. For example, individuals with overpronation may benefit from stability or motion-control shoes with added support to help correct excessive inward rolling. Conversely, those with neutral pronation may opt for neutral cushioned shoes offering balanced support and flexibility. Additionally, considering your arch type whether it is high, medium, or low can further refine your shoe selection, as certain shoes are designed to accommodate different arch heights and provide adequate support. If you are interested in learning what type of arch you have that will help you in buying the right running shoe, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist.

If you are a runner, wearing the right running shoe is essential. For more information, contact Luis Esquerdo Cruz, DPM from Dr. Esquerdo Podiatry and Laser Center . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

To increase performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is important to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type. The general design of running shoes revolves around pronation, which is how the ankle rolls from outside to inside when the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral runners are able to choose from a wide variety of shoes, including minimalist shoes or even going barefoot.
  • Runners who overpronate, or experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling, should choose shoes that provide extra motion control and stability.
  • Runners who underpronate, or supinate, have feet that have high arches and lack flexibility, preventing shock absorption. They require shoes with more flexibility and cushion.

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

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Flat feet, a common condition characterized by a lack of arch in the foot, can potentially affect the physical performance of school-age children. While flat feet themselves may not directly hinder a child's ability to engage in physical activities, they can contribute to issues such as foot pain, fatigue, and decreased stability. Children with flat feet may experience discomfort or cramping during prolonged periods of standing or walking, impacting their participation in sports or physical education classes. Furthermore, flat feet may alter the biomechanics of the lower limbs, leading to poor posture, balance problems, and an increased risk of injury. Addressing flat feet early on through proper footwear, orthotic inserts, and targeted exercises can help alleviate symptoms and improve physical performance in children. By recognizing the potential impact of flat feet on physical activity, parents and educators can take proactive steps to support the overall well-being and participation of school-age children in various physical pursuits. If your child has flat feet, it is suggested that a podiatrist is contacted who can offer effective relief and treatment methods.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Luis Esquerdo Cruz, DPM from Dr. Esquerdo Podiatry and Laser Center . Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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

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Tuesday, 09 April 2024 00:00

Common Causes of Swollen Feet

Swollen feet, an uncomfortable condition, can stem from various factors, necessitating attention and understanding to alleviate symptoms effectively. One common cause is prolonged standing or sitting, which can impair circulation and lead to fluid retention in the feet and ankles. Additionally, injuries such as sprains or fractures may result in localized swelling as the body responds to tissue damage. Certain medical conditions, including venous insufficiency and lymphedema, disrupt the normal flow of fluids in the body, contributing to swelling in the lower extremities. Lifestyle factors like excessive salt intake, obesity, and dehydration can exacerbate fluid retention and swelling in the feet. Pregnancy often leads to swollen feet due to hormonal changes and increased pressure on the blood vessels. If your feet have become swollen, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can determine what the cause is, and offer appropriate treatment solutions.

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact Luis Esquerdo Cruz, DPM of Dr. Esquerdo Podiatry and Laser Center . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods. Aging may increase the possibility of swollen feet and patients who are obese often notice when their feet are swelling too. There may be medical reasons why swollen feet occur:

  • Phlebitis - A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain.
  • Liver disease - This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen.
  • Heart failure - When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet.
  • Kidney disease - One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.

Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet. 

Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in San Juan, PR . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.


 

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Tuesday, 02 April 2024 00:00

The Definition of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, though less commonly known than other foot conditions, can cause significant discomfort and impairment for those affected. Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist, tarsal tunnel syndrome involves compression of the posterior tibial nerve as it passes through a narrow space in the ankle called the tarsal tunnel. This compression can result from various factors, including injury, inflammation, or underlying conditions like arthritis or diabetes. Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome may include burning pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in the foot and ankle, often worsened by prolonged standing or walking. Left untreated, tarsal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent nerve damage and functional limitations. Diagnosis typically involves a thorough physical examination, along with imaging studies like MRI or nerve conduction tests. Early recognition and intervention are critical for managing tarsal tunnel syndrome effectively and minimizing long-term consequences. If you have any of the above symptoms, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can offer you effective treatment solutions.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Luis Esquerdo Cruz, DPM of Dr. Esquerdo Podiatry and Laser Center . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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

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