Thursday, 24 May 2018

How smoking hurts your feet?

Our feet are situated further away from our heart, which means they don't get the same amount of blood as other body parts. And if you have the habit of smoking, your body is going to get sluggish. One of the biggest ways smoking can harm your feet is through peripheral arterial disease.

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PAD or peripheral arterial disease causes plaque buildup within the arteries, often affecting arteries that run to your feet. With the arteries getting narrowed and stiff, blood has a hard time reaching the lower parts of the body. This may cause leg pain while walking, and the person will notice that their injuries or sores on the feet take a longer time to heal.

If you are a smoker, your chances of developing PAD are almost four times more than if you do not smoke. Also, as per experts, if you are prone to this problem, it will develop almost a decade earlier if you smoke. Moreover, if you suffer from diabetes — another factor that causes reduced circulation to your feet — your feet are particularly at high risk for damage. Did you know that people suffering from PAD have a greater possibility of dying from problems linked to cardiovascular disease, and almost six times more risk of dying from coronary heart problem.

In a lot of cases, doctors can recuperate the circulation by bypassing a small section of artery and attaching a blood vessel to it. However, if your feet are badly damaged because of lack of blood flow, it might require amputation.

Quitting

If it concerns you that your feet are at risk due to smoking then here are some steps that can help in quitting:

Plan ahead to prepare for quitting. Set a specific date for the time when you wish to quit, and remove ashtrays and cigarettes from your house, office and car beforehand. Ask your family and friends for support and encouragement.

Speak with your doctor. A lot of medications such as, nicotine based nasal spray, patches and lozenges — can increase your probability of quitting. Certain antidepressants can also assist you with nicotine cravings.

Avoid all triggers. If you stay in the company of those who smoke, you will crave smoking yourself. Moreover, consuming alcohol makes you highly likely to cheat on your resolution. If you go to bars and other such places where smoking and alcohol tend to be in abundance, make sure you find yourself a new hangout.

And do not forget to divert your mind by doing something you love. Since you are working hard to break a bad habit, take your mind off of it by joining an activity or doing something that gives you pleasure. Exercising regularly and taking daily baths are stress-reducing, healthy ways of distracting yourself.

Monday, 23 April 2018

5 Common Foot Problems

There are 42 muscles and 26 bones in a foot. Our feet can be considered evolutionary marvel, skilled for handling several tons of force every day. The many parts of the foot including, the heel, toes, and ball, synchronize. However, the stress of taking us out to places can put the feet at a lot of risk for injury.

A lot of foot problems, including blisters, hammertoes, bunions, calluses and corns, heel spurs, mallet toes and claw, ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot, can develop because of neglect, wear and tear and ill-fitting shoes.

Image Courtesy : https://pixabay.com/
Athlete’s foot:

Formed by a fungus conducive for dark, warm, and moist environments such as the areas in-between the foot bottoms or toes, athlete’s foot may intensify the skin and cause a scaly, white rash. Athlete’s foot fungus may cause burning, itching, peeling, and at times a slight odor. The best way of avoiding athlete's foot is by keeping your toes and feet dry and clean. Make sure you change your socks and shoes regularly. Antifungal sprays or creams can be used for treating athlete’s foot.

Hammertoes:

In case the fourth, third or second toe is crossed, or if it is pointing at a strange angle, you could have hammertoe. The problem is often caused by ill-fitting footwear. During early stages, wearing foot pads or inserts can assist in repositioning your toe, but then it gets fixed in the position which is bent.

Blisters:


You will never have blisters if you wear shoes that are properly fitted. Mild pockets of fluid filled skin, blisters can be very painful and can make it difficult to walk. It is extremely important to never pick at them. Make sure the area is cleaned thoroughly and open the area closest to the underside of the foot using a sterilized needle. Drain out the blister, cover with ointment and bandage.

Calluses and corns:

Calluses and corns form after constant rubbing against the shoe. Corns usually appear on the sides and tops of the toes and also in-between the toes. Calluses tend to form on the foot’s bottom, particularly under the balls or heels, and the sides. Such flattened skin cell patches can be painful and hard. To get relief from pain, you must try placing padding or moleskin around calluses and corns. Do not try cutting or removing calluses and corns on your own — see a podiatrist immediately.

It's extremely common to confuse plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. 70% of the patients suffer from heel spurs that look like plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs are essentially bone pieces that develop at the base of the heel bone and often grow after one has had plantar fasciitis. While the heel spurs are not painful; it's the irritation and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis that may end up hurting.

Foot problems can become excruciating painful if not tended to on time. It is a good idea to see a podiatrist and seek treatment for keeping your feet in good condition. 

Friday, 23 March 2018

Warts: An Overview

Warts are essentially skin infections by HPV (human papillomavirus), an extremely common viral infection. These warts cultivate on the sole of the foot or at the plantar surface. They tend to produce symptoms in friction and pressure areas. Virus that creates warts, HPV, infects just the surface of the skin, causing a thick growth that can get extremely tender if located in the pressure prone areas.


Image Courtesy : https://pixabay.com

The many causes and risks of plantar warts:

The HPV virus gets access to the skin by direct contact. It is assumed by the doctors that the skin’s inoculation occurs in areas that are likely to be polluted by others who have plantar warts such as, communal showers. After being infected by HPV, instant resolution depends on the growth of immune lymphocytes which helps to destroy the cells that are virus-infected.

Plantar warts can be seen in almost all age groups. However, they are very common among twelve to sixteen year olds.

Some of the risk factors include:

1.     Using public showers,
2.     Declining immune system due to the use of certain medications,
3.     Skin trauma, and the like.

What are the signs and symptoms of planter warts?

1.     Pain in the foot which is localized to a specific area of the sole
2.     Firm, rough and spongy lesions with small pinpoint dark spots within the wart’s body. These spots are thrombosis, minute capillaries within the deeper skin layers.
3.     Smooth skin surface with a brown or gray-yellow color.
4.     Normally on bony points or areas of pressure and flat due to pressure.

When is it important to seek treatment for Plantar Warts?

It is important to call a doctor if home therapy does not work.

Calluses and corns that look like warts normally develop extremely gradually over years. It is always a good idea to consult a physician if you are unable to distinguish a callus or corn from a plantar wart.

Most of such growths are not hazardous, but there are some that may cause problems. You must seek medical attention when,

1.     You or your children suffer from warts and wish to get them removed;
2.     Severe redness, pain, swelling, large big lesions develop;
3.     Warts do not completely disappear even after treatment; or
4.     Other similar warts emerge after treatment.

While planter warts can rarely be called an emergency; however, the problems of aggressive therapy can be severe pain, bleeding, inability to walk, swelling, redness, formation of boil or abscess, streaking, which all may point to an emergency.

Since warts normally diminish on their own and usually leave without scars, treatment should be conservative, with extreme approaches reserved only if everything else fails. It is also best to see a reputed podiatrist for treatment.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

How to refresh your feet after a party?

Your feet undergo a lot of wear and tear during the holidays. You have to stretch them, bend them, jump and turn on them, at times for hours. And after a long dance night, those feet end up a little stinky, too. Make sure you take good care by using these tips. After all, you need them in their best shape this holiday season!


Image Courtesy : https://pixabay.com/en/argentine-tango-feet-dancers-dance-2079964/

Epsom salts and Warm Water Soak

After a tiring day, soothe your feet with a soak in the warm water. Add a bit of Epsom salt to reduce any inflammation. Epsom salts tend to neutralize foot odor, smooth skin, and ease muscle cramps. Try using salts induced with lavender for aromatherapy.

Essential Oil Spray

It is a good idea to give your feet some mist by using the essential oil spray. There are numerous health and body stores that keep this spray, or you can also purchase essential oils to create a spray on your own. A mix of tea tree oil and peppermint diluted with water can work wonders to perk up those aching feet. You can also try a mix of lavender and water for a more calming experience.

Self-Massage

It is always a good idea to treat yourself to a foot massage done by a professional, but if you are tight on funds, you can always do a massage yourself! Here are a few steps:


  1.   While comfortably sitting on the floor, cross your ankle over your opposite knee so that you can reach your foot easily with both hands.

  2.   Start from the foot’s ball, kneading your thumbs in slow circles away from one other.

  3.   Keep working on the entire foot like this 

  4.   Give your Achilles tendon and heel a soft rub with the thumb.

Taking your legs up the wall

After a long night socializing, take a few moments when you reach home to elevate your feet. This is a good practice for enhancing blood circulation and decreasing inflammation in painful feet, and it also reduces your blood pressure. Lay next to a wall on the floor and extend your legs above you so that your heels are resting against the wall. For extra comfort, you can take soft padding under your pelvis.

Ice Bath

A short ice bath is another way through which you can recover. By making use of a small portable tub that contains cool water and some ice cubes, insert one foot in the bath for approximately five minutes before you switch to the other foot.

While it’s always tempting to attend every single party, it is best to take a rest every now and then to relax your tired feet. Listen to music, watch a Christmas movie, and bring in you’re a game at the best party! 

Friday, 22 December 2017

Do You Have Flat Feet?

The adult human foot has a natural arch on the inner side in the middle. When the foot is placed on the floor the part of the foot on the curve will not touch the floor. The arch is caused by the tendons that attach the foot and heel bones. The arch adds to the flexibility of the foot. When the arch or curve is not present or is very slight, a person is said to have flat feet or fallen arches.


Image Courtesy : https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/Adult_Flatfoot.JPG


Check if you have Flat Feet?

There is a simple way to check if your feet are flat:

   ·        Get the soles of your feet completely wet

   ·        With the soles wet, stand on a flat surface where the print made by the wet feet will be easily visible. 

    ·        If the footprints show the complete sole of the feet with no dry area where the arch should be keeping that part of the foot above the floor, you probably have flat feet. 

If you think you have flat feet or are not sure about it, consult a foot and ankle specialist to have the condition evaluated and treated, if required.

The Causes

There are a number of possible reasons why you may have flat feet. These include:

     ·        An abnormality that has been present since birth. 

     ·        An abnormality that has been present since birth. 

     ·        The posterior tibial tendon which connects from the lower leg may be 

inflamed or damaged.

     ·        Broken or improperly healed bones in the feet or dislocated bones.

     ·        A condition affecting the nerves located in the feet,

     ·        Other health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

     ·        Obesity.

     ·        Pregnancy.

     ·        Diabetes.

     ·        Aging.

The Symptoms

Fallen arches often create no problems and require no treatment. In many cases, people go through their lives not knowing that they have flat feet. However, in some cases the following symptoms may manifest themselves:

     ·        Feet that become tired quickly even when the stress on them has been minimal.

      ·        Painful feet with the pain typically focused on the arches and heels

     ·        Swelling of the inside bottom of the feet.

     ·        Some movements, such as standing on the toes, becomes difficult and/or painful.

     ·        Recurring pain in the back or legs.

    
The Treatment

Flat feet often require no treatment and a person with fallen arches is able to live a completely normal life without the condition affecting him or her in any way. However, if the condition is causing problems that affect a person’s mobility, then a doctor will recommend a course of treatment. This could be:

    ·        Wearing special shoes or orthotic devices.

    ·        Stretching exercises.
  
    ·        Physical therapy.
   
    ·        Medication to relieve pain and inflammation.

    ·        A combination of any or all of the above.

    ·        In the most severe cases, the doctor may recommend surgery to correct the arch. There are a number of possible procedures and the doctor will decide what is best for the condition.


If you do have flat feet, there is no cause for concern. It is a very common problem and very rarely has any effect on a person’s mobility or quality of life. All the same, you should consult a foot specialist to ensure that other complications do not develop and that you are able to remain active and healthy with no complications.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Common foot problems faced by flat footed people

While there are thousands of people who suffer from flat feet, it is believed that flat foot surfaces are abnormal and it is safe to assume that people suffering from them experience different kinds of foot problems (athlete's foot, toe nail fungus, plantar warts, and the like). This blog will help throw some light on all the problems that flat footed individuals experience.

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/adult-autumn-autumn-leaves-bicycles-1867051/


          1.Heel pain

The most common foot problem experienced is pain in the foot heel. The main reason for this is the flatness of the feet, the foot’s bottom also called the plantar fascia is completely stretched out each time the person walks. The negative effect of this problem is that in comparison to other problems of the feet (athlete's foot, toe nail fungus, plantar warts) it is experienced every day, which makes the patient immune to the pain. With the pain extending for too long, the patient undergoes arch fatigue making it very difficult to stand for longer periods of time. It is very important to choose the right shoes suited for flat footed people.

2.Bunions 

The second issue on the list of foot problems is Bunions and they occur when some form of irregularity has developed within the big toes joint. While there are a lot of people who are born with Bunions, many develop this problem if they have flat feet. Bunions do become a problem since those who have them develop bumps at the sides of their feet. These bumps often rub against the footwear that they are wearing. With time, these bunions can get inflamed and even if the patient decides to wear larger shoes, the bunions will still be irritated.

3.Ankle pain

The last issue on the list of problems commonly experienced by people with flat feet is experiencing pain in the ankles. In case of people who have flat feet, it becomes very painful when the outer side of their foot gets too close to the outside of the ankle. The tough thing about such problems is that the signs are too small and extremely hard to identify.

With the understanding that these foot problems commonly erupt in people who have flat feet will help in managing them better.  It is a good idea to see a podiatrist as soon as you feel any sort of pain within your feet. You can only know what to do with the pain when you see an expert who is experienced and skilled to understand it. It is important not to ignore your foot related problems particularly if you suffer from flat feet. Make sure you see a podiatrist regularly and listen to the advice they give you. This is your best shot at keeping foot pain at bay.   


Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Symptoms of Toe Arthritis

The main cause of toe arthritis is inflamed toe joint. The problem most often assaults the big toe, but it may also affect the others. Past traumas or injuries, such as a sprained or broken toe, can lead to arthritis - rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout could also be a cause. Some of the risk factors include being overweight, age, and a history in the family. Also, women who wear high-heeled, tight shoes for too long may be at a risk of getting toe arthritis.



Symptoms

Pain

The most noticeable sign of arthritis is pain. You may experience pain in all your toes or just the big toe. Patients normally describe it as fluctuating from an achy, deep feeling to a stabbing, sharp sensation when they try and move the toe. The sensation could be minor, moderate, or extreme depending on the deterioration level or the intensity of inflammation.

Pain is a very debilitating and common symptoms of arthritis.

Stiffness

Over a period of time, arthritis starts to wear away a cartilage in-between joints and injures synovial fluid. Such changes can create stiffness in joints and make it difficult for you to move. With less support and cushioning, it becomes difficult for the joints to bend and stretch. This may lead to difficulty in walking, as our toes have a huge role to play in balancing and pushing the foot away from the ground. It may also hurt when walking.

Swelling

All kinds of arthritis lead to inflammation within the joints, resulting in visible swelling. The toes will start to feel warm and red. You will feel this especially if you have been sitting there for some time, or after getting out of bed. Swelling may also make it hard for you to wear your shoes. The footwear may feel constricted until you walk around for some time and the swelling reduces.

Popping and clicking sounds

You may begin to hear similar sounds as you hear when you crack your knuckles. Grinding noises are one of the most common symptom of toe arthritis. These sounds are a consequence of cartilage deterioration that normally cushions two bones within a joint. With the wearing away of the cartilage, bones start to rub against each other, causing sounds. Bone spurs may also cause cracks and clicks.

Change in look

Is your toe beginning to move away from the foot? Such occurrences can be a sign of toe arthritis. With the wearing away of the cartilage and the bone grinding against one another, the body tries to make things better by creating more bone.

While this may steady the joint, it may also make it seem larger, or like it has a big bump on it.

Those suffering from arthritis in the toe are especially vulnerable to immobility. It is good to check with a podiatrist right away if you are going through any of the signs of toe arthritis. There are orthotics, treatments, and physical therapy that can all help you stay active and feel better.