Monday, 16 October 2017 16:54

elderly foot massageYesterday I had a patient come in suffering from heel pain who was rather incredulous that their previous podiatrist had not touched their feet. There are surely many of us who treat heel pain on a daily basis who are bored to death with this condition. We know it all too well and can probably recite our standard heel pain spiel in our sleep. That is not an excuse for dismissing a patient’s concerns and treating them in a cursory manner.

Our sense of touch often provides an important sensory input we need to come to a proper diagnosis. One of the things that we find is most appreciated by our senior patients is a foot massage following our medical treatment. I truly believe that many people, especially seniors, suffer from a lack of touch.

In researching this topic I came across fascinating references to touching the feet of seniors in Hindu culture:

The Hindu tradition states that by touching the feet of elders, people are blessed with strength, intellect, Knowledge and fame. The underlying symbolism of this act is that the elders have walked on this earth longer than you and have accumulated a great amount of wisdom. You can in fact immensely benefit even from the dust that their feet have gathered all along the way.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQplFtWZLxw

The ancient wisdom of human cultures cannot be easily dismissed.  Aside from that, the fact that you could see a podiatrist and not have your feet touched is nearly unbelievable. The tactile sense is integral in the proper diagnosis of foot conditions.

Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

Biomechanics, or the study of mechanics in biological organisms such as humans, plays an important part in podiatry. Understanding the mechanics of the foot allows podiatrists to understand injuries, make proper diagnoses, and provide treatment strategies. For those who have foot injuries, podiatrists understanding the biomechanics of the feet lets them know if the injury is caused from impact, movement, or other variables. With the exact cause known, podiatrists can offer a number of solutions, such as orthotics, keeping pressure off the foot, and other methods to treat the condition. Biomechanics allows podiatrists to get a better understanding of our feet and how they work.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Gary Prant from Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics
-  Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
-  In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

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Monday, 02 October 2017 00:00

Falls and their effects on the elderly are, unfortunately, not reported on enough. This lack of reporting prevents overall awareness and the spread of knowledge in how to prevent them. Fortunately this has been changing in the past several years, with 2008 marking the first year that Falls Prevention Awareness Day was held by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Despite this, awareness of the issue has a long way to go. Here are some facts about falls and falls prevention. Those who are age 65 or older and who have been to the emergency department are unlikely to engage in falls-prevention programs once discharged. While it has been reported that regular strength and flexibility programs for the elderly help prevent falls, some practices like Tai Chi have been found to help as well. Finally, elderly persons who have a history of falls, have suffered from a previous fracture, and have a body mass index (BMI) of 20 kg/m² are more likely to suffer another fracture.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. Gary Prant from Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

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Monday, 25 September 2017 00:00

Foot pain can be a very debilitating condition to experience. First, however, it is important to figure out what is causing it. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Standing for long periods of time and overuse can cause the plantar fascia to become inflamed. Plantar fasciitis can affect anyone. Thankfully there are a number of treatments available for heel pain, with many of them being very easy to do. Keeping pressure off the feet, resting, and avoiding overuse can improve the condition of many who suffer from plantar fasciitis. Another method for treating heel pain includes buying a new pair of well-fitted shoes. Look for a pair that is not too tight or loose for your feet. Shoes should also have enough space in the toe box for your toes to wiggle around. Finally, look for a pair that is comfortable and that would be fine to wear for long periods of time. If you have heel or general foot pain that will not go away, see a podiatrist for a diagnosis and proper treatment.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Gary Prant of Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Austin, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
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