Texas Foot Doctor's Blog
Varicose veins are very easy to spot, which is why patients usually want them to disappear. They're a cosmetic issue but also a potentially painful podiatric issue that can be treated by a foot doctor. Learn what causes varicose veins and how you may be able to reduce their appearance with a podiatrist's help.
About Varicose Veins
When the veins appear to pop out of the skin on your legs, thighs and feet, they are called varicose veins. They often look blue or dark in appearance and can cause pain in the legs. This is because the veins are swelling from too much blood. It’s a problem that’s related to poor circulation and vascular health. Because the legs and feet are furthest from the heart, it’s more difficult for blood to flow back up through the body. It’s a condition that occurs most often in older women.
What Causes Them?
The Chicago Vein Institute says that about half of people over the age of 50 have varicose veins. They can develop for a number of reasons:
- Obesity (the extra weight affects your circulation and puts stress on your legs when walking)
- Pregnancy (again, due to the added weight)
- Standing for long periods of times at a job
- Heredity (patients who have two parents with varicose veins are more likely to get them)
Reducing the Appearance of Varicose Veins
Consider making your podiatrist your first line of defense when trying to treat varicose veins. Here are a few possible ways your foot doctor can help reduce the appearance of dark, swollen veins:
- Taking an ultrasound of the legs to check the flow of blood (ensure there are no blockages)
- Physical therapy and exercises to get the blood circulating properly
- Prescribing orthotic device to relieve pressure on your feet when standing or walking
- Compression stocks to reduce swelling and stimulate circulation
- Leg massage therapy
- Surgery in certain cases (sclerotherapy, laser and endoscopic vein surgeries are options)
Get Help from a Podiatrist
Relief from unsightly varicose veins can be found at your podiatrist’s office. Contact a foot doctor in your area to discuss treatments that will help you feel more confident in the appearance and function of the veins in your legs and feet.
Your feet are the foundation of your entire body, supporting you when you stand, walk and run. But when your feet are functioning poorly, signs and symptoms of altered biomechanics usually result in pain, instability and poor performance.
The good news is that a custom-made orthotic can relieve your chronic foot pain by supporting the bone structures of your feet, allowing these structures to work together properly. Orthotics help correct structural problems and conditions, such as heel pain and plantar fasciitis, arch pain, pain related to diabetes or age and many other foot pains related to bunions, sprains and other conditions.
State-of-the-Art Foot Scanners
Now when patients come into our office, we can use our state-of-the-art foot scanner to provide a dynamic, biomechanic assessment of the foot. Our new foot scanning technology offers precise mapping of the contours of the feet, resulting in a more accurate orthotic fitting for each patient. The process is extremely fast and accurate. Using this advanced technology, we can create the most comfortable and suitable solution for the correction of your feet.
If you are experiencing foot pain or instability, visit our office for a thorough biomechanical assessment. After an evaluation of your foot, we can use our advanced foot scanning system to manufacture the best orthotic specifically for you and your feet.
If your feet hurt, your entire body hurts. Our goal is to design and fabricate the most effective custom orthotic devices to help relieve your pain and get you on the road to recovery!
Ankle sprains and ligaments of the ankle joint.
Ankle sprains are among the most common sporting injuries that occur during a variety of activities. Spraining refers to wrenching or twisting a ligament aggressively which can lead to swelling, pain and decreased range of motion. To thoroughly understand the mechanism of injury we must first understand the structures that provide stability and structural support to the ankle joint. Ligaments are fibrous connective tissue that connect two or more bones together between a joint space. Ligaments act as protective structures that create structural boundaries to the natural movement of joints. There are two major sets of ligaments surrounding the ankle joint; these are the medial collateral ligaments AKA deltoid ligament and the lateral collateral ligaments. The deltoid ligament complex are those found in the interior portion of the ankle or the medial side, they are composed of the following ligaments: Posterior and anterior tibiofibular ligaments, tibiocalcaneal and tibionavicular ligaments. The deltoid ligament collectively is considered the strongest ligament of the ankle joint providing the most solid structural integrity to the interior portion of the ankle joint. The lateral ligament is the most commonly sprained ligament of the ankle joint, specifically the anterior talofibular ligament. Torsional, or excessive rotational movements, ankle rolling outward damages the lateral ligaments causing swelling, redness and decreased movement; symptoms arise almost immediately.
How are ankle sprains diagnosed?
The patient may be able to walk with decreased range of motion, but will complain of excessive pain and tenderness especially when touched. Obtaining a good history of the injury as well as X-ray imaging of the ankle can provide evidence as to whether there is also a bony injury in conjunction with the sprain. Your doctor may perform a few tests to check for stability of the ankle joint. In more severe cases, an MRI may be needed to rule out other injuries.
How are ankle sprains treated?
The primary treatment is the RICE approach which stands for: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen. During the first 24-48 hours using ice packs intermittently can decrease the swelling in the area surrounding the sprain. An ACE wrap should be used to keep compression over the ankle joint to reduce the swelling, it is important to note that ace wraps do not provide rigid structural integrity the way a cast or walking boot does, and therefore weight bearing should still be limited. Elevation above the level of the heart for 3 hours a day will also help diminish swelling in the area. In some cases Crutches may be used until weight bearing does not produce pain. Physical therapy is vital to strengthening the surrounding muscles in the area.
Returning to sports or regular activities.
After proper rehabilitation, wearing an ankle brace during weight training or exercise can help preserve the structural integrity of the ankle. Typically, once an ankle is sprained it is subject to re-spraining, wearing shoes with lateral support can also help prevent injury. If for some reason pain persists after rehabilitation, a physician may order an MRI and perhaps surgical treatment.
For more information visit us at www.texasfootdoctor.org
For an appointment call us at (817) 424-FOOT (3668).
When your feet hurt, your entire body hurts, especially when you're suffering from painful neuromas or heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Generally, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy or orthotics can effectively treat the pain. But when these conservative treatments aren't enough, chronic heel pain may require surgical treatment.
At our practice, we can treat irritating heel pain and get you back to your active lifestyle quickly with a new, fast-acting procedure known as Cryosurgery. For decades, this technique has been used for various areas of the body and is now proving to be very successful at helping treat and manage foot and ankle conditions.
Also known as Cryotherapy, Cryosurgery is a minimally invasive procedure performed comfortably in our office in just one appointment to alleviate pain and nerve problems of the foot.
Using localized freezing temperatures to deaden the irritated nerve, the treatment involves inserting a probe into the tissue of the foot. The extreme freezing temperatures produce an anesthetic effect, reducing inflammation to the site and causing a mild "numbing" effect for as long as it is applied. The freezing inactivates the nerve and, as a result, painful nerve irritation is relieved.
Benefits of Cryosurgery include:
- Painless procedure
- Use of local anesthetic
- In-office performed procedure
- Minimal to no downtime from walking, work and other activities
- Decreased use of pain medications that can cause complications
- No stitches, hospitalization or sedation are required
Cryosurgery has proven to be an effective and popular alternative for treating many chronic and painful foot ailments that involve irritation of an isolated nerve of the foot. If you're looking to get rid of your heel pain, but haven't had much success with conservative treatments, visit our office and find out if you are a good candidate for Cryosurgery.
If you are one of the millions of Americans that suffer from chronic heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, you know just how unpleasant this very common foot condition can be. Plantar fasciitis is the most common form of heel pain and occurs when the long, flat ligament on the bottom of the foot stretches irregularly, developing small tears. As a result, the stretched tissue becomes tender and inflamed, making everyday tasks and activities difficult and painful.
At our practice, we've helped numerous patients overcome their chronic heel pain with conservative treatments, including anti-inflammatory medications, stretching exercises and orthotics. For some patients, however, these treatment options are ineffective or provide only temporary relief. So now we offer a new and advanced treatment for chronic heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis -- Shockwave Therapy, a fast and gentle alternative to other invasive and risky surgical procedures.
Shockwave Therapy from our office is a non-invasive surgical procedure that involves directing strong sounds waves to the affected area, penetrating the heel and stimulating a healing response by the body in the affected non-healing tissue. The sound waves break up the tissue, creating small tunnels through which new blood vessels can grow, and the increased blood supply allows the tissue to heal. The result is a reduction in inflammation and pain from the affected ligament.
The outpatient procedure performed in our office is quick and safe. Patients experience a short recovery period, often with few or no side effects. Most patients notice pain relief instantly, but for others, the full results from a single treatment may be experienced within one to three months.
Benefits of Shockwave Therapy:
- Reduces inflammation and stimulates a healing response in the injured tissue
- Fewer side effects compared to surgery
- Quick recovery time
- Risks associated with surgery and general anesthesia are eliminated
Contact our office today to receive more information about Shockwave Therapy. Once we've assessed your condition, we can help you determine the most appropriate treatment for your plantar fasciitis- and this mean putting an end to your heel pain once and for all.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.