Taking care of your feet is a big deal for people with diabetes. Why? Because even the smallest foot problems like blisters can become serious problems like ulcers and the need for amputation. Our podiatrists at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists are passionate about preventative care for this reason and emphasize the following for their diabetic patients.
Schedule regular appointments
Our foot doctors recommend scheduling regular visits every 6 months to a year to go over your foot health and address any potential problems you may be experiencing. Diabetes can result in compromised immune systems, slow healing, and nerve damage, so the slightest discomfort is important to bring up.
Wear properly-fitted shoes
For most people, your feet live in shoes for the majority of the day. That makes the types of shoes you wear extremely important, as shoes that don’t fit properly can cause blisters, calluses, heel pain, or exacerbate toe deformities like bunions and hammertoes. Any of these wounds or problems have the potential to heal slowly or worsen.
Wear custom orthotics
Orthotics that are fitted for and created to support your unique feet can be a great way to prevent ulcers and other diabetes-related problems. Custom orthotics can provide the extra padding or cushioning needed to protect sensitive areas, as well as correct any abnormalities in foot function that could be contributing to other foot problems.
Minimize risk factors
From managing your blood sugar levels and exercising regularly, to avoiding smoking and alcohol, there are many lifestyle choices that can affect your foot health. Consult with a primary care doctor to know all of the risk factors of people with diabetes.
Keeping up with your foot hygiene is paramount in preventing wounds from becoming ulcers or infections. Chronically high glucose levels contribute to decreased immune function and nerve damage, so keeping your feet clean and inspecting your feet each day for any changes is a crucial part of preventing problems.
Get specialized care
Avoid ulcers and other diabetes foot complications by keeping up with these foot care guidelines. Always consult with a foot doctor if you notice any changes to your foot health or to get further advice on how to protect your feet. Looking for experienced, compassionate foot doctors? Contact Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists to receive high-quality care for your foot and ankle ailments, including heel pain, toenail issues, sports injuries, bunions, and diabetes-related issues. Schedule an appointment with our podiatrists at any of our offices in Louisville, Elizabethtown, Bardstown, Bowling Green, KY and New Albany, IN.
Your feet are at the furthest tip of your circulatory system, which has the all-important job of bringing oxygen, white blood cells that fight disease, and other essentials all over your body. Your circulatory system, which includes your heart and blood vessels, can be compared to a complex highway system comprised of nearly 60,000 miles of blood vessels!
The importance of good circulation cannot be overstated. Your body thrives when your blood is flowing well. It can regulate temperature, fight illness, recover from injury, and push through tough physical strain. This is a system that supports crucial bodily functions and contributes to your overall wellbeing.
Do I have poor circulation?
Since your feet are further from your heart than the rest of your body, they can be the most difficult to pump blood to and from. Therefore, that is why they’re the most prone to poor circulation. Here are some signs you might be dealing with this issue:
- Constant coldness
- Tingling, burning, throbbing, stinging sensations in the feet
- Red, blue, or purple toes
- Cracked heels
- Dry skin on your feet
- Wounds slow to heal
- Hair loss on legs
- Muscle cramps, stiffness, or weakness
- Pain in the feet and ankles
If left untreated, poor circulation can lead to serious issues like nerve or tissue damage. It could even lead to Deep Vein Thrombosis, a life-threatening condition that can require urgent medical assistance.
What can cause poor circulation?
If you are one of our diabetic patients, you are vulnerable to developing poor circulation as high glucose levels can damage blood vessels and slow down circulation. This is one of the main reasons, we encourage our diabetic patients to schedule regular diabetic foot assessments.
Smoking is another common risk factor. Nicotine thickens the blood and constricts blood vessels, which can cause major circulation issues.
A high-fat diet can clog up blood vessels, while dehydration can slow circulation down. As we age, our circulatory system also naturally works less effectively.
Diagnosis and treatment
Poor circulation often indicates an underlying health issue, which is why it’s important to get it checked out immediately. To assess your circulation, your foot doctor will likely do a Doppler test. This ultrasound scan will check for vascular issues in your feet and legs, measuring blood flow and helping to detect constricted, damaged, or blocked vessels.
If your doctor diagnoses you with poor circulation, they will talk through a treatment plan with you that tackles the root cause of the issue. The plan could include medication, circulation-boosting exercises, compression socks, lifestyle changes, or more.
Worried you have poor circulation? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of dedicated podiatrists at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists. Our foot doctors will provide highly individualized, advanced treatments so you can feel your best! Contact us at 502-805-3338 to schedule an appointment at any of our locations in Louisville, Elizabethtown, Bardstown, Bowling Green, KY and New Albany, IN.
With fall just around the corner, you may have noticed a shift in decor in retail shops. In shoe stores, you may start to see big sales on summer sandals and new inventory of fall shoes and boots. It’s a great time to take stock of what footwear you need in your closet, and to be on the lookout for great shoes! While it’s tempting to choose footwear based on looks, our podiatrists at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists want to remind you of these important tips too!
- Try them on in person: As much as online shopping is convenient, there is a huge benefit to actually trying them on before buying. Shoes are built very differently depending on brand, materials, and structure of shoe, so it’s important to be able to not only try them on for fit, but also to feel the materials and flexibility of the shoe. You can also take advantage of the help you can get from footwear specialists at the store! Another recommendation is to go in the afternoon when your foot tends to be the most swollen.
- Know what foot type you have: Knowing what kind of arches or foot shape you have makes it easier to shop for shoes that are supportive and comfortable. If you have low arches, it’s important to get shoes that have good arch support. If you have wider feet, choose a style that has a wider size option.
- Look for good shock absorption: Regardless of your activity level, you can benefit from having good shock absorption in your shoes. If you’re on your feet a lot for work or you’re any type of athlete, extra cushioning is crucial to enhance the comfort of your feet, especially in the heel area that is prone to pain from overworking.
- Choose the right materials: The material of the shoes can make a big difference in how your feet can move. If you have diabetes or other condition that increases your risk of skin problems, look for flexible, breathable materials that will prevent blisters, corns, and calluses. Check the seams too, and be sure that they are not directly over your bunion, toe joints, or other potentially painful areas.
- Opt for laced shoes for ultimate comfort: Laces may not be the most popular choice, but from a foot health perspective, they can be the best at creating a proper fit for your feet. It gives you room if you decide to insert custom orthotics to further enhance your foot function. It can prevent sprains and other injuries by eliminating shoes that fit too loosely on your feet.
Not sure what kind of shoes your feet need?
Consult with our foot doctors at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists! Our podiatrists can determine what type of shoe, materials, build, and support your feet can benefit from. We even offer custom orthotics that you can bring with you to your next shoe shopping trip! The shoes you wear can have a big impact on your foot health, so it’s important to take these tips into consideration! If you have other foot concerns like heel pain, toenail problems, or sports injuries, contact our offices in Louisville, Bardstown, Elizabethtown, Bowling Green, KY and Albany, IN. Call us at (502)805-3338 to set up an appointment!
Starting a new habit can be both exciting and daunting, especially when it’s a physical activity like running. You have the motivation, new shoes, and maybe even a running buddy. What else is there to prepare? Whether you’re jogging, running, or training for a marathon, our podiatrists at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists want you to know of common injuries to be aware of so that you can enjoy running for as long as possible.
Running can lead to skin issues like blisters, calluses, corns, and warts. Minimizing friction, keeping your feet clean, wearing moisture-wicking socks and properly-fitting shoes are key to preventing these common problems.
Your feet take a lot of pounding while running, which can lead to inflammation and injury to the thick fibrous tissue called the plantar fascia that supports the arch. Repeated stress can lead to plantar fasciitis, which requires rest, medication, orthotics or other therapies to alleviate heel pain.
Every time your foot pushes off the ground, it uses your achilles tendon. While it is the largest and strongest tendon in your body, the repeated motion of running can lead to pain, swelling, and stiffness. Warming up your tissues with stretching before and after running can greatly decrease your risk of tendinitis.
Overexertion from running can cause shin splints, which are small tears in the tissues surrounding the shin bone. Stretching regularly, rest, icing, and medication are often treatments to ease pain.
While sprains can happen anywhere or even while walking, ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries that occur while running. Ligaments on the sides of the ankles are stretched, torn, or injured to cause swelling, pain, and bruising that can prevent you from putting weight on your foot. No matter how severe, it’s important to consult with a podiatrist on a treatment plan.
Running can be an extremely rewarding activity and offer many benefits to your physical and mental health. In order to continue with injuries, it’s important to stay on top of your foot health through regular stretching, gradual progression of workouts, and consulting with experienced foot doctors.
We can help!
At Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists, our doctors offer a wide range of services, from preventative care including physical therapies and custom orthotics to complex surgeries to improve or correct foot function or help heal injuries. Find out where your foot health stands by scheduling an appointment with our board-certified podiatrists. Our advanced technologies used in diagnostics and treatments provide the highest-quality foot and ankle care for our patients. To schedule an appointment at any of our locations in Louisville, Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, KY and New Albany, IN, call us at (502) 805-3338 or request one online here.
Among the many different types of physical therapy treatments we provide here at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists, one that we frequently prescribe to our patients is electrical muscle stimulation therapy. What is it, and how does it help with foot and ankle injuries? Our podiatrists are here to tell you!
What is it?
Electrical muscle stimulation therapy is used to alleviate pain, reduce swelling, and improve healing of injuries through increased blood flow. Controlled electrical currents are generated and delivered through electrode pads that are placed directly on your skin. The electrical stimulation imitates the contraction and release of your muscles, and the intensity and frequency of currents can be changed.
What kind of injuries can be treated?
The following are commonly treated with electrical stimulation:
How does it help?
There are several ways that this form of therapy can help:
- Strengthens weakened muscles through repeated contractions
- Stimulates healing through increased blood flow
- Decreases muscle spasms
- Alleviates pain
There are also different types of electrical stimulation therapies, including Transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation (TENS) and Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), which target the nerves. The type of treatment you receive will depend on your specific foot or ankle issue.
Contact our team!
At Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists, we pride ourselves on having state-of-the-art technologies that enable us to provide our patients with the highest quality podiatric care. Our full spectrum physical therapy services play a big part in our patients’ successful treatments and recoveries. From plantar fasciitis, sports injuries, and tendon injuries, to post-surgical treatments, electrical stimulation therapy can help treat a wide range of foot and ankle conditions. Have questions about our physical therapy services? Contact any of our offices in Louisville, Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, KY and New Albany, IN to set up an appointment with our podiatrists today!
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