Stretches for Pointe Dancers

Pointe is a particular kind of ballet dance that is especially thrilling and challenging. Pointe dancers essentially put all of their weight on the tips of their toes. These dancers must wear special shoes to support this activity. Given the extraordinary nature of the type of dance, pointe dancers can consider performing special foot stretches. These foot stretches are ultimately meant to increase resilience in the feet and strengthen the muscles of the feet. A pointe dancer might consider warming up their feet by gently rolling out their feet with a tennis ball. This can be performed from a seated position and placing the tennis ball beneath each foot, one at a time. Also, from a seated position, you might consider strengthening the feet and ankle areas by pointing your toes and writing the alphabet with the foot in the air. If you are a pointe dancer, contact a podiatrist today. 

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. 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 Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Severe or Mildly Broken Toes

A broken toe is a foot injury that may or may not be severe. It can happen from jamming it into a piece of furniture, or from dropping a heavy object on it. A broken toe is considered to be severe if a bone is protruding from the skin. This often requires immediate medical attention, which also may help to prevent getting an infection. Some patients hear a snapping or popping sound with this type of fracture, and the intense pain can make it difficult to walk. Symptoms from a mildly broken toe often include bruising and swelling, which can make existing shoes difficult to wear. Effective treatment techniques can start out by having an X-ray taken, and this is successful in determining the severity of the fracture. Many broken toes are treated by using the buddy taping method. This is done by taping the affected toe to the toe next to it, which is generally adequate enough to provide the necessary stability as it heals. If you have broken your toe, please confer with a podiatrist who can provide you with tips on how your toe can heal properly.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

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

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Swelling and Mosquito Bites

The feet can swell up in size and shape when they experience poor circulation. However, other things may cause the feet to swell. Namely, experiencing some kind of bug bite may make the feet swell. It is very common during the warm summer months for people to get mosquito bites all over their bodies, especially on their feet. If you are experiencing swelling on the feet from a mosquito bite, there are several steps that you may consider taking. To reduce and mitigate the extent to which your feet are swelling, you might consider applying an ice pack for a short amount of time to the affected area. About 10 minutes of application time might be sufficient. Generally speaking, the mosquito bite might also be washed with soap and water. Getting a mosquito bite on the feet shouldn’t be taken lightly if there is significant swelling. Contact a podiatrist today to learn more. 


 

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact Dean Kim, DPM of Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. 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 Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.


 

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A Common Reason for Stress Fractures

A hairline fracture that happens in the foot is known as a stress fracture. It can occur in one or more of the 26 bones in each foot and causes difficulty walking. A stress fracture happens gradually, and a common reason is from increasing speed and distance too quickly while running. After a proper diagnosis has been performed, which is generally done by having an MRI taken, treatment can begin. The foot has a better chance of making a complete recovery by keeping weight off of it, and crutches can be useful in accomplishing this. Many patients find it helpful to wrap the affected foot with an elastic bandage, which can help provide the necessary stability as the healing process occurs. If you have foot pain and think you may have a stress fracture, it is strongly urged that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can provide you with the correct medical treatment. 

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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

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Let Us Treat Your Feet This Winter

Take extra care when walking on snow and ice. If you experience a fall and sustain an injury, we're here to help. We treat trauma, soft tissue injuries, and fractures.

Surgery for Big Toe Arthritis

Arthritis often strikes the joint connecting the big toe to the ball of the foot and can cause significant pain. This affliction is more common as one ages and cartilage wears away between the bones. A surgery can be performed where the bones are fused together with metal plates, but this can limit the flexibility of the toe. Another option is a type of implant that can be inserted between the bones and can cushion the aching joint. Such an implant can be as small as a miniature marshmallow. It is made of saline solution and polyvinyl alcohol, like that used in soft contact lenses. This material compresses a bit under pressure, much like real cartilage. If you suffer from arthritis in the big toe, consult with a podiatrist to see if surgery is a treatment that is right for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dean Kim, DPM of Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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

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Wearing a Brace After an Ankle Sprain

Rushing the healing process after spraining an ankle is unwise, according to experts. This is because if the ankle does not fully heal, it is much more likely to be sprained again. For this reason, using an ankle brace during the recovery period can be a good idea. The goal of wearing an ankle brace is to speed up the healing process while preventing further pain. There are three types to consider, based on the severity of the sprain. The first type, used in more severe cases, immobilizes the ankle while providing compression to keep swelling down. If you are healing from a more moderate sprain, you may wish to use a brace that eases up on compression but keeps the ankle from moving laterally. For a mild sprain, a lighter-weight brace is suggested, which still offers some support while it helps to stabilize the joint. For more information on the proper brace to use after an ankle sprain, please consult a podiatrist. 

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

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When to Worry About a Child’s Foot Pain

Early intervention is key to halting chronic foot problems in children. Issues that are common with children’s feet include flat feet, which describes the appearance of a foot that does not have a well-developed arch and the foot lays flat against the floor. While there are usually no symptoms of flat feet in kids, some children may complain of cramping, pain, and tenderness in the foot or leg. They might limp or exhibit an aversion to athletic activities and walking because they say their legs and feet get tired. It is important that parents do not automatically attribute a child’s foot pain to growing pains as it can be more serious. It is suggested that if your child says or shows they feel pain in their feet or legs, a podiatrist be consulted to do a thorough examination of the feet and rule out anything serious or structural abnormalities that might be helped with simple intervention techniques.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact Dean Kim, DPM of Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

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

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Why Plantar Flexion Is Important

Every time you press your foot down on the accelerator of the car, nine muscles in your ankle, foot, and leg are used to accomplish this task. Additionally, very time you stand on tiptoe to reach something on a high shelf, you need these same muscles to help you to accomplish that. Dancers and many athletes, such as basketball and soccer players, depend on plantar flexion to extend their feet. This action is called flexing the muscles, and an injury to any of the muscles involved can make it painful and difficult to extend the foot. Ankle sprains and fractures are the main conditions that inhibit plantar flexion. When the ankle bones and muscles are injured, the result is swelling that reduces the range of motion. Three actions can help to prevent these types of injuries. First, it is beneficial to wear shoes that fit properly, and avoiding high heels which do not support the ankle. Secondly, perform exercises that strengthen those muscles in the legs, ankles, and feet which support plantar flexion. And lastly, consult a podiatrist who can provide you with tips on how to preserve ankle strength and support. 

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. 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 Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Falling May Affect Confidence Levels of Seniors

Many elderly people know the importance of maintaining physical mobility, knowing it can affect their ability to walk and complete daily activities. Falling can be common among seniors, possibly resulting in a broken toe or foot, which may happen from a loss of balance and strength. It can also invoke fear of falling, and moving around may be put on the back burner. This can negatively affect social life, in addition to losing the satisfaction of accomplishing a physical task. There are fall prevention methods that can be implemented which can raise confidence levels, and reduce the fear of falling. These can include frequently engaging in a gentle exercise routine that can increase balance and strengthen the body. Many patients find it helps to improve lighting in the household, and installing grab bars can help to find stability that is needed in the shower and toilet areas. Additionally, it is beneficial to have regular physical and eye examinations, which can help to monitor existing medication and eyeglasses. Falling can affect the feet, and it is advised that you speak with a podiatrist who can guide you toward fall prevention techniques.

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 Dean Kim, DPM from Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. 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 Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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