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May 2020

It is an unnatural feeling to fall, and it is considered to be a common occurrence among the elderly population. It can produce fear in accomplishing daily activities, and many people can experience serious injuries. Falling may occur from existing medical conditions that can impact balance. These can include vertigo, Parkinson’s Disease, or strokes. Environmental factors may play a significant role in contributing to the number of falls that people endure, consisting of cluttered living areas and poor lighting. It is helpful to have routine medical examinations performed, which can ensure medications are correct and current, and vision and hearing are normal. Many patients choose to have grab bars installed in their shower and toilet areas, as these can provide extra stability. If you would like more information about how falling can impact the feet, in addition to learning about effective fall prevention methods, please consult with a podiatrist.

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 Don A. Shumway, DPM from Arizona. 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 Snowflake, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention
Monday, 18 May 2020 00:00

What Causes a Bunion to Form?

When pressure is put on the joint of the big toe over a period of time, the foot condition referred to as a bunion may develop. This condition, or foot deformity, appears as a bump on the side of the big toe. One of the most common causes of this deformity is ill-fitting or tightly worn footwear. Existing conditions may also factor into the development of a bunion. Flat feet, gout, injury to the foot, and connective tissue or neuromuscular disorders may all increase the risk of developing a bunion. Bunions can be rather painful, often causing discomfort when wearing shoes or walking. This condition can also cause the big toe to feel numb, as well become red and inflamed. For more information on how to treat a bunion, please speak with a podiatrist for professional advice.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Don A. Shumway, DPM of Arizona. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Monday, 11 May 2020 00:00

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

Toenails that grow into the surrounding skin of the nail bed are referred to as ingrown toenails. This foot condition is known to be incredibly painful and can cause redness and swelling to the toe. In severe cases, some patients may experience a discharge coming from the impacted toe, which is often indicative of an infection. There are several different reasons why an ingrown toenail may develop. Common causes for an ingrown toenail may include tightly fitted footwear, injury to the toe, improper toenail trimming, unusual toenail curvature, and genetic factors. If you believe you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is suggested you speak with a podiatrist to determine the best plan of treatment for you.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Don A. Shumway, DPM of Arizona. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

There is a procedure that is referred to as platelet-rich plasma injections, which is commonly known as PRP injections. It may be an effective method of treatment for chronic foot pain. Additionally, it may help to heal foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendon injuries. It is administered by extracting the patient’s blood, followed by separating the platelets by using a centrifuge machine. This machine is able to spin the blood at an accelerated speed. Growth factors are released, which can promote healing of the affected tissues, tendons, and cartilage. If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, and would like additional information about the benefits of PRP injections, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist.

If you are suffering from a foot condition, contact Don A. Shumway, DPM of Arizona. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is blood taken from a patient and spun in a centrifuge, concentrating the amount of platelets. The plasma is then re-injected into the site of injury or damage, assisting the body in repairing damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and tissue. PRP helps the body speed up its healing process.

Uses of PRP

Injuries affecting the foot sometimes don’t heal properly because of poor blood circulation. The healing time slows down, and recovery time is affected by poor blood supply. PRP injections will speed up recovery and resolve this issue.

Treatment

PRP is the first regenerative treatment for damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments. No surgery needed. It is only applied with an insertion of a needle.

Ultrasound – An ultrasound is needed for proper placement of the platelets.

Injection – When the first injection is received, the patient will return to the doctor in about 2 to 3 weeks and monitor the recovery process.

Recovery time – Some people respond to treatments differently. Therefore, depending on your condition, the doctor will make any remaining decisions on how many more injections are needed, or if any additional ones are even required.

Benefits

One may be able to avoid major surgery, and recovery time will be cut down. PRP injections also avoid creating scar tissue and damage to the area. Risks are also very low using PRP as a treatment. There is no risk of rejection, contracting a disease from using another person’s blood, or infection.

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

Read more about PRP Injections in the Feet
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