Posts for: August, 2016
Are your feet and hands constantly cold? You may have poor circulation. Peter Y. Siroka, D.P.M., your Stamford, CT, podiatrist discusses symptoms of the problem and explains how you can find relief.
What are the symptoms of poor circulation?
If blood doesn't flow through your body efficiently, you may notice that:
- You experience pain or swelling in your feet and legs that increase with activity.
- Your legs and feet cramp frequently whether you're active or resting.
- You notice that your feet "fall asleep" quickly or that your muscles feel heavy.
- You become fatigued easily when walking.
- Your legs and feet tingle.
- Your toenails are thicker than normal.
- Wounds on your feet or legs take a long time to heal.
- You have reduced hair growth on your legs.
- Your hands and feet are often cold.
- Your toes are red, blue or purple.
Poor circulation should not be ignored
If you have any of these symptoms, it's important to see your Stamford, CT foot doctor as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem may lead to blood clots, permanent damage to your veins or even heart attacks or strokes. Poor circulation can be caused by a variety of health problems, ranging from peripheral vascular disease to high blood pressure to deep vein thrombosis.
Treatment can help relieve poor circulation symptoms
When you visit your Stamford, CT podiatrist, he'll perform a thorough examination and may measure your pulse in your legs, feet and the blood pressure in your ankles and legs. Non-invasive tests, such as an ultrasound or magnetic resonance angiography, may be used to measure the blood flow in your feet and legs.
In many cases, treating underlying conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, can help improve your circulation. Prescription medication can help reduce pain, improve blood flow or decrease the risk of blood clots. If you have a blockage in an artery, surgery may be needed to restore blood flow.
You may also benefit from:
- Taking short walks throughout the day if you sit for long periods of time
- Making exercise a part of your daily routine
- Quitting smoking
- Wearing compression stockings to help increase blood flow
- Using massage devices on your legs to improve circulation
Peter Y. Siroka, DPM, your Stamford, CT, podiatrist, can diagnose the cause of your circulation problem and recommend treatment options. Call him at (203) 614-8185 to schedule an appointment.
If you're a runner, it goes without saying that your feet take the brunt of the punishment. In fact, for runners the feet are more vulnerable to injury than any other part of the body. Luckily, both long-distance runners and casual joggers can improve their performance by paying extra attention to their feet and taking steps to prevent common foot problems. Poor fitting footwear is often the source of many foot problems caused by running. A visit to our practice can help you determine the best shoes for your foot structure.
A Runner's Roadblock
While many running-related foot injuries can result from a fall or twisted ankle, most running injuries are caused by overuse, meaning the majority of runners experience foot and ankle pain because they do too much for too long. Runners should be aware of the signs of foot problems that can slow them down if not treated promptly. Common foot and ankle injuries experienced by runners include:
Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles tendonitis and other calf-related injuries are prevalent in runners. Poor training, overuse and improper footwear are the three most common reasons for this condition. A sudden increase in distance or pace can strain the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle, causing small tears within these structures that result in pain and inflammation. Appropriate shoes and training are the most important steps to preventing Achilles tendonitis. Conservative treatment includes rest, ice, stretching and sometimes orthotics or physical therapy.
Heel Pain: Runners develop heel pain more than any other foot-related injury. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, the result of placing excessive stress on the ligament in the bottom of the foot. Rest, stretching and support are the best ways to ease the pain and inflammation. Reduce your mileage and avoid hill and speed workouts. Stretch before and after you run, and ice your heel after each workout. Special splints and shoe inserts from our practice may also provide support and relief for your heel pain.
Stress Fractures: Stress fractures are small cracks in the surface of a bone. Runners generally notice gradual muscle soreness, stiffness and pain on the affected bone, most often in the lower leg or the foot. Early diagnosis is critical, as a small fracture can spread and eventually become a complete fracture of the bone. Stress fractures are typically caused by increasing training more quickly than the body's ability to build up and strengthen the bone.
If you have symptoms of a stress fracture, you should stop running immediately and see a podiatrist. This injury can keep a runner off the track for several weeks, and is not an injury that you can run through. Depending on the severity of the stress fracture, a cast may be necessary.
If you experience chronic foot pain from running, make an appointment with a podiatrist. Leaving foot injuries untreated could result in more serious conditions, ultimately keeping you from your best performance. Keep in mind that these are not the only foot ailments caused by running, and when at-home foot care isn't effective, you'll need to be evaluated by a podiatrist. As in most cases, prevention is the best medicine. Good footwear, proper training and recognizing a problem before it becomes serious are your keys to staying on the road and avoiding foot injuries.