Posts for category: GENERAL

By East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers
February 04, 2016
Category: GENERAL
Tags: Heel Pain  

As a common complaint, heel pain can range from mild to severe and go from one end of the pain spectrum to the other very quickly. Walking, running, or even standing can be affected, decreasing your mobility and keeping you off your feet. Luckily, heel pain is Heel Paintreatable with help from your Tyler, TX podiatrist.

What causes heel pain? 
From overuse to specific conditions, sore feet have many causes. Some of the most common triggers for heel pain include:

  • plantar fasciitis
  • tendonitis
  • heel spur
  • bone spur
  • tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • damage to the heel pads
  • pinched nerves
  • stress fractures

How is heel pain treated?
A full examination performed by your podiatrist helps diagnose the cause of your heel pain. X-rays and MRIs allow your doctor to see abnormalities in the bones, muscles, and tendons inside your foot. After determining the cause of your pain, your doctor works with you to determine an effective treatment plan. At-home treatments--like icing the foot or taking over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen--help reduce pain and swelling. In some cases, simply resting the foot allows the body to heal on its own. Your podiatrist may advise you to wear different shoes and give you exercises and stretches to reduce pain. Orthotics prescribed by your doctor help evenly distribute pressure while walking and standing or correct gait problems to decrease heel pain. In severe cases, surgery is required.

Who is at risk for heel pain?
People who work jobs which require them to be on their feet for extended amounts of time, like nursing, are at risk for heel pain. Runners or those who are physically active are also at risk, and that risk becomes higher when the proper shoes for these activities are not worn. Those who often wear dress shoes like high heels can have heel pain. Obesity also plays a role in the risk factor of foot problems as the feet take the brunt of the extra weight and pressure.

For more information on heel pain and treatment options, please contact Dr. James Kent, DPM, MS at East Texas Foot and Ankle Centers in Tyler, TX. Call (903) 939-3668 to schedule your examination today!

By East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers
December 07, 2015
Category: GENERAL
Tags: Corns  

If you've noticed a rough spot on your foot that resembles a blister, but is hard and painful, you may have a corn. Corns are commonly seen by the podiatrists at East Texas Foot & Ankle Center in Tyler, and they have provided more information about these growths and cornswhy they can cause major problems for certain people.

How are corns formed?

Corns and calluses are formed the same way: when friction or pressure is consistently placed on one area of the foot, the skin adapts to the force by hardening and thickening. Corns have a cone shape (hence their name; they resemble a kernel of corn); calluses are more rounded out and cover a larger area of the foot. Your Tyler podiatrist finds that corns often form on pressure points due to wearing ill-fitting footwear. Corns can cause a considerable amount of foot pain.

What are some complications of corns?

Corns can be very uncomfortable, especially while wearing shoes and walking for long periods of time. People who have circulatory problems are at risk for developing foot wounds that do not heal properly due to the lack of blood flow. However, your Tyler podiatrist warns his patients with poor circulation that foot pain is not a good indicator of a problem; they typically have reduced feeling in their feet as well, so corns may not be particularly painful and may go unnoticed. Without treatment, foot wounds can result in systemic infections or amputation.

How can corns be treated?

For the general population, moleskin pads can be worn over the corn to relieve some of the foot pain and cushion the pressure point. Your Tyler podiatrist cautions against trying to remove the corn yourself; this can lead to infection. For those who have diabetes or any other condition that causes reduced circulation: the best defenses you have are to wear shoes at all times and inspect your feet daily. Any cut, blister or sore should immediately be evaluated by your Tyler podiatrist. Quick treatment will help ensure that the wound does not progress.

If you think you might be dealing with corns or any other problem that is giving you foot pain, contact East Texas Foot & Ankle Center in Tyler. We'd be happy to help you get back on your feet!

By East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers
May 08, 2015
Category: GENERAL
Tags: Corns   Calluses  

Are you one of the millions of Americans today who suffers from unsightly and uncomfortable corns or calluses on your feet? If so, you aren't without hope, as there are lasting solutions right here in Tyler, TX, for all foot pain symptoms.Corns

At East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers, Dr. James Kent, DPM, MS, treats many patients who come into his office with unfriendly feet, whether it be corns, calluses, or any number of other foot ailments. While corns and calluses are often used synonymously, corns are typically found on toes while calluses are elsewhere on the foot, oftentimes beneath it.

Both are build-ups of dead skin that have been caused by repeated pressure, oftentimes the result of shoes that are too tight or otherwise ill-fitting.

Overcoming Corns And Calluses

Because corns and calluses can bring foot pain and an unattractive appearance to your feet, it's best to treat them by:

  • soaking your feet in warm water (this will soften the hardened skin padding)
  • using a pumice stone to file them down
  • wearing foam inserts or orthotics in your shoes to relieve pressure
  • attending physical therapy
  • having surgery
  • seeing your podiatrist for lasting on-site treatment options

Dr. Kent often treats his patients' corns and calluses by using a scalpel that is as gentle as it is effective; however, he advises patients not to try the same on their own. Attempting to scrape off calluses and corns using at-home devices frequently leads to infection or other foot complications.

Preventing Corns and Calluses

What's better than treating existing corns and calluses? Preventing them! Take a look below at why always getting the right shoes goes a long way toward corn and callus prevention:

  • Tight-fitting or narrow-toed shoes put unnecessary pressure on your feet.
  • Shoes that fit well and have just enough space on the sides offer comfort.
  • Important reminder: you should shop for shoes later in the day, because that's when our feet are biggest

For more information about corn and callus treatment and prevention, give Dr. Kent a call today at (903) 939-3668 for lasting foot pain relief!