When it comes to buying shoes, it’s important to buy footwear that is suitable for what you will be doing. If you plan on running, try to find footwear that is breathable, flexible, supportive, and comfortable. While you should look for these traits in all footwear, different environments require different features. Hiking, for example, requires a more rigid shoe that may not be as breathable, especially if they are designed for cold weather environments. Walking, on the other hand, can be performed in running shoes that are comfortable and well-fitted. If you go rock climbing, then rock climbing shoes are essential as they have superior gripping to help prevent falls. However, rock climbing shoes are not very supportive and are meant to be tight around the feet. These attributes make them unsuitable for everyday wear. Wearing the right type of shoes is vital to preventing foot injuries and will allow you to more safely enjoy all your favorite outdoor activities.

If you are a runner, wearing the right running shoe is essential. For more information, contact Dr. G. Javier Cavazos from R.G.V. Footcare, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

To increase performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is important to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type. The general design of running shoes revolves around pronation, which is how the ankle rolls from outside to inside when the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral runners are able to choose from a wide variety of shoes, including minimalist shoes or even going barefoot.
  • Runners who overpronate, or experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling, should choose shoes that provide extra motion control and stability.
  • Runners who underpronate, or supinate, have feet that have high arches and lack flexibility, preventing shock absorption. They require shoes with more flexibility and cushion.

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

Read more about Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type
Monday, 08 January 2018

Nail Salons and Fungal Infections

According to a recent Rutgers University study in the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety, 52 percent of people who visited a nail salon three times in a year had suffered from a skin infection.  There are a number of reasons why this might be.  Improperly cleaned tools, harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, UV light exposure, or an infected environment all put nail salon patrons at risk for infections.  Common infections include athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, contact dermatitis, and even hepatitis in some cases.  A number of responders to the study also reported suffering from respiratory conditions after going to a salon as well.  If you would still like to go to a nail salon, make sure they properly sterilize their tools, and avoid anything that contains harsh chemicals.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. G. Javier Cavazos from R.G.V. Footcare, P.A.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

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

Read more about Athlete's Foot
Tuesday, 02 January 2018

What’s Causing My Heel Pain?

The heel is comprised of numerous tendons, ligaments, and fatty tissue. Common causes of pain in the heel may include possible stress fractures, bursitis, and obesity, and can typically be treated with ice packs, foot massages, and exercises designed to flex the foot. Probable diagnosis may include plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and Sever’s disease. Refraining from activities that may have caused the pain not only reduces the stress on the heel, but will help in healing the tendons. This pain is commonly avoided by choosing shoes with laces for a firmer fit, discarding shoes with heels that are worn, and stretching the foot by warming up before a sports related activity. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised in properly diagnosing the cause of the pain, in addition to discovering the best treatment options available.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. G. Javier Cavazos of R.G.V. Footcare, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

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

Read more about Heel Pain
Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Plantar Warts are Caused By A Virus

When a wart occurs on the bottom of the foot, it is called a plantar wart. Commonly affecting children and young adults, plantar warts are often extremely painful and can make walking very difficult. Caused by the human papillomavirus, the condition may originate in public showers and can develop from a poor immune system. The virus can enter the skin through small cuts on the sole of the foot but may not become visible for several weeks. Resembling a small cauliflower, a plantar wart often has small black dots in the center, which may be hemorrhages under the skin. By avoiding direct contact with infected surfaces such as public pools and shower floors, contracting the HPV virus may be prevented. Treatment may include salicylic acid, cryotherapy, or surgical removal in severe cases. A consultation with a podiatrist is important for the diagnosis and treatment of plantar warts.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. G. Javier Cavazos from R.G.V. Footcare, P.A. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Legions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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

Read more about All About Plantar Warts

For some years now, podiatrists have found a link between high heels and foot-related ailments. In addition to the bad effects they produce on the back and legs, high heels also cause a number of health conditions in the feet. Plantar fasciitis, or pain in the heel caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia, is a common condition caused by high heels. High heels can also make trips and falls more likely, which can result in ankle sprains and other injuries. Due to their design and construction, high heels often force the feet to be squeezed; this pressure has been linked to causing varicose veins. Worsening cases of both hammertoe and turf toe have also been linked to high heels as well. If you do decide to wear high heels, try to wear them for short periods of time and only for special occasions.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. G. Javier Cavazos from R.G.V. Footcare, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Monday, 11 December 2017

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

If you are experiencing pain, redness, and swelling near the toenail, chances are you may have an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails occur when the corner of the nail grows into the flesh, which can be very painful. Diabetics may be at a greater risk for ingrown toenails due to poor blood flow which can lead to the wound not healing. Trimming toenails properly is an excellent way to help prevent ingrown toenails. Wearing well-fitted shoes can help too; keeping pressure off the toes may keep the nail from growing into the surrounding tissue. Soaking the feet in a warm bath may relieve tenderness and reduce swelling, and applying antibiotic cream and bandaging the toe can also be beneficial. If the toenail becomes infected or the pain is severe, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. G. Javier Cavazos of R.G.V. Footcare, P.A. 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 Edinburg, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care

New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins may need surgery on a recent left ankle injury he sustained during the Giants and Washington Redskins game. Jenkins managed to make an interception and return it for a touchdown, but injured his ankle during the play. The surgery is expected to end his season due to the expected length of the recovery. Jenkins had been playing throughout the season with a “debilitating ankle injury,” but it seems that it just became too bad. The Giants already have a number of players who have suffered season-ending ankle injuries, including star wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Dr. G. Javier Cavazos of R.G.V. Footcare, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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

Read more about Sports Related Foot And Ankle Injuries

Plantar fasciitis, a condition caused by the tearing and inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue in the bottom of the foot, is a relatively common foot problem. Symptoms are characterized by pain in the heel of the foot. If you are experiencing plantar fasciitis, it may hurt in the morning when you take your first steps. Anti-inflammatory medication may help reduce the pain and inflammation, and rest is a good way to help treat the condition. However, it is recommended to see a podiatrist who can diagnose and provide more thorough care. A podiatrist may offer custom-made orthotics to help provide cushion and support for the foot. A change in footwear can also help as well, as can losing weight if you are overweight. If you stand a lot for your job, it is advised that you take more breaks to help take the pressure off your feet throughout the day.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. G. Javier Cavazos  from R.G.V. Footcare, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

Exercising is a great way to stay healthy. Depending on the way you exercise, different shoes may be better for you. When shopping for shoes, go later in the day because your foot tends to swell throughout the day. Try on different brands and pairs, as every shoe is different. Things to look for include space for your toes to wiggle around, support for your foot, and comfort when worn for long periods of time. If the shoes are heavy, do not provide enough room, or do not provide support, it is recommended to try finding a different pair. Finally, wear whatever socks you plan on wearing when you workout. This will negate the question later on of whether your socks cause your shoes to fit too small.

Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. G. Javier Cavazos from R.G.V. Footcare, P.A. Our doctor  will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in proper fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improper fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, properly-fitting shoes are vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.

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

Read more about Proper Shoe Fitting
Sunday, 12 November 2017

Cold Feet and Blood Circulation

While most people have experienced cold feet at some point in their life, some experience it during times when the weather isn’t necessarily cold. This can be due to poor blood circulation, which in itself can be caused by a number of conditions. Some of these conditions can include anemia, diabetes, hypothyroidism, and peripheral vascular disease, among others. If your feet are cold frequently or have been cold for a long time, it is strongly recommended to see a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition. The podiatrist may have to utilize several tests to determine the exact cause. Once a cause is found, treatment will vary depending upon the condition.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. G. Javier Cavazos of R.G.V. Footcare, P.A. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness  or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
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