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When the feet and ankles are strong and flexible, the benefits typically extend to the entire body. There are numerous bones, tendons and muscles that the feet are comprised of. If the feet are in top physical condition, they may act as an effective shock absorber and this may ensure that daily activities such as walking and running can be performed with ease. There are several yoga postures that may aid in strengthening the toes and feet. A simple practice that may be done is to sit back on your heels while kneeling. As this is performed, the tops of the feet will automatically stretch, which may promote strong feet. To strengthen the toes and top of the foot, try to firmly stand tall. While lifting the inner toes off the ground, keep the big toe and pinky toe stationary. Additionally, frequent massages may benefit the general health of the feet, and you may want to engage in these practices as often as possible.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

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

Read more about How to Stretch Your Feet

When specific foods are ingested on a frequent basis, a flare-up of a condition known as gout may occur. There are several symptoms that accompany this ailment, including severe pain and discomfort surrounding the big toe, redness, and extreme tenderness when the area is touched. Certain foods have elevated levels of purines, which is known to raise uric acid levels in the blood. This causes crystals to form, and may lodge in the joints of the feet, most commonly the big toe. Research has shown that certain foods should be limited or avoided, which are high in purine levels. These may include alcohol, shellfish, and meat. For patients who experience gout, it may be advised to drink plenty of fresh water frequently, increase the amount of fruits and vegetables that are eaten on a daily basis, and to lose weight slowly if obesity is a factor. Please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist if you are afflicted with gout for immediate treatment options.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

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

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It’s important to practice good foot hygiene and care at any age, and this is especially true for elderly people. As people get older, there are many factors that can impede making sure the feet are taken care of. These may include poor vision, being overweight, and possibly being unable to bend easily to inspect the feet for cuts, bruises, or sores. Ingrown toenails may develop as a result of improper toenail cutting, in addition to the formation of cracked heels, which may be due to a lack of moisture in the skin. If blisters, nail discoloration, or bleeding wounds are evident, these may be indicators of infections, and should be treated as quickly as possible. Caretakers of the elderly should advise their patients to wear comfortable shoes that fit correctly in addition to wearing clean and dry socks daily. Research has suggested that elderly people should be in the care of a podiatrist, so that frequent inspections of the feet may be performed.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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

Read more about Elderly Foot Care
Monday, 20 August 2018 00:00

The Importance of Diabetic Foot Care

Type 2 diabetes is the result of either the pancreas not producing enough insulin or the body not reacting properly to the insulin. Unfortunately, people with this condition may lose feeling in their lower extremities, including the feet. Consequently, it is important for diabetics to check their feet after going on a long walk, because cuts and other injuries may go unnoticed. These untreated foot injuries could eventually lead to ulcers or infections. Although there is risk involved, physical activity is a great way for diabetics to lower their blood pressure. If you are experiencing problems related to diabetic foot care, your podiatrist may be able to help.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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

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Tuesday, 14 August 2018 00:00

Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle

One of the most common injuries the feet can endure may be an ankle sprain. Although this may be a common occurrence among athletes, many people will experience this condition as a result of everyday activities. It happens when the ankle twists unnaturally, and the ligaments and tendons in the foot endure enormous stress. There are several symptoms that are indicative of a sprained ankle including severe pain and discomfort, swelling, and bruising. Some of the more typical reasons why an individual may sprain their ankle may include stepping off a curb that was out of sight, or stepping down with excessive pressure while running. If you feel you have injured your ankle that may have resulted in a sprain, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for proper treatment.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

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

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

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

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Monday, 06 August 2018 00:00

Causes of Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

Many women enjoy being pregnant, but will often complain about their feet becoming swollen as the pregnancy progresses. It’s a common condition that often develops as a result of excess fluid the body produces in addition to pressure exerted from the growing baby. Most of the swelling will dissipate after the baby is born, but until then, there are specific ways to find moderate relief. Research has shown the importance of lying on your left side while sleeping, in addition to consuming plenty of water and exercising regularly. The majority of pregnant women may find that elevating their feet as often as possible and not standing for extended periods of time may help to reduce a portion of the swelling. If you are pregnant and are experiencing severely swollen feet, please consult with a podiatrist for additional information on how to properly care for your feet.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy, but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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

Read more about Foot Care for Pregnant Women

If the feet suffer from certain conditions, it may be a tell tale sign that the body may be enduring additional health issues. If we can be aware of this fact, there may be certain areas of the feet that may indicate specific bodily ailments. Recent research has shown that uncomfortable charley horses may suggest potential vitamin deficiencies that may be present in the body. Additionally, the painful condition referred to as gout may be a result of a diet that is rich in excess red meat and alcohol. If patients experience swollen or cold feet, it may be advised to consider poor circulation as a threat to good health. If you are afflicted with diabetes, you may experience numbness or tingling in your feet which may lead to persistent sores. It is suggested to consult with a podiatrist if you are concerned about stubborn foot issues and would like to obtain additional information about how the feet can indicate possible serious health issues.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

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

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Foot

The majority of runners are fearful of incurring any type of running injury. This would generally conjure up thoughts of gaining unwanted weight and not receiving the endorphins that many runners typically enjoy. There are different types of injuries that may be common among runners, including Achilles tendinitis, which consists of pain and discomfort in the back of the heel and lower calf and shin splints where the pain commonly strikes the front of the lower leg. Additionally, patellar tendinitis may develop, which is an injury that affects the knee. Many painful injuries may be avoided by properly stretching the legs before and after running. Research has shown the importance wearing the correct shoes for the specific type of running that is pursued. If you experience an injury to your foot after running, it’s advised to consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna of Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training Into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries
Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00

How to Online Shop for Shoes

For people who prefer to buy shoes online rather in store, it may be difficult to get your correct shoe size. One of the most important steps in buying a pair of shoes online is to look at the size conversion chart on the website. You should measure your foot at home and follow the size guide for each shoe you purchase. When measuring your feet, you should beware of the fact that one foot may likely be larger than the other. It is also important to note that socks play a major role in how your feet will measure out. When trying on winter boots, you should choose a size that will allow you extra room for when you wear thick socks in cold weather. Lastly, you should stick with brands you are familiar with when buying shoes online. This tip is helpful, because if you stick with a shoe brand you already own, you will know what size will fit you if you decide to order online.

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.

  • When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
  • Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
  • Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
  • Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
  • If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes

As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without pain.

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

Read more about Getting the Right Shoe Size: To Keep Your Feet Happy
Monday, 09 July 2018 00:00

What are Fissures?

The skin condition referred to as cracked heels may be a result of several different causes. If the shoes that are worn do not have adequate padding in the heel area, the skin on the heels may become dry and form fissures, which are deep cracks in the skin. Some people develop this condition because of their style of walking, and possibly from standing for extended periods of time. Additionally, specific skin conditions may be a contributing factor and these may include psoriasis or eczema, which typically causes the skin to become dry. Wearing sandals without a back may often cause the formation of cracked heels, and this condition may cause discomfort and pain. If you are afflicted with this ailment, it may be beneficial to wash and dry the feet thoroughly followed by utilizing a good moisturizer. For more severe cases, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist for correct treatment options.

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

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

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
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