Understanding and Diagnosing Vascular Disease

Vascular diseases affect the circulatory system and can involve blood disorders or abnormalities in the arteries, veins, or lymph vessels. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a type of vascular disease which causes a narrowing or blockage in the arteries that prevents their capacity to carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the legs and feet. PAD can cause leg pain when walking (claudication), numbness, tingling, coldness, or an inability for wounds to heal in the legs or feet. Left untreated, PAD may also be a precursor to life-threatening issues such as a heart attack or stroke. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in your legs or feet, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can help diagnose and treat PAD. They will perform a physical examination and may even suggest that tests be performed to help assess the presence and severity of vascular disease, such as a Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) and Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA). CTA uses a type of X-ray scan, while MRA uses radio wave technology. Both tests produce 3D imaging and typically involve inserting a contrasting material (dye) in the blood vessels which makes them easier to visualize.

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Dr. Castillo from Bronx Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

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

 

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Stretching the Bottoms of Your Feet and Ankles

If you like walking or hiking, stretching the bottoms of your feet and ankles can be very beneficial. Stretching helps by relieving foot pain and improving flexibility, which reduces your risk of foot and ankle injuries. One simple stretch that you can perform is a foot stepover. To do this stretch, place a rolled up towel on the floor. Stand up straight and place the front half of one foot onto the towel. Be sure to keep the heel of the foot on the floor. Take a small step forward with the other foot. You should feel a stretch in the foot that is standing on the towel. Repeat ten times, holding the stretch for two to five seconds each time, and then repeat on the opposite foot. For more information about stretching the feet, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Castillo from Bronx Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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

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It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Ways to Avoid Falling at Home

Falling is one of the leading causes of injury among those older than 65. In fact, one out of every 4 seniors will fall each year. Thankfully, there are plenty of simple things that can be done in order to prevent falls in the home. One step that can be done is to keep the floors at home clutter-free in order to avoid tripping. Installing grab bars in the bathrooms and handrails around staircases can help provide stability and prevent falls. One of the most important things that can be done to avoid falling is to consult with a podiatrist about any falls that you may have experienced, or for more professional advice on fall prevention. A podiatrist will be able to help check your feet and give advice on proper footwear that should be worn as well as review any medications that may make you dizzy or lead to instability. 

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 Dr. Castillo from Bronx Foot Care. 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 Bronx, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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What Is Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?

People with diabetes are at an increased risk of neuropathy, or nerve damage. Diabetics are frequently diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage in the hands and feet. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in the lower limbs include tingling, pins and needles, numbness, pain, or increased sensitivity in the feet. In some cases, the feet may change shape due to nerve damage. Sores and diabetic foot ulcers, which can be difficult to detect and tend to heal slowly and poorly, are also very common. If you have diabetes, it is important to be vigilant of any foot or ankle symptoms. Seeing a podiatrist regularly can help manage existing symptoms, detect and treat any new problems, and maintain the health of your feet. 

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with Dr. Castillo from Bronx Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

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

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Ringworm on the Feet

Ringworm is a type of fungal infection that can affect any part of the body. When it affects the feet, it is also known as athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot can cause some very unpleasant symptoms, including itching, burning, or stinging between the toes, a red, scaly rash on the feet, dry, flaking, or peeling skin, foot blisters, and a foul odor. The infection can also spread to the toenails causing them to become thickened, brittle, and discolored. Fortunately, fungal infections of the feet tend to respond well to treatment. Your podiatrist may prescribe topical antifungal medications, such as creams or powders, that you apply directly to your feet, or oral antifungal medications that you take by mouth. If you have symptoms of ringworm on your feet, please seek the care of a podiatrist.  

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Dr. Castillo from Bronx Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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

 

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Peripheral Artery Disease Explained

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a medical condition that can cause poor circulation in the lower limbs. This occurs due to a buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries that supply the lower limbs. The plaque causes arteries to narrow and harden, making it more difficult for blood to travel through them and bring oxygen and nutrients to the feet and ankles. In its early stages, PAD may be asymptomatic. As it progresses, symptoms can include foot and leg cramps, numbness, weakness, coldness, skin discoloration, hair loss, and slow-healing sores and wounds on the lower limbs. Your podiatrist can screen you for PAD through a variety of simple, noninvasive tests. If you suspect that you may have PAD, or if you are an older adult or have a family history of vascular disease, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist for a PAD screening. 

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Dr. Castillo from Bronx Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

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

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Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Signs of Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor circulation can indicate a variety of problems throughout the body including high cholesterol and diabetes. Poor circulation is often noticed in the feet first, and there are a few signs that you should consult with a podiatrist. If your toes are red, purple, or blue, this unhealthy coloring may be a clear indication of poor circulation. Because blood encourages hair growth, lack of hair on the feet or lower legs may also be an indicator. Poor circulation can also cause the feet to be excessively cool (maybe even ice cold), and can cause the feet to fall asleep easily. If you notice any of these signs in your feet, consulting with a podiatrist is strongly suggested.  

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Castillo of Bronx Foot Care. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

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 Bronx, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Should I See a Doctor for My Heel Pain?

Heel pain is one of the most common conditions podiatrists help treat, and it can have a variety of causes. Common causes of heel pain include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, bursitis, a ruptured Achilles tendon, or a heel fracture. There are a few key signs that your heel pain may be serious and needs to be checked by a podiatrist. If the pain continually worsens, stops you from doing daily activities, has not improved after a couple of weeks, or causes a tingling sensation in the heel, there may be a more serious issue at play that should be checked by a podiatrist. If the pain is severe, hinders your ability to walk, or was accompanied by a popping sensation at the time of injury, these may be signs of an even more serious injury that should be treated immediately.  

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Castillo of Bronx Foot Care. 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 Bronx, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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