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Enjoy Pregnancy without Foot Pain

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Physician offers mothers-to-be remedies for aching feet

“Oh, my aching feet” is a phrase you hear often from pregnant women. But, are sore feet a symptom they just must deal with during pregnancy? According to Shoreline Foot and Ankle Associates surgeon Dr. Roger Deyoung, DPM, the answer is “no.” There are many remedies available to help alleviate foot pain.  

Dr. Deyoung states women often experience foot pain during pregnancy because of increased weight, foot instability, and swelling. “In the last five years, I’ve seen an increase in pregnant women with foot pain because more women than ever before are active, even running marathons, during their pregnancies,” Dr. Deyoung says. He recommends the following guidelines to help reduce foot pain during pregnancy.

Painful, Swollen Feet—Pregnant women often experience throbbing, swollen feet due to excess fluid build up (edema) in the feet from the weight and position of the baby. To reduce swelling, put feet up whenever possible, stretch legs frequently, wear wide comfortable shoes and don’t cross legs when sitting.

Arch Pain—Pain in the arch can be due to both arch fatigue or over pronation (or the flattening of the arch). Over pronation causes extreme stress to the ligament (the plantar fascia) that holds up the arch of the foot. The best way to prevent arch pain is to stretch daily in the morning and before and after any exercise, don’t go barefoot and wear supportive low-heeled shoes.

Ingrown Toenails—Excessive stress from tightly-fitting shoes causes painful ingrown toenails. Give your feet a break: wear wider shoes during the last trimester of pregnancy to avoid ingrown toenails. If you do experience an ingrown toenail, avoid attempting “bathroom surgery.” Repeated cutting of the nail can cause the condition to worsen over time. It is best to seek treatment with a foot and ankle surgeon.

It is also not uncommon for women to experience a change in their foot size during pregnancy. “A permanent growth in a women’s foot, up to half a size, can occur from the release of the same hormone, relaxin, that allows the pelvis to open to deliver the baby. It makes the ligaments in your feet more flexible, causing feet to spread wider and longer,” Dr. Deyoung adds.

Pregnancy and pending motherhood should be a joy. If foot pain persists, call Dr. Deyoung’s office at 231-733-1111. He or the other Shoreline physicians can provide relief with conservative treatments such as physical therapy, foot orthotics, supportive shoes and minor toenail procedures.

Sunscreen on Your Feet? 

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Doctor urges sunscreen use and exams to prevent skin cancer on feet

When at the pool or lake we all lather up with sunscreen to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. But do we remember to apply sunscreen to our feet?

Many don’t realize skin cancer can occur on the feet from unprotected sun exposure and overlook applying sunscreen to the area. But, skin cancer of the foot is prevalent and can even be fatal if not caught early.

While all types of skin cancer, including squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, can be found on the foot, the most common is the most serious form, melanoma. Symptoms can be as subtle as an abnormal-looking mole or freckle found anywhere on the foot, and often go unnoticed without routine foot exams.

 Early diagnosis is key to effective treatment for the condition. But because people aren’t looking for the early warning signs or taking the same precautions they do for other areas of the body, often times skin cancer in this region is not diagnosed until later stages.

“I advise my patients to regularly inspect their feet, including the soles, in between their toes and even under their toenails, for any changing moles or spots and to have any suspicious areas promptly examined by a foot and ankle specialist,” Dr. Travis Piper explains.

For more information on skin cancer of the foot contact Dr. Piper at 231-733-1111 or visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons’ Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.

Power Mowers Pose Danger to Feet

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Thousands of Foot Injuries Can be Prevented Each Year

Lawn care season is back and Shoreline Foot & Ankle Associates caution homeowners to protect their feet and the feet of those around them when using rotary-blade lawnmowers.

Each year, some 25,000 Americans sustain injuries from power mowers, according to reports issued by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. “The blades whirl at 3,000 revolutions per minute and produce three times the kinetic energy of a .357 handgun. Yet, each year we continue to see patients who have been hurt while operating a lawnmower barefoot,” said Dr. Piper, a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Dr. Travis Piper said children under the age of 14 and adults over the age of 44 are more likely to be injured from mowers than others. He advises anyone who operates a power mower to take a few simple precautions:

  • Don’t mow a wet lawn. Losing control from slipping on rain-soaked grass is the leading cause of foot injuries caused by power mowers.
  • Wear heavy shoes or work boots when mowing – no sneakers or sandals.
  • Don’t allow small children to ride on the lap of an adult on a lawn tractor. Children can be severely injured by the blades when getting on or off the machine.
  • Mow across slopes, never go up or down.
  • Never pull a running mower backwards.
  • Keep children away from the lawn when mowing.
  • Keep the clip bag attached when operating a power mower to prevent projectile injuries.
  • Use a mower with a release mechanism on the handle that automatically shuts it off when the hands let go.

“If a mower accident occurs, immediate treatment is necessary to flush the wound thoroughly and apply antibiotics to prevent infection,” says Dr. Piper. “Superficial wounds can be treated on an outpatient basis, but more serious injuries usually require surgical intervention to repair tendon damage, deep clean the wound and suture it. Tendons severed in lawnmower accidents generally can be surgically reattached unless toes have been amputated,” he adds.

Michigan Podiatric Medical Association

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The Public Relations committee is providing the below email template for your use to share with your patients that highlights information on pedicures. Please copy the below information and insert into your email system to reach out to your patients. When sharing the below email with your patients, please be sure to insert your practice information in the designated areas below.

With the warmer temperatures outside, open toed shoes are making their way out of the closet and slipped on underneath beautifully manicured feet. The pedicure season is in full swing!

Unfortunately, not all pedicure facilities offer clean and proper foot care and infections and other foot ailments may arise. (Practice Name) would like to share the following advice for individuals deciding on a location to receive a pedicure:

  • Make sure that the instruments used are clean and sterilized.
  • Make sure foot tubs or basins are drained after performing a pedicure to get rid of all the bacteria present.
  • Make sure the technician’s hands are clean.
  • If you are diabetic, pedicures are not advised.
  • Visit your podiatrist before receiving a pedicure to identify any potential risks.
  • Do not allow aggressive cleaning. Nails should be cut straight with slightly rounded edges. If bleeding of calluses occurs, see your podiatrist.
  • Discolored or sickly nails should be treated by your podiatrist.

Since polish hides the nails from the sun and can foster fungus, you may wish to limit the use of polish to special occasions. However, keeping your feet clean, trimmed and skin moisturized for summer sandal wearing is recommended.

The doctors and staff at Shoreline Foot & Ankle Associates, P.C are available to answer your foot and ankle questions and concerns.

Convenient appointments may be made by calling:

(231) 733-1111