Podiatry Blog
By Podiatry Associates of Houston
January 29, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

Bunions are a very common foot problem that results from a deformity of the metatarsophalangeal joint at the base of the big toe. The bunionsmost common sign of a bunion is a protrusion of the bone on the affected foot, with the other toes leaning at an angle in the opposite direction. Bunions range in severity from mild to severe and can cause pain, swelling, difficulty walking and moving, and damage to the joint. The podiatrists at Podiatry Associates of Houston treat bunions and other common foot and ankle problems at several locations including Katy, Chimney Rock, Willowbrook, and Memorial City.

Bunion Treatment in Houston, TX

There are several factors that can lead to the formation of bunions. They tend to be more common in women, but also affect men. Some people are more genetically predisposed to bunions, so if you have family members with the condition, you may have a higher risk of developing one as well. Wearing tight, narrow shoes that crowd the toes and do not provide adequate support can also cause a bunion.

Signs and symptoms of bunions include:

  • A bump at the base of your big toe (protruding bone)
  • Pain
  • Difficulty moving the toe
  • Arthritis
  • Redness and swelling
  • Chafing/corns/calluses on the skin around the bunion caused by friction between the bone and your shoes

How are Bunions Treated?

Depending on the severity and symptoms, bunions can usually be managed with conservative treatments like wearing supportive and comfortable shoes and inserts, using a splint, medication to relieve pain and inflammation, or simply icing the bone to reduce swelling. If conservative treatments don't work or there is damage to the joint, a podiatrist may recommend surgical treatment to remove damaged bone and tissue or to help realign the joint.

Find a Podiatrist in Houston, TX

For more information about preventing and treating bunions, contact Podiatry Associates of Houston to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations: Willowbrook: 832-912-7792, Memorial City: 713-467-1299, Chimney Rock: 713-666-0287, Katy: 281-579-0186.

By Podiatry Associates of Houston
November 21, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Plantar Fasciitis  

Heel pain is one of the most common foot and ankle complaints. Sometimes it is temporary and caused by everyday issues like wearing plantar fasciitisuncomfortable shoes or spending a long day on your feet. But if you are suffering from ongoing heel pain, it may be a sign of plantar fasciitis, a common condition that is caused by inflammation to the plantar fascia, a large ligament that stretches the length of the foot from the heel bone to the toes. The foot and ankle doctors at Podiatry Associates of Houston in Houston, TX offer a range of treatment options for heel pain and other podiatry problems.

Heel Pain Symptoms

The plantar fascia is the longest ligament in the foot and helps to support the arch and balance the foot during movement. Over time, repeated strain or tension on the plantar fascia can cause small tears and inflammation, leading to heel pain. The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain in the heel after long periods of sitting or sleeping. The pain may be worse first thing in the morning and then alleviate and return later in the day.

Causes and Risk Factors for Heel Pain

There are a few factors that increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis and heel pain:

  • Participating in certain sports and physical activities that increase pressure on the heel such as running or dancing
  • Plantar fasciitis tends to be more common with age and is most common in people between the ages of 40 - 60
  • Obesity/being overweight, which can put more pressure on the feet during movement
  • Problems with the arch (flat feet or an irregular gait)

Heel Pain Treatment

Heel pain is often treated successfully with methods such as:

  • Anti-Inflammatory medication
  • Stretching exercises
  • Physical Therapy

If the pain continues, there are more aggressive treatments, such as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment.

Find a Podiatrist in

Don't let foot and ankle pain or an injury interfere with your day to day activities and quality of life. For more information about prevention or treatment for plantar fasciitis and other causes of heel pain, contact Podiatry Associates of Houston to schedule an appointment today by calling (713) 666-0287 for Chimney Rock, (713) 467-1299 for Memorial City, (281) 579-0186 for Katy, and (832) 912-7792 for Willowbrook.

By Podiatry Associates of Houston
October 02, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: sports injuries  

Your feet and ankles are important assets. Just think about what you do with them: run, walk, jump, dance, skate, play ball, skip, hop and sports injuriesjust stand still. Plus, if you're an athlete--either professional or amateur--an injury to your lower extremities definitely changes the game. Your foot doctors in Houston, examine, treat and help prevent sports injuries. Dr. David Blumfield and his professional partners at Podiatry Associates of Houston will support your feet and ankles, and if you're hurt, they have the diagnostic and treatment expertise to get you moving again.

Why injuries happen

Trauma and overuse cause most sports injuries to the feet and ankles. In other words, when something contacts your foot hard or when you keep moving and your toe gets caught in something such as grass or artificial turf, your lower extremity breaks, tears, or swells. Repetitive motions such as bouncing on the balls of the feet put undue wear and tear on joints and connective tissue, and they may cause sore skin blisters. Additionally, injuries may be acute, happening suddenly, or chronic, a continuing problem with painful and debilitating flare-ups.

The examination

The American Podiatric Medical Association urges all adults to get routine exams by a foot doctor. The reason? Feet have more than 30 joints and over 100 tendons and ligaments, all of which may be strained or injured by sports and even routine activities of daily living.

As such, allow your doctor at Podiatry Associates of Houston to get to know your feet and their medical needs. Is your gait proper? Do you have a condition such as diabetes which can compromise your circulation and nerve function? Are there past injuries? What are first aid strategies for injured feet and ankles?

Common injuries and prevention

At Podiatry of Houston, Dr. Blumfield and his professional staff see a variety of sports injuries, including:

  • Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of connective tissue between the heel and toes
  • Heel spurs, small bony projections often associated with plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendonitis, swelling of the tendon which stretches from the calf muscles to the heel
  • Ankle sprains
  • Turf toe
  • Shin splints
  • Stress fractures

Research shows that many of these problems may be prevented with common sense strategies such as the following:

  • Routine stretching and warming up before athletic activity (simply standing with your toes on a step and lowering your heels helps avoid plantar fasciitis)
  • Conditioning exercises (if you wish to be a competitive tennis player, build up your calves, ankles, feet and cardiovascular capacity by training for several weeks in advance)
  • Wear proper shoes to avoid abrasions and roll injuries
  • Use custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, to cushion and align your feet

Also, if injury occurs, remember RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression (with an elastic bandage) and Elevation.

Stay in the game

You can if you take care of your feet. For more information on avoiding sports injuries, contact Podiatry Associates of Houston. There are four convenient locations: Chimney Rock, Memorial City, Katy and Willowbrook.

By By Podiatry Associates of Houston
August 01, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Nerve Pain  

Your body tells you when something is wrong. For instance, while some nerve pain is idiopathic--that is, there's no identifiable reason for it-Nerve Pain -most neuropathy comes from real problems with your physiology or anatomy. Nerve pain in the feet, for instance, can originate with diabetes or in compression of the nerves. At Podiatric Associates of Houston, Dr. David Blumfield, Dr. Michael Mineo, Dr. Jorge Matuk and Dr. Maria Buitrago offer nerve pain treatments that help patients maintain normal function and lifestyles. Learn more here about this common condition that affects millions of Americans.

What's nerve pain like?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says that up to 20 million people have nerve pain, particularly in their hands and feet. They experience:

  • Shooting pains
  • Numbness
  • Tingling and prickliness
  • A crushing sensation
  • Weakness

Unfortunately, numbness often gives rise to more serious problems, such as diabetic foot ulcers, because the brain is not receiving the message that something is wrong in an extremity. So if someone notices any of the above symptoms in their feet, he or she should call Dr. Blumfield for nerve pain treatment in Houston.

What causes nerve pain?

Injury, congenital malformation and the changes associated with simple aging cause neuropathy. However, nerve pain can be based in physiology gone awry with conditions such as:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Deficiency of Vitamin E and some B vitamins
  • Decreased kidney function

What can your podiatrist do?

Dr. Blumfield or one of the other highly qualified podiatrists at Podiatry Associates of Houston will visually inspect your feet, watch you walk and possibly order diagnostic imaging and lab tests. These strategies add valuable objective information to your symptoms so the doctor understands what is happening and how to treat it.

Possible nerve pain treatments in Houston include:

  • Topical ointments and creams
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
  • Massage
  • Injected anesthetics

While these treatments may be necessary for some nerve pain patients, others do well with modifying their lifestyles, incorporating healthier diets (lower in sugars and carbs) and more exercise. Just moving, instead of being sedentary, is good for your musculature, connective tissue and nerves. Even the simplest of exercises, such as walking, increases peripheral circulation and a built-in pain manager--body chemicals called endorphins.

If you have nerve pain or think you do...

Don't wait. The team at Podiatry Associates of Houston asks you to call for an appointment so one of the expert staff podiatrists can check your symptoms and determine a course of action. Please call the office nearest you.

In Chimney Rock, call (713) 666-0287. In Memorial City, phone (713) 467-1299. In Katy, call (281) 579-0186, and in Willowbrook, phone (832) 912-7792.

By Podiatry Associates of Houston
May 22, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

Do you recall when your Grandmother complained about her bunions? While a sore, reddened bony bump at the base of the big toe bunionsoften happens as we age, younger people get bunions, too--even athletes and children. And, they're nothing to joke about because these toe joint problems cause significant pain and impair walking and other activities of daily living. That's why Dr. David Blumfield, Dr. Michael Mineo, Dr. Jorge Matuk and Dr. Maria Buitrago at Podiatry Associates of Houston ask anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of bunions to get a podiatric evaluation right away.

How bunions happen

Bunions in Houston are a biomechanical problem, says the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Heredity may factor into their formation; in other words, you may have inherited your grandmother's foot structure! However, having an occupation where you stand on your feet constantly or wearing shoes that are too narrow or provide inadequate support are often the culprits in bunion formation and flare-up of symptoms. The APMA says that women are much more likely than men to develop bunions.

What your podiatrist looks for and suggests

If you suspect you have a bunion, your podiatrist will ask you about the location and severity of your symptoms and what aggravates and relieves them. in addition, the doctor will visually inspect your foot to see how your toes move. He or she may take X-rays of the area of concern. Sometimes blood tests are ordered to rule out health conditions such as gout.

With a confirmed diagnosis, your foot doctor may advise:

  • Padding the joint to relieve pressure and friction
  • Custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts, to ensure proper joint alignment when you walk
  • Night time splints
  • Stretching exercises
  • Removal of calluses and corns which can develop due to the friction between the bunion and your shoe

In severe cases, a surgical procedure called a bunionectomy may be warranted.

Contact the Office

If you are experiencing some of the symptoms discussed here, please don't wait. Contact Podiatry Associates of Houston right away for a one-on-one consultation with one of our foot doctors. Call at one of these offices: Chimney Rock (713) 467-0287, Memorial City (713) 467-1299, Katy (281) 579-0186 or Willowbrook (832) 912-7792.

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