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Ahmad Elsamad, DPM, FACFAS

May 2022

Tuesday, 31 May 2022 00:00

Taking Care of Children’s Feet

Foot health is important for everyone but because children’s feet are soft, pliable, and still developing, they are more vulnerable to injuries, diseases, and conditions that can interfere with normal movement. More common foot problems among children are Sever’s disease, flat feet, toes pointing in or out, ankle weakness, and foot deformities. Sever’s disease is heel pain in children that may come on during puberty or when experiencing growth spurts. This is usually a temporary affliction and can be managed by stopping sports or activities involving running or jumping until the pain subsides. Flat foot is when the entire sole of the child’s foot lies flat against the ground. If a child walks with their toes pointed in or out it may be because a child’s leg alignment is constantly changing and again may improve as the child grows and muscles get stronger. Children’s ankles may be weak and give way more easily during sports and everyday activities leading to chronic ankle instability. Children may even suffer from congenital foot deformities. It is important to consult with a podiatrist for help in learning and understanding the growth of children’s feet, proper footwear choices as they age, and to treat any foot problems that may arise and are not transitory.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Ahmad Elsamad, DPM of The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Merrillville, East Chicago, and Munster, IN, . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet
Tuesday, 24 May 2022 00:00

Pointing and Flexing the Feet

There are specific foot stretches which may help to loosen tight calf muscles, relieve arch cramps, and lessen heel pain. Little or no stretching may result in restricted mobility, and the risk of ripping, tearing, or straining a muscle may increase. Pointing and flexing the feet will successfully stretch the soles of the feet and strengthen the calves. It is important to note that while flexing the foot, it is beneficial to lead with the heel which can help to stretch the calf muscles. Additionally, while pointing the feet, it is more effective when the top of the arch is lengthened and pulled away from the body. When the feet are frequently stretched, chronic foot pain problems may be diminished, and the risk of getting foot and ankle injuries may be reduced. If you would like to know more about how to correctly stretch the feet, please speak with a podiatrist. 

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Ahmad Elsamad, DPM from The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . Our doctor 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 Merrillville, East Chicago, and Munster, IN, . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Stretch Your Feet

During the propulsion (toe off) stage of walking, toes bear the weight of the body as your heels rise. During this process, the toes are supported by the long, fibrous plantar fascia ligament on the bottom of the foot that connects the toes with the heel. The plantar fascia also absorbs weight and support the toes and arch when running, jumping, and dancing. Repeated stress due to overuse, obesity, improper footwear, structural anomalies in the feet, and other factors can cause the plantar fascia to become irritated, torn, and inflamed. This is a painful condition known as plantar fasciitis. The pain felt with plantar fasciitis is typically at its worst in the morning when you first wake up and begin to take your first steps. Because it is the most common form of heel pain, podiatrists see plantar fasciitis patients regularly and have a variety of options to treat it. If you are having heel pain, make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam to get properly diagnosed and treated. 

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Ahmad Elsamad, DPM  from The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . 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 offices located in Merrillville, East Chicago, and Munster, IN, . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Wednesday, 11 May 2022 00:00

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.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:00

All About Gout

Many of the first signs that you may be experiencing a bout of gout include redness, swelling, tenderness, and pain in the big toe. While gout often attacks the first joint of the big toe, it can appear in a number of other joints throughout the body, including the ankle, knee, wrist, fingers, and elbow. It is an inflammatory arthritic condition that develops as the result of a buildup of uric acid in the blood system. Uric acid can form crystals in the joints that become inflamed and cause gout symptoms. Attacks can last hours, days, and sometimes weeks, and once you have gout, it may reappear from time to time. Ways to prevent gout include drinking plenty of water, limiting the intake of alcohol, and avoiding foods that are rich in purines. Among the foods noted for high purine levels are shellfish and organ meats, such as liver and kidneys. Maintaining a healthy body weight is another preventative measure, along with eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and exercising regularly. Several medications that help reduce gout symptoms and decrease uric acid levels in the body can be prescribed by a podiatrist, who also can monitor your condition.   

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Ahmad Elsamad, DPM from The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . Our doctor 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 Merrillville, East Chicago, and Munster, IN, . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout
Tuesday, 03 May 2022 00:00

When to Use Heat or Ice to Reduce Pain

It is common for many people to reach for either an ice pack or a heating pad when they experience minor toe, foot or ankle pain. Heat and ice do frequently work to relieve discomfort, but knowing which one to use can be confusing. The first thing to know is that heat causes blood vessels to open (dilate), and ice causes them to constrict. Heat brings more blood to the injured area, helping to ease pain, spasm and stiffness. It is usually recommended for aching muscles, cramps or stiffness. A heat compress should not be overly hot, or it can burn the skin. A cloth or towel between the compress and the skin is suggested. On the other hand, it is not a good idea to use heat on a new injury, because it can add to any bleeding under the skin. Ice is more often used immediately after an injury to reduce pain, swelling and bruising, and to help numb the area. It is wise to place a cloth or towel between the ice pack and the skin and to leave the ice pack on for no longer than 30 minutes. After a severe ankle injury, especially if you think you may have torn a ligament or broken a bone, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist immediately for examination, diagnosis and treatment. 

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Ahmad Elsamad, DPM from The Institute of Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery . Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Merrillville, East Chicago, and Munster, IN, . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care
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