Repair Your Feet with this Advanced Treatment

We live in a time of great technological transformation. It seems like every day brings a new innovation to help us live better lives. In the twenty-first century of medicine, Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are committed to using state-of-the-art technology. We want the patients at our practice to benefit from the best our field has to offer. We’re especially excited about a tool or technique if it allows our patients to recover faster, ease their discomfort, and enhance their foot health without taking more invasive measures. That’s why we’re proud to provide platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. Discover more about PRP therapy and what Dr. LaMour can do for you in the following blog.

The Power of Platelets

Basically, PRP therapy involves harnessing the power of your very own blood to help you heal yourself. As the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society explains, “platelets are small cells in the blood that help form clots to stop bleeding.” Platelets protect you from excessive bleeding when you injure yourself. PRP therapy involves pumping up the platelets in your own blood so that this plasma can be injected into your foot. Concentrated platelets “[contain] a large number of growth factors…[which] stimulate healing.” As the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society notes, “the goal [of PRP therapy] is not only to relieve symptoms but to create actual healing. In some cases, PRP may reduce the need for medication and/or surgery.”

This cutting-edge treatment has been widely discussed in the medical community over the past two decades. In her 2009 Scientific American article on the topic, Carina Storrs highlights how “athletes such as Tiger Woods and the Pittsburgh Steelers Hines Ward have undergone platelet-rich plasma therapy.” She notes: “It is safe. We’re using it. Anecdotally it certainly seems to have some positive effects.” More and more people are experiencing the advantages of this high-tech, minimally invasive treatment every day.

How it Works

Despite the sophisticated systems involved, the PRP therapy process is relatively simple for the patient. First, Dr. LaMour will evaluate your foot health and determine if PRP therapy is an appropriate choice for you. We will create a customized treatment plan for you, possibly incorporating our many other services. Next, we will draw a small amount of your blood. We will then spin it in a centrifuge to heighten the platelet proportion. Other components of the blood will separate out, leaving us with a 93 percent platelet concentration. Finally, Dr. LaMour will inject this beneficial substance into the symptomatic area of your foot and ankle. You’ll need to be gentle with your feet for a few weeks, especially around the injection site. We may recommend that you wear a protective boot. Once you’ve recovered, you can go back to your regular routine, hopefully with much healthier feet.

Who Can Benefit from PRP Therapy?

This trailblazing technique can help treat a variety of conditions. Dr. LaMour recommends it for:

  • Chronic foot and ankle issues (such as persistent pain from an ankle sprain or arthritis).
  • Sports injuries. PRP therapy is popular among athletes because it helps their feet, ankles, and lower legs bounce back from the strain of their activities.
  • Plantar fasciitisIn their Podiatry Today piece on the subject, Dr. Babak Baravarian and Dr. Lindsay Mae Chandler argue that this “heel pain caused by deterioration of the plantar fascia [the ligament in the arch]” is often an ideal case for PRP therapy. They have “seen promising results with the use of PRP in plantar fasciitis for decreasing pain, improving function, increasing activity, and decreasing recovery time.”
  • Tendonitis, or inflammation in the “Achilles” tendon, which runs along the calf to the heel. PRP therapy can help patients more quickly recover from this common condition.

Austin podiatrist Dr. LaMour can examine your feet and ankles to determine if you could benefit from PRP therapy.

Experience Cutting-Edge Podiatry Technology

Would you like to learn more about the latest ways to maintain and improve your foot health? Contact your Austin podiatrist today to schedule an appointment at our beautiful practice.

What are Corns?

When you think of the word “corn,” you might imagine long green stalks, bright yellow kernels, or even a white, fluffy snack at the movie theater. While “corn” is most certainly a favorite food, this term also refers to an irritating and sometimes painful condition that commonly affects the feet. Most people don’t know about this or the many other issues that relate to their podiatric health. Austin foot doctor, Jeffery LaMour, and our team have made it our mission to educate our patients about disorders like these so they can prevent, identify, and treat them. You probably spend a good portion of your day on your feet, so it’s a good idea to learn how to protect your foot health. In this week’s blog, we explain the basics of corns.

Clarifying Corns

Now that we’ve got your attention with this mysterious podiatric predicament, you’re probably wondering what exactly corns are. Basically, these are tiny sections of tightly packed dead skin that create bumps on the side and upper portions of your feet. Mayo Clinic explains that these “thick, hardened layers of skin…develop when your skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure.” Despite your body’s best efforts to safeguard your skin, corns can actually cause swelling and discomfort. They can also be unsightly and embarrassing depending on their size and visibility.

Corns Versus Calluses

If you think corns sound a lot like calluses, you’re absolutely correct! These two conditions share a lot in common. Many classify corns as a specific type of callus. As Web MD notes, “corns and calluses are often confused with one another,” but they have a few key dissimilarities. Generally, corns are different from calluses in that they:

  • Are smaller. They typically take up much less surface area than calluses.
  • Typically appear only on the feet (although they can, in some cases, develop elsewhere). Of course, you can also get calluses on your feet, but calluses “usually develop on the soles of your feet,” where you put the most weight, according to Mayo Clinic. In contrast, corns “tend to develop on parts of your feet that don’t bear weight.”
  • Hurt. Calluses might reduce the sensitivity of your skin, but they usually don’t cause any discomfort. If you press on a corn or move such that your weight is on that part of your foot, it might feel sore or sharp.
  • Have a different texture. Mayo Clinic explains: “corns…have a hard center surrounded by inflamed skin.” This kernel-like shape most likely gave “corns” their plant-like name.

These distinctive characteristics should help you differentiate corns from calluses so you can tell exactly what’s bothering your feet and receive accurate assistance.

Types of Corns

Corns come in several shapes and sizes. Web MD writes: “a hard corn [has] a central core,” giving it a denser, more bulbous appearance, while a “soft corn has a much thinner surface and usually occurs between the 4th and 5th toes,” looking more like a mini callus. Perhaps the most problematic of all types are “seed corns,” which are “tiny, discrete [calluses]” that “tend to occur on the bottom of the feet.” Their placement makes them much more likely to get pressed and become painful.

How Your Austin Foot Doctor Can Help

In most cases, corns won’t require any treatment. They should go away on their own. In the meantime, wearing soft socks and comfortable shoes can help cushion your corns. You should see Dr. LaMour if pain from corns interrupts your daily life, becomes persistent, or is accompanied by excessive swelling in the area that doesn’t go down quickly. If you have poor circulation or suffer from diabetes, it is especially important to seek professional help. With an advanced suite of services, we can help you find the right treatment.

Do You Suffer From Corns?

Dr. LaMour and our team can help you with this condition and many others. Contact us today to learn more about our practice and schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!

My Feet Are Too Wide For Shoes

Shoes are a part of daily life; from sneakers on the court to stilettos at a dinner party, we wear them for hours every day. If yours are constantly too tight, this can have a major impact on your overall happiness and well being. Those with larger, flatter, wider feet often have trouble finding well-fitting shoes. Forced to wear an ill-sized pair, those with wider feet might have their toes pinched, their ankles squeezed, and their heels crushed. Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, is here to help each and every patient find the right shoes for his or her feet. He can also help treat the conditions that might worsen this issue. If you’re suffering from these symptoms, read on to learn what you can do about it and how we can assist you.

Do You Have Wide Feet?

It turns out that wide feet aren’t at all uncommon. In her recent Wall Street Journal article “Feet Are Getting Bigger and Many People Wear Shoes That Don’t Fit,” Elizabeth Holmes notes: “in a U.K. survey, more than a third of men and nearly half of women admitted buying shoes that didn’t fit right.” In many cases, people purchase shoes that are simply too tight and small to accommodate their feet. Charlotte Kemp’s 2014 Daily Mail piece on shoe sizing suggests that the general population’s feet are getting slightly wider every decade, due to a variety of issues. Kemp writes: “Jane Winkworth [shoe company founder] has confessed that its ballet pumps are broader than they were when she started the business more than 20 years ago.”

Additionally, many people who have wider feet don’t realize that this is the case. In her humorous piece for The Debrief, Madeleine Knight poses the question: “you might not even think you have wide feet—but when was the last time you actually measured them?” She follows this up with a confession: “I forgot about [having wide feet] for 14 years and have been squishing my hugely wide feet into little skinny shoes ever since my mother stopped taking me [shoe shopping].” Even if you don’t think of yourself as someone with wide feet or have forgotten that your childhood shoe boxes had a “W” on the side, you might benefit from looser fitting shoes rather than cramming your toes into the trendiest, slimmest styles.

Finding That “Cinderella” Shoe

Do you remember those metal measurement devices with the foot outlines you used to figure out your ever-changing foot size as a kid? It may be time to bring them back out. Knight advises: “always measure your foot in the evening,” when they’re more likely to be at their widest. If you don’t have a foot-measuring device handy, you can use Knight’s guide or’s instructions. These should allow you to determine a more exact shoe sizes (half sizes can be crucial!) and determine if you need a Narrow, Regular, or Wide fit. Every shoe company sizes slightly differently, so you’ll still want to try on several different pairs of each shoe at the store until you find that perfect fit. If you’re struggling to find shoes that really support your foot and feel comfortable, prescription orthotics may be the right choice for you. Dr. LaMour frequently custom-fits these inserts for our patients.

What’s Causing Widening?

Why do some people have wider feet than others? A few reasons include:

  • Nature: Of course, some people are simply born with wider feet, and there’s nothing wrong with that! You’ll just need to make sure you choose good footwear for your feet.
  • Ill-fitting shoes: That’s right—the tight shoes you curse could actually be making your feet even wider. Wearing constricting shoes can cause your big toe joint and bone to move out of place, creating a bunion. This widens the front part of your foot, potentially making your tight shoes more uncomfortable.  This is one more reason it is important to find the appropriate size shoe for you.
  • Fallen foot arches: While common and even normal in children, flat-footedness can lead your feet to feel wider and make many shoes uncomfortable. Foot Smart explains that this condition “usually develops as an adult because of excessive foot stress” (such as being on your feet all day or gaining weight) or, in some cases, “failing to treat a foot injury (such as an ankle sprain) without proper healing time.”
  • Swelling: Wide feet are often the result of edema, or swelling, according to Foot Smart. Edema has a long list of causes, from diet to “neuromuscular disorders,” injury, and hormonal conditions. If your ankles and lower legs are irregularly large, this is likely the cause.

If your feet simply seem too wide for shoes, Dr. LaMour and our team can help locate the source of your condition. Then, we can create a treatment plan to help you remedy this with our wide array of podiatric services.

Contact Your Austin Podiatrist Today

Do your feet feel too wide? Would you like assistance selecting the proper shoe for your feet? Contact us today to learn more about our practice and schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Protect Your Feet During Marathon Season

Have you ever thought about running a marathon? According to Running USA, there were “more than 1,100 marathons run across [America]” in 2013 alone, so you’ll have ample opportunities to compete in one of these races. Many of them take place during the fall, when temperatures are cooler and people have more holiday weekends off. While they are a healthy and fun activity, long races can be tough on your trotters. Austin foot and ankle doctor, Jeffery LaMour, is committed to helping our patients lead active lifestyles while safeguarding their podiatric health. In the following blog, we’ll highlight some of the local races happening soon and how you can protect your feet during marathon season.

Upcoming Austin Races

The Austin area will be home to dozens of races this season, so we’ll showcase a few you might find interesting. You can pick which race suits your fancy, or perhaps run all three!

If you’re a hardcore marathoner, you’ll probably want to sign up for Spectrum Trail Racing’s November 5th Wonderland Marathon at MuleShoe Bend in Spicewood, a quick drive from Austin. This event also includes a half marathon and a 10k. Spectrum Trail Racing entices runners to “expect beautiful courses, an amazing community, and a stellar after party full of local flare.”

Perhaps you’d like to start with a half marathon that gives you a little more time to train. In this case, the Decker Challenge Half Marathon right here in Austin might be a good choice. This race has been held every year for nearly four decades. The Decker Challenge is “run on paved surfaces throughout the course” and “features views of the scenic lake for virtually the entire way around.” This hilly race would be a good event to test your skills and enjoy Austin’s beautiful landscape.

If you prefer shorter, more festive races, you might enjoy the Round Rock Rotary Reindeer Run, held the Sunday after Thanksgiving (November 27). This 5K run is perfect as a fun family activity. As you run, walk, or jog, you can check out “the incredible Rock’N Lights; a 2 million light ½ mile must see event of the season.” You can check out the stunning holiday lights display while getting great exercise and raising money for a great cause!

Why Racing is Rough on Feet

Running is good for your body, so why could it be bad for your feet? In his Runner’s World article on this subject, Hal Higdon points out: “our feet absorb more force during running than any other part of the body. Our feet propel us. Our feet have the absolute power to make running comfortable—or miserable.” It’s true; the way you treat your feet can really make or break your running experience.

When you run, you slam your soles repeatedly against the ground. They take the impact of every step, stride, and leap. Without proper care, yours might “ache, blister, sweat, crack, peel, itch, and smell” after running. Active magazine’s Deb Dellapena explains: “ignoring your feet and ankles comes with a price: Plantar fasciitis [torn tissue in the heel, causing a stabbing pain] and Achilles tendinitis [damage to the band of tissue that runs from the calf to the heel] are among the most common issues plaguing runners.”

Fortifying Your Feet

If you were born to run, but don’t want to deal with painful podiatric issues, never fear. There are many ways you can protect your feet so as to minimize this damage and discomfort. Some techniques include:

·      Choosing the right gear. Higdon writes: “proper shoe selection is vital to foot health—not merely the shoe brand and model, but the fit,” adding that “fit is just as critical in your non-running footwear” to maintain your athletic feet. He focuses on fit for socks, as well, noting: “ill-fitting socks are one of the primary causes of blisters.” Taking the time to sort through your options and find the right equipment is well worth it. In addition, Dr. LaMour can help you find optimal orthotics for your running shoes.

·      Taking it slow. This may seem counter-intuitive to speedsters, but in her Women’s Running piece, Jenny Hadfield suggests that you “develop like a fine wine…the general rule of thumb is to increase your mileage by no more than 10 percent each week,” giving your feet time to catch up with your fitness.

  • Finding a good form. Hadfield describes how “increasing your cadence [how often your foot hits the ground] is one of the easiest ways to improve running form.” Similarly, LifeHack advocates for the “POSE Method of running” to “avoid…planar fasciitis.”
  • Stretching. Dellapena highlights “8 exercises to prevent foot injuries” so you can improve your flexibility and strength.

Do You Want More Tips for Marathon Season?

Dr. LaMour and our team would be delighted to help you prepare your feet for your next race with our many services. We can also assist you in treating sports injuries so you can run more safely and swiftly. Contact our Austin foot and ankle practice today to schedule an appointment.

Running Shoes Vs. Training Shoes: What’s the Difference?

You’re faced with an overwhelming aisle of athletic shoes. A score of styles, a myriad of makes, a cornucopia of colors—how are you supposed to choose? These special soles will cushion and protect your feet while you exercise, so it’s important to pick the right pair. One way to try and select the correct shoes is to look at the label, but these can be difficult to decipher. A common question that we come across is “what type of shoes should I purchase?” Austin foot doctor, Jeffery LaMour, is here to help our patients settle on the right foot-gear. In the following blog, we’ll explain the difference between running shoes and training shoes so you can decide which you want.

All Shoes Are Not Created Equal

To you, all sneakers might seem the same. However, they are as varied, as any other style of shoe. In her WebMD article, “5 Biggest Mistakes When Choosing Workout Shoes,” Gina Shaw cites “Tracie Rogers, PhD, a consultant for the American Council on Exercise,” who argues: “The biggest mistake people make when they start running, jogging, or some other exercise program is just reaching into the closet and pulling out an old pair of sneakers.” Of course, worn shoes aren’t the best choice in part because they might be broken down, but they’re also not an optimal option because “you need to choose the right type of shoe for the kind of workout you’ll be doing.”  Different makes of shoes suit different types of activities. Just like you wouldn’t wear a ballroom dress to an aerobics class, you shouldn’t try to wear one type of shoes for another kind of sport.

The Basic Difference

On the surface, training and running don’t seem all that dissimilar, so what’s the big deal about these shoes? Professor’s House piece on this subject reads: “If you have ever tried on a running shoe and a cross trainer you would have noticed some definite differences. For starters, runners are very flexible and they seem as if they are tight around your toes.” This design provides necessary coverage and keeps the shoe on but doesn’t overburden your foot as it repeatedly hits the ground. In contrast, “cross trainers are more firm which makes them more supportive with a wider base…[and they are] not as flexible as running shoes.” Cross trainers are bigger shoes with a chunkier base, created to pad your foot and protect it from all angles as you perform a variety of movements.

What Kind Should You Buy?

Now that you understand the disparities between cross trainers and running shoes, which type should you pluck from that immense athletic shoe aisle? Honestly, you should probably have a pair of each. Despite their name, running shoes are useful for more than just zipping around. Real Simple advises that they’re great “if you mostly jog or walk, since they’re engineered for heel-to-toe motion…cater to a wider range of foot types, and are built to last longer.”

Alternatively, “if your routine includes an activity like aerobics, weight training, or kickboxing (basically any exercise on a hard surface that involves side-to-side movement)” we’d make the case for cross trainers. Of course, there are exceptions to this. If you have particularly narrow feet, for example, cross trainers might just be too wide and bulky. Patients who frequently play a specific, foot intensive sport like soccer, tennis, or basketball should probably purchase shoes tailored to their specific activity.

No matter which type(s) you end up going home with, you should always try on a wide assortment of options to see what feels best, and mimic some of the motions you plan to make when you try them on. Shaw even recommends getting professional help: “go to an athletic shoe specialty store to get an expert insight on the right shoe and the best fit.”

If you need additional support, Dr. LaMour can fit you for orthotics. These comfortable, custom inserts can make exercising easier and more comfortable, plus they help treat a variety of podiatric conditions. We can also help you handle other issues related to exercise, such as calluses and sports injuries.

Your Austin Foot Doctor Is Here

If you have any other questions about your foot and ankle health as it relates to exercise or any other topic, Dr. LaMour and our team would be delighted to hear from you. Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.