Keeping Feet Safe at the Gym 

Your podiatrist in Austin,Texas wants you to know that keeping feet safe at the gym is of the utmost importance. While it’s healthy to exercise and even get the socialization that public gyms offer, gyms can also be a threat to the health of your feet. There’s no reason to be overly alarmed as long as you take the following safety precautions.

Begin Slowly

If you’re still recovering from pandemic-mode, you may not have visited the gym in a while. Don’t assume you can just pick up where you left off. The tendons and joints in your feet and ankles may not be ready to handle your toughest workout. Ease back into your routine slowly until you can increase your stamina and strengthen your feet and ankles to where you’re used to.

Wear Proper Foot Gear

Make sure you’re wearing shoes that support your achilles heel and ankle, especially if you do bicycle workouts, cardio or weightlifting. These workouts really put the ankles through their paces, and you’ll want footwear that offers proper support. Ideally, you’ll have a designated pair of sneakers that you wear only to the gym.

Use Correct Technique

Don’t be shy about asking a gym professional to demonstrate correct technique on any gym equipment that you haven’t yet tried. There are all kinds of ways to injure your feet and ankles while working out, but using proper technique will greatly minimize your risk.

Wear Shower Sandals

Make the extra effort to always wear shower sandals or water shoes while inside the locker room. Foot bacteria lurks in warm and damp environments like showers, toilet stalls and locker areas. Avoid going barefoot too, because in any public place like the gym, there is always the chance that someone has dropped a sharp object, pin or something else that could damage your feet.

Visit Your Podiatrist After an Injury

If you do injure your feet or ankles at the gym, book an appointment with your Austin, TX podiatrist right away. Don’t assume it’s nothing. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Maintaining your mobility is paramount to overall good health, and your feet and ankles are the most important factor. Take good care of them at the gym using the tips mentioned above.

Common Causes of Cold Feet 

Everyone has cold feet when outdoor temperatures begin to drop. But if you’re troubled by cold feet year-round, something more serious could be at play. Chronic cold feet is most commonly associated with poor circulation to your extremities or damage to the nerves in your feet. Your podiatrist in Austin, TX, may have a solution. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Why Do Feet Feel Cold?

Sometimes cold feet are just cold feet. They feel cold in response to surrounding temperatures. However, if your feet are frequently uncomfortably cold, even in warm weather, this could mean the arteries that carry blood to your hands and feet have narrowed. Because not enough blood gets through, these areas constantly feel cold. It may also be that your body is lacking in red blood cells– a frequent symptom of anemia. A simple visit to your podiatrist will help you determine the root of the issue and may educate you on other reasons why you struggle with constantly cold feet, including:

Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease causes poor circulation to hands and feet, which means they feel cold much of the time. Smoking or using tobacco may be linked to peripheral artery disease, so may diabetes and hypertension.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy is often a side effect of diabetes. But it may also be associated with alcoholism, vitamin deficiency, and an underactive thyroid. Even some medications may contribute. Neoropathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels in your feet.

Elevated Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol is another culprit that could be causing your cold feet. If your cholesterol is too high, it can cause build-up and inflammation in your veins, constricting the flow of blood to your extremities.

Buerger’s Disease

Bueger’s disease is caused by tobacco use. Over time, the blood vessels in the feet and hands swell and make it difficult for blood to circulate to these areas. This condition may also cause dangerous blood clots to form. However, it’s rare and is unlikely to be the reason why your feet are always cold.

Uncomfortably cold feet in Austin, TX, could be a symptom of something more serious, and Dr. Jeffrey Lamour is ready to help. Contact us today for excellence of podiatric care in the Lone Star State.

7 Signs It’s Time to See Your Podiatrist

If you’re experiencing foot pain, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist in Austin, TX. Early diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as plantar fasciitis and diabetic neuropathy begins with a comprehensive foot exam. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, make that call today.

1. Pain in the Heel

Plantar Fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain in adults. This condition happens when there are small tears along the band of tissue that connects the heel with the toes. Often a result of athletic injury or overuse, plantar fasciitis may be immensely painful.

2. Painful Toenail

Ingrown toenails make it difficult to wear shoes without significant pain, and this can be a problem for those who spend a lot of time on their feet. If left untreated, pain can worsen, and your toe may become infected. S

3. Redness and/or Swelling in the Foot

Redness and swelling could be an indication of gout. Gout flareups are terribly painful and often attack the big toe. This condition is caused by a form of arthritis, and early diagnosis and treatment will save you unnecessary pain and discomfort.

4. Bruising

Bruising on or around your feet is usually a sign of injury. Making an appointment with your podiatrist may help prevent trauma from worsening.

5. Tingling or Burning Sensations in the Feet

Burning and tingling sensations in the hands and feet are sometimes linked to diabetic neuropathy. If you think you may have nerve damage from diabetes, it’s vital to seek medical attention right away.

6. Severely Dry, Cracked, or Bleeding Skin

Severely dry or bleeding skin is painful, especially skin located on your heel. Seek medical attention if you notice issues with dry skin in this area. It could be a sign of a more serious medical condition.

7. Open Sores

Open sores on your feet could be another indication of diabetes. You must take special care to address sores, so they don’t worsen or become infected. Your podiatrist in Austin, TX, can help.

Care for your feet just as you do the rest of your body, and address foot problems in Austin, TX, promptly. Call Dr, Jeffery LaMour, DPM today for early diagnosis and treatment.

5 Symptoms of Diabetes on Feet and Ankles

When you visit your podiatrist in Austin, Texas, did you know that you are getting much more than a feet and ankle exam? Your podiatrist is the first line of defense against diabetes when symptoms first appear in this area. Millions of people have diabetes, and too many of those people end up losing the use of their feet because of this common disease. The earlier that diabetes can be diagnosed, the better the outcome. Having regular appointments with your Austin podiatrist will help to ensure that any diabetic symptoms affecting the feet and ankles can be treated as necessary. Here are five symptoms to look out for.

1. Ankle Swelling

Swelling in the ankles indicates poor circulation, which is a common side effect of having diabetes. One sign of this is visible swelling, of course. But another sign is if your ankle socks leave visible rings around your ankles when you remove them.

2. Irregular Skin Color

Diabetes frequently causes discoloration of the feet, ankles or even lower legs. Discoloration may appear dark red purple or blue, which indicates poor circulation in the lower vascular system.

3. Numbness in the toes

Another symptom of diabetes on feet is numbness of the toes. When you have your podiatrist appointment, your doctor may test your level of sensation on your feet and toes. If any abnormalities are noticed, this could indicate diabetes.

4. Loss of Hair on Feet or Legs

Men with diabetes may experience loss of hair on the tops of their toes, while women with diabetes may experience loss of hair on their legs. Your podiatrist may suspect diabetes as an underlying cause if hair loss is detected.

5. Sores That Won’t Heal

If you have a sore on the feet or ankles that isn’t healing, this may indicate diabetes. Unfortunately, since diabetes also sometimes causes numbness, you may not even be aware of having a sore on your foot. However, your podiatrist will notice it and ask about it during your podiatrist appointment, including how long the sore has been there.

As you can see, regular podiatrist appointments can actually help you to get diabetes diagnosed quicker so that treatment can begin as soon as possible. Book an appointment with your Austin, TX podiatrist today!

Common Causes of Foot Deformities

If your feet are feeling tired and sore lately, it’s no wonder. According to the College of Podiatry, the average person will walk 150,000 miles during the course of their lifetime. In case you’re wondering just how far that is, it’s the equivalent of walking around the world six times. Unfortunately, if you happen to have various types of foot deformities such as hammertoes, bunions, corns, or others, your feet will hurt even more. As to why foot problems such as these and others happen so frequently, here are the most common causes.

Poor-fitting Shoes

More than anything else, poor-fitting shoes tend to contribute to many types of foot deformities. Whether you are wearing shoes that are one size too small or find yourself trying to cram your feet into a pair of narrow high-heels before heading off to work, poor-fitting shoes will almost certainly guarantee you will at some point develop foot deformities such as hammertoes or bunions, the two most commonly associated with this issue.

Medical Conditions

If you have a medical condition that directly impacts your feet, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, you are at much greater risk of developing various types of foot deformities. For folks who suffer from diabetic neuropathy and thus have nerve damage in their legs and feet that make it hard to feel pain, conditions such as ingrown toenails and bunions can be very common. If left untreated, these problems can lead to severe infections, which is why diabetics and others with certain medical conditions should always have regular foot exams.

Genetics

Unfortunately, it’s sometimes just not in the cards for you to go through life without having some foot issues. If your parents, grandparents, or others in your family have a prior history of dealing with bunions or other foot problems, that may be the reason for your current situation. However, by seeking regular treatment from a skilled podiatrist, most foot deformities can be treated quite successfully.

Along with working closely with your podiatrist, making certain lifestyle changes such as wearing the proper shoes, losing weight, and perhaps switching to a less-stressful form of exercise, such as cycling instead of jogging, you can find yourself ready to start on that seventh trip around the world.

 

OUCH! That Stubbed Toe May Be more Problematic Than You Think

It often happens in the middle of the night, when you’re in a rush, or when you’re not quite watching where you’re going. A stubbed toe can be one of the most painful everyday events, but, thankfully, the pain usually subsides relatively quickly. Nevertheless, there are some instances when a stubbed toe is more than just a painful “stub.” In fact, a hard enough hit can lead to a list of bigger problems. Take a look at just a few of the injuries that can stem from stubbing your toe.

Broken Bones

Believe it or not, broken toes are most often caused by the notorious accidental stub. While the toes in your feet are relatively strong, they do not have a great deal of fatty tissue to protect them. Therefore, hitting your toe directly against something can be enough to cause a fracture. If your toe is broken after you have stubbed it, you will likely know it. The symptoms of a broken toe include:

  • Swelling around your toe or up into your foot
  • A change in the overall shape of the toe
  • Severe pain that gets worse and does not subside
  • Difficulty trying to move your toe

Cracked Toenails

Smacking your toe against a hard surface can cause cracks in your toenail, which can be incredibly painful. While cracked toenails are not necessarily a major health threat, this is an issue to keep an eye on. The toenail will not mend back together; you simply have to wait for the broken portion of the nail to grow. If your toenail comes off or is hanging off and you can’t remove it, it is best to see a podiatrist for advice.

Infection

If the hit against your toe causes a wound, your toe can be prone to infection. In some cases, you can get an internal injury you may not spot right away. For example, a hard enough hit could force the edge of your toenail into the interior tissue of your toe. If bacteria are allowed to get inside this kind of injury, it could easily lead to an infection. Your toe may be red or irritated and feel hot to the touch. If you see any of these signs, schedule a visit to your podiatrist for help.

Get Help for Toe Injuries at an Austin Podiatrist

While your toes are one of the smaller parts of your body, these small body parts have some of the biggest responsibilities. If you suspect you have injured your toe after a run-in with a door frame, table leg, or corner, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA in Austin, TX to schedule an appointment.

What Causes Chronic Itch?

Your podiatrist in Austin sees a lot of issues with feet, including chronic itch. Chronic foot itch is more common than you might think. It’s a condition that affects people all over the world, and it doesn’t matter how young or old you are. However, there are several possible causes of chronic foot itch, which is why a professional diagnosis by your Austin podiatrist is always recommended.

Athlete’s Feet

Athlete’s feet is so-called because it most often occurs in athletes. This is actually a fungal infection and fungi thrive in dark, warm, and moist environments, like that inside of sweaty socks after exercising. Athlete’s feet causes chronic itch, but there are other symptoms like redness and skin sloughing. It can be quite painful, but it’s easily remedied with over the counter powders and sprays. If your athlete’s feet doesn’t respond to over the counter treatments or if it looks like it’s getting infected, talk to your podiatrist.

Allergies

Sometimes the cause of chronic itchy feet may be something as benign as an allergic reaction. Allergies can develop suddenly, even if you’ve never had allergies in the past. Your podiatrist may ask if you’ve been traipsing barefoot anyplace new, or if you’ve recently bought a new pair of shoes or switched laundry detergents. Discovering the source of your chronic itchy feet sometimes requires a bit of detective work on the part of your Austin podiatrist, but soon the mystery will be solved!

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a condition that causes rash, itching, and flaking on the skin. All parts of the body can be affected, including the feet. Depending upon where the chronic itch is and whether or not it appears on other parts of the body, you may be diagnosed with psoriasis. If this happens, your podiatrist will be able to recommend treatments.

Don’t assume that your chronic itch is nothing to be concerned about. If you have chronic itchy feet, talk to your podiatrist. Diagnosis and treatment options are available. Contact us today.

Kidney Disease

Obviously, if you have kidney disease you’ll need to see a specialist. But diagnosing kidney disease often involves first diagnosing the cause of your chronic itchy feet. If you have chronic itchy feet and your podiatrist can see no other obvious reason, you may be referred to a physician for more tests. This is just one example of how a chronic itch can indicate a serious problem.

Modern Innovations for the Treatment of Common Podiatric Ailments

Every year, numerous people make their way to a podiatrist for help with common foot-related injuries and illnesses. While traditional medicine still has its general place in podiatric care, many of the best practitioners have taken advantage of the latest forms of treatment. At our Austin podiatrist office, we are always implementing new ways to help patients have healthy feet. Here is a look at some of the modern innovations in podiatric care you may experience when you come in for a visit.

1. Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus and More

For many years, patients had to rely on minimally effective treatments to try to eradicate issues with toenail fungus. However, modern technology has afforded a new solution for people with this aggravating and unsightly issue: laser treatment. Laser treatment for toenail fungus targets the fungi without causing damage to the full toenail or the surrounding tissue. And, this modern treatment has been shown to be more effective than a lot of topical ointments and other traditional remedies.

2. Stem Cell Treatment for Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries can be some of the slowest-healing injuries. For example, if you have a torn Achilles tendon, the tendon itself is slow to mend because it is dense and heavy, so it takes the body a long time to rebuild that tissue without some level of support. Stem cell treatment gives your body the growth-supporting cells that can help that tissue regenerate quicker so you can get back to normal faster.

3. PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) Treatment for Foot Fractures

PRP has been used in numerous types of medical treatment, including orthopedic care. Platelet-rich plasma is essentially your own bodily blood plasma product in concentrated form. Blood is taken from you, put through a scientific process to condense the valuable platelets, and then that platelet-rich plasma is injected at the injury site. The PRP treatment may help encourage the rapid healing of the fracture in your foot.

Let’s Talk About Foot Care in Austin, TX

The ways in which innovative medicine has seeped into podiatric care are nothing short of amazing. If you have issues with your feet, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA in Austin, TX. We work hard to provide all of the latest treatment options for our patient’s feet.

 

What Causes Bone Spurs?

Bone spurs are overgrowths of bone on parts of the body. Bone spurs often form due to osteoarthritis but also can be caused by genetic conditions. They can be painful and hard to tolerate if they are bad enough but can sometimes be managed with healthy lifestyle choices.

Bone spurs form where irritation and inflammation occur in our joints. Over 50% of adults have some bone spurs in their body that never become a medical issue. The most common places for bone spurs to occur are in the feet, hips, neck, and knee area, where a lot of friction occurs when moving.

How Bone Spurs Occur

As we move about during the day, our joints are lubricated with cartilage, an oily and slippery substance that keeps movement friction-free. But as we age our production of cartilage drops, and if we are susceptible, bone spurs can occur.

Bone spurs form when the body improperly produces new bone. A bone spur may develop along the side of the foot. If an individual improperly stands on the side of their feet, then over many years a bone spur may form on the side of their foot to offset balance.

In individuals with osteoarthritis, the reduced cartilage in their joints may prompt their system to improperly produce a bone spur in the affected area to try to offset the lack of cartilage.

A Recent Development

Recently, researchers looking at the skull x-rays of youths in Australia discovered bone spurs on the back of their skulls among a large cohort of individuals. The researchers surmised that this was the result of them using screen devices for large periods of time and that the bone spurs were a recent development that helps offset the frontal tilt of the head when looking at a screen.

This is another example of how bone spurs occur and shows just how our bodies,in their attempt to help us, sometimes end up making another problem. Bone spurs can sometimes be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices. They can be treated and managed with a variety of medical treatment options. Talk to your doctor in Austin, TX about your concerns if you have a bone spur forming, or if you have an existing bone spur that is causing you problems.

 

What Causes Achilles Tendonitis And How Is It Treated?

The Achilles tendons, the largest tendons in your body, join the muscles of your lower legs to the heel bone of your feet. While tendons are certainly strong, they’re not particularly flexible, which means your Achilles tendons stretch only so far before they tear or get inflamed, which is called tendonitis.

Achilles tendonitis can range from slightly uncomfortable to severely painful, and it often develops in runners and other active people.

Let’s take a look at what causes tendonitis and how to treat it.

The most common causes of Achilles tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is commonly an overuse injury. It’s usually the result of repetitive actions that lead to gradual wear and tear of your tendon, but an Achilles tendon injury can also happen suddenly.

Achilles tendonitis most often comes about with overuse. When pushed beyond their limit, the tiny fibers that make up the tendon can tear, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation. This is one tendon that has a particularly poor blood supply, making it more susceptible to overuse or wear-and-tear injuries.

Insertional Achilles tendonitis can be associated with a heel bone spur. The spur rubs against the tendon, resulting in smaller tears. Think of a rope constantly rubbing against a sharp, pointy rock.

Some of the most common causes of Achilles tendonitis include:

  • Overpronated, or very flat, feet
  • Sudden changes to your training surface, like from grass to tar
  • Doing too much training
  • Frequent hill running
  • Exercising without warming up
  • Not wearing the right supportive footwear
  • Tight calf muscles and hamstrings
  • A high foot arch
  • A traumatic injury to your Achilles tendon
  • Constantly wearing high heels or walking on your toes

As many as 10 in 100,000 people suffer from Achilles tendonitis. While recovery can be slow, it is a treatable condition.

How we treat Achilles tendonitis

Doctors can choose from a variety of treatments for Achilles tendonitis. These range from anti-inflammatory medications to platelet-rich plasma injections, and even surgery depending on the severity of your condition. Most of the time, Achilles tendonitis doesn’t require medical intervention. In cases of chronic Achilles tendonitis, it becomes necessary to seek medical attention to end your pain and suffering.

Common suggestions include:

  • Taking a break from physical activity or at least reducing how much you do
  • Gentle stretches
  • Trying a less strenuous activity

The RICE method proves particularly helpful when it comes to treating Achilles tendonitis, provided you follow the method right after you’re injured. Here’s how it works:

  • Rest: Keep the pressure off your tendon for a couple of days.
  • Ice: Hold a bag of ice against your skin for 20 minutes at a time. This can help ease swelling and inflammation.
  • Compression: Wrap athletic tape or a bandage around your tendon to compress the injury and keep swelling down.
  • Elevation: Keep your foot raised above chest level to keep the swelling down.

Another option is called extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT). During treatment, Dr. LaMour uses high-energy shock waves to stimulate healing. ESWT is often used when other conservative treatment options have failed, and if it’s successful, it could save you from needing surgery.

Noticing the symptoms

Achilles tendonitis feels like a burning pain as you begin an activity. The pain lessens during your activity and then gets worse again afterward. Your tendon might feel stiff when you wake up in the morning, too.

Common Achilles tendonitis symptoms include:

  • Pain that gets worse when you use your tendon
  • Loss of strength, stiffness, and pain in the affected area
  • More stiffness and pain during the night or first thing in the morning
  • A crunching sound when you use the tendon
  • The area may feel warm and tender and appear red and swollen

If you’re suffering from Achilles tendonitis that is not getting better with home remedies, it’s time to book an appointment with Dr. LaMour, who has two offices conveniently located in Austin and Pflugerville, Texas.