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.

What to Look For in Quality Shoes

Did you know that poorly made shoes can negatively impact spine health? If you aren’t wearing high-quality shoes, you are probably experiencing severe back pain. More often than not, back pain can stop you from doing everyday tasks like lifting heavy objects, exercising, playing with your children, and even working at a desk. Many people with back pain aren’t able to enjoy road trips either. Your Austin, TX podiatrist wants you to know that, instead of wearing poorly made shoes that aren’t good for your spine, you should look for shoes with the following features.

Cushioning

When you’re shopping for shoes, make sure to choose ones with adequate cushioning to greatly reduce impact. A shoe with proper cushioning will successfully absorb shock, lowering stress on your back. Just so you know, the part of the shoe that absorbs shock and provides cushioning is known as the midsole. A great way to test the cushioning is to press the midsole with your thumb. If you typically strike the ground hard when walking or running, shoes with an extremely cushioned midsole will be a lifesaver because you won’t feel a shock going up your legs and straight up your back.

Arch Support

The arch support of a shoe is an extremely important feature because it may be able to get rid of your back pain. Whether you have a neutral, low, or high arch, you should wear the right shoes for your arch type to eliminate excessive pronation. The right shoe will correspond to the natural arch of your foot.

Custom Molded Orthotics

Custom molded orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts that are individually crafted to fit your feet. Custom molded orthotics are used to correct a wide variety of foot and ankle-related problems, as well as issues related to the knees, hips, and lower back. Custom molded orthotics are also used to treat different types of problems that affect your foot including Bunions, Hammertoes, Flat feet and problems with the way you walk.

Custom-made orthotics are made of durable materials, that may incorporate both hard and soft features, depending on your specific needs. Custom-made orthotics can be crafted to fit inside most types of footwear, including athletic shoes and high heels.

Dr. LaMour can have custom-made orthotics made for your shoes that are made specifically for your foot. He will begin your custom-made orthotics fitting with a review of your symptoms and an examination of your foot. Then he’ll use a plaster cast to take a mold of your foot. The mold will ensure that your custom-made orthotic will fit perfectly and ensures that the orthotic is tailored to address your underlying problem. Once the mold is created, it’s sent to a lab that specializes in the highest-quality custom molded orthotics.

Low Heel

When it comes to your shoe’s heels, the “lower the better” is generally a good rule to follow. The ideal height of a heel should be one to two inches. For a shoe to be good for your spine, it’s heel definitely shouldn’t be higher than two inches. The beauty of shoes with low heels is that they won’t misalign your spine or cause back pain.

When you wear high-quality shoes, you can drastically improve your posture and back pain. Our podiatrist in Austin, TX can help determine the whether your most commonly worn shoes are contributing to your spinal issues. Contact us today to start experiencing optimal spine health.

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.

4 Big Reasons Your Ingrown Toenails Keep Coming Back

Pain with every step, inflammation around the toenail, excruciating tenderness when you apply pressure to your toe—sounds like you need ingrown toenail treatment in Austin. Unfortunately, treatment for ingrown toenails is not always once and done; many people have to see a podiatrist more than once for the same problem. Here is a look at just a few of the reasons why you may continue to have problems with toenails ingrown into the sides of your toes.

Ill-Fitting Shoes

Shoes that do not give your toes enough to move or even move around too much against your toes can be the underlying cause of ingrown toenails. When your toes are squeezed together because the toe of your shoe is too narrow, this can push the edge of the toenail into the surrounding toe tissue and cause it to grow that way. If your shoes are moving around against the edge of your toe, inflammation can weaken the skin around the nailbed and also lead to an ingrown.

Improper Toenail Trimming Methods

Always trim your toenails straight across, and don’t trim them too short. You may be tempted to cut off the edges to keep them from resting on your skin, but this can actually continuously contribute to ingrown toenail problems.

Genetics

Even genetics can play a role in persistent ingrown toenail problems. Genetics can determine the shape of your toe, your toenails, and even the thickness of the toenail itself. Naturally, the shape and other attributes of the toe can contribute to your risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Toe Injuries

It is not uncommon for people who have sustained toe injuries to have persistent problems with ingrown toenails. If your toe gets stubbed, for example, the nail can cut into the side of your toe, weakening that tissue. If inflammation occurs due to the injury, you are more likely to have problems with ingrown toenails.

Looking for a Podiatrist in Austin, TX?

Even though problems with ingrown toenails are one of the most common reasons for a visit to an Austin podiatrist, this is not an issue to overlook. If you have persistent problems with ingrown toenails, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Jeffrey Lamour, DPM, PA.

A Look at Non-Invasive Treatments for Hammertoe

When hammertoe starts making it difficult to walk, climb stairs, and even simply wear shoes, you need a prompt solution. Although surgery is an option for severe cases, it’s often best to start with non-invasive treatments with help from your Austin, TX, podiatrist. Here’s a look at several hammertoe treatments you might want to try.

Switch Up Your Footwear

Although most footwear will cause discomfort as your hammertoe rubs against its rough material, certain shoes can cause excruciating pain. In that case, it’s necessary to quit wearing those shoes altogether as it’s likely making the problem worse.

Instead, seek out footwear that only causes mild discomfort at worst plus wear shoe inserts. The inserts can help shift your weight to relieve friction and make it possible to get through the day with shoes on your feet. You can also bandage your hammertoe to shield your skin from friction.

Consider Taping or Splinting

If a simple bandage doesn’t provide enough relief, you can buddy tape it to an adjacent toe to ease it back into the proper position. This can ease the pain temporarily as you go about your day, although it’s important to minimize how much time the toe remains taped up.

When tape doesn’t quite do it, you can wear a splint that gently straightens the joint and holds your toe flat. Eventually, the splint and other methods will fail to work as the toe becomes more rigid. At that point, you’ll need to discuss surgery with your Austin podiatrist.

Complete Your Exercises

When you visit your podiatrist, they will give you a series of exercises to complete at home to keep the joint flexible. Each exercise focuses on stretching out the ligaments, tendons, and ligaments in the affected foot. Although exercise will slow it down, the hammertoe is likely to grow more rigid over time anyway, resulting in the need for permanent correction through surgery.

Ready to Seek Hammertoe Treatment in Austin TX?

Are you more than ready to say goodbye to the pain and discomfort caused by hammertoe? You can seek hammertoe treatment in Austin, TX, with a visit to Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA. Just call 512-451-3668 to schedule a visit, so you can get an exam and discuss all the treatment options, including surgical correction.

What’s the Best Way to Groom Toenails?

You might think that a simple thing like grooming toenails couldn’t cause any harm. But if you groom toenails incorrectly, you could actually end up needing to visit your podiatrist in Austin, TX. There are actually good ways and bad ways to groom toenails. Here’s a guide for steps to take.

Groom Toenails Regularly

It’s easier to groom toenails that aren’t in too bad of shape. The longer you wait in between grooming sessions, the harder it is to groom them. Left untended, toenails have a tendency to curl inward, get caught on socks and shoes or become thick and hardened. Regular toenail grooming also makes it more likely that you’ll notice any irregularities in your toenails, such as blackening, that might require the immediate attention of your Austin, TX podiatrist.

Soak Toenails First

If you are older and have thickened toenails, you’ll have an easier time of it if you soak your toenails first. In fact, anyone who wants to trim toenails should do so after the nails have had a chance to soften. You can either soak feet in a foot spa appliance in warm water or simply wait until after a long shower or bath.

Use Proper Grooming Tools

Always use tools specially made for grooming toenails. These may include toenail scissors or extra wide and straight nail clippers. Note that nail clippers for fingernails have a radius that is too narrow for toenails. Never use kitchen scissors to cut toenails. Never tear toenails across. You won’t get a clean tear, and you risk tearing down into the “quick” of the nail.

File Straight, Not Curved

If you are looking for a fashionable shape for your toenails, you may be tempted to file a curve along the edges of the nail. But you should not have the curve go down the side of the nail. Instead, the sides should be straight. If you want a little curve, do so only at the top of the nail. Otherwise, you run the risk of inviting an ingrown nail to develop as the nail grows out from the curve.

Use Clean Tools

It’s easy to get a nail infection if you use unclean tools. Always disinfect grooming tools before use, and don’t share them with other family members.

Try to visit with your podiatrist in Austin, TX on a regular basis. Routine feet exams can help ensure that your feet and toenails stay healthy. Contact us for more information any time.

When Your Ankle Sprain Needs Medical Attention

Ankle sprains can be tricky for many people, especially when it’s easy to get the word ‘twist’ and ‘sprain’ confused. A sprain is generally much more severe than a twist, and a truly bad one can keep you off your feet for weeks. However, you might reasonably ask: if it’s not broken, do you really need medical attention? The answer is a resounding yes. We’ll look at when it’s time to seek professional help.

The Truth About Ankle Sprains

Most ankle sprains just need time to heal. Your body is trying to mend the ligaments and can usually do so without much help from you. Whether they were merely stretched or torn completely, you may only need ice, compression, and elevation to begin the process of getting back up on your feet.

Sprains can take a while to heal entirely, up to 12 weeks or more. So you shouldn’t necessarily think there’s something wrong if you’re not feeling 100% after a week or two. As long as the sprain is getting better with time and you’re giving it enough space to heal, home treatment may be all that’s needed.

When to Seek Help

You’ll know when a sprain is particularly bad. If there’s a lot of swelling or bruising, you’re unable to bear weight without serious pain, or there’s no improvement after the first few days, it’s time to see a professional.

A severely hurt ankle may not seem broken at first, but X-rays may reveal a small fracture rather than a big sprain. Even if it is a sprain, you may need an ankle boot or crutches to help stabilize yourself if you need to. Since few people can afford to be off their feet entirely for weeks on end, you don’t want to risk breaking the ankle when you undertake necessary tasks.

In more severe cases, you might benefit from physical rehabilitation or surgery. The former can help you strengthen the angle gradually so it can heal properly without compromising your range of motion. Surgery will use metal plates and screws to support the ankle and ensure it can recover from the initial injury.

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.

 

Polydactylism – Should You Be Worried About Extra Toes?

Polydactyly is actually one of the most common malformations affecting as many as 1 in every 1,000 babies born today. The condition is most often related to genetics, but some research suggests that environmental factors could contribute to the development of extra fingers or toes during pregnancy. While extra toes may seem like no big deal, occasionally, these little extra limbs can cause problems. Here is a look at a few things that can come up when you have extra toes.

Problems Finding Properly Fitting Shoes

One of the biggest challenges people with extra toes have is the fact that it can be relatively difficult to find shoes that fit properly. Shoes are obviously designed for people with five toes. A six-toed foot can be substantially wider than the average foot, and the added toes can be in unusual spots, such as along the side of the big toe or seated slightly overlapping other toes.

Disruptions in Balance or Walking Form

In certain polydactyly cases, the added toe can cause a disruption in how an individual holds their balance or how they walk. For instance, an added toe that points in a more downward position may have the individual walking in an unusual way to avoid putting pressure on the toe. While having extra toes may sound like it would mean you have better balance, the opposite is often true. Many people with added toes have issues with an imbalanced stance, specifically, if the toe is in an odd place or one foot has an extra toe and the other does not.

Injury to the Extra Toe

Depending on where the added digit is located, it can be more prone to injury. For example, an individual with a nubbin (extra toe with little or no bone structure) on the side of their pinky toe can have issues with hitting the nubbin or catching it on things. Injuries to extra toes can be just as concerning as injuries to other toes. Infection is common with foot injuries and healing times can be a bit slower.

Talk to a Podiatrist in Austin, TX About Polydactyly Problems

If you have an extra toe or more on your foot as an adult, chances are your parents chose to not have the toe(s) removed when you were born. Reach out to us to discuss how we may be able to help with your extra toes and the problems they can cause. Contact the office of Dr. Jeffrey Lamour, DPM, PA to schedule an appointment.

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.