Start Your Year on the Right Foot

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Ever use the phrase, “My feet are killing me?”  They very well could be.  Or at least lead to health complications that you could be avoiding.

Our feet might be the body parts that need the most pampering – and yet we tend to ignore them.    

Consider this – your feet carry your full body weight for hours on end, day after day.  By the age of 50, the average American will have logged 75,000 miles on their feet.  And depending on the shoes you are wearing, you could be doing more damage than you can imagine.

You should know a good podiatrist, especially if you are active on your feet.  Here’s what you should know right now – before your appointment – about podiatry services.

Who should see a podiatrist?

If you have foot or ankle pain that will not go away, a podiatrist should be on your “must see” list.  Our feet play an important role in our daily lives and this requires that we don’t ignore them or the many things that could be damaging them. 

What are the top five reasons people go to a podiatrist?

Plantar Fasciitis

This is perhaps the most common heel pain and affects the ligaments that connect your heel bone to your toes.  Strain to this area causes swelling and inflammation.  While this is most common in those of middle-age, it can also affect those who spend a lot of time on their feet – athletes, soldiers, sales clerks or nurses.  Plantar fasciitis is more common in those who:
  • Have high arches or flat fee
  • Spend extensive amounts of time standing, walking or running on hard surface
  • Wear shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Roll their feet inward when walking

Onychomoycosis

A big word for toenail fungus.  Many first notice an unusual appearance to the nail itself and might choose to do nothing.  But this is oftentimes the first sign of onychomoycosis and can lead to pain and discomfort which could make it difficult to stand or walk. 

And who would think that toenail fungus could impact your self-esteem?  But if your toenails look bad, you won't be showing off your feet next summer in the latest new sandal styles!

Plantar Warts

These small hard and grainy warts are common on the heels or balls of your feet and can grow both outward and inward.  While not necessarily a serious health concern, plantar warts can be uncomfortable and even painful.  Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and require a source of entry either from cracked and dry skin, or cuts and scrapes.  Softened skin, from the result of being in water a long time, can also be a source of entry.

Neuropathic Foot Ulcers

Most often found in diabetic patients, neuropathic ulcers are damaged nerve fibers and result in the loss of ability to feel pain, which can result in a multitude of foot problems.  The sensation of standing on “pins and needles” is common among those with neuropathic ulcers.  Ultimately the result can be an open wound that is the result of tissue breakdown due to pressure on one spot.  Foot wounds such as this can lead to amputation, so early diagnosis and treatment is key.

Sports Injuries to Foot or Ankle

No one can dispute that nearly every sport could result in a foot or ankle injury.  From the simple sprain to a more complex fracture, the athlete is susceptible to foot or ankle injury and needs to take good care of his or her feet.

What surgical procedures does a podiatrist do?

Surgical procedures can include ingrown toenails; foot and ankle reconstructions including bunions, hammer toes and soft tissue masses; flat foot or high arch feet reconstruction; and fracture or tendon trauma repair.  While many are considered outpatient surgery, the more extensive surgeries many require an inpatient stay.

Make an appointment with Dr. Timothy Holcomb at Greene County Medical Center!

Greene County Medical Center’s West Central Orthopedics clinic now has full time podiatrist, Dr. Timothy Holcomb, on its team.  Your feet are already smiling!  And you can be too by calling and making your next podiatry appointment with Dr. Holcomb – right here in Jefferson.

Dr. Holcomb is well trained in all areas of foot and ankle care.  However, as an athlete himself, he holds a special interest in sports medicine and the injuries to the foot or ankle that result from physical activity.  He will be at Greene County Medical Center weekly for clinic hours and surgical procedures.

Start your provider relationship with Dr. Holcomb today.  Your feet will thank you and your step will be lighter.