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Traverse City / Kalkaska


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Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

Are Bunions Painful?

If you have a bony protrusion at the base of the big toe, you most likely have a bunion. It is considered to be a deformity of the joint in that area of the toe. The symptoms that many patients notice often include skin that is sensitive on top of the bunion, and changes to the shape of the foot. Additionally, pain, swelling, and callused skin can accompany this condition. Research has indicated bunions may be caused by genetic factors and wearing shoes that do not fit correctly can make bunions worse. Mild relief may be found if bunion pads or orthotics are worn. If this is ineffective, surgery may be necessary if permanent removal of the bunion is desired. If you have developed a bunion, it is advised to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can guide you toward the treatment that is right for you.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm of Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

Bunions

A bunion is a bump that forms at the base of the big toe. Bunions form when the big toe pushes against the next toe, which forces the big toe joint to get bigger and stick out.  As a result, the skin over the bunion may start to appear red and it may feel sore.

There are risk factors that can increase your chances of developing bunions. People who wear high heels or ill-fitting shoes are more likely to develop them, in addition to those who have a genetic history of bunions or have rheumatoid arthritis.

The most obvious way to tell if you have a bunion is to look for the big toe pushing up against the toe next to it. Bunions produce a large protrusion at the base of the big toe and may or may not cause pain. Other symptoms are redness, swelling, and restricted movement of the big toe if you have arthritis. 

Nonsurgical methods are frequently used to treat bunions that aren’t severe. Some methods of nonsurgical treatment are orthotics, icing and resting the foot, taping the foot, and pain medication. Surgery is usually only required in extreme cases. However, if surgery is needed, some procedures may involve removing the swollen tissue from around the big toe joint, straightening the big toe by removing part of the bone, or joining the bones of your affected joint permanently.

Your podiatrist will diagnose your bunion by doing a thorough examination of your foot. He or she may also conduct an x-ray to determine the cause of the bunion and its severity.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

Symptoms of Poor Circulation

Patients who have poor circulation often experience a tingling sensation, or “pins and needles,” in their feet. This may be indicative of existing health issues in the body, and it is suggested to obtain a proper diagnosis. Additional symptoms that are associated with this condition include cramps in the feet, lack of energy, and the lower extremities may feel cold for the majority of the day. Some of the causes of poor circulation include diabetes, high blood pressure, or thyroid disorder. It is important to implement healthy lifestyle changes, and this will typically provide mild relief. If you have poor circulation, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can determine the cause and provide proper treatment choices.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm of Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is often caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is usually the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque buildup, or atherosclerosis, can be the result of excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This restricts how much blood can flow through arteries. Reduced blood flow to a certain area of the body severely limits the amount of oxygen and nutrients that part of the body receives. This leads to degeneration in the muscles and other tissues. Sometimes, poor blood circulation in the feet and legs can be caused by other conditions, such as the damaging or inflammation of blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

The lack of oxygen and nutrients caused by poor blood circulation can restrict muscle growth and development, as well as cause muscle pain and cramps, weakness, and stiffness. Other common symptoms include numbness in the legs and feet, skin discoloration in the affected limbs, slower nail and hair growth, and erectile dysfunction in men. In more severe cases of PAD, pain can be present even when a person isn't exercising, and may range from mildly uncomfortable to completely debilitating.

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is more common in those who are overweight or obese, have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, who smoke, or who have a family history of PAD or related conditions such as a heart attack, stroke, etc. Diabetes and smoking place a person at greatest risk for developing poor blood circulation, although advanced age, over 50, can also increase risk.

If you are experiencing poor blood circulation in the feet and legs caused by PAD, it is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce your risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke caused by this condition. If you smoke, quit completely. This will increase the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. Exercising and reducing the saturated fats in your diet. Saturated fats come from fatty meats, fried foods, whole milk, etc., can make a difference in improving blood circulation in feet. It is also important to avoid developing influenza and to carefully control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.

Your doctor may recommend combining lifestyle changes with a prescription medication regimen to improve blood circulation. The most commonly-used medications for PAD are called statins and work by blocking the amount of enzymes in your body that produce cholesterol. They are known by the brand names Zocor, Lipitor, Crestor, and others.

Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is a frustrating problem that affects many people. It can be persistent and hard to get rid of. As many different types of fungi are present throughout the environment, it is very easy to contract toenail fungus.  

The feet are especially susceptible to toenail fungus because shoes and socks create the ideal dark and moist environment that fungal infections thrive in. While fungal infections of the nail plate are quite common, if left untreated they can spread beyond the toenail and into the skin and other parts of the body.

Signs of toenail fungus include a thickened nail that has become yellow or brown in color, a foul smell, and debris beneath the nail. The toe may become painful due to the pressure of a thicker nail or the buildup of debris.

Treatment for toenail fungus is most effective during the early stages of an infection. If there is an accumulation of debris beneath the nail plate, an ingrown nail or a more serious infection can occur. While each treatment varies between patients, your podiatrist may prescribe you oral medications, topical liquids and creams, or laser therapy. To determine the best treatment process for you, be sure to visit your podiatrist at the first signs of toenail fungus.

Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

Toenail Fungus Is Contagious

The condition that is known as toenail fungus is considered to be contagious. The fungus that causes this nail infection typically thrives in warm and moist environments. These places may include public pools, shower room floors, locker rooms, and surrounding areas. When appropriate footwear is worn, the chances of getting toenail fungus may be reduced. The infection may also develop if patients have wet nails for extended periods of time, sometimes due to wearing sweaty shoes for consecutive days. Symptoms of toenail fungus may include the nail becoming thick, in addition to the nail turning a yellow, green, or brown color. Research has indicated that when early treatment is implemented, damage to the nail may be minimized. If you feel you have developed toenail fungus, it is important that you consult with a podiatrist who can advise you on proper treatment options.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm of Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Toenail Fungus
Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

Ankle Sprains

Although ankle sprains may not be as serious as a broken ankle, they should be given immediate attention and care. An ankle sprain can lead to a significant amount of pain, as well as limited mobility. They are often characterized by the swelling and discoloration of the skin. This occurs when the ligaments are stretched beyond their limits.

The simple act of walking can sometimes cause a sprain, which makes ankle sprains a very common injury that can happen to anyone. They occur when the ankle twists in an awkward way or rolls over itself, causing a pop or snap in the tendons around the ankle. Some people are more at risk than others. These include athletes who continually push their bodies to the limits and also people who have previously suffered accidents to the feet, ankles, or lower legs.

Most of the time, an ankle sprain is not severe enough for hospital attention. There are many at-home treatment options available, including propping the leg up above your head to reduce blood flow and inflammation, applying ice packs to the affected area as needed, taking over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication, using an ACE bandage to wrap and support the injured ankle, and most importantly, remaining off your feet until the ankle has fully healed.

Despite this, an ankle sprain can turn into a severe injury that might require hospitalization. If the ankle ligaments or muscles are damaged from a tear or rip, that is one sign that the sprain is severe enough for hospital attention and possibly for surgery. Even after the surgery, the recovery process can be long. You may need to have rehabilitation sessions administered by your podiatrist to get your ankle back to full health.

The severity of your sprain might become apparent if you are unable to stand or walk, consistent pain is occurring over a prolonged period of time, swelling is much more severe than initially present, or if you start to experience tingling or numbness. These signs may indicate that your ankle sprain might actually be a broken ankle, an injury that requires immediate medical attention.

Although they are not completely avoidable, ankle sprains can be curbed with some preventative treatment measures. These include wearing appropriate fitting shoes that not only provide a comfortable fit, but also ankle support. It is also recommended to stretch before doing any kind of physical activity, as this will help lower your body’s chance for an injury.

Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

Different Types of Ankle Sprains

Many teenagers may experience the pain and discomfort of an ankle sprain. This may be the result of torn ligaments in the ankle or the surrounding area, and may occur as sporting activities are pursued. Research has indicated there are three types of ankle sprains. A sprain is known to be mild when the ligaments are slightly stretched. If the ligaments are marginally torn, the sprain is considered to be moderate, and putting weight on the foot may be painful. If the ligament should completely tear, the sprain is severe. This is typically accompanied by swelling, and it may be impossible for the foot to bear any amount of weight. There are methods that can be implemented for keeping the ankles strong, which may help in preventing ankle sprains. These include performing gentle stretching exercises to help keep the ankles flexible and wearing shoes that have adequate ankle support. If you have sprained your ankle, it is strongly suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can begin the correct treatment for you.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm from Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Sunday, 07 April 2019 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet.

Want to wear open toe shoes again? ...Special occasion? Vacation? ...You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails.

Many elderly people may experience foot problems as a result of a loss of cushioning in the feet and poor circulation. An effective way to protect the feet may be to wear shoes that fit correctly. Additionally, if standing is done for the majority of the day, the feet may feel better if gentle stretches are performed. Many patients develop athlete’s foot, which is a common fungus that attacks the bottom of the feet and between the toes. This may be prevented if the feet are washed and dried thoroughly each day, followed by wearing clean socks and shoes. It is common for seniors to have dry skin, and a symptom of this may be an itchy or burning sensation. Prevention of this may include using a moisturizer on the feet after a shower or bath is taken. If you would like additional information about how to properly care for elderly feet, please feel free to speak to a podiatrist.

If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm of Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and provide you with quality treatment.

Geriatrics and Podiatry
When people age, some common issues that may occur are bone density loss, dry skin, poor circulation, and rough brittle nails. These issues may also affect your foot health if the necessary steps are not taken to alleviate the problems.

It is important to take care of your feet because feet that are injured or diseased can affect your overall health. Having painful feet hinders your ability to do daily activities or may decrease your willingness to do the things that you need to do.

Visiting Your Geriatrician
As we age, health problems become more likely, so it is essential to visit your doctor for check-ups to ensure that you are doing the best you can to take care of your health. It is recommended to check your feet frequently for any possible cuts, bruises, swelling, corns or any other irregularities. 

Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Cracked or dry feet can be treated by applying moisturizer often. It is also important not to wear old socks because the older the sock is, the higher the possibility there will be that there is bacteria there. Wear fresh socks and make sure they fit properly.

Proper foot health means that you can have a more active lifestyle and you will not be bogged down by pain. Foot health also leads to good circulation, which is paramount for overall health.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Geriatrics and Podiatry
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