5 Benefits of Paying a Visit to Your Podiatrist

If you think about it, our feet are pretty incredible. Comprised of a complex system of ligaments, muscles, tendons, and bones, this foundation helps us stand, run, and walk, all while supporting the rest of our body. And yet, when feet are painful, many people put off treatment. Today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing some reasons why you should consider visiting your podiatrist.

  1. Podiatrists are specialists in their field. While your doctor is certainly well-informed about your overall health, a podiatrist is an expert in their field. Podiatrists have a greater understanding regarding the mechanics of the foot and have undergone an intensive certification process. They are trained to help eliminate any pain you’ve been feeling in your ankles and feet.
  1. They treat a wide variety of foot issues. Podiatrists are experienced in curing numerous ankle and foot ailments.

Some foot conditions but not limited to are: 

  1. They can treat sports injuries with greater precision. Sports injuries can be debilitating and frustrating. Podiatrists can treat your symptoms so you can get back in the game as quickly as possible. They can also provide insight regarding the best shoes to wear for your particular sport and how you can avoid injury in the future.
  2. They can recommend healthy life alterations. In some cases, some small changes can make a big difference. Podiatrists can help those with thickened, discolored, or brittle nails and improve their nail health with nutritional advice and topical treatments. Seniors can also learn how to maintain healthy ankles and feet as arthritis and swelling become more prevalent.
  3. They can educate you to help prevent future injury. Regular visits to the podiatrist, even when you have no issues, can keep your ankles and feet strong and healthy. Your podiatrist can identify issues before they begin. And those with diabetes, in particular, will benefit from frequent appointments to identify diabetic-related issues early.

Remember: Putting off a seemingly minor issue can quickly change into a bigger problem that will require more attention and time to correct. When’s the last time your feet got a thorough checkup? If it’s been more than a year, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to book an appointment or schedule it online.

Is Your Foot Pain a Sign of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

May is Arthritis Awareness Month, and if you ask anyone living with Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), they will tell you that it’s a devastating diagnosis to receive because it is an incurable disease that can cause joint deformity and severe pain. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is delving deeper into a painful condition.

The good news is that today the treatment options available are the most advanced they have ever been, and they are actually allowing many people with arthritis to live full and active lives.

Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet

With arthritis, the immune system assaults the body’s joint tissues, causing inflammation, which can result in gradual damage to affected joints. The immune system attacks the fluid within the joints as well as the joint lining, which then becomes acutely inflamed, causing a swollen and warm joint.

If left untreated, continued inflammation eventually causes bone and cartilage to erode, which leads to deformed joints and diminished range of motion. Additionally, the muscles, ligaments and tendons that surround and stabilize the joints may weaken.

Parts of the Foot Affected by Arthritis

When it comes to the feet, RA typically affects the toe joints, causing a gradual outward shift in the toes and bunions to develop. It may also cause the forefoot to shift, resulting in a loss of stability, which leads to conditions such as hammertoes.

These changes in toe-joint flexibility often cause calluses and pain under the ball of the foot and make finding comfortable shoes more difficult, resulting in the need for custom orthotics.

Other Foot Conditions Associated with Arthritis

Heel pain: This is a common problem for people with arthritis that can strike at the back of the heel resulting in plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, or bursitis.

Nerve entrapment: When the joint lining becomes inflamed, the swelling can cause symptoms of a pinched nerve, also referred to as nerve entrapment.

Rheumatoid nodules: This typically appears as a bump located beneath the skin, usually over a bony lump or tendon. It can grow over the Achilles tendon or on the side of the big toe if a bunion is present.

Skin rash: The inflammation associated with RA can cause wounds or rashes on the lower legs.

A close relationship with Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists – who will work to stop joint damage, alleviate pain and inflammation, and improve your sense of well-being – will ensure the best possible outcome throughout the course of your disease. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your next visit or schedule an appointment online so we can discuss your treatment options.

5 Winter Foot Care Tips for Seniors

The colder weather is here and it’s time to break out the winter footwear. But many people – particularly seniors – fail to realize that the drier winter air and having to walk in ice, snow, and slush increases the risk of foot problems. So today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing some important winter foot care tips for seniors.

Make Sure to Follow These Tips:

  1. Cleanse and Moisturize: The drier winter air essentially draws moisture out from the top layers of your skin, resulting in painful – and even infected – sores. Daily cleansing with soap and water, and then drying them and applying a moisturizing foot cream is imperative. When finished, slip on snug cotton socks to help your feet absorb the lotion.
  2. Dry Them Out: If you go outside without wearing water-resistant boots, your feet may end up feeling cold, damp, or soggy. Remove damp shoes and socks as soon as you get indoors and dry your feet thoroughly before putting on other footwear. This helps your feet warm up and protects against the growth of bacteria and fungi that thrive in moist environments.
  3. Exercise Your Feet: Traveling to exercise may be more challenging when winter weather strikes, but you don’t have to miss out. You can exercise your feet using simple resistance bands, practicing yoga using online tutorial videos, and performing important foot exercises to relieve symptoms of bunions, pain from plantar fasciitis, and more.
  4. Keep Nails Trimmed: When your feet aren’t on display like they are during warm months, it’s easy to forget trimming and grooming toenails. Longer toenails can crack or break so it’s important to keep them maintained. If you have difficulty doing this yourself, you can ask your podiatrist to do it or see if there are any upcoming foot care clinics at your local senior center.
  5. Upgrade Your Footwear: Wearing thick wool socks can make your footwear feel too tight. When your footwear is too tight or too loose, it can be uncomfortable and even increase your risk of falling. For winter, invest in shoes with a deep, wide toe box that can accommodate your thicker socks. Keep in mind that traction on the sole is great for outdoor activities, while smooth bottoms are needed indoors to help keep you from slipping.

Approximately 25% of seniors live with diabetes, and for them, foot care is even more important to improve circulation. If you suffer from diabetes, talk with your doctor about keeping your feet healthy and pain-free this winter.

Follow these tips from Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA and enjoy the outdoors this winter. If you are experiencing any issues with your feet or ankles – don’t hesitate – call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to make an appointment or click here to schedule a consultation online.