Monthly Archives: November 2011

Knock Your Socks Off to Prevent Diabetic Foot Complications

060 KSO_logoThe APMA recently described the U.S. Hispanic population as being at the center of a “perfect storm” for diabetes diagnoses. Contributors of type 2 diabetes include:

  1. Genetics
  2. Poor diet
  3. Lack of exercise

Unfortunately Hispanics are at risk for all three, making them 66% more likely than non-Hispanic whites of becoming a diabetic. This news is especially important in Florida, where Hispanics are nearly one quarter of the population.

Regardless of one’s racial makeup, the good news is that knocking your socks offmay be the answer!  The APMA campaign encourages those with diabetes to take the first step to avoid some of the most serious difficulties of diabetes: Get an annual foot exam from a podiatrist. By checking in with Dr. Vimal Reddy at least once a year, he will be able to examine your feet and watch for complications.  Some of the complications that can be prevented include:

  • Nerve damage (neuropathy)
  • Calluses
  • Foot Ulcers
  • Amputation

If every at risk individual had an annual foot exam, it could save the U.S. an estimated $3.5 billion each year—and it could save your foot.  There’s no better time than NOW to make an appointment with Dr. Reddy at the First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic in Jacksonville, FL for your yearly diabetic foot evaluation.

Fishy Feet

Tracy Roberts, 33, of Rockville, Md. has her toes nibbled on by a type of carp called garra rufa, or doctor fish, during a fish pedicure treatment at Yvonne Hair and Nails salon in Alexandria, Va. on Thursday July 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) ORG XMIT: VAJM101

Tracy Roberts, 33, of Rockville, Md. has her toes nibbled on by a type of carp called garra rufa, or doctor fish, during a fish pedicure treatment at Yvonne Hair and Nails salon in Alexandria, Va. on Thursday July 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) ORG XMIT: VAJM101

Do you have dry peeling skin or calluses on your feet?  If a few state there is a new and controversial treatment currently offered by pedicurists—not podiatrists. Just like any regular pedicure, your feet are place in a tank of water, but instead of a pumice stone or razor used on your rough spots, tiny “doctor fish” swim around sucking the dead skin off the bottom of your feet. The fish have no teeth, so the procedure is completely painless, but perhaps ticklish for some.  If you are feeling adventurous, this may be a therapy you are willing to try!

Your skin consists of two layers:

1. Outer epidermis

2. Inner dermis.

The epidermis grows from the inside out and at the outermost levels the skin cells are dead. These dead skill cells act as a barrier to the outside world and eventually will shed away. The fish take advantage of this normal function and eat away at the dead outer layer. This results in skin that is softer, smoother and more cosmetically pleasing.

So, whoohoo, softer feet!… But is it safe? Some state cosmetology boards, including Florida, require tools be sterilized between uses.  Since it’s impossible to sterilize fish, unless you want to add a snack after your pedicure, the fish are banned. For now you will need to leave Jacksonville, FL to receive such a treatment. However, if after receiving a pedicure at any local nail salon in the area, and your feet just don’t seem the same, the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic is here to help.

Plagued with Heel Pain?: 3 Exercises to Reduce Morning Heel Pain

058 plantarfasciitis_stretch1Do you wake up in the morning feeling pain in your heels? If so, there is a good possibility you are suffering from plantar fasciitis – inflammation of an important supporting ligament (the plantar fascia)on the bottom of the foot. 90% of people at one point or another in their lives will be affected by this condition.  In many cases, the pain goes away on its own. These exercises will help speed the process up:

  1. Stretching: Your foot is an arch supported by several ligaments, including the plantar fascia. By stretching it out, it is loosened and strengthened. A good exercise is to sit on the floor with your legs forward and knees straight. Wrap a towel around the ball of your foot, and pull back for 30 seconds, and then repeat for another 30 seconds. This will not only stretch your plantar fascia, but also your calf muscles and Achilles tendon. This muscle group actually wraps around the heel bone and is continuous with the plantar fascia, so by stretching this muscle, you will relieve plantar fascia pain!
  2. “ABC”…Draw the alphabet with your toes: On the bottom of your foot are 4 layers of tiny muscles, which contribute to stabilizing the foot when you walk. By making fine movements with your toes, you will strengthen these muscles that help support the arch, so the plantar fascia won’t need to do so much work.
  3. Toe crunches: Just like drawing the alphabet, this also will strengthen the small muscles of the foot that underlie the plantar fascia.

These exercises can be done before going to bed at night or when you wake up in the morning. If all goes well, the exercises should minimize your pain. However, Dr. Vimal Reddy warns that not all heel pain is plantar fasciitis. Furthermore, it can be a symptom of a bigger problem. If your pain does not improve or gets worse after two weeks, request an appointment with Dr. Reddy at the First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic in Jacksonville, FL to see if a more advanced treatment will help.