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Royal Palm Beach, FL

11412 Okeechobee Blvd.

Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411 USA

561-793-6170

Lake Worth, FL

3618 Lantana Road, Suite 102

Lake Worth, FL 33462 USA

561-967-4999

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

3375 Burns Road, Suite 107

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 USA

561-691-4682

Belle Glade, FL

1100 S. Main Street

Belle Glade, FL 33430 USA

561-993-9968

Surgical Center- West Palm Beach, Fl 33409

2047 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. Suite 100

West Palm Beach, FL 33409 USA

561-793-6170

Blogs

IS FDA-APPROVED LASER A MIRACLE CURE FOR FOOT PAIN?


Nerve pain in the feet and legs can be debilitating, but a new breakthrough treatment that drastically reduces foot and leg pain is now available to South Florida Foot & Ankle Center patients. Introducing MLS Laser Therapy, a patented, FDA-approved laser technology with impressive, proven results for neuropathy, plantar fasciitis, and other chronic conditions. In some cases, MLS Laser Therapy can be a great option to avoid surgery or injections for chronic and painful conditions.

The results of MLS Laser Therapy are well documented. In fact, there is an 85% – 90% success rate in relieving pain and reducing inflammation. Other benefits include:

  • Helps manage pain and speed recovery.
  • Eliminates risk from surgery and prescription painkillers.
  • No negative side effects.
  • Safe and effective for diabetic patients.

No Pain. All Gain.

This pain-free treatment lasts approximately 8 minutes per session. The average course of treatment is 10 sessions. Most patients will notice some immediate results, and some will occur over time as the cumulative effects of the treatments take hold. Acute conditions may subside quickly, while chronic conditions can be controlled with regular treatments. Like any treatment plan, it is critical that once you start, the entire course of treatments is completed as recommended by your doctor. Results that you can expect after a course of treatment is completed are:

  • Rapid pain relief.
  • Accelerated repair of superficial injuries, such as diabetic foot wounds and ulcers.
  • Reduced inflammation and healing of swollen areas.
  • Immediate improvement of local blood circulation.
  • Fast repair of tissues, which improves healing time after injuries.
  • Timely healing of sprains and strains.

Mphi5-Application-Handpiece-Foot-Closeup.jpgHow Does MLS Laser Therapy Work?

The MLS Laser uses wavelengths of light to penetrate and stimulate damaged cells, which accelerates the body’s natural healing process. Once the cells recover, the healing process is complete. MLS Laser Therapy effectively treats neuropathy and other acute and chronic conditions, including:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Arthritis
  • Sports injuries
  • Tendon and ligament injuries
  • Muscle sprains & strains
  • Tendonitis
  • Post-surgical swelling

Let’s Get You Back on Your Feet – Pain Free

Are you experiencing pain in your feet and legs due to neuropathy or other chronic conditions? Call us today at 954-674-0747 to schedule your appointment for this FDA-approved treatment of painful, debilitating conditions, and find out how to receive your first treatment free!


DON’T TAKE BOO-BOOS LIGHTLY! THE IMPORTANCE OF TIMELY TREATMENT FOR DIABETIC FOOT ULCERS

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Falling down and having injuries to the legs and feet are a daily occurrence in my house with three small children. Getting a boo-boo gets treated with the best medicine- a dad’s kiss. As we get older, injuries become a much more serious problem, especially for diabetics. Kisses don’t carry the same magical medicine for diabetics as they do for children.

A diabetic foot ulcer will form from too much pressure and/or friction on the legs and feet. Twenty-five percent of diabetics form some sort of ulcer on their feet in their lifetime. The risk of infection is very high and can lead to bone infection or osteomyelitis, which can ultimately lead to amputation. Across the world, every 30 seconds a leg is lost to diabetes. Eighty-five percent of these amputations are preceded by a foot ulcer. What completely amazes me is that eighty-five percent of all diabetes-related amputations are completely preventable. This includes appropriate shoe gear, diabetes management and checkups. Regular visits to the podiatrist have consistently been shown to be the best prevention for amputation. Amputation is not the only serious risk associated with diabetic foot ulcers. The five-year mortality rate for a diabetic foot ulcer is higher than non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, breast cancer, melanoma, and prostate cancer combined!

Preventing Amputation from Diabetic Foot Ulcers

The key to preventing amputation begins with preventing ulcers from forming in the first place. This is done with regular check-ups by your foot and ankle specialist, primary care doctor, endocrinologist, or any other doctor who is part of your health care team. But what do you do when you notice a new sore spot, blister or ulcer? Well, don’t take boo-boos lightly! Your podiatric physician should be immediately notified, and good ulcer care should be initiated. This may begin with debridement (removal of all of the unhealthy tissue), treating infection, and removing all pressure from the wound. Advanced therapies are also available with growth factors and skin grafts. Studies have shown the sooner advanced therapies can be initiated, the shorter the time to complete healing.

If you or your loved ones have developed an ulcer, please do not delay treatment, as precious moments for healing may be lost. You need appropriate treatment to restore your mobility and health. Let us at South Florida Foot and Ankle Centers help you heal your boo-boos. Give us a call at (561) 793-6190 or set up an appointment online.

Thank you to Dr. Daly for writing this post!


BEST STRETCHES TO AVOID INJURIES WHEN PLAYING SPORTS

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For avid athletes, sports injuries are common, particularly foot and ankle injuries, which lead to pain and limited mobility. When the muscle is pushed beyond its capacity, it can result in strains, sprains, and tears. Stretching both before and after athletic activity can help to loosen the muscles and ligaments and reduce the likelihood of sports injuries.

Avoid Foot Pain and Muscle Strain with These Stretches

ITCA-certified triathlon coach, Michelle Portalatin, recommends three main stretches that should always be done before playing sports.

1. Curtsey Lunges: Curtsey lunges stretch the hip to improve running and reduce muscle strains. Use a chair or bar set at waist-height to hold onto as you stretch. Start by putting your right hand on your right hip. Take your left leg and set it back, as you would with an ordinary lunge, but place the leg at least 12-inches to the right of your left leg, and squat down as you feel the muscles stretch. Repeat this exercise with both sides.

2. Leg Swings: Leg swings stretch the hips, glutes, hamstrings, and quads to fully loosen your lower body prior to sports. Stand in an upright position with your feet together. Grab onto a bar or object at shoulder-height for balance. Swing your leg up in front of you until it is just above your waist, and then swing it backward, repeating this motion several times with each leg. Then swing your leg to the side, as high as you can bring it, swinging it back down in front of your other leg until you feel the muscles stretch.

3. Good Mornings: Though sometimes done with a barbell, it’s best to do this stretch without a barbell as you warm up the muscles. Stand with your feet set shoulder-width apart. With your knees slightly bent, lean forward until you feel the muscles stretch, and hold that position for 5 seconds. Repeat this several times.

After your athletic activity is complete, it’s important to stretch again. Here are the best post-workout stretches.

1. Hamstring Stretches: Sit on the floor with one leg fully outstretched, and lean forward, grabbing your foot with your hand. Hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds and then switch to your other leg.

2. Quad Stretches: Touch the wall or another object for balance. Bend your foot backwards, grabbing it with your hand, while pulling the heel of your foot toward your buttocks to thoroughly stretch your quad. Hold this stretch for 10 to 20 seconds and switch to your other leg.

3. Calf Stretches: Use a wall for support. Stick one foot against the wall with your heel on the ground, and set one foot about 12-inches behind you, standing on the ball of your foot. Press inwards on the foot that is against the wall until you feel the muscle stretch. Hold this stretch for five to 10 seconds and switch to the other leg.

A Stretch Every Day Keeps the Foot Doctor Away

By stretching both before and after exercise, you can loosen up the muscles and greatly reduce the chances of a sports-related injury. If a sports injury does occur, contact a foot and ankle specialist immediately, so you can receive treatment before the condition worsens. Early treatment of sports injuries will ensure you regain full mobility of the muscle and joints.

If you’re in need of a podiatrist in West Palm Beach, visit South Florida Foot and Ankle centers. Our expert foot and ankle surgeon can assess the severity of your injury and prescribe a treatment plan that will get you on your feet once again. Give us a call at 561-793-6170 or send us a message to learn more.


RELIEF FROM FOOT & ANKLE PAIN – GIVE THE GIFT OF PAIN FREE WALKING!

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Millions of people worldwide experience discomfort in their feet, which results in moderate to severe pain while walking. There are a lot of conditions that can lead to foot pain, such as plantar fasciitis, which can be debilitating to the sufferer. Even mild foot pain can significantly hinder a person’s quality of life by preventing them from participating in the activities they love the most. Fortunately, there are a lot of treatment options available that can minimize the pain of walking, allowing people to reclaim their lives and partake in their hobbies yet again.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis and How Is It Caused?

Plantar fasciitis is the most pervasive form of heel pain in the U.S., affecting about 10 percent of people over the course of their lifetime. The tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes, called the plantar fascia, can become inflamed, causing pain in the foot. The pain is usually worse upon rising in the morning, and it typically subsides as the tissue in the foot become limber with walking.

The condition is particularly prevalent in runners, as well as overweight people, people with poor arch support in their shoes, and people with naturally flat feet. When too much pressure is put on the plantar fascia, it results in small tears and ruptures in the tissue, causing pain and inflammation.

Other Causes of Foot Pain

In addition to the heel, many people also experience pain in the balls of their feet, their toes, and their arches. A variety of factors can contribute to foot pain, including:

  • Heel spurs: Heel spurs are abnormal bone growths that occur in the heel of the foot. They can be caused by poor posture, inadequate footwear, and high-impact activities like running. People with high arches or flat feet are most likely to experience pain from heel spurs.
  • Stone bruise: When the ball of the foot or fat pad in the foot experience a deep bruise, usually brought on by a high-impact injury, it can result in considerable pain.
  • Morton’s neuroma: This is a condition that results when the tissue surrounding the nerves between the toes thickens, which causes pain and numbness in the toes and ball of the foot.
  • There are a variety of circumstances that can cause foot pain, most of which involve excess pressure being placed on the foot. Athletes and overweight people are the most likely to experience foot pain. Poor posture or ill-fitting footwear can also lead to foot pain.

    How to Relieve Foot Pain

    While foot pain has the potential to be debilitating, it needn’t compromise the life quality of people experiencing it. There are a variety of effective methods to reduce foot pain, so people can return to the activities they enjoy most. Custom orthotics are clinically proven to reduce pain in the feet and improve mobility.

    Orthotics are shoe inserts designed to redistribute the weight placed on the foot, thus reducing pressure on the more sensitive areas. It also provides added cushioning, which reduces the load put on the foot, while correcting the person’s posture. With custom footwear, people can experience added support, which will not only create a more comfortable walking experience, but it will also mitigate future damage to the foot.

    Experience Pain-Free Walking With Custom Orthotics

    At South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers, we offer specials on custom orthotics, so you or your loved one can receive needed pain relief at an affordable rate. We also offer a GAIT analysis to ensure the footwear provided will fully support your unique gait. This holiday, give yourself or a loved one the best gift of all: the gift of pain-free living. Call us today at 561-793-6170 or contact us to learn about the ways our qualified foot doctors can relieve your foot and heel pain.


    SPORTS INJURIES FROM WEEKEND WARRIOR FUN MAY REQUIRE MEDICAL ATTENTION FROM A PODIATRIST

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    After trudging through the nine-to-five, many people can’t wait for the arrival of the weekend to participate in the activities they love. Coined the ‘weekend warriors,’ these thrill seekers count down the minutes until Saturday, when they can surrender their suit, slap on some gym clothes, and take to the streets in some adrenaline-pumping excitement.

    While exercise and extreme sports are a fantastic way to burn off the stresses of the week, they can also result in a variety of painful sports injuries. Luckily, with immediate medical attention, most sports-related injuries can be easily treated, so weekend warriors can heal their wounds and return to the battlefield.

    Sports Injuries From Extreme Sports

    The most common sports injuries sustained from extreme sports are foot and ankle pain, shin splints, ACL tears, ankle sprains, and muscle strains. These injuries can be caused by a variety of athletic activities including:

  • Marathons: Running puts a lot of pressure on the feet, knees, and ankles. On average, the foot strikes the ground about 80 to 100 times per minute while running. For the average marathon, that is 23,310 times. This creates a much higher risk for knee, ankle, and foot injuries. Excessive running can also lead to muscle strains and tears, fractures, and cartilage degeneration.
  • Obstacle courses: Obstacle courses are the latest fad in America, with rugged athletes eagerly lining up to partake in a combination of climbing, hurdles, and running through rough terrain. However, obstacle courses are particularly dangerous, as the large jumps and hurdles can put considerable stress on the feet and knees while increasing the likelihood of rolling an ankle.
  • Basketball: Not only does basketball entail a lot of running, it also involves repeated jumping, which puts added strain on the feet and knees.
  • Skiing and snowboarding: When Floridians flock to the slopes in other states, they may not be used to the physical strain and pressure this sport involves. The tight boots worn by skiers and snowboarders can constrict foot movement and lead to an array of foot-related injuries. In addition, going for jumps and rapidly dodging ski bumps can cause stress to the ankles and knees.
  • High-intensity sports put athletes at greater risk of injury. Fortunately, provided immediate medical attention is received, most sports injuries can be easily treated, and the athlete can regain full mobility of their limbs and joints.

    How to Treat Sports Injuries

    One of the most effective treatments for sports injuries is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment. Platelets occur naturally in the body and are most commonly attributed to clotting blood. However, they’re also a rich source of proteins, called growth factor proteins, which can facilitate the healing process. PRP treatment extracts blood from the injured person. The platelets are separated from the blood to create a highly concentrated plasma that contains five to ten times as many platelets as normal. When injected into the injured body part, it can considerably expedite healing. Physical therapy should be used for minor sports injuries, or alongside PRP treatment to minimize pain and aid in mobility.

    Use Platelet-Rich Plasma to Rejuvenate Your Warrior Wounds

    Sports injuries can happen at any time, but they shouldn’t deter you from following your passion. Should you incur a sports injury, immediately seek medical attention. At South Florida Foot and Ankle Centers, our skilled team of doctors can provide you the PRP treatment needed to expedite the healing process and get you back to the activities that you love. Call us at 561-793-6170 or schedule an appointment today.


    ALCOHOLIC NEUROPATHY

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    Alcoholism is an insidious disease that affects nearly 17.6 million people throughout the U.S. It’s a crippling illness that has devastating effects on the brain, liver, and kidneys. While most are aware of the irreversible damage that excessive alcohol consumption can cause their organs, fewer know that excessive drinking can also result in permanent nerve damage. When excess quantities of alcohol are consumed over numerous years, it can result in a painful and irreparable condition known as alcoholic neuropathy.

    What is Alcoholic Neuropathy?

    Neuropathy is a condition in which the peripheral nerves become damaged. An estimated 20 million Americans are living with neuropathy, many of whom show no symptoms. The pain associated with neuropathy ranges from very mild to debilitating. The condition worsens with time, and it’s imperative for high-risk individuals, such as those with diabetes or alcoholism, to receive regular testing for neuropathy. While the condition is irreversible, early treatment can prevent the spread of neuropathy and greatly minimize the pain and discomfort that is associated with the condition.

    Neuropathy encompasses a wide range of potential complications, and the resulting complications are contingent on the specific nerves that are affected. Neuropathy can affect the sensory nerves, the motor nerves, and the autonomic nerves, each of which present different symptoms. Sensory nerve damage, often referred to as small fiber neuropathy, typically results in a tingling or numbness throughout the hands and feet. Damage to the motor nerves, which aid strength and mobility, will result in weakness in the extremities. The autonomic nerves, which control the function of bodily organs, can present a diverse array of symptoms when damaged, often including alterations in sweat production, blood pressure, and heart rate.

    What Causes Alcoholic Neuropathy?

    While the precise causes of alcoholic neuropathy are unknown, it’s believed that excessive alcohol consumption poisons the nerves in the body, resulting in permanent nerve damage. Another contributing factor could pertain to the malnourishment that often accompanies alcoholism. Severe alcoholics typically consume over half of their daily calories in alcohol. Since alcohol is composed of empty carbohydrates and provides no nutritional value to the body, this results in severe malnourishment in the alcoholic. Additionally, excessive alcohol consumption can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb and store key nutrients, thereby furthering the malnourishment and exacerbating the effects of nerve damage.

    Risk Factors of Alcoholic Neuropathy

    Alcoholic neuropathy is caused by the excessive and prolonged consumption of alcoholic beverages. As such, those who drink in moderation are at no risk for alcohol-related nerve damage. Generally, individuals who drink excessively and have been drinking for ten or more years continuously, are at the greatest risk of nerve damage. Excessive drinking is defined as eight or more glasses of alcohol per week for women and 15 or more glasses of alcohol per week for men.

    Alcoholic Neuropathy Symptoms

    When caught early, the effects of alcoholic neuropathy can be easily treated to prevent future nerve damage and reduce associated pain. The common symptoms to watch for include:

  • A “pin and needle” sensation in the extremities
  • Pain or numbness in the arms and legs
  • Muscle cramping and aching
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Difficulty urinating or, conversely, urinary incontinence
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Impotence
  • Low tolerance to heat
  • Less common symptoms include:

  • Atrophy of the muscles
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Limited mobility
  • Impairment of speech, which becomes stammered or slurred
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscular degeneration typically begins in the legs and moves to the arms. Muscle degeneration occurs gradually yet is indicative of accelerated nerve damage. If any of the above symptoms are experienced, it’s essential to consult a physician immediately, as early treatment is critical to preventing further damage to the nerves.

    alcoholic-neuropathy-1.pngTesting for Neuropathy

    Oftentimes, the symptoms of neuropathy are minimal, which results in people postponing necessary testing. While medical exams are sometimes uncomfortable, it’s imperative for those at risk of neuropathy to receive annual testing, as the condition can be effectively treated in its early stages. Testing for neuropathy generally consists of a standard physical, during which the physician will inquire about any symptoms that the patient may be experiencing. Blood work is conducted which will notify the physician of any nutritional deficiencies that put the patient at greater risk of developing neuropathy. The physician will test the functionality of the organs as well as perform a nerve biopsy to determine the existence of or extent of nerve damage.

    Alcoholic Neuropathy Treatments

    Once a physician has diagnosed alcoholic neuropathy, their primary concern is to confront the alcoholism that led to it. By failing to address the root cause of the neuropathy, the patient will only exacerbate the condition. There are several successful treatment options available that will decrease the pain and discomfort of neuropathy while minimizing future nerve damage.

  • Therapy: Physical therapy can provide an effective means of increasing muscle strength, while reducing cramping and spasms. Physical therapy is most effective when combined with other treatment methods, such as medication and surgery.
  • Surgery: Nerve decompression surgery provides tremendous benefit to those with neuropathy. It significantly reduces pain and discomfort, while improving sensation and mobility. In severe cases, neuropathy can result in infections, ulcers, and amputations, the risk of which will be substantially minimized with surgery.
  • Medication: While medication cannot prevent future nerve damage, it’s highly effective at minimizing the pain of the condition. The most commonly prescribed medications are selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), anti-inflammatory medication, and anti-seizure medication. For mild cases, topical creams containing capsaicin, a substance found in hot peppers, can reduce the discomfort of peripheral neuropathy.
  • Alcoholism severely impacts the health of the human body, which can result in the decline of kidney and liver function and cause permanent damage to the brain and nerves. Alcoholic neuropathy, when left untreated, can have serious ramifications including decreased sensation and mobility of the extremities, ulcers, infections, and amputations.

    Alcoholics experience an elevated risk of nerve damage, so it’s important to receive routine examinations to catch the condition early. The podiatrists at South Florida Foot and Ankle Center understand neuropathy and can provide the right treatment for you to prevent further nerve damage. If you have experienced any of the symptoms associated with neuropathy, please contact us at (561) 793-6170 or schedule an appointment through our website.


    FIBROMYALGIA AND NEUROPATHY

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    Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) targets the body’s soft tissues and muscles, resulting in pain and tenderness throughout the body. Its most common symptoms include fatigue, sleep abnormalities, and continual muscle pain and soreness. It is one of the most widespread causes of chronic pain in the U.S., affecting 18 million people nationwide. Women are disproportionately afflicted, composing 80 to 90 percent of all reported cases. While the precise causes of FMS remain unknown, new studies indicate that neuropathy, or nerve damage, is a contributing factor in some cases.

    What Are the Risk Factors of Fibromyalgia?

    The exact causes of FMS continue to evade scientists, yet numerous factors are thought to increase the risk of the condition. Some potential risk factors include:

  • Illnesses
  • Repeated injuries
  • Physically traumatic incidences, such as car accidents or falls
  • Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, spinal arthritis, and lupus
  • While FMS predominantly affects middle-aged and elderly women, it can also occur in men and children.

    What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

    There are numerous key symptoms that may indicate fibromyalgia. The most prevalent symptoms are:

  • Widespread pain in the body, which is typically chronic
  • Sleep irregularities, such as oversleeping, insomnia, or waking up frequently
  • Mood fluctuations
  • A significant decrease in energy
  • Tenderness in the face or jaw
  • Increased need to urinate
  • Migraines
  • Abdominal pain
  • Morning stiffness
  • Increased sensitivity to light, food, temperature, medication, or odors
  • A tingling or numbness in the hands, feet, legs, arms, or face
  • The symptoms of fibromyalgia are somewhat generic, which can make it difficult to recognize and diagnose. Nonetheless, if any of the symptoms become problematic, it’s important to consult a physician right away.

    What Are the Treatment Options?

    The most common treatment method for FMS is pain management, which typically includes a combination of physical therapy and medication. The doctor will also work with the patient to develop a lifestyle plan that can reduce the pain and stiffness. With a combination of routine exercise, a healthy diet, and sleep regulation, the patient can notice a significant reduction in muscle discomfort.

    What Is the Relation Between Neuropathy and Fibromyalgia?

    Research correlating neuropathy and FMS is still fairly recent. However, studies have demonstrated that some people with FMS have experienced some level of neuropathy. Neuropathy is a result of damage to the peripheral nerves, which can manifest as mild to severe pain in those with the condition. While difficult to detect in its early stages, late stages of neuropathy can cause significant pain and result in irreversible damage to the body. In severe cases, neuropathy can lead to infections, ulcers, amputations, and death. Due to the known link between fibromyalgia and neuropathy, it’s critical that people with fibromyalgia receive routine nerve biopsies to assess for nerve damage. While neuropathy is irreversible, the condition can be slowed or stopped if it’s treated early.

    What Are the Symptoms of Neuropathy?

    The symptoms of neuropathy vary depending on the types of nerves that are damaged. The three classifications of nerves include:

  • Sensory nerves: Sensory nerves control the sensations in the body, such as sensitivities to touch, vibration, pain, and temperature. Those with sensory nerve damage experience small fiber neuropathy, which causes increased sensitivity to heat and touch, sharp pains in the body, a burning sensation in the body, and numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.
  • Motor nerves: Motor nerves control muscle movement. When the motor nerves become damaged, people may experience weakness or spasms in the muscles, reduced coordination, and a tingling sensation in the extremities.
  • Automatic nerves: Automatic nerves regulate organ and bodily functions such as bladder control, digestion, heart rate, and blood pressure. Damage to the automatic nerves may result in a lessened tolerance to heat, increased sweating, bladder and bowel problems, digestive problems, blood pressure alterations, heart rate alterations, and lightheadedness.
  • If the symptoms of neuropathy are detected, it’s essential to seek a physician for further testing. Early treatment of neuropathy has the potential to stop the progression of nerve damage. By ignoring the warning signs, the nerve damage can progress throughout the arms and legs, causing irreparable harm.

    Neuropathy Treatments

    There are many effective treatment options available for neuropathy, which can not only substantially decrease the pain of the condition but can stop its progression entirely. To reap the greatest benefit, it’s recommended to implement a combination of treatment options that includes pain management, physical therapy, and surgery.

  • Pain management: To manage pain, doctors typically prescribe medication, which varies from patient to patient. Anti-depressants, such as selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), have shown to be highly effective at reducing the pain associated with neuropathy. In cases of sensory nerve damage, an anti-seizure medication may be prescribed, as anti-seizure medications can calm the nerves, thereby reducing the pain and burning sensations. For those seeking an alternative to traditional medications, Biowave is an innovative technology that is proven to minimize pain. Biowave machines, which are covered by Medicare, transmit electrical signals into the deep tissues of the body, which reduces pain and increases mobility. The machine takes just 20 to 30 minutes to use and can provide pain relief lasting 24 to 48 hours.
  • Strength and mobility: For damage to the motor nerves, physical therapy is very effective at reducing muscles spasms and cramping, while increasing the strength of the muscles. As muscle strength increases, patients also notice a considerable increase in coordination and mobility.
  • Surgery: While medication and physical therapy can work together to decrease pain and increase functionality, neither can slow or stop the progression of neuropathy. For those seeking a more permanent solution, nerve decompression surgery provides lasting benefit. Evidence shows that surgery substantially reduces pain in neuropathy patients, while reducing their risk of further nerve damage. Patients who have received nerve decompression surgery show a significant decrease in the risk of ulcers, infections, and amputations.
  • FMS is a painful condition and one of the leading causes of chronic pain in the U.S. While not all people with FMS experience nerve damage, new evidence suggests that neuropathy is a contributing factor among many with fibromyalgia. As such, it’s important for those with FMS to receive regular testing for neuropathy, to avoid future complications.

    If you’re living with fibromyalgia and are experiencing symptoms related to neuropathy, early treatment is essential. Give us a call at (561) 674-0757 or make an appointment to learn how our podiatrists can diagnose and treat your chronic foot and leg pain and possible nerve damage.


    NEUROPATHY OF THE FEET AND LEGS: AN OVERVIEW

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    Neuropathy is a problem that affects the nerves, most commonly the peripheral nerves, and can result in severe pain and complications in the sufferer. There are a variety of medical factors that can heighten an individual’s risk of developing neuropathy. It is a prevalent illness, with the majority of cases occurring in people with diabetes. While it predominantly occurs in the feet, legs, hands, and arms, neuropathy can affect any part of the human body.

    What is Neuropathy?

    Neuropathy is caused by nerve damage, which can be brought on by a variety of medical conditions, as well as obesity and smoking. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form, in which the peripheral nerves become damaged. Peroneal neuropathy is also quite prevalent and affects the lower extremities of the body. There are three different nerves that can be affected by neuropathy: autonomic nerves, sensory nerves, and motor nerves. Though there is no cure for neuropathy, there are effective treatment options available that can substantially reduce any pain or discomfort involved, while also lessening the progression of nerve damage over time.

    What Causes Neuropathy?

    Neuropathy is a fairly common problem, and there are a variety of risk factors that increase a person’s risk of developing the condition.

  • Diabetes- The most common cause of neuropathy is diabetes, in which elevated levels of blood sugar damage the blood vessels and nerves in the body. Around 60 to 70 percent of all diabetics experience some level of neuropathy, from mild to severe. Roughly 50 percent of those diabetics may experience no symptoms at all. Neuropathy testing is a standard procedure for diabetics, as early diagnosis is critical to prevention and treatment.
  • Vitamin deficiency- Vitamin deficiency, particularly B12 and folic acid, can result in nerve damage, leading to peripheral neuropathy.
  • Illnesses- A variety of illnesses can increase a person’s chance of developing neuropathy, including cancer, kidney disease, and liver disease.
  • Infections- Many infections, including HIV, Lyme Disease, and Shingles, can increase a person’s risk of nerve damage.
  • Injuries- Such as severe ankle sprains or crush type injuries.
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption- Both smoking and alcohol are known to damage nerves and tissue in the body, which can lead to damage of the peripheral nerves over time.
  • Autoimmune disorders- Autoimmune disorders, such as celiac disease and sarcoidosis, can cause damage to the nerves.
  • Idiopathic- Roughly 30 percent of neuropathy cases are known as idiopathic, meaning there is no known cause of the condition.
  • There are a variety of ways you can minimize your risk of developing neuropathy. For diabetics, closely monitoring your blood sugar to ensure it remains within a healthy range will significantly reduce the potential for nerve damage. Additionally, by living a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and avoiding alcohol and smoking, you can significantly reduce your chances of developing neuropathy.

    Neuropathy Symptoms

    Nearly 50 percent of sufferers have no obvious symptoms, so if you are at high risk of developing neuropathy, it’s important to receive regular checkups. There are a variety of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, that those with neuropathy may experience.

    The primary symptoms include:

  • Muscle paralysis
  • Loss of mobility or coordination
  • Increased risk of ulcers
  • Increased risk of skin infections
  • Weakness in muscles
  • Tingling or burning sensation in extremities and skin
  • Sharp pains, particularly when lying down. They most commonly begin in the hands and feet and then spread to other parts of the body.
  • Sensitive skin, to the extent that light touch is painful
  • Bowel and urinary incontinence
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Digestive difficulties
  • If you experience any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor to receive further testing. When caught and treated early, you can greatly mitigate the effects of neuropathy and reduce further nerve damage.

    What Are the Treatment Options Available?

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    Once you’ve been diagnosed with neuropathy, there are a variety of ways you can treat it. While many with neuropathy may not be experiencing pain, treatment neuropathyoptions can be used to minimize further damage to your body and slow the spread of nerve damage.

  • Physical therapy- Physical therapy can be very effective at treating the pain and weakness that corresponds with neuropathy. Physical therapy can help to increase the strength in your muscles, improve the mobility of affected joints, and reduce muscle spasms or pain.
  • Medication- Medication is the most popular method of treating the pain associated with neuropathy. The most commonly prescribed medications are anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, and in some cases, local anesthetics. It’s important to keep in mind that most medications can result in other side effects such as dizziness, nausea, and dry mouth.
  • Nerve decompression surgery- For cases of severe neuropathy, in which the patient experiences debilitating pain and immobility, nerve decompression surgery has proven to be an effective treatment option. While it won’t cure neuropathy, it will substantially reduce the pain associated with nerve damage, while also increasing the sensitivity of the affected extremities. In doing so, it will also reduce your risk of developing ulcers, infections, and consequent amputations. Surgery has proven to be about 80 to 90 percent effective in both diabetic and non-diabetic neuropathy.

  • Visit an Experienced Podiatrist at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers

    Neuropathy is a common condition that affects nearly 20 million people throughout the U.S. About 50 percent of those affected experience no symptoms at all. Symptoms can range from mild tingling to severe and debilitating pain. If left untreated, neuropathy can result in significant and irreversible nerve damage, and it’s important for all those with elevated risks to be assessed by a doctor regularly.

    The podiatrists at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers understand neuropathy and it’s various causes and treatment options. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with neuropathy, request an appointment online or call 561-793-6170. The sooner you take action, the sooner you can prevent future nerve damage or other complications.


    DIABETIC NEUROPATHY: SYMPTOMS, TREATMENTS AND MORE

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    About 29.1 million people, or 9.3 percent of the U.S. population, are living with diabetes, and type 2 diabetes is the most common form. Diabetes can lead to a range of other health problems including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and vision complications. One of the more common complications caused by diabetes is diabetic neuropathy, which is often a cause of foot and leg pain or tingling. In some cases, diabetic neuropathy can be a painful and debilitating condition that, when left untreated, can lead to amputations and sometimes death.

    What is Diabetic Neuropathy?

    Neuropathy is a form of nerve damage that most frequently affects the feet and legs. Diabetes mellitus leads to high blood sugar, which, if unregulated, can result in peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy most commonly causes nerve damage in the feet and legs, but can affect other areas of the body as well. High blood sugar limits the ability of nerves to transmit signals, while weakening blood vessels, which makes the nerves more vulnerable to damage. The longer a person is experiencing high blood sugar, the higher risk they are for developing irreversible nerve damage. While some people may only experience mild symptoms, for others, it can be excruciatingly painful. Diabetic neuropathy is a serious condition which, when left untreated, can result in paralysis, amputation, and in rare cases, death.

    Causes

    Diabetic neuropathy is primarily caused by elevated sugar levels in the bloodstream. However, there are some additional risk factors that can increase your chances of developing neuropathy.

  • A history of smoking or excessive alcohol consumption can damage blood vessels and nerves, making a person more susceptible to infection.
  • Genetics can heighten the risk of neuropathy and make nerves more vulnerable to damage.
  • Autoimmune disorders, which result in the immune system attacking healthy tissue, increases the risk of nerve damage.
  • Obesity, or a body mass index above 24, can heighten one’s risk of neuropathy.
  • Kidney disease, which increases toxins in the bloodstream, can exacerbate nerve damage over time.

  • Symptoms

    For those struggling with diabetes, it’s imperative to be aware of all potential symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, so you can receive treatment right away. The most common form of neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy, which begins in the legs and feet and later affects the arms and hands.

    Neuropathy Symptoms:

  • Declining balance and coordination
  • Weakness in muscles
  • Tingling or numbness in extremities
  • A burning sensation in feet or hands
  • Reduced reflexes in joints, particularly the ankles
  • Reduced sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Heightened sensitivity to touch or pain
  • Wounds on feet or hands that fail to heal as normal
  • Alterations in urinary habits
  • Decreased sexual function
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • If you are diabetic and experiencing any of the above symptoms, you need to contact your doctor immediately. Nerve damage, when caught early, can often be successfully treated. However, by ignoring the problem, you can exacerbate the symptoms over time and increase the risk of infection.

    Treatment

    After you’ve been diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy, there are a variety of successful treatment options to help mitigate the pain and discomfort, while minimizing future nerve damage. Some of the most common treatment options include:

  • diabetic-neuropathy-2-300x200.pngMedication- Medications are prescribed to relieve pain and discomfort in the patient. The most commonly prescribeddiabetic-neuropathy medications are anti-seizure medications and antidepressants. Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) have been proven effective in relieving the pain associated with neuropathy.
  • Regulate blood sugar- The most effective way to treat diabetic neuropathy is by closely monitoring blood sugar levels. Ideally, blood sugar levels should remain between 80 and 120 mg for individuals 59 or younger and between 100 and 140 mg for individuals 60 and older. By carefully regulating blood sugar, you can significantly slow the rate of nerve damage. In addition to regulating blood sugar, doctors typically prescribe a diet and exercise regime. Maintaining a healthy weight and refraining from smoking or consuming alcohol is also encouraged.
  • Surgery- In some cases, surgery can be effective at treating the pain associated with neuropathy. Patients with diabetic neuropathy have enlarged nerves in their body, which can contribute to feelings of numbness and tingling. Nerve decompression surgery has been proven to be an effective treatment option to permanently reduce pain, while increasing sensation in the extremities. After surgery, about 91 percent of patients reported experiencing a reduction in pain and discomfort, while 69 percent stated that they experienced an increased sense of feeling in their feet. Rates of amputations also substantially declined in patients who received the surgery, as it lowered their chances of getting an ulcer.
  • Physical therapy- Physical therapy can be an effective tool in reducing muscle spasms, increasing mobility in the ankles, improving leg strength, and decreasing cramping.
  • Prevention

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    diabetic-neuropathyThe best way to minimize the risk of developing diabetic neuropathy is by regulating blood sugar levels and leading a healthy lifestyle. Avoid drinking and smoking, maintain a healthy weight, and exercise regularly. As a diabetic, it’s essential to closely monitor your blood sugar, as chronic heightened blood sugar ultimately results in nerve damage. By maintaining control over blood sugar levels over time, you can considerably reduce the amount of damage done to your nerves. Blood pressure can also increase the risk of developing neuropathy, so receive regular blood pressure checkups to ensure you’re within a healthy range.

    Diabetic neuropathy is a serious condition, which can cause significant nerve damage if left untreated. As the nerve damage worsens, it can result in the paralysis of limbs, ulcers, amputations, and in some cases, death. Neuropathy can vary drastically, causing only mild discomfort in some while causing extreme pain in others. The best way to prevent neuropathy is to live a healthy lifestyle while closely monitoring blood sugar levels in order to prevent spikes.

    South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers Experience with Diabetic Neuropathy

    At South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers, we have experienced foot specialists who can help. If you’re diabetic and find yourself experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, give us a call at (561)-674-0757 or visit our website to see how we can help reduce your discomfort and minimize future nerve damage.


    HOW TO AVOID POOR CIRCULATION WHILE TRAVELING THIS SUMMER

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    Planning a summer vacation? Heading up North for the sizzling summer months? If you have diabetes and/or poor circulation, flying can be an arduous and painful task.

    Narrow seats, limited leg room and little to no mobility for an extended period of time can lead to poor circulation in the feet and legs. This can cause feet and legs to become swollen, cold, heavy or tired and often muscle cramps occur, which can be very painful and make flying even more stressful than it already is. It is very important to plan ahead and make the proper preparations before your flight in order to prevent circulation in your legs and feet from becoming compromised.

    A Little Background on Circulation in the Feet and Legs

    Circulation describes the constant movement, or flow of blood throughout the body, made possible by the heart’s constant pumping. Blood is able to flow throughout the body through a network of tubes, called blood vessels. Veins carry blood to the heart, while arteries carry the blood away from the heart and to the rest of the body.

    Veins in the lower extremities have a tough job; it is far more difficult to pump blood ‘uphill’ from the feet and legs to the heart, than it is to pump blood from the heart down to the legs. Thus veins require a little extra help to complete this process. When we walk, or stretch, the muscles in our legs contract, helping the veins to pump the blood back up to our heart, just as you would squeeze a hose to get the excess water out.

    While circulation tends to deteriorate as we get older, it can also affect people who are not as active as they should be, regardless of their age. Conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes can also have a dramatic effect on circulation in the feet and legs.

    Why Flying Can Lead to Poor Circulation:

    When you sit for long periods of time, without moving or stretching your legs and feet, such as flying on an airplane, your muscles are not able to help your veins push the blood up back towards your heart. This immobility results in blood pooling in your lower extremities, causing your feet and legs to swell, feel heavier than normal, and can often lead to excruciating cramping, as the blood displaces other liquids in the surrounding tissue.

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    How to Avoid Poor Circulation When Flying:

    According to Dr. Abraham C. Yale, DPM, FACFAS, you can diminish the effects of poor circulation by properly preparing before your flight:

    • Hydrate: Make sure to drink plenty of water before and during the flight
    • Avoid: Caffeine and alcohol for a few days before your flight
    • Dress Smart: Make sure to wear loose fitting clothing, especially on lower extremities
    • Comfortable Footwear: Wear comfortable sneakers. Make sure laces are not tied too tight, and graduated compression stockings can be worn to help increase blood flow
    • Consider a Supplement: Vitamins C and E are known for helping with circulation issues, and may help to promote better circulation in your legs and feet while traveling
    • Doctor’s Help: For certain conditions, your doctor may prescribe a blood thinner to help alleviate circulation problems while flying

    What To Do Once You’re in the Air:

    So you’re on the plane, and you start to feel your legs getting tired, heavy or tingly. Here’s what you do:

    • Flex your ankles frequently
    • Get up and walk around the cabin if permitted
    • Shift your body weight around in your seat so that you do not remain in the same position for too long
    • Do not cross your legs at any time

    Once off the plane, if the cramping continues, elevate your legs above your heart to aid in the flow of blood back to your heart. If symptoms persist, please seek medical attention.

    If you are planning on traveling, and have concerns about poor circulation, please give South Florida Foot and Ankle Centers a call today at 561-793-6170 or contact us online and let one of our four excellent foot doctors provide you with the information and foot care you need.

    This blog post was written by Associated Podiatrists of Connecticut. For more information, please visit their website at www.GreatFootcare.com.



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