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Pandemic Foot Issues

By: Dr. Mark Whitesides This past year has been challenging for oh-so-many reasons. As foot and ankle specialists, we have seen an increased number of lower extremity issues that are related to behavior changes during the pandemic. These include more time being barefoot at home, changing exercise patterns to cope with the pandemic, and common household conditions that can cause trauma to your feet. There are plenty of challenges in the world right now, and we are here to help make sure that foot pain and injuries are not one of your challenges! The most common complaint that has increased during the pandemic is heel pain. There are several factors that can lead to heel pain. One reason many people ...



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Your Heart and Your Feet

By: Dr. Michelle Vi Nguyen February is one of my favorite months of the year! Valentine’s Day is around the corner and it is a great time to think about your heart health. But have you had a chance to think about how your heart health affects your feet? Your heart pumps blood to all your vital organs and to the skin at the very tips of fingers and toes. When your heart is not well, you may not be getting enough blood to your toes. Additionally, if your heart is not pumping blood out steadily, the blood in your legs cannot return to your heart efficiently and you can develop severe swelling in your feet. Sometimes your heart may be ticking ...



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Protecting the Child Athlete’s Foot and Ankle

Playing sports is great for kids! Sports teach kids teamwork, discipline, communication, and the importance of physical fitness. Not to mention, they are just fun!  However, the dark side of playing too many sports at a young age is an increase in musculoskeletal injuries in our young athletes. Adolescent sports have changed over the decades. Playing with the neighborhood kids in the backyard has been replaced by increasingly competitive events – even for the young athlete. What are some of the factors that contribute to foot and ankle injuries in young athletes? Overuse injuries: when children specialize in one sport at a young age, it puts them at risk for repetitive musculoskeletal trauma. Year-round sports: when children aren’t able to ...



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Diabetes: Now What?

By Mark Whitesides, DPM As of 2020, nearly 27 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. If you are one of these people, Southwest Austin Foot & Ankle Clinic can help answer the questions you might have about taking care of your feet. We can also help you avoid many of the serious issues that can occur in your feet as a result of diabetes. First, you will want to make sure that you are following up with your family physician as well as the other specialists that will be involved in your care. This team should include a podiatrist, a cardiologist, an optometrist, and other medical specialists as directed by your primary care physician. All of these ...



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Heel Pain: It’s Not Always Plantar Fasciitis

By Dr. Michelle Vi Nguyen I recall sitting across from my clinical instructor at a circular table for my “Introduction to Podiatric Medicine” class during my second year of podiatry school. We were taking turns individually reviewing clinical vignettes when he locked eyes on me: “Michelle! 53 year-old male, 2 weeks after a total hip replacement starts rehab. He develops heel pain shortly after his first therapy session. Diagnosis?” With my most excited voice, I exclaimed, “PLANTAR FASCIITIS!” Oh boy… I was humbled by the stern lecture that followed. If you type “heel pain” into any search engine, I guarantee at least one link will lead to a page on plantar fasciitis. As podiatrists, we see heel pain patients every ...



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Heel Pain

Heel pain is one of the most common ailments that podiatrists treat in the office. And if you’ve ever gotten out of bed and experienced excruciating pain with your first steps of the day, you know how miserable it can be! Bring up the question of “heel pain” in any online neighborhood forum and you’ll likely receive dozens of recommendations. Treatment options can include stretching, icing, medication, injections, shoe inserts, custom orthotics, and braces, just to name a few! And to further complicate the matter, what works for one person definitely may not work for another. As you’re sorting out your options, we’re here to help. Here is the action plan we recommend for dealing with heel pain: Visit your ...



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Healthy Summer Feet – Tips for Staying Healthy!

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Who doesn’t love the thought of running barefoot in the grass, remembering the carefree days of childhood? Or throwing on cute summer flip-flops and heading to the pool? Summer brings lots of opportunities for outdoor fun and adventure, so we want to prepare you with some tips on how to keep your feet healthy and pain-free all summer long. Cheap, flimsy flip-flops are only appropriate shoes to get to and from the pool or beach, but they are not appropriate for any significant amount of walking! If you must wear flip-flops, be sure to find ones that have arch support and protective cushioning. Substitute your flip-flops for more substantial sandals such as Birkenstocks that will give your foot more support! Supportive sneakers should ...



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Healthy Summer Feet: Fungal Toenails!

We hear it all the time at our office: “My toenails are the ugliest nails ever!” “Why are my toenails so crumbly?” “They’ve gotten so thick and gross that I can’t cut them!” “My toenails are discolored and don’t look normal anymore!” Oh, the dreaded issue of fungal toenails! The proper name for this problem is: onychomycosis (on-ih-koh-my-KOH-sis). Who has it? Lots of folks – young, old, men and women. Why do they get it? Hard to say, exactly. People can be genetically pre-disposed to it, weakened immune systems can make folks more susceptible to it, or you might contract it from the shower at the gym. But at the end of the day, if you have it, you want ...



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Healthy Summer Feet

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Summer is almost upon us! In Austin, that means we will soon be heading to the pool and the beach to cool off from the brutal Texas heat. What does this mean for your feet? Flip flops! Sandals! Crocs! Bare feet! What could go wrong? Injuries! Fungal toenails!  Sunburns! Athlete’s foot!  Cracked heels! Oh My! It’s enough to make you want to stuff your feet back inside your fuzzy socks and cozy winter boots! Summertime will be filled with many memorable moments for children and adults alike. Foot and ankle health is important because it allows us to take part in all of the great summer activities: swimming, boating, hiking, sports, camping, and hanging out in the backyard with friends and family! Follow ...



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“What Is A Podiatrist?”

“What is a podiatrist, anyway? Ooh, I know! You take care of children?” We hear this question a lot in our office. And nope, that’s a pediatrician. What is a podiatrist? Here is some great information from our friends at the American Podiatric Medical Association about podiatrists: What is a Podiatrist? A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), a physician and surgeon who treats the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Why Should I See a Podiatrist? Feet are complex anatomical structures, all-in-one stabilizers, shock absorbers, and propulsion engines that are instrumental to overall health and well-being. They require expert care. Be sure you’re seeing the most qualified health-care professional to treat your feet by looking for the ...



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