Diabetes and Foot Health: A Go-to Guide

It’s always important to maintain the health of your feet and ankles, but people who struggle with diabetes must pay even more attention than the average individual. Due to potential complications arising from high blood sugar, diabetes can inflict significant damage in a short amount of time.

Left unchecked, complications might lead to serious consequences like amputations. That’s why this blog post will offer some clear, simple advice on diabetic vigilance and management techniques courtesy of the expert team at Step by Step Family Foot Care.

Understanding the Risks of Diabetes

High blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can damage nerves and blood vessels, especially in the feet. This nerve damage can cause numbness, tingling, pain, or even a complete loss of feeling. Without the ability to feel your feet, it becomes difficult to detect potential problems like wounds or infections, which, when combined with poor blood circulation, can lead to gangrene, a serious condition that may necessitate amputation or surgery.

Early Detection is Key

Even minor cuts, blisters, or dry skin can evolve into serious foot problems for diabetics. Here’s a checklist of what to look out for:

  • Blisters
  • Cuts or scrapes
  • Ulcers (open sores)
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Calluses
  • Coldness in the feet

Taking Steps Towards Healthy Feet

The good news is that there are proactive measures you can take to safeguard your foot health:

  • Manage your blood sugar levels: Maintaining good blood sugar control helps minimize nerve and blood vessel damage.
  • Daily foot inspections: Make it a habit to check your feet every day for any cuts, blisters, or changes in skin texture.
  • Podiatrist care: Schedule regular appointments with a podiatrist for professional foot care and maintenance.
  • Proper footwear: Wear well-fitting shoes with good support and clean socks that absorb moisture.
  • Never go barefoot: This increases your risk of cuts, scrapes, and punctures.
  • Consider orthotics: Custom orthotics can improve alignment and provide additional comfort and support for your feet.

At Step By Step Family Foot Care, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive podiatric services. If you have any concerns about your foot health, please contact our office at (973) 917-3785 or visit our website to schedule an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim. Our friendly staff in Parsippany is here to help you keep your feet healthy and happy!

It’s Time to See Your Podiatrist!

Let’s face it: Visiting the doctor isn’t always a top priority. Between hectic schedules and readily available over-the-counter remedies, DIY treatments can seem tempting. However, when it comes to your feet, neglecting potential issues can lead to bigger problems, additional complications, and unnecessary aches.

Step By Step Family Foot Care will always try to keep patients posted on what they can do to catch problems early or prevent them altogether. That’s why this blog will cover some key situations that merit calling your podiatrist right away! Read on to learn what to watch for.

Navigating Diabetes:

Athlete’s Advantage:

  • Athletes put their feet through the ringer, making them prone to injuries.
  • While minor aches might seem manageable, ignoring them can worsen into chronic issues. Seek professional help for suspected injuries to ensure a quick and safe recovery. Preventive care like gait analysis and proper footwear recommendations can keep you in the game longer.

Don’t Forget Fungi:

  • Athlete’s foot, despite its name, affects everyone.
  • While over-the-counter antifungals exist, stubborn toenail infections or recurring outbreaks require expert intervention.
  • Early diagnosis and targeted treatment from your podiatrist can nip the fungus in the bud, preventing spread and ensuring a lasting cure.

If your feet are trying to tell you something, listen up! Persistent pain, swelling, changes in appearance, or unusual sensations are all signs that warrant a visit to your podiatrist. Prevention is the best medicine, and regular checkups can save you time, money, and discomfort in the long run. Invest in your foot health – schedule a podiatry appointment today and step towards a confident, pain-free future!

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs. To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.

Staying Active with Arthritis When Winter Weather Strikes

As frost settles in and winter gets going in earnest, seniors with arthritis feel the chill extend to their joints. Stiffness, aches, and even difficulty walking can make enjoying the season a painful challenge.

Step by Step Family Foot Care won’t leave you out in the cold! We’re invested in patient education as a crucial component of ensuring good outcomes, so with that in mind, we crafted this blog post to guide your steps toward a painless winter.

Cold Concerns

Lower temperatures and damp weather often exacerbate joint pain because reduced barometric pressure increases inflammation, while slippery surfaces add to the risk of falls. What can you do about it? Two steps make for a good start:

  1. Low-impact exercises like water aerobics, yoga, or tai chi can improve flexibility, strengthen muscles, and reduce pain.
  2. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce pain and improve mobility. Excess weight puts extra strain on your joints, hampering your daily routines.

Now, let’s tackle two common forms of arthritis that you might face. First up is Osteoarthritis (OA). This “wear-and-tear” arthritis affects the cartilage in your joints. To slow its progression:

  • Strengthen supporting muscles. Strong muscles take pressure off your joints, easing pain and improving stability. Try isometric exercises targeting your legs and ankles.
  • Explore pain management options. Consult your podiatrist about pain management strategies like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroid injections, or even certain nutritional supplements for longer-term relief.
  • Consider custom orthotic devices. They can provide necessary support, bolster the foot’s mechanics, and provide cushioning to minimize discomfort.

Then there’s Hallux Rigidus. This form of degenerative arthritis affects the big toe joint, causing pain and stiffness when bending. For relief:

  • Wear wider shoes with cushioned soles. Allow ample space for your toe joint to move comfortably. Consider stiff or rocker-bottom soles and ditch high heels for good.
  • Physical therapy or ultrasound therapy modalities are solid conservative choices for relief.
  • In severe cases, surgery to remove bone spurs or realign the joint might be necessary.

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs! To consult with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help!

Step Into Better Health: 4 Ways Footwear Can Be Your Podiatric Powerhouse

For the expert team at Step by Step Family Foot Care, it’s no secret that proper footwear plays a crucial role in maintaining foot health. However, we often notice patients themselves are unaware of the benefits that the right pair of shoes or the perfect insole can confer!

With that in mind, we’ve crafted this blog post to address four unsung benefits that proper footwear can provide to your hardworking feet. Check out the info below.

1. Biomechanical Analysis: Decoding Your Foot’s Secret Language

  • Podiatrists use advanced technology to assess your gait, posture, and pressure distribution, uncovering hidden clues about how your feet function.
  • This detailed information becomes the blueprint for personalized footwear solutions, like…

2. Functional Orthotics: Architects of Foot Comfort

  • Custom-made orthotics aren’t comparable to over-the-counter, standardized shoe inserts.
  • They’re carefully crafted, based on your unique biomechanical analysis, to subtly correct misalignments and support your feet’s natural movement.
  • This can both alleviate pain and prevent future problems like bunions, hammertoes, and more.

3. Diabetic Shoes and Insoles: Protecting Precious Feet

4. Beyond the Prescription: Everyday Footwear Choices Matter

  • While specialized footwear plays a vital role, everyday shoe choices matter, too!
  • Choose shoes with wide-toe boxes, breathable materials, and good arch support.
  • Ditch the sky-high heels and narrow sandals for supportive flats or low-heeled options. Remember, your feet deserve comfort, even when you’re strutting your stuff.

Dr. Debra D. Manheim founded Step by Step Family Foot Care to provide “patient first” foot care to individuals of all ages. Our office is conveniently located on Route 46 East in Parsippany, next door to the Waterview Park and Ride. We offer office hours most weekdays and are available on Saturday mornings as well. Contact us for your appointment today!

Rebuff Raynaud’s and Fight Frostbite!

In the winter months, our feet deserve a little extra attention. Plummeting temperatures can exacerbate issues with circulation; the body must work harder to pump blood, and extremities like the feet, farthest of all from the heart, are often first to feel the adverse effects of cold.

Step by Step Family Footcare is committed to helping patients make informed decisions about their health, so we’ve put together a short, informative guide concerning two common winter woes: Raynaud’s disease and frostbite. Both conditions can lead to discomfort, pain, and long-term consequences if not addressed promptly.

What is Raynaud’s Disease?

  • This circulatory disorder affects blood flow to certain body parts, usually the fingers and toes.
  • Raynaud’s worsens when the body is exposed to cold or stress.
  • In severe cases, it can lead to numbness, tingling, and even color changes in the affected areas.

Our expert team is here to help! We can provide guidance on proper winter footwear and socks, perform diagnostic tests to determine the extent of any circulation problems, and help you avoid risk factors like smoking. Certain medications, such as beta-blockers, migraine medicines, and cold medicines, can also complicate or worsen Raynaud’s.

What to Watch for With Frostbite

  • Frostbite occurs when skin and underlying tissues freeze due to prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.
  • The extremities, including the toes, are particularly susceptible to frostbite.
  • Minor cases can be reversed, but severe ones can permanently damage your feet.

We will assist you in preventing frostbite by promoting good circulation and footwear choices. We’ll also help to identify risk factors or early signs. Timely intervention can prevent the progression of frostbite and minimize the risk of complications, so if you need immediate treatment, we’ve got that covered, too.

Step By Step Family Foot Care will keep you warm and walking this winter! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule one online. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to assist you.

Heal Your Hammertoe

If you notice that one or more of your smaller toes are bending up at the middle joint, you may have a hammertoe. A muscle and ligament imbalance in the toe joint causes this deformity. The middle joint can bend up and stay in this position.

Hammertoes often run in families but may also be caused by wearing shoes that do not fit properly. The unattractiveness isn’t the only thing that brings patients in – they can also be painful and cause problems with walking. Blisters and calluses may develop when the elevated middle joint rubs against your shoes.

Diagnosing and Treating Hammertoes

To confirm our diagnosis of hammertoes, we will give you a thorough medical exam and take x-rays right in our office. We have several conservative treatment options based on the severity of the deformity:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication can ease pain and swelling.
  • For acute pain, cortisone injections will help.
  • Custom-fitted orthotics that fit inside your shoe can relieve pain and prevent the hammertoe from worsening.
  • In the early stages, when the toe is still fairly flexible, splinting may help.
  • Switch to low-heeled shoes with wide-toe boxes and keep at least one-half-inch space between your toes and the tip of the shoe.

If the above methods don’t help, we may recommend surgery to realign the toe.

Keep Hammertoes from Getting Worse

  • Wear supportive, low-heeled shoes that are wide in the toes with plenty of room before the front of the shoe.
  • Try non-medicated over-the-counter hammertoe pads to relieve pressure from the top of the toe joint.
  • Massage the toe and apply ice packs to ease pain and swelling.
  • Try toe exercises like picking up a marble with your toes and scrunching a towel with the toes.

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.

Don’t Ignore Your Bunion

Are you dismissing the new — or old — bump on the side of your big toe joint? What you see is most likely a bunion, a type of progressive toe deformity. To your surprise, it may not be causing pain. We encourage you, however, to visit a podiatrist regardless of how your toe feels at the time. A bunion is a toe deformity because the bones in the big toe joint are out of alignment. The misalignment will only continue to worsen. If you consider ignoring this condition, listed below are three reasons to reconsider.

Pain May Be Persistent

While some patients aren’t bothered by this condition, others may have a different story. Bunions can become very painful, especially if they are rigid. In the early stages of progression, this type of deformity can be flexible. During this phase, the greatest opportunity is to make improvements without considering surgery.

Other Toes May Be Impacted

The growing size of a bunion can impact the surrounding toes. They, too, can become misaligned. We want to help you prevent the impact on other toes. It is best to monitor the alignment and take steps to prevent it from worsening.

Calluses Can Grow

As your bunion grows, you can guarantee it is rubbing against the inside of your shoe. This friction is the top cause of a callus, a spot of thickened skin. It is your body’s defense against exposure to too much friction. If you aren’t paying attention, your bunion can bring on many other problems.

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.

Your Guide to Healthy Feet

At Step By Step Family Foot Care, we enthusiastically encourage our patients to be proactive about the health of their feet. Your feet are the foundation of your body. We take them for granted most days, but healthy feet enable you to stand, walk, run, work, shop, and do almost every other activity you love. There is much you can do to keep your feet fully functioning and prevent podiatric disorders. Let’s take a closer look.

Choose Your Shoes Wisely

Shoes that are well-made and fit properly are essential to maintaining your feet’ health. Get your feet professionally measured. Don’t be surprised if one foot is larger than the other – this can happen! Always buy shoes to accommodate the larger foot. Choose footwear styles with these features:

  • Roomy toe box (you should be able to wiggle all your toes freely)
  • Heel heights of two inches or less, but not completely flat
  • Good arch support
  • Cushioned insole and heel cup

Your shoe choice can minimize your risk of bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, and other foot problems, so choose carefully!

Don’t Neglect Daily Foot Care

Washing your feet daily with warm, soapy water and drying feet completely can go a long way toward preventing bacterial and viral infections like athlete’s foot. Apply talcum or anti-fungal powder in the morning and a thick moisturizer at night. Keep nails trimmed, and be sure that the nails are not growing into the skin of the nail bed and becoming ingrown.

Never Ignore Your Pain

Pain, numbness, burning, swelling, bruising, and tenderness in your feet are all your body’s way of telling you there’s a problem. Putting off seeking treatment can often lead to worsening the condition and even developing secondary disorders. Contact us if you are concerned about an issue with your toes, feet, or ankles.

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.

Say Goodbye to Fungal Infections

Summer means sweat, and sometimes sweat can lead to bacteria and infection. How can you avoid a fungal foot infection this season? The best solution is prevention and protecting your feet from the microbes that cause the infection in the first place. Fungus loves warm, moist environments, such as those of your shoes. Keeping your feet and shoes dry and bacteria-free is most important for avoiding Athlete’s foot and toenail fungus, but there are plenty of other solutions.

How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus Today:

1. Avoid direct contact with microbes by protecting your feet

Public showers, bathrooms, locker rooms, and such are teaming with microbes. Wear shower shoes or sandals to protect your feet from microbes.

2. Trim your toenails properly

Trimming them straight across or on a slight curve and keeping them a little long will help prevent ingrown toenails that can be the precursor to a frustrating fungal toenail infection.

3. Wear breathable, lightweight socks and shoes

Choose those made of breathable materials to allow moisture to evaporate instead of building up.

4. Keep your feet clean and dry

Wash your feet daily with mild soap. Take the time to dry them before putting on your socks and shoes. It will help keep microbes from growing.

5. Use medicinal lotions, sprays, and powders in your shoes and on your feet

Antifungal products can be applied to your feet and inside your shoes to kill the fungi directly.

Do you think you have a fungal infection? Call us as soon as possible! Don’t delay treatment.

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.

Common Pediatric Foot Problems

Unfortunately, when our children are experiencing foot pain, they don’t always tell us or are too young to communicate their pain. Not addressing foot pain until the problem worsens can lead to more challenging conditions and treatment plans. This is why keeping an eye on your child’s feet is crucial. Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to make that easier for parents.

Top 3 signs that your child’s feet need your attention:

1- Skin Looks Different

Sores and spots can develop anywhere on the feet. Red spots on the soles of the feet are a sign of an infection called hand, foot, and mouth disease. If you notice scaly spots on your child’s toes, your child could have athlete’s foot. And fleshy, elevated bumps that won’t heal are possibly warts that can be permanently removed.

2- Other Changes in Appearance

Examine your child’s ankles, feet, and gait. Note any blisters, redness or oozing, sudden pain, swelling, awkward gait, abnormal wear in their shoes, nail discoloration, changes in their skin, or redness. Also, note if any moles change in shape, size, or color.

3- Pain Doesn’t Go Away

Any pain that doesn’t go away with time is not normal. For instance, children are not safe from heel pain, particularly if they’re active in sports. Younger children have a growth plate in their heels, and walking can become painful when injured. Some children also suffer from arch pain, which may indicate flat feet. Even if your child can walk with their pain, it’s still possible they may have a tiny bone fracture.

Treating foot pain in children may be as simple as purchasing shoes in the next size up or as complex as surgery. If your child complains of foot pain or other issues, don’t wait – contact us to schedule an appointment.

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.

Steer Clear of Injuries This Summer

Summer’s just around the corner, and with that comes extra time outside playing sports, hiking, visiting the beach, and enjoying the sunshine with your loved ones. While these activities are fun and exciting, it’s important to know that they can also put extra stress on your feet and ankles.

Keep a close eye on your feet this summer to avoid some of the injuries below:

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed due to overuse, stress, injury, or degeneration. It can cause intense lower-leg pain or a chronic dull ache in the back of the lower leg. An increase in exercise intensity or duration can also lead to this injury.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is characterized by heel pain. This is when the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot between the heel and the toes, is inflamed. Usually, this occurs due to stress from intense running or poor shoe support.

Ankle Sprain

When the ankle bones twist with too much force, the ligaments surrounding the outside of the bones may tear. If the sprain is not correctly diagnosed and treated, it may create permanent, lasting ankle trouble. It can cause moderate to severe pain, making it difficult to stand or walk.

Heel Spur

Spurs are outgrowths of the bone. They most commonly occur in the heel and usually develop in areas under constant pressure. Repeated running on hard surfaces and wearing footwear that does not correctly support the arch can put extra stress on the heel, leading to heel spurs.

Stress Fracture

Stress fractures are small fissures or cracks in the surface of the bone and usually occur in the forefoot or the area from the mid-foot extending to the toes. Stress fractures are quite common for athletes or anyone who engages in rigorous sports involving a lot of running. It can often cause pain and swelling in the lower leg and should be checked by a specialist.

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.