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Bloomington (812) 333-4422
Bedford (812) 277-1000
Washington (812) 254-2911


 

8 Ways to Keep Exercising with Neuropathy

Keep exercising with neuropathy, because even though you may feel like the pain is too bad—or you’ve just stuffed yourself with, what feels like, the entire Thanksgiving turkey—the motion will improve circulation, stimulate your nerves, and may help reduce pain and complications from this nerve damage in your feet.

Those who suffer from peripheral neuropathy may have a hard time with balance and weight bearing on their feet. If that’s the case, stay away from walking and jogging and try working out on an exercise bike or in the pool. Make sure you use a full range of motion to increase circulation and feeling. You can also try yoga if you’re looking for an exercise that gives you full control of your movement. Plus, with the abundance DVDs and at-home exercises, yoga is an easy and fast way to get moving!

Getting about 30 minutes of activity 5 times a week is our recommendation for regular exercise. Remember that all that time doesn’t have to come when you hit the mat, pool, or gym. Simple activities like taking the trash out, walking the dog, and using the stairs also count. Is the nightlife more your style? Get your blood pumping with fun activities like bowling and dancing!

We recommend that you check with a professional first if you want to start exercising with neuropathy. At our office, we can advise you on the best workouts to try without making your condition worse or increasing your risk of heart and circulation problems. Please call Kevin J. Powers, DPM, at (812) 333-4422 to make an appointment. Our office in Bloomington, IN, is also available on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

Causes of Foot Drop: Why Your Feet Are Flopping

Potential Causes of Foot DropIn just a couple of months we will be thinking about everything Christmas-related. In fact, it won’t be too long before the shelves in stores are stocked with red and green—seems to happen earlier every year! The Christmas season may send shivers down your spine as you anticipate hanging lights and the frustration of what happens when even one section has a problem—one burnt light and they all go out. In a similar way, when a nerve in your body has a problem, the effect can be widespread. This is the case with a condition called foot drop in which a nerve injury affects your ability to move your foot and ankle.

Foot drop is also called peroneal nerve injury. The peroneal nerves branch out from the sciatic nerve and supply sensation to the front and side of your legs and the top of your feet. They also supply the movement necessary to lift your toes and ankle upward—when these nerves are injured, the result is an inability to do exactly that. Further symptoms of a peroneal nerve injury include weakness, pain, numbness on the top of your foot or on your shin, and loss of function. When a patient is unable to lift the front part of the foot, it is common to see a high stepping walk, which is also called steppage gait—this is a natural response during walking. This condition can affect anyone at any age and there are several contributing factors, which include injury to the knee, regularly crossing your legs, joint dislocation or fracture, wearing high boots, having a tight plaster cast on your lower leg, and underlying disease such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. Other causes of drop foot include sprained ankle and knee joint replacement.

We have several ways we can treat foot drop so you feel more stable when you walk and have no discomfort in your foot. We may use custom orthotics, foot splints, braces, and physical therapy to maximize your mobility. Contact Kevin J. Powers, DPM for further information or treatment. Dr. Powers is the only foot specialist who has special training and certification to perform drop foot surgery–just see what our patients have to say on our testimonials page. He is also a Fellow of the Association Of Extremity Nerve Surgeons and has had microsurgical training by the Mayo Clinic. You can reach our office in Bloomington, IN, by calling (812) 333-4422 or contact us through our website.

Take up Walking, Even with a Neuroma

Obesity is prevalent in children and adults. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shares that 33 percent of adults in the U.S. are

A neuroma can be very painful. It is a growth of nerve tissue between the third and fourth toes that can cause burning, pain, tingling, and numbness in the ball of the foot and between the toes. Walking can be painful with this condition, especially if you do not have the right shoes. You can still take up walking with a neuroma as long as your foot is protected and relieved from as much pressure as possible.classified as obese. This is a big change from 15 percent in the 1970s. It doesn’t take much to counteract this problem. For some, a healthy diet and some exercise are the two missing factors. Walking is a great form of exercise and you may not know that it has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce body fat, and reduce risks of bone fracture. However you’ve got a painful growth of tissue between your toes that’s pinching your nerve. Is walking with a neuroma possible?

Look for a sturdy walking shoe that has good padding in the ball of the foot and a thick, shock-absorbent sole. Some shoes are even designed with a special insole that helps take pressure off the forefoot. Make sure your shoes are wide enough that your toes forefoot have plenty of room to wiggle and move around. Choose shoes with laces or buckles that allow you to adjust the width, if necessary.

There are many parks and trails around Bloomington, such as the Cascades Park Trail and the Clear Creek Trail where you can walk around. If you’ve been dealing with the pain of a neuroma, visit Dr. Kevin Powers before hitting the road. He can evaluate your footwear to make sure it will adequately protect the neuroma as it heals. Contact our Bloomington, IN, office at (812) 333-4422 to make an appointment today.

 

Neuropathy Relief to Sleep Well at Night

When you can’t fall asleep you can start at 100 and count backwards, turn the light on and read, get up and watch TV for a bit, or get a snack. Difficulty sleeping can be very frustrating and affect your lifestyle, causing fatigue during the day and affecting your mood and ability to concentrate. There are many reasons for insomnia, but if you live with nerve damage, neuropathy relief may increase your ability to get a good night’s rest.

As we mentioned above, lack of sleep can greatly affect your overall health and your general alertness and productivity, making it important to get to the bottom of it. Neuropathy, also called peripheral neuropathy, occurs as a result of nerve damage. It can happen in many areas of the body, and at our office we often see it as a condition among our patients with diabetes. High levels of blood sugar can lead to nerve damage and result in pain, tingling, numbness, burning, and extreme sensitivity to touch.

There a few reasons neuropathy tends to affect sleep patterns. First of all, the symptoms alone can be enough to keep you from falling asleep. While you are busy during the day, you may not be as aware of your discomfort as when you are lying quietly. You may find that you focus more on the pain while trying to fall asleep, and sleep deprivation may even lower your tolerance level.

Improving your daytime habits is the best place to start for a good night of rest. Take good care of your feet, maintain a healthy diet, and monitor your blood sugar levels. Limit your caffeine intake and avoid smoking. Create a comfortable sleeping environment and develop a relaxing bedtime ritual—maybe a warm bath, light reading,  or some breathing exercises. It may help to elevate your bed sheets so they aren’t in direct contact with your legs and feet.

Whether you have diabetes or not, Dr. Powers has specialized training for treatment and a cure for the burning pain of neuropathy. If your symptoms are not improving and you need neuropathy relief to regain your quality of life, we can help. Contact Kevin J. Powers, DPM at our office in Bloomington, IN by calling (812) 333-4422.

Recovering from Foot Drop: Treatment That Helps

WonderLab in Bloomington, IN is one of the top 25 science centers in the country and will be hosting the Wonder Wonka Food Factory event on August 3, 2014. This day of magical, edible chemistry experiments will give you a behind the scenes look into how some incredible creations are made. While food and feet really have nothing in common, when you have a condition such as foot drop, you need to get behind the scenes to find out what is causing it so you can treat it properly.

Foot drop, also called drop foot, is a condition where the front of the foot cannot be lifted up. It is common to have to drag your foot along the ground when you walk. In some cases it is temporary, but it can also be a permanent disability. An underlying neurological problem, muscle weakness, an anatomical issue, or peripheral nerve problem are the usual causes for this condition.

Foot drop treatment starts with finding the underlying cause. Once that is identified and treated, it is possible that the drop foot can improve and even go away completely. It is when the cause cannot be treated that it may become a permanent condition. If this is the case, our treatment method will be tailored to keep you as comfortable and safe as possible. Foot drop treatment may include a combination of splints, braces, nerve stimulation, and physical therapy to strengthen leg muscles and improve range-of-motion. Orthotics can also help hold the foot in a normal position. If the condition is severe, surgery to fuse bones or transfer functioning tendons can be performed.

If you have the symptoms of foot drop, call Dr. Kevin J. Powers, DPM, at (812) 333-4422, or visit our Bloomington, IN, office. Dr. Kevin Powers is the only foot specialist specially trained to perform a nerve decompression procedure to cure drop foot. He’s been trained at Mayo Clinic and the prestigious Dellon Institute for Peripheral Nerve Surgery in Baltimore, MD.

 

Ball of Foot Pain: Staying Active with Morton’s Neuroma

The beauty around Bloomington, IN, provides a natural playground for a host of summer activities. When you have a day off, what do you like to do outdoors? Hiking, cycling, fishing, boating, and more are at your fingertips—you just need to get outside and go! If you have nagging pain in the ball of your foot though, traipsing around outside may be the last thing on your mind. It is possible you have an injury called Morton’s neuroma, but it doesn’t have to stop you from staying active.

Don't let a neuroma stop your activity

Morton’s neuroma involves an inflamed nerve in the ball of the foot, usually between the third and fourth toe. The pain and discomfort comes when it is being pressed on and aggravated by the surrounding bones. This injury can be caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes that put pressure on the ball of the foot, such as high heels. Being involved in an activity like running, which puts repetitive impact on the area, is also a culprit. Experiencing numbness in your toes or feeling a burning sensation in the ball of your foot are signs you may have Morton’s neuroma. It is typically treated with rest, ice, and avoiding high impact activities that accentuate the problem. You don’t have to give up all cardio, though, while your foot heals—you just want to avoid those with repetitive stress on your foot from striking the ground. Swimming, cycling, yoga, Pilates, and elliptical and rowing machines are all great substitutions when you need to give your feet a bit of a break.

If you are an athlete, you may be tempted to just push through the nerve pain, but if you have problems with your foot health, don’t play around. Many injuries and conditions only worsen without proper treatment, and leaving a problem until only surgery can repair it is a less than desirable outcome. Contact Kevin J. Powers, DPM for expert advice and effective treatment. Stop by our office in Bloomington, IN, or call (812) 333-4422 for an appointment today.

Protect Your Feet from Neuropathy and Other Complications

When the body experiences high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes, the nerves in the feet and ankles can be damaged. While certain individuals will not experience any of the symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy, some will develop tingling, burning, sharp pain, cramps, extreme sensitivity when touched, and a loss of coordination and balance. By taking the proper precautions and protecting your feet, you can reduce your risk for developing neuropathy, poor circulation, and other complications.

Let no sore go unnoticed. If left untreated, small problems can lead to disastrous tribulations associated with infection and even amputation. Diabetes leads to poor circulation and numbness in the feet, which means that ulcers and infections take longer to heal. You can protect your feet by following these preventative measures:

  • No smoking. Smoking is known for decreasing blood flow in the small blood vessels of your lower limbs. This slows the healing process.
  • Daily self-examinations are a must! Check your limbs for anything out of the ordinary. Have you noticed any redness or changes in temperature? Has the cut been taking an abnormally long time to heal? Check for swelling, tingling, and numbness. These are all things that should be noted and discussed with your podiatrist.
  • Be careful when exercising! Stay away from running or jogging and opt for an exercise bike or pool exercises instead.
  • Avoid the use of harsh chemicals such as alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, astringent, and iodine on your feet. Instead, wash your feet with lukewarm water. Gently pat them dry and apply moisturizer daily.
  • Socks and shoes are your friends. Your shoes should be sturdy and comfortable. Nothing should be too tight or apply too much pressure or friction. Be sure to check them before placing your feet inside, as there may be a stone or pebble that could scratch your skin. Opt for white fabric socks that show blood spots or other fluid to alarm you of something is awry.

Avoid anything that can hurt your feet. If something does happen, our office in Bloomington, IN, can help. If you’re experiencing the neuropathy symptoms described above, make an appointment with Dr. Kevin Powers by calling (812) 333-4422 today!

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