Podiatrist - Houston
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Houston, TX 77043
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By Jeffrey N. Bowman
September 18, 2014
Category: General
Tags: Feet   prp  

PRP (Platlet Rich Plasma) or Did Dracula Know Best?We all know the story behind Dracula, or at least the Hollywood story.  The name invokes a savage, bloodthirsty monster that lost no sleep draining his victims of their life source.  He is depicted as being so pale and pasty that makes red headed individuals look tan.  I mean no offense to the red headed population.  We all know that most people would kill to have gorgeous red hair.  Anyways, if we were to do a E True Hollywood story on Mr. Dracula what would we find?

I imagine we would find that he was actually a brilliant individual who knew the power of blood.  What makes blood so powerful and desirable?

  1. Blood contains RBC’s (red blood cells), which carry Oxygen, a vital molecule necessary for cellular activity and thus life.
  2. Blood also carries platelets, which are more than just clotting factors.  Platelets carry the necessary agents and building blocks for tissue growth.  These agents are growth factors and are called cytokines.

Now I’m saying for us all to run around and start exsanguinating others to access the Power of the blood.  Drinking blood does not access and unlock this power.  However, there are ways that this can be done and the medical field has tapped into this concept.  You may have heard of PRP (platelet rich plasma) which is the process of taking ones own blood, extracting the platelets, and then injecting them back into an area of that individual.  Recently this process has been added to allografts (such as in bone grafting in foot/ankle procedures); the most recent being Biocue.

The process of Biocue:

  • Bone marrow aspirate is taken from the patient, which is then spun down to isolate the powerful platelets.
  • This platelet rich fluid is then mixed with a bone allograft, which is then implanted into the area of interest of the foot or ankle.
  • The fluid may also be directly injected around an area of interest if no bone allograft is to be used.

This is just another weapon that your Podiatrist has available to him/her.  Please note however, that not all tools are equal and everyone reacts to these tools differently.

If you are in need of foot and ankle care, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

Photo Credit: natclegg via pixabay.com

By Jeffrey N. Bowman
September 17, 2014
Category: Foot Health
Tags: Injuries   Feet  

Is heat or ice better for my foot injury?As the football season starts to gear up, injury is the ugly skeleton in the closet every player hopes to avoid. Even a minor problem can take a player off the lineup and onto the sidelines indefinitely. Starting center for the Texas Longhorns, Dominic Espinosa, went down in his first season game with a broken right ankle. These players have an excellent medical team who know how to treat this type of injury but if you sustain a foot or ankle injury at home, do you know whether to use ice or heat?

The action you take immediately after injury sets the stage for successful healing. Heating vs. icing is often confusing, but it’s important that you take precautions to apply the right one. The wrong treatment could actually lead to further injury and pain. If you sustain a sprain, bruise, or break, applying ice is the first step in treatment. After an injury occurs, swelling is an immediate symptom. This is due to broken blood vessels and extra blood that rushes to the injury site with oxygen and nutrients to help with the healing process. The reason ice is the best treatment to use first is that it helps to constrict blood vessels, which reduces swelling. This minimizes the leaking blood from broken vessels and reduces pain.

In the days following the injury, when the swelling has gone down and healing is taking place, this is when heat can be beneficial. Muscles respond well to heat and it is helpful before exercise to stimulate blood flow and relax your muscles, which helps avoid further injury. If you experience pain once again after exercise, you would go back to using ice. In both cases, it doesn’t take long for the heat and cold to work—an ice pack or heating pad only needs to be used for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. If you have a condition such as diabetes, which could inhibit your ability to feel heat or cold, you need to be extra careful to avoid injury or burns.

If you have a serious foot or ankle injury, have it checked out by Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman to ensure your long-term foot health is protected with the right treatment. Contact Houston Foot Specialists in Houston, TX, by calling (713) 467-8886.

Photo credit: Idea go via freedigitalphotos.net 

By Jeffrey N. Bowman
September 15, 2014
Category: General
Tags: foot binding  

Foot Binding - Tradition and Culture How often have you been channel surfing only to end up spending the next several hours watching some documentary on the Discovery or History channel?  Of these documentaries, how many contained insight into ritualistic practices from worldly tribes?  We have all watched a program where individuals had various body parts altered in some fashion.  Most of the time, these alterations were done in the name of beauty.  Recently I came across a practice of body alteration that was not only interesting, but is also related to the field of Podiatry.  This practice is that of foot binding.

Foot Binding – is an ancient Chinese tradition that is said to have begun during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). The story is as such:

The Emperor, Li Yu, had become quite enchanted with one of his concubines who happened to by chance to bind her feet.  This concubine, Yao Niang, was a dancer who is said to have bound her feet to suggest the shape of a new moon.  She also performed the “Lotus Dance”.  The combination of foot binding and dancing on the lotus became the new fad.  Other concubines started the same practice in order to gain the favor of the Emperor as well.  Foot binding became so popular that girls thought it was necessary to bind their feet in order to marry.

The Physical Process:

  • Began at the ripe young of 6 and carried out during the winter months when the cold weather would sufficiently numb their feet
  • The feet were then soaked in a mixture of herbs and blood
  • After a thorough soaking, the toes were bent backwards and then flexed into the sole of the foot
  • The toes were pressed into the sole to the point of breaking the toes AND the arch
  • The feet were then tightly bandaged
  • The next day, the feet were unbound, washed, and then bandaged even tighter.

The tradition of foot binding lasted until the early 20th century and was banned in 1911.  Rural communities still practiced this art until 1939.  Now, there are very few women alive who have been through the process of foot binding.

Obviously this is not a blog with the newest and greatest treatment for foot/ankle pathology.  My only aim was to provide a little diversity into your knowledge.  There are many cultures with various traditions that we might find odd.  In my personal opinion, it is these differences that make this world a beautiful and amazing place to live in.  I would imagine that practices and traditions we hold so dear are viewed as odd in other areas of the world.

If you are in need of foot/ankle care, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

Photo Credit: Sura Nualpradid via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you heard that it is often the little things in life that matter? Well, when the little thing is an ingrown toenail on one of your toes, the pain can be a big deal and prevent you enjoying other little things in life. The 30th Annual Wine & Roses Festival in Bryan, TX is coming up April 26, 2014. Ingrown toenails could leave you sitting out of the popular grape stomp or keep you from being able to dance to the great live music that will be featured.

If you have never had an ingrown toenail, you may wonder why we spend much time thinking about it. After treating many patients with painful toenails, swelling, and infection, we know that such pain can limit your activity. We want you to know how to prevent and avoid this common foot problem.

If you notice any redness, swelling or pain, alleviate the pressure on your toe with roomy shoes and try soaking your foot in warm water a few times a day. Ignoring the problem could lead to serious infection and significant discomfort. If you have any concerns or require treatment for an ingrown nail do not hesitate to contact Houston Foot Specialists. Make an appointment with Dr. Jeff Bowman by calling our office in Houston, TX at (713) 467-8886 or visit us online.There are times when genetics play a role, such as when a toenail is larger than the toe and is more susceptible to becoming ingrown. Trauma to the toe can also be a factor. For the most part, however, footwear and improper trimming lead the way in causing ingrown nails. The problem develops when the corner of the nail starts to curve down and presses into the tissue surrounding the nail. Wearing shoes with tight toe boxes that squeeze the toes can encourage this to happen. When nails are cut too short, or the edges are tapered and rounded, the risk for this problem increases. Nails should be cut straight across no shorter than the edge of your toe.

Photo Credit: Ponsulak via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Many large cities in the US are rich in culture and history, and Houston, TX, is one of them. Sign up for the Rice Village Chocolate Safari held every Saturday until May 24, 2014! Learn about the history of chocolate as you walk along Rice Boulevard and visit unique chocolate shops and restaurants. Before you go and while you are out, observe simple ways to prevent ankle sprains so a day on your feet doesn’t lead to a day of foot pain.

Second, wear shoes that are made for the activity you are doing. Whether you play a pick-up game of basketball or spend time on the soccer field, wearing the right shoes for the sport you are doing will keep your feet and ankles safe. If you’ve experienced an ankle injury before, you may want to tape or brace your ankle. An old injury can cause instability, especially if it did not heal well, making prevention efforts that much more important. Our office can also provide stability training and balance exercises to strengthen your ankles if you are concerned about another injury.The most important factor in preventing ankle sprains is what you wear on your feet. This goes for athletic activities, mall-walking, or playing tourist in your own city. The shoes you wear should fit your feet well. Floppy shoes that slip around on your feet do not provide the stability you need and could cause you to trip. High heels are also a bad choice. Towering on a thin, high heel is a recipe for disaster. Stepping in even a small crack on the sidewalk can cause your foot to topple over and stretch your ankle beyond its limits.

A little goes a long way, and these simple decisions can make a big difference in allowing you to stay active and pain free. An ankle injury without the right treatment can lead to chronic problems. Contact Dr. Jeff Bowman for more information or to treat a foot or ankle injury. Call our Houston, TX office today at (713) 467-8886 or request an appointment online.

Photo Credit: Sippakorn via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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1140 Business Center Drive
Houston, TX 77043

Podiatrist - Houston, Houston Foot Specialists, 1140 Business Center Drive, Houston TX, 77043 713-467-8886