Podiatrist - Houston
1140 Business Center Drive Suite 510
Houston, TX 77043
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By lori@houstonfootspecialists.com
September 02, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Foot archAs your foot hits the ground, it works with the rest of the body to absorb a great amount of stress. A foot with a normal structure is stable but flexible, in order to withstand the demands put on it every day. When the structure is slightly altered, such as the case with a flat foot, the foot may not be able to function as it should and pain could result.

At Houston Foot Specialists, we see and treat all kinds of feet and foot problems. A flat foot is extremely common and is simply when the arch of the foot has flattened, either from development in childhood or over time from aging. You will know that your foot is flat if you stand up and the entire sole of your foot touches the floor. This type of foot can lead to overpronation (when feet and ankles roll inward), heel spurs, shin splints and stress fractures.

If you have a flat arch, improve the health of your foot by doing exercises that strengthen it. You won’t be able to create an arch again, but you can give your foot a fighting chance against injury. Stretching the Achilles tendon can improve a flattened arch. Do this with calf stretches, by leaning forward against a wall with one leg bent forward. Boost the amount of walking you do each week, and if you can head to the beach and walk barefoot, that is even better. Strengthening your toes helps the arch as well. You can do this by sitting in a chair with a towel laid out on the floor under your feet. Use your toes to scrunch the towel towards you – easy enough right? Lastly, a custom orthotic will greatly help protect the health of your feet as you seek to build up your arches.

If you are concerned about your foot health, or if you have pain throughout the day, during exercise, or while wearing shoes because of having flat feet, please call Dr. Jeff Bowman for an evaluation. Early intervention goes a long way in keeping you free of foot pain in the long run! Make an appointment at our office in Houston, TX by calling (713) 467-8886.

Photo Credit: Alexis VIA pixabay.com

By Jeffrey N. Bowman
September 02, 2014
Category: Foot Problems
Tags: Walking   Gait  

The ability to walk is something we take completely for granted.  If you have ever lost the ability to walk for a short time due to injury, then you quickly learned how the simple act of walking is so precious.  Crutches are no adequate substitute for walking and quite frankly are a pain to deal with.

Unfortunately in our business of foot and ankle care, we frequently must perform amputations of some portion if not the entire foot.  The big toe is especially a likely candidate for amputation.  A common question prior to amputation of the big toe has to do with the ability to walk:  Will I be able to walk?  The answer quite simply is YES.

Yes, you are able to walk without your big toe.  Now you will not have the same gait pattern as before.  The big toe bears a significant amount of pressure during the normal gait cycle.  The big to itself is the last portion of your foot to purchase the ground and helps in push off before the swing phase of gait.  When your big toe is absent that role is now shifted to the 2nd and 3rd digits and metatarsal heads.  Your gait won’t be entirely apropulsive, but it will not have the fluid motion as before.

Some potential complications that can arise are the development of calluses and pain beneath the 1st metatarsal head, the 2nd metatarsal head, OR the 3rd metatarsal head.  Inserts can be modified to offload these areas.  If left untreated however, ulcers may form and potential bone infection.  Once bone infection sets in we are right back at the amputation option again.

If you are facing a potential amputation of a portion of your foot and are concerned about walking, please talk with your physician about your concern and together formulate a plan to assist you. 

If you need foot or ankle TLC, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

Photo credit: MeiTeng via RGB-stock

By Jeffrey N. Bowman
August 28, 2014
Category: Heel Pain
Tags: Plantar Fasciitis   Foot   heel  

Plantar fasciitis is very common problem.  As Podiatrist’s it is one of the most common problems we treat on a daily basis.  The majority of conditions are successfully treated conservatively.  Very few cases require surgical intervention.  The standard conservative methods for treating plantar fasciitis are:

  • Stretching
  • Icing
  • Supportive shoes
  • Orthotics
  • NSAIDs

However, there are other modalities that can be employed in the treatment of this often debilitating condition.  Once such method is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) and it’s hard to get in Texas.  I know it’s a mouthful and I’m also sure the extremely puzzled look just crossed your face.  No, I did not just make up these words to impress you, although if you are impressed then I will say I did make these up.  Anyways, this is a conservative method that can be done in the office of your local Podiatrist granted they have the equipment.

What is it and how does it work?

            ESWT uses shockwaves to create micro-trauma to the area in which the body will respond by increasing blood flow.  As mentioned before, increased blood flow brings healing cells and nutrients to the area of interest.  There are 3 methods by which the shockwave is generated, none of which I will go into depth.

  1. Electrohydraulic
  2. Electromagnetic
  3. Piezoelectric

There are low pulse waves AND high pulse waves depending on how aggressive your physician feels is needed.  The low pulse waves do not typical cause pain during the procedure.  The higher wave pulses tend to cause pain and so your physician may inject some local anesthetic around the area prior to treatment.  The typical treatment requires 3 sessions. 

This is just another weapon in the battle over plantar fasciitis.  As mentioned in prior blogs this is not only method OR “Holy Grail”. 

If you are in need of care for plantar fasciitis, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

Photo Credit: Alexis VIA pixabay.com

By Jeffrey N. Bowman
August 27, 2014
Category: Diabetes

There are many things in life that are just not meant to go through alone. Haunted houses are much easier (and more fun) with a group of friends, a cooking class is a blast when you are creating next to others, and healing through a difficult time is much sweeter with encouraging and supportive friends by your side. Having diabetes can be a scary, and even daunting, disease to live with, especially at the start when you don’t know what to do or what to expect. This is why joining a support group can not only boost your spirits but also give you a place to learn the best ways to keep you and your feet safe and healthy.

The expert doctors and staff at Houston Foot Specialists help diabetics stay on top of their foot health on a regular basis. If you have this condition, we encourage you to visit Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman on a regular basis so we can catch any potential problems and treat injuries in your feet. In addition to visits at our Houston, TX, office, there are several other groups in the Houston area that will provide you with the extra support you may need:

  • Harris County Hospital District Diabetes Support Group at the Quentin Meese Hospital. They meet the second Tuesday of every month.
  • Lyndon B Johnson Hospital. They meet every Tuesday and Spanish is also spoken here.
  • Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital. They meet the second Thursday in January, March, April, June, July, September, October, December and is right across the street from our office.
  • St. Luke's Diabetes Support Group. They meet the first Wednesday of every month.
  • Bayshore Medical Center. They meet the second Wednesday of every month.
  • West Houston Medical Center. They meet the second Thursday of each month.

We encourage you to find a group near you, whether you’re new to having this condition or have lived with it for years. There is much advice, encouragement, and support you can give to someone who has just found out their life has been changed by this disease. If you have any concerns about your foot health or require treatment, contact Houston Foot Specialists at (713) 467-8886 to make an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman.

Photo credit: David Castillo Dominici via freedigitalphotos.net

By Jeffrey N. Bowman
August 25, 2014
Category: Heel Pain

If I were to tell you there were a procedure called the Topaz would you think it involved the use of a glittery precious stone?  I would hope not, but wouldn’t it be amazing if that were truly the case.

The Topaz procedure is used as a possible treatment option for plantar fasciitis and heel pain.  I know we have discussed in prior blogs what plantar fasciitis is so I will not spend any time reviewing.  The Topaz is another weapon used in the war against plantar fasciitis.  Please know it is not the only available option for treatment and as many treatments it does not come with a 100% guarantee that it will cure your problem. 

What is it and how does it work?

 The Topaz procedure is a minimally invasive surgical technique used NOT just for plantar fasciitis, but it is a very common indication for its use.  It involves making a dotted grid pattern on the bottom of your heel with a marker.  This grid is made overlying the origin of the plantar fascia.  After the grid is made, the dots are punctured penetrating the skin BUT not the fascia.  A metal tipped wand is then inserted into each individual hole where the actual Topaz procedure now begins.  A bipolar radiofrequency is transmitted through the wand that debrides the fascia.  The idea is to create an angiogenic response and increase vascularity.  Increased vascularity brings necessary cells for healing.

The biggest plus that has most people looking at this procedure is that it is minimally invasive.  Again, this is not the only option for treatment. 

If you suffer from plantar fasciitis and are in need of TLC for your feet, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit www.houstonfootspecialists.com

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Call Today 713-467-8886

1140 Business Center Drive
Houston, TX 77043

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