Posts for: January, 2021

By Dr. Eric Arp
January 29, 2021
Category: Foot Issues

Be able to spot the telltale symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

If you have diabetes, it’s important that you get your blood sugar levels under control through lifestyle changes and medication. Around 34 million Americans have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t even know they have it, according to the CDC. Unfortunately, if high blood sugar levels persist this can lead to a condition known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which can cause nerve damage in the feet, arms, and hands.

You should visit our Harrison, AR, podiatrists right away if you notice these symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy,

  • A numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the feet
  • Sudden cramping or a zapping, electric-like shooting pain
  • Changes in the shape or structure of your feet (a common deformity is a hammertoe, which causes the toes to curl downward like a claw)
  • Poor balance, often caused by a lack of sensation in the feet
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold, or feet that are cold for no reason

Those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy will often report that their symptoms are worse at night, which can make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, we know that it can be scary, but it’s important that you visit our Harrison and Mountain Home, AR, podiatrist right away. By working together with our podiatry team and your regular physician we can find a treatment plan that helps to prevent further nerve damage while managing your current symptoms.

How do I treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy?

While this condition is not reversible, there are different options available to you to help treat your symptoms. Simple lifestyle changes can improve your diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Some lifestyle changes include,

  • Avoiding smoking, tobacco products, and alcohol
  • Eating a healthy balanced diet and treating any vitamin deficiencies that might be present (have your doctor run a blood test to check for vitamin deficiencies)
  • Making sure that you inspect your feet every day to look for redness, swelling, sores, ulcers, cuts, or other problems that could lead to an infection (make sure you visit your podiatrist right away for treatment if you notice any of these issues)
  • Make sure that you are getting regular physical activity, which can improve balance and reduce pain and cramping

The key to preventing peripheral neuropathy from getting worse is to make sure that you have a doctor who is providing you with the medication you need to get your blood sugar under control. Certain medications such as antidepressants and anti-seizure medications may also be prescribed by your doctor to alleviate nerve pain.

If you are living with diabetes here in Harrison or Mountain Home, AR, it’s important that you have a podiatrist that you can always turn to for checkups and care. To schedule a consultation with us, call ARP Foot & Ankle Clinic at (870) 365-3668 or (870) 425-7363.

By Dr. Eric Arp
January 11, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

Here are some simple but helpful strategies to provide relief from your bunion pain.

If you’ve been told by our Mountain Home and Harrison, AR, podiatrists that you have a bunion, we know how important it is to be able to get your foot pain under control. You want to be able to do the things you love without worrying about whether your bunion is going to ruin the fun. While it’s always important to discuss lifestyle changes with your podiatrist when you have a bunion, some easy ways to manage your symptoms on your own include,

  • Resting your feet as much as possible and avoiding any activities that make the pain and swelling worse
  • Alternatively, you may find more relief from soaking your tired, sore feet in warm water with Epsom salts rather than icing (everyone is different, so test out both options to see which one provides better relief)
  • Make sure that you are wearing comfortable, supportive shoes that don’t bunch up your toes or put pressure on the bunion
  • Avoid wearing high heels (heels higher than 2 inches tall)
  • Perform stretching and strengthening foot exercises every day (a resistance band can be a helpful tool for performing some of these exercises to strengthen the muscles and tendons of the foot)
  • Talk to our podiatrist about whether your feet could benefit from custom orthotics (most people with bunions can benefit from orthotics because they correct faulty biomechanics that often leads to problems like bunions in the first place)
  • Massage your feet throughout the day to ease any discomfort and promote blood flow

So, what happens if home care just isn’t cutting it? If this is the problem you’re facing right now, then it’s time to come into our office for a consultation. We can talk about the treatment options you’ve tried and then recommend certain alternative options. Bunion surgery isn’t typically recommended or necessary unless you are,

  • Dealing with severe bunion pain and swelling
  • Experiencing persistent foot pain that is affecting your quality of life
  • Dealing with bunion symptoms that are unresponsive to nonsurgical treatment options
  • Having to miss out on activities and things you love to do because of your bunion

If you think you have a bunion, it’s important that you see a qualified podiatrist for a diagnosis and customized treatment plan. The team at ARP Foot & Ankle Clinic at the Harrison and Mountain Home clinic locations is here to help you get your bunion pain under control. Call us today at (870) 365-3668 or (870) 425-7363.

By Dr. Eric Arp
January 04, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Blisters  
What To Do About BlistersEverything from wearing shoes that are a little too loose to increasing the number of miles you run can leave you dealing with painful blisters on your feet. Blisters can be quite a nuisance, making it difficult to move around, especially when wearing shoes. If you deal with blisters rather regularly here are some simple ways to treat the problem.
Keep the Blister Intact

If possible, try to keep the blister intact. Do not try to pop or drain a blister that hasn’t popped on its own. It’s important not to put pressure on the blister, so avoid any shoes that may be too tight. If you’re going to put on shoes, make sure to apply a bandage (some band-aids are designed specifically for covering blisters) to the area first.
Keep Popped Blisters Clean

If the blister popped on its own, clean it with warm water soap (do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the blister). Once the area is clean, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream to the area and apply a bandage over the blister. These simple steps can prevent an infection from occurring.
Drain the Blister Yourself

You should only drain a blister if it’s very large, painful, or affects your ability to move. In this case, you should sterilize a needle with alcohol and then make a small hole in the blister to let it drain. You may need to carefully squeeze the blister to help it drain fully. Once the blister has drained, rinse out the area with soap and warm water before applying antibiotic cream to the area and placing a bandage over it.
Replace Bandages Daily

You mustn’t keep the same bandage on your blister day in and day out. You should check the blister every day to make sure it isn’t infected. You should clean the area daily with soap and water and then reapply another bandage.
Of course, if you have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet, you mustn't try to drain or treat the blister yourself. Even something as small as a blister could become infected or lead to serious complications. You should see your podiatrist right away for any blisters that develop on your feet.
If you develop signs of infection such as pus, increased redness, or swelling of the blister, you must see your podiatrist right away for treatment. While blisters aren’t usually a cause for concern in most healthy individuals, it’s also important that you practice good foot care to prevent blisters from happening.