(262) 544-0700

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David Guhl, DPM
Amy Miller-Guhl, DPM
20700 Watertown Rd
Ste 200
Waukesha, WI 53186



 


 


  

 

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By contactus@waukeshafootspecialists.com
April 30, 2018
Category: Foot Care

At Waukesha Foot Specialists, we provide treatment for many different kinds of foot and ankle conditions. These conditions cause an array of issues ranging from embarrassment (fungal toenails) to sharp, stabbing pain (plantar fasciitis).

One of the most serious conditions we treat—nerve damage in feet—can lead to severe issues and medical emergencies.

If your feet are tingling—and especially if this is a chronic condition—there is a good chance it's an indication of nerve damage in your lower limbs. More specifically, the damaged nerve tissues are most likely sensory peripheral nerves.

Your body uses several different kinds of nerves. In this case, the ones we are discussing run throughout your entire body and are responsible for collecting sensory information, and then communciating it back to the central nervous system (your spinal column and brain).Cartoon ants crawling over a foot to represent tingling feet

Tingling is one of the symptoms of nerve damage, but others include burning, prickling, throbbing, and painful sensations. In some cases, neuropathy causes hypersensitivty (extreme sensitivity to touch) – which can make something like a light bedsheet or the water coming down in the shower rather painful.

Symptoms like those are definitely bad news, but even more concerning, however, is when nerve damage leaves you unable to feel physical sensations.

When nerve damage is responsible for numbness, issues like tiny cuts and sores can potentially break down over time and become ulcers. There is an especially high risk of this for those who have diabetes (and this highlights the importance of diabetic foot care). The main concern with this situation is when an untreated ulcer leads to gangrene – tissue death that can only be "treated" by amputation of an affected limb (so the gangrene doesn't spread).

Nerve damage is certainly concerning no matter where you experience it in your body, but neuropathy in the feet is especially concerning for a couple of reasons.

First, your feet endure tremendous physical stress on a daily basis—even if all you do is stand and walk around a bit—which can place them at heightened risk for various injuries and medical problems.

Second, your feet aren't particularly visible, even when not covered by socks and shoes. They are, after all the farthest points on the body from your eyes. This means you need to be vigilant and catch the issues (that can become medical emergencies when left unattended) early!

When everything goes as it should, the transfer of information is smooth. This isn't always the case, however, and neuropathy is often to blame.

When this occurs, you will likely experience sensations that shouldn't exist—pain, tingling, burning—or, even worse, no sensation at all. Numbness can be particularly concerning for individuals who have autoimmune disorders and conditions like diabetes.

The causes of nerve damage are quite varied. They include such factors as:

  • Diabetes. Over half of those affected by this disease experience some form of neuropathy.
  • Infections. Various bacterial or viral infections—Epstein-Barr virus, HIV, Lyme disease, hepatitis C—can affect the nervous system.
  • Trauma. Accidents and injuries can damage or severe peripheral nerves and create disconnect in the system or result in fault messages being sent.
  • Tumors. Whether cancerous or benign, a tumor that grows on a nerve or presses against one can lead to peripheral neuropathy issues.
  • Poor nutrition. A lack of B vitamins, vitamin E, and niacin can impair nerve health.

Other diseases, medications, and inherited disorders also can cause peripheral neuropathy.

When neuropathy accompanies diabetes, it can be a dangerous combination. Unfortunately, the high blood sugar levels created by the disease injures nerve fibers, so this is particularly common.

The primary cocnern in this case is that injuries or conditions can develop without the diabetic individual being aware. This presents the opportunity for otherwise minor issues to develop into serious problems that could potentially necessitate in an amputation or even be life-threatening.

If you have diabetic neuropathy, it is essential that you have a diabetic foot care plan in place that contains a daily inspection of your feet. Doing so will enable you to recognize issues at the earliest possible stages and prevent them fom becoming critical situations.

Further, if you are experiencing tingling—or any other neuropathy symptoms—in your lower limbs, contact Waukesha Foot Specialists as soon as possible. We'll examine you to discover the reason why your nerves are malfunctioning, and then create an effective treatment plan for you.

When treatment is started early, you will find relief from any painful sensations and your nerves can start to recover, so don't delay—call (262) 544-0700 to connect with our Waukesha, WI office.

By David Guhl, DPM
March 29, 2018
Category: Footwear
Tags: Untagged

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

new sneaker display

Some people could fill a couple of closets just with footwear. Pumps in every color of the rainbow. At least a couple of pairs of trainers. Ankle, calf, and knee-high boots in both black and brown. And so on.

On the other hand, your hardcore minimalist might strip it all down to the “bare essentials.” One pair of sneakers that they wear almost every day, and one pair each of dress shoes, boots, and sandals—used rarely, and haven’t been replaced in a decade.

So how many shoes are enough? What’s the right number of pairs? Obviously, taste matters here. If you’re a shoe lover and ultimate fashionista, having multiple looks and styles is going to be important for you.

But even if you aren’t that hung up on fashion, it’s still important to have appropriate footwear for any task or situation you might face. Remember, shoes aren’t just for style. They’re also to protect your feet from pain and injury, and the wrong pair of shoes in the wrong situation isn’t going to do a very good job of that!

Here are some basics—and remember, these are coming from a podiatrist, not a fashion designer!

  • At least two pairs of comfortable, casual shoes for everyday wear. Why two pairs? Simple. Feet get sweaty, stinky, and gross. They attract bacteria and fungi and allow them to proliferate. If you’re wearing the same pair of shoes every single day, they never fully dry out, and that can lead to infections like athlete’s foot. So get at least two and rotate them.
  • Probably two pairs of good weatherproof boots, minimum. This is Wisconsin after all. One pair of winter boots might be enough if you’re only wearing them for short periods of time outside and then changing back. But if your boots become your “everyday shoes” in wintertime, you’ll want at least two pairs for rotation, for the same reason as the everyday shoes.
  • Sport-specific athletic shoes. Even if you don’t play any specific sports, you’re definitely going to want at least one pair of general-purpose athletic shoes for walking around the neighborhood, or playing with the kids. If you do participate in a specific athletic activity regularly—running, basketball, tennis, hiking, soccer, etc.—you should have a pair of footwear designed specifically for that activity. A general purpose (or wrong sport) shoe may not provide the right support, flexibility, or protection in the right places that a sport-specific shoe can provide.
  • Shoes specific to your occupation of hobbies. Obviously, if your work requires you to wear steel-toed work boots, or you’re a ballet dancer, you’ll need appropriate footgear for those activities.
  • Your dress and fashion shoes. Some people might be able to get away with a single pair of dress shoes. For others, this category is wide open, with accent and practical flats, heels, and knee highs in multiple color and styling options. Your only limitations on quantity are your budget, storage space, and your sense of style. Quality is a different matter, however. Even “occasional” shoes should fit properly and comfortably, and you should keep the heels below 2” (and as chunky as possible). Never buy shoes that are too tight or uncomfortable for your feet just because they’re cute. They will hurt your feet. Find something that satisfies both your sense of taste and give your feet what they need.

With these as your guidelines, you shouldn’t have any problems finding a suitable set of footwear for any situation! And if you’ve made good choices in terms of the fit, cushioning, and support those shoes provide, you’ll not only look good, but your feet will feel good, too!

Of course, if your feet aren’t feeling so good, we can definitely help. Just give our office in Waukesha, WI a call today at (262) 544-0700.

By Dr. David Guhl
March 01, 2018
Category: Running
Tags: train for a run  

Whether you’re gearing up for your first ever 5K, or even pushing toward a half marathon or marathon this summer, running and racing is a great way to improve your fitness—and your outlook on life. For most of us, to train for a run isn’t about competing against others. It’s about setting and completing a personal goal, crossing that finish line, and doing your best—whatever your best may be.

Running Tips

But it can also be really hard to get started running, and common training mistakes can have you sore, swollen, injured, and wishing you never started in the first place. We don’t want that! Here are some tips to help you train as comfortably and safely as possible:

  • Get a good pair of running shoes, matched with your foot shape and pronation style. If you have no idea what that means or how to find one, relax! Most specialty running stores can help you make a good choice. We can help too, and on top of that, assess whether you might benefit even further from orthotics.
  • Don’t try to do too much, too soon! If you’re really starting from zero, don’t try to work yourself up to race length and intensity right away—you’ll only burn yourself out, and quite possibly injure yourself. (It’s the main reason most would-be runners quit.) Start with a sustainable mix of jogging and walking, at a level that provides moderate intensity but not pain. (Try talking during your run—if you’re gasping for air, you’re going too hard.) Then, ramp up the difficultly and mileage slowly—no more than 15 percent per week.
  • Always warm up and cool down. We recommend a good five minutes of walking before starting that jog. Do the same at the end to let your heart rate descend slowly and bloodstream flush toxins out of the system.
  • Resting is an important part of the training cycle. Don’t run every day, as this simply adds more pressure and stress on the feet without giving them a chance to heal and get stronger. Listen to your body.
  • Cross train in other fitness disciplines. Strength training not only protects muscles and joints from injury, but helps them use oxygen more efficiently. You can do additional cardio if it’s low impact—for example, riding your bicycle.

We hope you find these tips helpful as you prepare for your big race! If foot pain or injury ever starts to creep into your training regimen, slow down and give the Waukesha Foot Specialists a call. We’re here not only to provide effective treatment, but also help you prevent future problems. You can reach us at (262) 544-0700.

By contactus@waukeshafootspecialists.com
January 23, 2018
Category: Running
Tags: Untagged

If you’ve just started getting into running and had an expert take a look at your stride you may have been told that you overpronate—in other words, your ankle rolls farther inward than normal when you walk or run. This flattens the arch, and puts extra weight on the inside edge of the foot. You may have noticed yourself that your arches tend to be flat, or that the ankle appears to tilt outward of the feet point outward even when you stand. But how bad is that, really?Group of people running on a bridge

Well, consider that a house built on unstable, collapsing soil can lead to sloping floors, cracks in the wall, and windows and doors that stick or won’t close. (Hopefully you’ve never had to go through that kind of experience yourself!) Your feet perform a similar service for body as a foundation does for a home or building. If the feet are flat or misaligned, the problems won’t stay there. All of the bones, joints, and muscles that are built on top of the feet—all the way up the spine—will need to adjust themselves to accommodate the misalignment.

Overpronation-related injuries tend to be of the overuse variety—not sudden breaks or snaps, but slow degradation and wear and tear over time. Runners are especially vulnerable, since running can put forces equivalent to several times your own body weight on the feet with each stride. Injuries might include:

  • Chronic heel pain, particularly plantar fasciitis
  • Stress fractures, particularly in the bones of the midfoot
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome, caused by a collapse in the tarsal tunnel that presses on the nerves. (Think of it as carpal tunnel syndrome, except in the ankles instead of the wrists).
  • Swelling and injury in the tibia (shinbone) and surrounding tissues, otherwise known as shin splints.
  • Pain in the front of the knee, usually due to the kneecap rubbing painfully against the thighbone (patellofemoral pain syndrome)
  • Pain in the hips and lower back.

Fortunately, unless your overpronation is excessively severe, you can usually manage the problem successfully through proper shoe choice, removable insoles, and if necessary, custom orthotics prescribed by our office. Only in the rarest cases would surgery be required.

If overpronation is contributing to sore, aching feet, knees, hips, or back, please give us a call today at (262) 544-0700.

By contactus@waukeshafootspecialists.com
December 22, 2017
Category: Footwear
Tags: Untagged

Custom orthotics, you may have heard, are one of the best tools in a podiatrist’s toolkit when it comes to relieving foot pain. But have you ever wondered why? What makes orthotics so good at what they do? Why do they work?

The answer actually depends a bit on what type of orthotics you have and what they’re meant to do. For example, some orthotics are “functional” (meaning that they actually change the way your feet function) while others are “accommodative” (meaning they don’t change your foot mechanics, but they do stop them from hurting you). The versatility of different types and materials allow a trained foot specialist to prescribe just the right set of orthotics for you.Doctor fitting a patient for orthotics

Some of the mechanisms that different orthotics use to relieve foot pain include:

  • Cushioning. Soft orthotics made from flexible materials like foam, gel, or cork help reduce the force load on your feet. Think of them like shock absorbers. Your orthotics take the brunt of the impact, instead of the ligaments, bones, and joints of the feet.
  • Supporting. Many orthotics feature arch support, which keeps the arch from collapsing too much with each step, or keeps the heel slightly elevated to reduce strain on the Achilles.
  • Re-aligning. Some orthotics—especially those made from rigid or semi-rigid materials—provide pain relief by helping feet maintain better alignment and posture when standing and walking. They may also restrict abnormal motion, for example preventing too much foot or ankle roll.

As you can see, orthotics are highly precise tools with many ways to help you eliminate your foot pain. If chronic discomfort and injury continue to plague you, please book an appointment with the Waukesha Foot Specialists today for an evaluation and treatment. You can reach us at (262) 544-0700.





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20700 Watertown Rd.
Waukesha, WI 53186

Foot Specialists - Waukesha, David Guhl, DPM, Amy Miller-Guhl, DPM, 20700 Watertown Rd, Waukesha WI, 53186 262-544-0700