About 20 percent of the population suffers from brittle nail syndrome, a condition that causes toenails to become extremely brittle and ultimately break.

Your toenails are made up of layers of protein that are responsible for making the nail strong and thick. In people suffering from brittle nail syndrome, these protein layers separate or break down.

Get help for brittle toenails at Delray Beach Podiatry. [Image via MorgueFile.com]
Get help for brittle toenails at Delray Beach Podiatry. [Image via MorgueFile.com]
It’s important to remember that like our skin, nails can also dry out, which causes them to break and become more vulnerable to toenail infections. This condition most often occurs with repeated exposure to moisture and can be exacerbated by low atmospheric humidity. This is because your nails expand when they come into contact with water, and then contract when they dry out. Unfortunately, this constant back and forth between expansion and contract eventually takes a toll on your nails and makes them brittle.

Medically known as onychorrhexis, brittle toenails are visually unappealing as it causes the nails become rigid and split.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Nails that break or peel easily
  • Flaking at the base of the nail
  • Your nails have a series of longitudinal ridges
  • The protein layers of your nails break down or separate

There is often not one single cause for brittle toenail syndrome, but rather a number of factors working together.

At Delray Beach Podiatry, Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, has found that there are several possible causes of of brittle toenail syndrome that include, but are not limited to the following:

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Circulator Boot Therapy is a revolutionary treatment option for both diabetics and non-diabetics that can prevent amputations of the lower extremities, even in advanced cases where surgery has already been scheduled.

Circulator Boot Therapy in action at Delray Beach Podiatry.
Circulator Boot Therapy in action at Delray Beach Podiatry.

As well as providing an immediate boost to arterial and venous circulation, the procedure can also slowly break down clots. It increases the breakdown of plaque within the arteries by the release of nitric oxide oxygen and nourishment increase. You will see swelling and pain subside with the first few sessions. As circulation is restored with each further session, the body can begin to heal itself.

At Delray Beach Podiatry, Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, has used Circulator Boot Therapy to save a staggering 38 limbs from being amputated.

“It saves people’s lives,” said Dr. Goldbaum, who is the only doctor in South Florida with access to a Circular Boot. “When you have an amputation, within five years there is usually another event that transpires and people can pass away because of it.”

Circulation Boot Therapy is an excellent method for treating and correcting circulation problems such as diabetic ulcers and venous insufficiency.

“This is one of the few things we have that’s external and it does a terrific job,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “This actually saves people’s limbs from being taken off.”

Many amputations begin with a small injury to the foot, leg or toe, especially in the case of diabetics. Proper treatment, such as Circulator Boot Therapy, can prevent what may ultimately lead to infections and gangrene and end with an amputation and often a myriad of life long medical complications.

“Every time I have used Circulator Boot Therapy, it has increased blood flow,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “It’s all about blood flow. If you have good blood flow, then you have oxygen and nutrients that the body needs to heal.”

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If you have pain or discomfort in your feet or ankle joints, you might have flat feet.

Do you have flat feet? Keep reading to find out!
Do you have flat feet? Keep reading to find out!

The arch, or instep, is the middle part of the foot that’s usually raised off the ground when you stand, while the rest of the foot remains flat on the ground. If you have flat feet, however, a fallen arch causes your foot to roll inwards and your entire sole comes close to touching the ground.

A flat foot, also known as pes planus, is normal in infants and toddlers, because the foot’s arch hasn’t yet developed. These arches typically develop throughout childhood, but some people never develop arches, which can lead to flat foot disorder.

Arches can also fall over time due to overall wear and tear that weakens the tendon that runs along the inside of your ankle and helps support your arch.

With a fallen arch, your tendons and ligaments weaken and cause intense pain throughout your feet, ankles, and lower leg muscles, especially in the region of your arch and heel.

“If you are suffering from flat feet, it means that you have a biomechanical fault in the mid-tarsal region,” said Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum of Delray Beach Podiatry. “When this happens, the arch is not actually present and, upon ambulation, the arch will flatten out. This creates a lot of soft tissue problems and joint problems later on in life.”

Flat feet can also contribute to problems in your ankles and knees because the condition can alter the alignment of your legs. If you aren’t having pain, no treatment is usually necessary for flatfeet. Additionally, if left untreated, the condition can also lead to weakened posture and discomfort through your hips and lower back.

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A foot bursitis is named after your bursa, which are fluid-filled cushions that protect your body’s joints. These cushions help you absorb shock, keep your joints moving smoothly, and prevent irritation from where your tendons and ligaments pass over your bones.

Although there is only a small number of bursae that occur naturally in the foot, the body creates more bursae in areas where pressure and friction of great. As we exercise, the ground surface and the shoes we wear play an important role in how much trauma our feet experience. In short, every step you take can cause a small amount of damage to a particular area in the foot which can increase the risk of bursitis.

Foot Bursitis Treatment at Delray Beach Podiatry [Image via MorgueFile.com]
Foot Bursitis Treatment at Delray Beach Podiatry [Image via MorgueFile.com]
Unfortunately, your bursa can become inflamed as your ability to absorb shock decreases, which causes the area around your joints to become irritated. In severe cases, the bursa will appear as a bump and is usually red, appearing extremely tender and painful. This swelling can hamper your ability to move your toes, foot, or ankle as the range of motion in the joints is affected.

Causes

Common causes of foot bursitis include:

  • Aging
  • A sudden injury
  • Too much repetitive motion of your joints, such as from over-exercising
  • A sudden twisting or rapid joint movement
  • Overuse and repeated movements

Symptoms

Common symptoms associated with foot bursitis include:

  • Pain or ache in the middle part of the underside of your heel
  • An increasing pain or discomfort while participating in weight-bearing activities
  • Pain and swelling under the heel
  • Redness under the heel

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Your feet and ankles are further from the heart than any other points on your body, so it’s important to know how to improve circulation in your legs.

(Jirka Lejska / Wikimedia Commons)
(Jirka Lejska / Wikimedia Commons)

For this reason, it is especially important that blood is able return from your lower extremities up to the heart without any difficulty. When you recognize that your circulatory system isn’t working properly, it’s likely time to make some changes to your lifestyle and contact your physician in order to work out a plan to get your blood properly flowing throughout your body again.

If you are diabetic, this issue becomes even more serious as poor circulation can often lead to a myriad of problems, including the formation of ulcers and potential amputation.

Luckily, there are several simple steps that can be taken to improve your circulation, such has:

How to Improve Circulation in Your Legs

1) Exercise Regularly

The transition from inactive to active can often be overwhelming for those looking to improve their health. The task doesn’t have to be daunting, however, if it is approached with the intent of gradually improving your levels of intensity and exercise duration rather than attempting to become a tri-athlete overnight. A good place to start is with some simple walking and then work your way up from there. If you begin to feel pain, take breaks as needed, but the goal should be to walk for 20-30 minutes a day, three to five days a week. From there, the sky’s the limit!

2) Maintain a Proper Diet

You are what you eat, and dietary choices often have a direct affect on your physical conditioning. Choosing to consume meals that are based on low-fat, minimally-processed foods are a great way to promote healthy blood flow and improve your overall physical health. Specific foods to include in your heart-healthy diet include oranges, sunflower seeds, salmon, avocados, watermelon, garlic and ginger.

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