Taking the Right Steps to Better Foot Health – Editor’s Note: We spoke with Dr. David Danielson, DPM at North Port & Englewood Podiatry about foot and ankle care issues. Visit NorthPortPodiatry.com or call 941-474-5577.
What is podiatry and what’s the scope of your practice?
Podiatry focuses on preventative, conservative and surgical care of the lower extremity. We support patients from our two locations in Englewood and North Port. I’ve enjoyed success helping patients live pain free without surgery. We are also involved with local high schools and assisted living facilities as part of our community outreach.
Where did you go to school and when did you relocate here?
I attended SUNY Stony Brook as an undergrad and played on the lacrosse team. After graduating, I attended Temple University and completed my residency in New York and New Jersey. In 2006, I took over a practice in North Port and acquired our Englewood center a few years ago.
Do seniors and athletes suffer the most feet-related issues?
Yes, along with adults dealing with Diabetes and excess weight. Anyone can experience a foot or ankle injury or condition. We also support neuropathic patients that have no feeling which can lead to severe wounds, infection and other issues. We see more problems with circulation as the diabetic and overweight population grows. Some patients have a chronic non-healing wound that heals after getting re-vascularized.
What do you mean by a conservative approach to foot care?
The idea is to begin with the least invasive options including stretching and better fitting shoes. Padding inserts or replacing shoes are noninvasive solutions that can help a patient improve their overall balance, strength and gait.
Where does surgery fit in?
It’s a last resort and especially with older patients who don’t recover as quickly. We use the RICE Principle for injuries: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. We also work with physical therapists to help patients increase gait strength and decrease the risk of falling.
What’s the impact of wearing comfortable shoes on preventing foot ailments?
It’s important that diabetic and neuropathic patients have a light shoe with ample room. For most people, it’s best to have a pre-fabricated or custom insert in your shoe or sneaker to enhance the fit. I can adjust inserts and offload extra pressure to resolve specific problems. Wearing high heels and other types of shoes can eventually cause Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, neuromas, hammertoes, and bunions.
What’s the key to feet and ankle health?
Our entire body benefits from good nutrition and moderate exercise. It’s also important to address issues as soon as they occur.