The poor maligned feet. Nobody thinks much about feet; we take them for granted. We stand on them for hours, we pound the pavement when running or walking and we bend them and squeeze them into pointy-toed stilettos until they scream for mercy.
When your feet hurt, they can stop you in your tracks.
Relief is close at hand. Dr. Rahn Ravenell at Coastal Podiatry is dedicated to helping with all your foot problems. He started at The Athlete’s Foot, fitting shoes for customers, but, after attending a health careers fair and learning about the field of podiatry, he was hooked.
Here was a career path that would build on his experience and allow him to step into medicine.
“I liked podiatry and I was interested in surgery,” Dr. Ravenell said.
Dr. Ravenell, and his wife and partner, Dr. Tamika Ravenell – they met while attending Temple University in Philadelphia – opened Coastal Podiatry at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge to treat a multitude of foot issues.
“Most people don’t think to call a podiatrist until their feet really hurt, but we encourage patients to come in as soon as possible,” Dr. Ravenell said. “And diabetic patients should consult a podiatrist regularly to avoid serious complications.”
Diabetics may lose feeling in their feet or suffer from blood flow problems, which can cause wounds to be unnoticed and increase the risk of infection and even amputation.
Flat feet, which can be an issue for many people, especially for younger patients, is a treatable condition. Children can benefit from early intervention, according to Dr. Ravenell, who pointed out that surgery can help the foot bones grow properly.
Bunion surgery is also common. Bunions are those bumps on the side of your foot that can become prominent as well as painful as the big toe turns toward the second toe.
“High heels can accentuate bunions, but they are often genetic,” said Dr. Ravenell.
Perhaps the most common complaint is heel pain. The diagnosis is usually plantar fasciitis, which is caused by inflammation of the bands of tissue that connect the toes and the heel. It can be most painful in the morning, easing as the day goes on.
Other common conditions include athlete’s foot, hammertoe, neuromas, fungal infections and sprains. Dr. Tamika Ravenell specializes in geriatric conditions and visits retirement communities and nursing homes around the area several times a week.
How can you avoid foot problems? Start by wearing shoes that offer support and fit properly; if you wear heels, alternate them with flats. Be sure to wash your feet every day to prevent the growth of bacterial and fungal infections. To prevent dry, cracked skin, try moisturizing with a cocoa butter cream. For extra care, rub an emollient-rich cream on your feet and put on socks before you go to bed. Remember that feet benefit from exercise such as walking.
And if your feet hurt while walking, call Coastal Podiatry for an appointment.
Coastal Podiatry Specialty Foot Care and Reconstructive Surgery is located at 180 Wingo Way, Suite 201. For an appointment, call 843-856-5337; a referral isn’t necessary. Additional information about the practice, foot care issues and services is available at www.MtPleasantFootDoc.com.
Julia Carlson says
I think it’s smart for you to suggest that your patients come in before their injuries get too serious. I have an ingrown toenail right now and it has gotten so bad that it hurts to even put pressure on it. I should have made an appointment with my podiatrist to get rid of it months ago. It wasn’t too bothersome and I had other things on my mind. Now I can only use my left foot.
My wife spends a lot of time on her feet everyday during work. They are starting to bother her and they are constantly sore. It seems like a podiatrist might be able to help her. It would be a good idea she goes in early on before things get serious.
Douglas Brown says
In your list of common conditions you mentioned athlete’s foot, and my wife and I suffer from this a lot. One of the things that I think we forget sometimes is to wash our feet every day. It’s easy to sometimes think that just because our feet are in the shower with us that they will be clean, but this is not the case! In other situations though, my wife has been experiencing small foot pain during walking, so we may have to visit a podiatrist for that and athlete’s foot. Thanks for the article.
Jeff Madison says
I appreciate your tip on going to see a podiatrist as soon as possible. it seems that you would have a much easier time fixing any discomfort if you see a doctor soon after the pain begins not waiting until it becomes unbearable. My wife has been having some foot pain, maybe we should get that looked at before it becomes anything too serious.
Nash Rich says
I agree that exercise really helps with feet problems, as long as it’s done right. When I started to run, I used to get a pain in my feet around the ball area. Once I learned how to run right, it went away and I haven’t had problems ever since.
I would say that people are not well educated about how important feet are, specially the part you have mentioned about high heels women prefer for looks and not actually know what damage can it cause. Problems with knee, hips and shoulders can also happen just because of problem with one part of the foot. People should be definitely more educated about this problems