Finding Alternative Treatments
Here’s the truth that most people do not seem to realize about restoring your feet and ankles to health: the majority of all conditions affecting your lowest limbs can be addressed and remedied successfully using noninvasive measures. Medical technology has advanced, providing new therapies that treat bad tissues and encourage healing without going inside your body—reducing the risks and lessening the time it takes to recover.
Many different treatment options are available to deal with foot conditions. How Dr. Evan Merrill treats your pain largely depends on your unique issues and needs. While adjusting shoes and using orthotics can be very helpful for some problems, other conditions need somewhat more involved remedies. Some of those alternatives include:
Athlete’s foot treatment—When your skin is infected by a fungus, you need to change your feet’s environment so that the fungi die. Regular use of anti-fungal topicals (lotions, ointments, sprays, and powders), both on your skin and in your shoes, kills the fungus.
Cryotherapy—This method uses liquid nitrogen in small doses to rapidly freeze tissues. Generally it’s effective on warts and precancerous lesions on the feet, though you may need more than one treatment to resolve the issue.
Extracorporeal shock wave—This machine uses strong, targeted sound waves to encourage your body’s natural healing processes to repair your damaged tissues. The sound waves increase the irritation in a specific area, prompting the body to send extra blood and nutrients to the spot. Over several treatments your body repairs more and more damage, relieving your discomfort.
Iontophoresis—Overactive sweat glands can cause a number of problems for your feet. This therapy uses low electrical currents passing through water to temporarily shut down the glands. It’s been used for decades to help reduce excess body sweat.
Physical therapy—Stretches and exercises can be very effective for restoring strength and mobility to your feet. The stretches help the tissues relax and regain flexibility. The exercises build their strength and help them work correctly.
Neurolysis—This is a less common, last-resort treatment for extreme nerve pain. When discomfort from a damaged nerve becomes overwhelming and doesn’t respond to other treatments, the tissue can be deadened. Chemicals are injected into the problematic nerve, shutting it off and impairing its ability to function.
Not all of these therapies are first-choice treatments; the more involved procedures, like extracorporeal shockwave, iontophoresis, and neurolysis are usually reserved until other options have been tried first. If other management remedies haven’t been sufficient, however, these can be viable alternatives to surgery for eliminating your discomfort.
Don’t wait until your condition is out of control to seek help for problems with your feet and ankles. Noninvasive procedures are successful for the majority of all lower limb conditions. Dr. Evan Merrill will work with you to determine the most effective treatment plan to get you back to your regular, pain-free life as quickly as possible. Contact Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, L.L.C. in Medford for more information or an appointment. Visit the contact page online or call (541) 776-3338 to reach us.