Community Spotlight: Karen Anderson, DPM of La Jolla

karen anderson dpmAlthough it isn’t as talked about as other physical ailments, as many as three out of four Americans experience serious foot problems in their lifetime. Karen E. Anderson, DPM, of La Jolla specializes in treating just that – chronic foot pain. She has been able to solve, on a regular basis, foot pain that patients have endured for months and sometimes even years.

How Feet Affect Our Health

Many of us don’t know that feet, much like our teeth or gums, mirror our overall health. Conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in the feet, so foot ailments are oftentimes the first sign of a more serious medical problem. The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which adds up to about 115,000 miles over a lifetime; that’s enough to go around the circumference of the earth four times! It’s no wonder that so many people develop some type of foot pain over the course of their lives.

Dr. Anderson’s Approach

Our feet are pretty complicated parts of our bodies; each foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles.

To figure out exactly in which part of the foot the issue lies, Karen uses a combination of a very thorough physical exam, gait evaluation, and a neurological postural exam. “The latter is a specialized test that helps pinpoint the source of the pain, as pain is not always experienced at the source of the problem. Even Dr. Scholl’s products demonstrate this – there’s an arch support meant to relieve back pain. It is called simply the Back Pain Relief insole. A foot problem can be manifested as back pain, and certainly vice versa.

An arthritic joint in the forefoot can cause you to disproportionately bear weight on your heel or opposite foot, causing pain in the heel or opposite foot – not the damaged joint. This is a common enough issue that I always perform the postural test for chronic pain. Once I establish the source of the problem, I can help you resolve the pain.”

After a thorough exam, Dr. Anderson will work with you to find and execute an efficient treatment plan.:

Outside Specialists

Feet may be the foundation of your posture and strength, but it takes a functioning circulatory, nervous and respiratory system to walk. If ANY of these fail, you won’t move efficiently and it will cause pain. This is why Karen relies upon a network of some of the best specialists in San Diego to treat associated problems – whether those be vascular, orthopedic, neurological or internal medicine. They find the best of the best in San Diego, and patients inevitably come back with high praise for the care they received.

Some Tips

  • Painful feet can affect our ability to enjoy even the most basic activities in our daily lives. Thankfully, many foot conditions can be easily prevented or treated by wearing properly fitting footwear or using the right over-the-counter foot care products.
  • Walking is the best exercise for your feet. It also contributes to your general health by improving circulation, contributing to weight control, and promoting all-around well being.
  • Walking barefoot can cause plantar warts (the virus enters through a cut you may get while walking around); so be extra cautious when going barefoot or try not to do it at all.
  • Barring injury or illness, it’s neglect and a lack of awareness of proper care – including ill fitting shoes – that bring on problems; so take care of those feet! If you notice any pain or something unusual, call a specialist right away.

You can contact Dr. Karen Anderson at (858) 459-3214 – her La Jolla office located on 7855 Fay Avenue. Check out the FAQ section on her website to read up on a question you might have.

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