My Blog

Posts for: May, 2015

By Joseph M. LaCava, DPM
May 27, 2015
Category: Orthotics
Tags: Untagged

Which orthotics are better?As is the case for most locations, there are various dining options here in Hot Springs, AR. If you are in the mood for a delicious filet that is grilled to your specification over an open-flame grill, then Brick House Grill might be in your near future. Of course, if you simply want to quiet a rumbling stomach quickly, you can always head to McDonald’s and eat whatever they microwave for you. This is very similar to the differences you encounter when looking at professional functional or custom orthotics versus inserts you can buy at any chain store or nationwide pharmacy.

Orthotic devices or inserts   are not all equal! You essentially have a few general choices – pick up a pair of cushions at the local Walmart, spend a lot of money in the New Balance or Happy Feet stores for “customs” from people who cannot legally diagnose or treat foot conditions or have Central Arkansas Foot Care provide a quality pair of professional functional orthotics or if needed in situations of significant foot deformity craft custom molded orthoses for you. Each has its respective place in the grand scheme of things.

If you are a runner or someone who stands on your feet all day for work, you will benefit from a pair of orthotics that not only add cushioning but support the 28 bones in your feet to reduce the fatigue or pain felt every day.  Feet face a tremendous amount of pressure throughout the day—the average person places 7 tons of force on his or her feet during the course of over 10,000 steps in a typical 24-hour period—and the extra cushioning and support can help prevent injury or conditions from arising. Many non -structurally induced knee, hip and or back pain can also be reduced or eliminated by proper orthotics or inserts.

When you come into our office for conservative treatment of certain medical conditions, we may prescribe a pair of inserts (orthotics) to help. Examples of conditions that can be treated or assisted with the use of orthoses include flat foot, cavus foot, neuromas, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, arch pain, arthritic pain, tendonitis and bursitis. The specific type of orthotic device we prescribe for you will depend on your foot structure and the condition we are treating.

If you are seeking additional cushioning or arch support that is not intended to treat a medical condition, the professional functional pair of inserts (orthotics) that we dispense at the office will be beneficial and money saving. Or should you require something more substantial, come visit Central Arkansas Foot Care and we will if needed create custom orthotics specifically for your feet. Our professionals will measure your unique feet and provide a gait analysis to create a five-star pair of devices just for you. Stop wasting your time and money with inferior products for chain stores or pharmacies!

Schedule your appointment with either of our two locations via our online form, or call us at (501) 321-4844 for our Hot Springs, AR office, (870) 245-3003 for our Arkadelphia office.

Photo Credit: Grant Cochrane via

By Joseph M. LaCava, DPM
May 26, 2015
Category: Orthotics
Tags: Untagged

Bare Feet and OrthoticsIf you are new to running, or thinking about taking it up, then you should check out the Spa Pacers Running Club. This Hot Springs, AR group is dedicated to promoting health and fitness by creating a connected community of local runners. No matter how much (or how little!) experience you have, you can find support and help with the Spa Pacers. Undoubtedly, some members will tell you the big difference that orthotics can make when you develop foot, ankle, or knee issues.

The term typically refers to the medical devices created by professionals like you find here at Central Arkansas Foot Care. Some people use the term interchangeably with the inserts that you can find in retail stores and nationwide pharmacies, but they are not the same. The key distinction lies in the fact that the ones you buy over-the-counter are not intended to cure a medical condition. That said, they may offer some benefit for runners.

Store-bought inserts can provide extra cushioning and enhance the arch support that is already provided by your running shoes. If you are using shoe inserts exclusively for these purposes, there is nothing wrong with doing so. However, those who have abnormal arches, either high or low, and need treatment for the condition should consider having our office provide a pair of custom orthotics instead.

When we create a pair of custom inserts for you, we measure your feet and analyze your gait so you receive a device that works for your unique feet and in accordance with your individual walking or running style. The over-the-counter inserts simply cannot offer the same level of personal customization to really help with any issue you may be experiencing when you run.

In addition to being used for runners, these inserts are also used as part of treatment for a wide range of foot and ankle issues. They can be helpful in alleviating painful conditions like bunions, Achilles tendinitis, neuromas, and plantar fasciitis.

If you’d like to experience the positive difference that custom orthotics can make for you, contact Central Arkansas Foot Care today. We will create a pair that fits your unique feet and targets whatever specific condition is affecting you. Call our Hot Springs, AR office at (501) 321-4844 or use our online form to schedule your appointment with us at either of our two locations.

By Joseph M. LaCava, DPM
May 21, 2015
Category: Diabetic Foot Care
Tags: Untagged

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are over 29 million people who live with diabetes in the U.S. They additionally estimate that 25% of individuals living with the disease do not even know they have it! With this being such a widespread illness, Congress even took note and put together the Medicare Diabetic Shoe Bill. This was an important step since diabetic shoes play a vital role in preventing serious complications.

When you live with diabetes, there are many facets to successfully managing the disease and preventing issues in your feet and lower limbs. You need to perform daily foot inspections, use proper hygiene practices, and keep your feet dry (but not too dry!). It can be a lot to handle, so don’t forget to reach out for the help our office can provide. One area of diabetic foot care that we will certainly assist you with is your choice in footwear and finding models that offer the appropriate benefits to you.

Diabetic shoes should achieve four key objectives:

  1. Relieve excessive pressure. This serves to prevent ulcers and skin breakdowns.
  2. Reduce shear and shock. The vertical force on your foot is known as shock, and shear is the horizontal movement within the shoe. Diabetic footwear decreases the negative effects of both.
  3. Stabilize, support, and accommodate deformities. For a variety of reasons, foot deformities—Charcot foot, hammertoes, amputations—can be common for individuals who have diabetes. As such, footwear must be able to decrease the risk of further damage and relieve any accompanying pain.
  4. Limit joint motion. This is a necessary function for reducing levels of pain and inflammation, and also to promote stability and foot function.

When it comes to diabetic shoe fitting, and all of your foot care needs, Central Arkansas Foot Care is here for you. We will assist you in finding the right diabetic shoes to keep you safe and avoid any serious medical complications. Managing diabetes is a heavy load, but let us help you carry it! Contact us today by calling our Hot Springs office at (501) 321-4844 or use our online form to request an appointment at either of our two central Arkansas locations.


By Joseph M. LaCava, DPM
May 13, 2015
Category: Diabetic Foot Care
Tags: Untagged

Causes of Numb Feet or NeuropathyMay 21-24 are the dates for this year’s Arkansas Invitational Senior Softball Tournament. Kimery Park is home to the event—which features age brackets ranging from “young punks” (50+) all the way up to “golden oldies” (80+!)—and teams can qualify for national competition. Staying physically active into old age is great for your health, but a condition like neuropathy can make that difficult. Some think it only comes with diabetes, but there are actually a variety of causes.

This condition damages your nerves, which become either ineffective or unable to communicate with the brain. This situation often leads to sensations like burning or tingling, or even numbness in the feet. These symptoms typically develop gradually, instead of a sudden onset.

One of the main causes is diabetes. When this is the case, we often refer to the condition as diabetic neuropathy. It stems from the damage done to the tiny vessels that supply blood to the nerves caused by excess glucose. In turn, this situation becomes the biggest contributor to ulcers and other diabetic foot problems.

In addition to diabetes, there are a range of other causes including:

  • Other medical issues. Diabetes might be most common, but chronic liver and kidney diseases, HIV and AIDS, cancer (especially lymphoma and multiple myeloma), and Lyme disease can also create the condition.
  • Various medications. Nerve damage is a known side effect for certain medications used to treat cancer, HIV, arrhythmias, and low blood pressure.
  • Vitamin deficiencies. When your body does not receive enough of certain vitamins—B-1, B-6, B-12, vitamin E, and niacin—you increase your risk of developing nerve problems.
  • Alcoholism. Tying in with the previous cause, those who are inflicted with addiction issues often make poor dietary choices, which frequently lead to vitamin deficiencies.
  • Exposure to toxins. Individuals who face repeated exposure to chemicals and heavy metals are more likely to incur nerve damage than those in the general population.

When you experience symptoms that accompany neuropathy—numbness, burning, pain—it is important to seek medical help. You can find the care and expertise you need here at Central Arkansas Foot Care. Simply fill out our online form or call either of our two locations to request your appointment today. You can reach our Hot Springs, AR office at (501) 321-4844, our Arkadelphia office at (870) 245-3003.

Photo Credit: Alexis via

By Joseph M. LaCava, DPM
May 05, 2015
Category: General Foot Care
Tags: Untagged

National Lost Sock Memorial DayOn May 25 (Memorial Day), we will take time to remember and honor those who have served this great nation. On May 9, children everywhere are given the day off of school* to spend National Lost Sock Memorial Day in remembrance of the partners of now-partner-less socks who had once served their great feet.

* Fine, it’s a Saturday and they wouldn’t have had school, anyhow. That fact alone doesn’t change the importance of this important holiday!

Almost everyone knows what it is like to mourn the loss of a favorite sock. It’s so commonplace that it is now one of the up-and-coming premier national holidays. If you have diabetes, however, the loss is even greater because of how beneficial diabetic socks can be for those who live with this disease.

Foot care has a heightened importance if you live with diabetes. There are a variety of conditions and ailments that can quickly turn into serious medical complications for your feet. One of many steps you can take to help prevent a major issue is to wear these specially constructed socks. They often have the following characteristics:

  • Seamless – This is to prevent blisters and ulcers from developing.
  • Moisture-wicking – When feet are damp, it creates an ideal condition for skin infections.
  • Breathable – Certain fabrics are better than others at allow the feet to breathe and stay dry.
  • Fitted – Loose fabric, especially in socks, rubs against skin and can cause injuries.
  • Padded – This feature protects the foot from injury by providing ample cushioning.

If you or a loved one has diabetes, celebrate National Lost Sock Memorial Day 2015 by letting go of partner-less socks, tossing them in the trash can (lovingly, of course), and purchase a new pair or two of affordable, high-quality diabetic socks from any of our offices.

Central Arkansas Foot Care is your number one resource when it comes to diabetic foot care. Our expert staff is ready to assist you or your loved one who is living with this condition. Stop in today at any of our three locations—Malvern, Arkadelphia, or Hot Springs, AR—to pick up your new socks, or contact us to request an appointment. Call us at (501) 321-4844 or use our online form.

Photo Credit: VMD Services