Posts for: April, 2022
When should you turn to a podiatrist for care?
There are many reasons why people turn to podiatrists. After all, our feet and ankles deserve the same lovin’ care that you provide to the rest of your body. Wondering if it’s time to see a podiatrist (chances are good you could benefit from a visit)? You may want to turn to one for,
You turn to your dentist for routine checkups to prevent cavities and gum disease from happening so why wouldn’t you do the same thing with a podiatrist? By coming in once a year for a comprehensive evaluation, a podiatrist can examine your feet, discuss your lifestyle and determine if there are additional measures you should be taking to prevent injuries and other foot problems. A podiatrist can be as much preventive as they can be a great source for treatment. Athletes and active individuals can particularly benefit from undergoing preventive care with a podiatrist.
Bunions are common foot deformities that can continue to enlarge and impact the structure and function of your feet. A podiatrist wants to prevent individuals from needing surgery in the future, which means coming in the minute you suspect that you have a bunion so that they can provide simple lifestyle changes that can slow the progression of the deformity. Simple lifestyle changes can go a long way to improving bunion symptoms.
Foot and Ankle Injuries
Dealing with an injury? If so, you definitely want to turn to a foot and ankle specialist who can diagnose and treat the injury. While you may be able to treat minor injuries on your own with rest and home care, it’s often best to play it safe and turn to an expert who can figure out the extent of the injury so you can get the customized care you deserve.
Persistent Joint Pain
Dealing with painful, stiff or inflamed joints in your foot or ankle that won’t go away? This could be a sign of arthritis, a progressive chronic condition that can cause permanent joint damage if you don’t take the necessary steps to manage it. A podiatrist can craft the perfect treatment plan to improve your symptoms, which may include medications to slow the progression of the disease. A podiatrist is going to be the best medical professional to have on your treatment plan if you have arthritis.
When in doubt, call your local podiatrist to find out if the issues or concerns you’re facing require a professional opinion. A podiatrist can answer your questions, diagnose your issues and provide you with the treatment you need.
What are orthotics?
Sometimes known as arch support, custom orthotics give people the freedom to stand and move easier and more comfortably. Some people might opt for over-the-counter orthotics because of convenience; however, over-the-counter orthotics are not crafted uniquely to your feet, which often means that they won’t provide the relief you’re looking for from foot pain and other issues, and may even make problems worse. Instead, consider getting custom orthotics that are designed to correct your specific foot problems, ease symptoms, and make it easier for you to get back to your life.
Here are the types of custom orthotics that podiatrists often provide:
Rigid orthotics are often made from harder materials such as plastic or carbon fiber and are used to control function. They also help to control motion in the joints of the foot. They are most often used with walking shoes or dress shoes as they help with strains, aches and pains in the legs, thighs, and lower back.
Just like the name states, soft orthotics are made out of more cushioned materials so they can act as shock absorbers, help with balance, and relieve pressure. They also cradle the soles of the foot and support everything from the heel and balls of your feet to the toes. Since soft orthotics help to absorb shock, they can be a good option for athletes and those with active lifestyles.
Semi-rigid orthotics can also be a great option for sports players as they provide a good balance. As the name implies, semi-rigid orthotics are made with layers of soft material that are backed by a rigid material. While this type is great for avid walkers and the like, semi-rigid orthotics are also prescribed to treat flatfoot and other foot disorders in children. If you’re planning on running a marathon this year and you’re experiencing foot pain, semi-rigid orthotics might help relieve some of the discomforts you’re feeling while training.
Are you interested in custom orthotics? If so, your podiatrist can chat more about orthotics and how they could benefit your feet based on your foot health, age, activities, and lifestyle.
What is a corn?
A corn is a buildup of skin that occurs when there is repeated friction or pressure placed on the skin. This buildup of skin helps to protect the skin underneath. Corns most commonly develop on the side or tops of the toes and can be either hard or soft. Soft corns often appear between the toes while hard corns typically form on the tops of the toes. While both corns and calluses are thickened areas of skin, calluses are often larger and typically develop on the bottoms of the feet.
Who is more at risk for developing corns?
Certain factors can make someone prone to corns and calluses. These include:
- Wearing shoes that are too tight or too narrow
- Having certain foot conditions that alter its structural alignments such as arthritis, bunions, or hammertoes
- Wearing shoes without socks
- Being a smoker
If you are a healthy individual, then simple lifestyle changes and home care can help to improve your corn. Soak the area for 5-10 minutes to soften the area. You may use a pumice stone to gently remove some of the thickened layers of skin. Make sure not to be too aggressive or to remove too much, as this can lead to bleeding and even infection. After pumicing the area, make sure to apply a moisturizer to your feet. If you have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet, do not try the pumice or remove the corn yourself. A podiatrist can provide you with the proper treatment.
Make sure you are wearing properly fitted shoes at all times. This can cut down on the number of corns or calluses you’ll deal with. Keep nails properly trimmed so they don’t rub against toes and cause corns. If certain areas of your feet are prone to corns, you may wish to apply protective adhesive padding to the area either to protect the corn or to prevent a new one from forming.
If you notice any changes to a corn, including signs of infection, it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist right away for care. While most corns will go away if you avoid any shoes that cause pressure or friction to the area, you should turn to a foot doctor if you have concerns.
What are the signs and symptoms of arthritic feet?
Wondering if you could be dealing with arthritis in your feet? Some warning signs include,
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Joint swelling
- Joint warmth and tenderness to the touch
- Pain with movement
- Increased pain and swelling after rest
There are several different treatment options that we have available to handle your arthritis symptoms:
Medication: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and pain. While those with more minor bouts of arthritis can often find relief from these medications, some patients may need a prescription-strength pain reliever to manage more severe symptoms.
If these conservative treatments don’t do much to help your condition, then we may need to discuss the possibility of surgery. There are different kinds of surgery that we can perform and a lot will depend on the severity and cause of your arthritis. Those with advanced forms of arthritis may have to consider a total ankle replacement.
What are the types of fractures?
There are different kinds of foot fractures based on the type of bone that’s impacted. Fractures can impact the toes, heel, sesamoid bone, and metatarsal bone, as well as the ankles. Stress fractures are hairline fractures that occur as a result of repeated stress placed on the foot. This is common in athletes.
What are the warning signs of a fractured foot?
There are certain symptoms to be on the lookout for if you suspect that you might have a fractured foot. Some signs of a foot fracture include:
- Pain that gets worse with movement
- Limited mobility or restricted range of motion
- Trouble bearing weight on the injured foot
- Deformity or misshapen foot
How is a fractured foot treated?
- Ample rest
- Pain relievers to alleviate pain and swelling
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Specialized exercises
- Protective shoe or boot
- Casting, crutches, or immobilization (for more severe fractures)