We have all made the painful mistake of trimming our nails too short at some point in our lives. Sometimes, this can really affect our foot health by causing ingrown toenails.
This happens when the nail grows downward into the skin instead of straight out, usually causing an infection. Ingrown toenails are most common on the sides of the big toe. It can also be caused by shoe pressure, injury, fungal infections, poor foot structure, etc.
Warm water soaks several times a day, properly fitted shoes and socks, and trimming nails in a straight line (rather than rounded) are ways to treat and prevent painful ingrown toenails. If there is an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.
A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. They can develop from an inherited structural defect, excess stress on your foot, or can result from an existing medical condition.
For the most part, bunions require no medical treatment. However, if you are experiencing one or more of the following, a podiatrist can help alleviate your symptoms.
Corns tend to be smaller than calluses and are the hard center is surrounded by irritated skin. While corns can be found on the bottom of the foot where pressure is usually applied, it is more common that you find corns on the tops and sides of your toes and even between your toes. When pressure is applied, corns can cause significant pain and discomfort.
Calluses, on the other hand, don’t usually cause pain. They usually develop on the soles of your feet, especially under the heels or balls, on your palms, or on your knees. Calluses vary in size and shape and are often larger than corns.
Hammertoe is a deformity where one or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toes begin to bend outside of their normal alignment. Pressure can begin to weigh heavy on the toes as you wear shoes which is where pain and other symptoms develop.
Hammertoes typically begin with small symptoms and deformities and continue to worsen with time. In its beginning stages, hammertoes are often impressionable which means they can be controlled using minimal treatment. It is important to know the signs of hammertoes to get them evaluated early. If left untreated, hammertoes can become more firm and difficult to manipulate, requiring surgery.
Diabetic Foot Care
Daily preventative care can help you decrease your risk of developing these other serious conditions like ulcers and infections. Inspecting your feet at the end of the day to look for any abnormalities, maintaining proper hygiene, keeping your feet warm in cold weather, encouraging blood flow in the feet, and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle can discourage other conditions from developing.
Plantar warts are caused by the HPV virus and cause tiny cuts and breaks on the bottom of your feet.
While most plantar warts are not a major health concern, it is advised you see a doctor to have the warts examined and removed. Some symptoms include small, rough lesions on the base of the foot, calluses in one spot, and tenderness when walking or standing for long periods of time.
Heel Spurs/Plantar Fasciitis
Heel spurs occur in at least 50% of people who have plantar fasciitis. Past treatments for heel spurs, a bony growth that begins on the front of your heel bone and points toward the arch of your foot, included surgery to remove the growth. Nowadays, surgery is rarely a treatment option and more plans for physical therapy, ice, and pain medications are used to treat heel spurs.
Flat foot is a condition where the arches on the inside of your feet are flattened which causes the sole of the foot to touch the floor when standing upright. It is likely for flat feet to be caused by the arches not fully developing during childhood and is considered a very common and painless condition. On the other hand, flat feet can occur after an injury or from the normal aging process.
While it is common not to experience any pain or symptoms of flat feet, some people do tend to sense pain in the heel or arch area. Physical activity can irritate the area and inflame the foot along the inside of the ankle. This can be caused by the tendon that is supporting the arch being stretched as it is depreciating.
Achilles tendinitis is caused by overuse of the band of tissues that connects the lower region of your calf muscle to your heel bone, also known as your Achilles tendon. Those at a higher risk for Achilles tendinitis are runners engaging in intense training or middle-aged people who participate in sports on occasion.
Pediatric Foot Conditions
Pediatric foot conditions often go unnoticed and are often misdiagnosed. Most doctors dismiss any pediatric foot issues as being a part of normal structural development that children will eventually outgrow. However, foot problems are often prevalent in children due to their high levels of physical activity. Children are resilient, meaning that any potential foot issues may be overlooked.
Initial treatment options for pediatric foot pain, deformities, or injuries include minimally invasive techniques, activity modification, custom orthotics, and anti-inflammatory medications. If these conservative treatment options aren’t helping your child, surgery may be required.
During your child’s appointment, we will conduct a thorough examination to pinpoint the problem, while educating both you and your child on future preventative measures. Our goal is for your child to grow up with happy, healthy, and perfectly functioning feet.
Arthritis is an inflammation of the cartilage and lining of the joints. Although it can present itself at any age, arthritis is primarily found in those over 50.
Each foot has 33 joints, making them easy targets for arthritis. In some cases, arthritis can be extremely painful and debilitating.
There are two types of arthritis: Osteoarthritis (also called "wear and tear" arthritis,) is the most common, typically brought on by the aging of joints. Cartilage breaks down over time, creating painful sensations and difficulty moving and articulating the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most serious form and can be majorly crippling. In the foot, it is a chronic inflammatory problem affecting the feet and ankles.
With early treatment, the symptoms of arthritis can be lessened and managed. Treatments include limiting movement, physical therapy, exercise, anti-inflammatory medications and/or steroid injections, and orthotics.
While running can be good for the heart and the body’s overall fitness, the repetitive stress of running on the feet and legs can increase your risk of injury over time. These potential issues range from the mildly annoying to those requiring surgery. To take proper care of your body, make sure that you stretch properly, wear appropriate footwear, and listen to your body when it tells you to rest.
- Pulled Hamstring: A pulled hamstring is an injury to the hamstring muscle. It causes mild to severe pain in the area.
- Hip Stress Fractures: Stress fractures of the hip are most common in long distance runners, where there is a constant repetitive motion in the hip.
- Shin Splints: Shin splint pain is generally associated with any pain in the bone between the knee and ankle.
- Achilles Tendinitis: Achilles tendinitis is a painful condition of the tendon in the back of the ankle. Left untreated, Achilles tendinitis can lead to an increased risk of Achilles tendon rupture.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a pain in the heel caused by inflammation of the thick ligament of the base of the foot. Plantar fasciitis can cause pain when walking or running, and lead to the formation of a heel spur.
- Arch Pain: Arch pain, also sometimes called a strain, often causes inflammation and a burning sensation under the arch of the foot.
Again, to ensure that you are immune to many of these injuries, properly prepare your body ahead of time for the impending exertion. And whether you’re a longtime runner or just starting out, always see a foot and ankle specialist before beginning a new running regimen. We can help teach you preventive measures to keep your feet and legs healthy at any activity level.
Sprains and strains are common. You might sprain or strain your ankle while participating in your favorite athletic activity, or while simply walking to work as you do every morning.
Prevention and Treatment
There is no way to make yourself immune to sprains and strains, but proper stretching, appropriate footwear and warming up before engaging in physical activity will help alleviate these potential problems. Treatment regimens can vary depending on the severity of your injury, but one thing never changes, visiting your podiatrist as soon as possible can help prevent risk of complication or long term injury. If you’ve suffered a sprain or strain, contact our office today.
A sprain is the stretching or tearing of a ligament. A ligament is a fibrous band of connective tissue that joins the ends of two bones together. Ligaments stabilize and support the body's joints. Ligaments in the knee, for instance, connect the upper leg with the lower leg, allowing you to walk and run. Ankle sprains are common, and typically occur when the ankle rolls suddenly inward or outward.
Symptoms of a sprain include pain, bruising, swelling, and inflammation. The individual often feels a tear or pop in the joint. In severe cases, this may make the joint nonfunctional.
In other cases, where the sprain partially tears the ligament, some swelling may occur.
Chronic strains are the result of prolonged, repetitive movements of muscles and tendons. Insufficient breaks during intensive training oftentimes lead to a strain. Symptoms of a strain include pain, muscle spasm, muscle weakness, swelling, inflammation, and cramping. In severe strains, the muscle and/or tendon are partially or completely ruptured, often incapacitating the individual.