Posts for: October, 2016
The arch structure of our feet determines how we walk, which means our arches need to be both sturdy and flexible in order to adjust to different walking surfaces. For most people, their feet have a curve or an arch at the bottom that provides flexibility and shock absorption. But for the five percent of adults in the U.S. with flat feet, also known as fallen arches, the arches of their feet are either partially or completely collapsed.
One common type of flatfoot is adult-acquired flatfoot. It is caused by overstretching the tendon that supports the arch. Flexible flatfoot is also common and occurs when the foot is flat when standing, but returns to a normal arch in non-weight-bearing positions.
Factors that increase your risk of flat feet include:
- Excess weight
- Injury to your foot or ankle
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
When to See Your Podiatrist
Most adults with a fallen arch experience little to no pain. For these patients, treatment is rarely necessary. Painful flatfoot, however, may be the sign of a congenital abnormality or an injury to the muscles and tendons of the foot. Pain can be severe, making it difficult to walk, wear shoes and perform simple everyday tasks. More than achy feet, flatfoot can also lead to other, more serious problems and pain for your ankles, knees, back and hips.
Common symptoms associated with flat feet Include:
- Swelling along the inside of the ankle
- Feet that tire easily or ache after standing for an extended period of time
- A lack of mobility in your foot and difficulty standing on your toes
- Sore, swollen feet; especially in the heel or arch of your foot
Steps Away from Flat Foot Pain Relief
If you are experiencing pain caused by flat feet, visit our practice for an evaluation. We can identify the cause of your pain and recommend the best treatments for your type of arch.
Talk with your podiatrist about the following treatment options:
- Shoe inserts/ Orthotics
- Shoe modifications
- Rest and ice
- Stretching exercises
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
Whether you were born with flat feet or you acquired fallen arches over time, if your flat feet are causing you pain or interfering with your day to day activities, visit our practice. We can work with you to determine the best treatment options to eliminate the pain, improve your mobility and get you back to the activities you love.
Toenail fungus affects nearly 20 percent of the population and is one of the most common foot conditions that is treated by your podiatrist. Characterized by thick, disfigured, yellow nails, this recurring disorder can cause the nail to grow fragile, brittle and loose, and, in some cases, to crumble away. In the most severe cases, infected nails may even cause pain or difficulty walking.
Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments and can spread from person to person. Like athlete’s foot, you can contract a fungal nail infection from simply walking barefoot in public showers or pools or by sharing nail clippers or shoes. Fungal infections can also infect fingernails, but toenails are more difficult to treat as toenails typically grow more slowly. By following simple preventive measures from your podiatrist, you can take the next step to healthy, attractive feet.
How to Prevent Pesky Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is common, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be easily prevented. By following these simple guidelines from your podiatrist, you can take the next step toward healthy feet:
- Wear shower shoes at public pools and locker rooms.
- Never share nail clippers or files.
- Wear dry shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet.
- Avoid injury to your nail, such as cutting it too short.
- Inspect your feet and toes regularly.
- Trim your toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenail infections.
- Wear open-toed shoes if weather permits.
- Avoid wearing nail polish and disinfect pedicure tools.
- Wear clean, dry cotton socks that provide breathing room and whisk away moisture.
And if you are unable to avoid the development of toenail fungus, a trip to your podiatrist will do the trick. Your podiatrist will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for eliminating your toenail fungus, while also offering helpful advice for ways to prevent the development of this pesky infection.
People with diabetes are prone to foot problems, often developing from a combination of poor circulation and nerve damage. Damage to the nerves in the legs and feet diminishes skin sensation, making it difficult to detect or notice pain or temperature changes. A minor sore or scrape on your foot may get infected simply because you don't know it is there. A decrease in blood flow makes it difficult for these injuries to heal. And when a wound isn't healing, it's at risk for infection. Left untreated, minor foot injuries can result in ulceration and even amputation.
Foot Care for Diabetics
Simple daily foot care can help prevent serious health problems associated with diabetes.
We recommend the following tips for keeping your feet healthy and preventing foot complications:
- Wash feet daily. Keep feet clean with mild soap and lukewarm water, and dry thoroughly.
- Moisturize. Moisturize daily to keep dry skin from cracking, and avoid putting lotion between your toes as this may cause infection.
- Trim your toenails carefully. Cut straight across, avoiding the corners; visit our office for assistance
- Never treat corns or calluses on your own. Visit your podiatrist for treatment.
- Protect your feet from hot and cold.
- Keep the blood flowing in your feet and legs. Elevate your feet when sitting, don't sit cross-legged, and stay active.
- Inspect your feet every day. Check your feet for cuts, redness, swelling and nail problems. Contact our practice if you notice anything unusual, even the slightest change.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking restricts blood flow in the feet
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes and never walk barefoot
- Visit our practice for regular exams. Seeing a podiatrist at our office regularly can help prevent diabetic foot problems.
At our practice, we understand that living with diabetes can be challenging. Let's discuss simple ways you can reduce your risk of foot injuries. We'll work with you to create a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and gets you back on your feet so you can enjoy the things you love. Remember to inspect your feet every day. If you detect an injury, no matter how small, come in for an exam right away.