Category Archives: Foot Care Tips

Do I need Podiatric care?

Most people suffer from some kind of foot disorder – from athlete’s foot or ingrown nails to bunions, hammertoes or corns. Tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes are often the culprit, but heredity, poor foot care, injuries, or medical conditions can also cause problems. Whatever the state of your feet, your podiatrist can treat your problem to restore your comfort and ease of movement.

Problems in your feet can lead to pain in your hips, knees and lower back. Take a moment to read this list of conditions or problems. If you find you might be suffering from one or more of these items, a visit to your podiatrist may be just the help your feet need.

MEDICAL CONDITIONS

High blood sugar (diabetes)
Cold or hot feet (circulatory problems)
Joint pain and swelling (arthritis or gout)
Nail Problems
Painful ingrown nails
Thickened nails that are difficult to trim
A black-and-blue nail from an injury

BONE PROBLEMS

An unsightly bump (bunion) on the side of your foot by your big toe
Uncomfortably bent toes (hammertoes) that may rub on the tops of your shoes
A stiff joint in a toe
Pain in the bottom or back of your heel (possibly a heel spur)
A broken (fractured) bone in your foot

SKIN PROBLEMS

A wart on your foot
Thickened skin (callus or corn) between your toes or where your foot repeatedly rubs against your shoe
Discolored patches (fungal infection) on your foot or nail
Cracks, sores or ulcers on your foot

SOFT TISSUE PROBLEMS

Muscle pain or tendinitis
Pain on the bottom of your feet (plantar fasciitis)
A twisted or sprained ankle
Arch Problems
Painful, tired flatfeet
Painful high arches

NERVE CONDITIONS

Sharp pain in your toes (neuroma)
Sharp pain, numbness, or burning sensation in your toes when you’re at rest (neuropathy)

I am diabetic. How often should I check my feet?

Every day. People with diabetes are often at increased risk for developing foot problems, and this is certainly true if they have poor circulation, nerve damage or neuropathy, or conditions such as corns/calluses, bunions, hammertoes, and other foot deformities. We tell every patient with diabetes that he/she must carefully inspect his/her feet every single day. This includes the top and bottom of the feet, and the areas between the toes. It’s important to look for any open wounds or sores, cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, drainage, and warmth. If any of these occur, it’s important to call us right away (586-298-1585), as these could indicate that an infection or ulceration has developed. If not properly treated, foot/leg ulcers or infection could result in serious problems such as amputation, which can often be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment.

My child gets frequent ingrown toenails. What could be causing this?

Your child could be wearing shoes that are too small.  This happens quite often because children and teenagers can experience rapid growth and rarely measure the size of their feet.  For some children (and adults as well), there is extra flesh on the side of the nail, and/or they have a nail that is growing in a horseshoe shape, and it is therefore prone to developing an infection.

Why do my feet feel numb?

There are a number of reasons why your feet may feel numb.  You may have a condition called peripheral neuropathy, where the nerves in your feet are not functioning properly, and are therefore not giving your brain all of the information about your feet.

Neuropathy can have many different causes, including diabetes, vitamin deficiency, back problems, chemotherapy, autoimmune or inherited conditions, infection, excessive alcohol intake, and kidney, liver, or thyroid problems.

It is very important for anyone with numbness to carefully check his/her feet every day, as you might have a wound or other problem that you cannot feel because of the nerve problems.  Additionally, you should see a doctor to learn why the numbness is occurring, and the possible treatment options for your condition.

For more information about peripheral neuropathy, visit http://tenderfootandanklecare.com/neuropathy/

Anatomy of the Foot

The foot and ankle are complex areas of the body.  Educating yourself on these parts of your body is helpful when seeing a Podistrist, as she explains options for treatment.

Take a look at these search results for Anatomy of the Foot.

5 Winter Foot Care Tips

Get advice for taking care of your feet during the winter.

Winter weather in the Midwest can be cold and damp, so it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure that your feet stay warm and dry. Proper foot care in the winter is especially critical for people with diabetes and circulation problems, like Raynaud’s syndrome. Below are 5 tips that will keep your feet looking and feeling healthy this winter.

1.Keep your feet clean and dry

Wearing boots and thick socks may keep your feet warm and toasty in the winter, but it can also cause them to sweat a lot. Damp feet get cold more easily and are prone to bacterial infections. Keep your feet clean and dry by putting foot powder in your socks, treating yourself to footbaths throughout the winter, and drying your feet thoroughly after each footbath.

2.Use cotton and wool socks

When choosing socks for the wintertime, go with natural fabrics like cotton and wool instead of synthetic blends. Wool wicks moisture away from the skin and keeps your feet dry. On the other hand, socks made of synthetic materials can cause your feet to get sweaty and smelly. Excess moisture can also cause the skin to cool down more quickly and potentially lead to frostbite.

3.Wear comfortable boots

Wear boots that fit comfortably and that aren’t too tight. Tight footwear can decrease blood flow, making it harder to keep your feet warm and increasing the risk of frostbite. You should be able to wiggle your toes, but your heel, instep, and the ball of your foot should be immobilized. Your boots should have a solid base, supportive heel, and laces or straps to ensure that you’re able to remain stable on wet and slippery surfaces.

If you’re buying winter footwear for your children, such as winter boots, skates, or ski boots, avoid the temptation to buy a larger size in order to get two seasons of wear out of the shoes. It is crucial for footwear to fit properly right away in order to prevent chafing, blisters, and foot injuries.

4.Dry your boots and shoes out

Prior to going back outside in your boots or shoes again, be sure to dry them out thoroughly. This will help prevent your feet from getting cold quickly as well as prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria.

5.Wash your feet every day

Wash your feet thoroughly every day with soap and water. Keeping your feet clean can prevent toenail fungus and other unpleasant problems. Make sure that your feet are completely dry before you put socks and shoes on again. Change your socks daily. It’s also a good idea to soak your feet in Epsom salt and warm water every once in a while to relieve discomfort and prevent infections.

Big toe stiffness, pain

Big toe stiffness and joint pain are often caused by arthritis.  Arthritis can affect any area of the foot, and is particularly common in the big toe joint. Symptoms of arthritis include joint pain, joint stiffness, and sometimes a bony prominence (hard area or bump at the big toe joint.) This bony prominence may or may not be noticeable but tends to get larger over time, and often rubs against shoes which can cause pain as well. The pain from arthritis in the foot typically becomes worse with extended time on your feet and with activities that place more stress on the joint. As with arthritis that affects other areas of the body, arthritis in the big toe joint and arthritis in other areas of the foot only tends to get worse over time. Not only does the pain become more frequent and worse over time, but the joint becomes less mobile and patients will report “my toe doesn’t move as much as it used to, and I can’t bend it as much as the other foot.” As the condition worsens, there are fewer treatment options available. Therefore it is particularly important to have your pain or stiffness evaluated as soon as possible. It is also important to note that there are treatment options available for big toe pain that do NOT involve surgery. Call us at 586-298-1585 so that we can help you before the condition worsens.

Could your foot pain and swelling be from a stress fracture?

A stress fracture is a type of fracture that occurs from overuse, and can develop following an increase in your activity level rather than from a specific injury. Stress fractures involving the foot may cause pain, swelling, and/or warmth over the area of the fracture. As with other types of foot fractures, stress fractures require immobilization via a walking boot, cast, or specialized shoe that helps to decrease pressure on the fracture area in order to help the healing process. Please remember that foot pain is NOT normal and should not be ignored. Call our office at 586-298-1585 to have your pain identified, treated, and alleviated!