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.
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.
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a specific type of fungal infection that typically begins between the toes. A common cause of athlete's foot is sweaty feet that are confined to tight shoes for a long period of time. Signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot include a scaly rash that usually causes itching, stinging and burning. Athlete’s foot is contagious and should be carefully monitored and treated. Athlete’s foot can easily be treated with antifungal medications, but the infection is likely to recur. Prescription medications also are available.
A sprained ankle occurs when you twist your ankle in an abnormal way causing the ligaments holding your ankle bones together to stretch or tear. Most sprained ankles involve injuries to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle. Treatment for a sprained ankle depends on the severity of the injury. Although you may just need proper rest and pain medications to heal, it is important to have the sprain looked at by a professional to determine the severity and proper treatment.
Fungal infections in the toe or fingernails can appear as thickened, discolored, or disfigured. While it may seem like the condition is just an aesthetic concern, fungal infections can lead to worsened symptoms and pain. Diabetes, a weakened immune system, and the normal aging process are all causes associated with fungal infections. It is more likely for senior citizens and adults to develop a fungal infection as opposed to children.
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.
Below are some of the most common sports and sports-related injuries we see in our office.
- Martial Arts and Kickboxing: Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis, and ankle sprains. Proper stretching is vital to injury prevention, specifically, a minimum of 15 minutes before beginning exercise.
- Aerobics: With impact forces reaching up to six times the force of gravity and 26 bones in the foot, proper shoes are extremely important when participating in aerobics. Shoes must provide shock absorption and proper cushioning, as well as stability.
- Team Sports: Baseball, basketball, soccer, football, field hockey, and lacrosse often lead to foot and ankle injuries. Artificial surfaces, improper footwear, and inadequate stretching are recipes for disaster.
For more information on sports injuries or to request an appointment, click the button below.
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.
Symptoms include stiffness of joints (especially in the morning), limitation of joint movement, pain, tenderness, redness, rashes, and/or swelling in the joints.
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.
Often we associate arthritis with older patients who have lived an active lifestyle. Gout, on the other hand, can affect anyone. Gout is a common form of arthritis that is known for its sudden attacks of pain and joint tenderness. Joints that are affected by gout are often hot to the touch, swollen, and very tender. While symptoms are not chronic, it is essential to take preventative measures to manage gout as its side effects can be debilitating and intolerable.
In addition to your treatment here at Ankle & Foot Associates LLC, we recommend the following preventative measures as a part of your at-home care:
- Stay hydrated. By drinking plenty of fluids and limiting sugary drinks, you can help prevent future gout attacks.
- Maintain a healthy weight as directed by your healthcare provider.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Some types of alcohol are more likely to increase the likelihood of a gout attack.
- Consider adding low-fat dairy products to your diet. These foods are proven to help protect against gout and are excellent sources of protein.
At Ankle & Foot Associates LLC, our highly trained group of professionals is here to help treat your gout and keep you as pain-free as possible.