We will help you understand all about proper foot care, treatment options, and different foot problems.
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Do I Need Surgery for My Heel pain?
Heel pain is a major life changer. It can keep you from doing what you love- activities, hobbies, vacations, even your job can be affected. While it can be very frustrating, surgery is always our last option for treating heel pain.
Heel pain is usually caused by plantar fasciitis. This is when the plantar fascia, which is the band that runs from your toes to your heel, becomes inflamed. Heel pain is caused by many factors including weight gain, increased activity and ill-fitting shoes.Treatment is designed to reduce inflammation and offloading the tendon.
Treatments can include
1. Extra Corporeal Shock Wave Therapy
2. Laser Therapy
4. Physical Therapy
Heel pain will usually only get worse without treatment. The sooner you are treated, the better your chances are for a faster, conservative treatment.
Why Do I Have Bunions?
Bunions can be very frustrating! They can be painful and frustrating. Many people have a hard time trying to find shoes that can accommodate their bunions. Some people even opt to wear sandals all year to allow for space for their bunion. So, what caused this pesky bone deformity?
Bunions are caused by a biomechanical problem in the foot. The problem forces the big toe towards the second toe. Once the metatarsal rotates outward, the big toe moves closer and closer to the next toe.
While bunion surgery is the most common treatment for bunions, there are ways to prevent them altogether. If you begin to notice bunions stay away from tight shoes and high heels. Furthermore, orthotics can help to correct the biomechanics by aligning and stabilizing the foot. This will offload the weight placed on the toebox.
If you have bunions, you do not automatically need surgery! There are conservative treatments to help slow or stop the development of bunions. Call our office so we can design a treatment plan that's right for you.
What is the Difference Between a Fracture and a Break?
What is the difference between a fracture and a break? Nothing! A fracture and a break are the same. This is a common misconception. Our patients often ask if the bone is broken or "just fractured, assuming a fracture will be less severe. Since they are the same, the treatment for a fracture and a break are the same.
Treatment will began with RICE- rest, ice, compression and elevation. Your doctor will determine whether you need a hard cast or a walking boot. Although, both will immobilize the foot or ankle. Crutches or different types of walkers can be used to help getting around during this time. You will continue visits with the office and most likely continue with X-rays. Laser therapy is used to decrease swelling and speed up healing.
Once the break if healed you will free from the cast but will usually need to wear a CAM walker until advised by your doctor. After the boot it is best to continue wearing a supportive sneaker with your orthotic for a few months. Some people will need physical therapy, as well.
Do I Have to Sleep in My CAM Walker?
You've broken a bone or have just come from surgery and now you're in a CAM walker. Usually the next question we hear is do I have to wear the boot while I'm sleeping. Your doctor will go over your treatment plan with you at your visit but you may be overwhelmed and have questions once you get home and reality sets in.
While each case is different, in most cases you do NOT have to wear a CAM walker while your sleeping. Usually, you can take the boot off once you get in bed for the night. You DO have to put the boot back on before you put your feet down in the morning. You need to keep the boot close to you on the floor or on your nightstand so you can reach it easily. You SHOULD keep the boot on while you're laying around the house to prevent bumping the injury and to help the foot heal properly.
Listening to your doctor and following the treatment plan will help to get you better and out of the boot faster!
How Do You Treat Charcot Foot?
Charcot foot is an extreme side effect of diabetes, usually diabetic neuropathy. Charcot foot weakens the joints of the foot which can cause the arch to collapse, increase the risk of fractures and ulcers. Since diabetic neuropathy causes the feet to become numb, people suffering from this condition don't feel the ulcers which leads to infections and more seriously, amputations.
Wearing or even getting into a shoe can be next to impossible so one of the main goals is helping patients get a proper fitting shoe. Many people find it easier to wear sandals or slippers while suffering from this condition, but that increases the chances of injury or infection.
Custom shoes and braces are used to help with comfort, as well as, prevent injury. If necessary, the doctor may need to use surgery. There are ways to prevent injuries and complications with charcot foot and your podiatrist can help you make the best decisions for your condition.
Should I Stop Running if My Feet Hurt?
Foot pain is common. Our office treats new and experienced runners for foot pain. While the cause and treatment for foot pain can differ for everyone, the importance of treatment is the same. The sooner you get treated for your pain, the chances of a quicker and simpler recovery do too. If you have foot pain, you should rest your feet and see a podiatrist.
Foot can be different. For some runners starting out, foot pain is very common. Your feet and whole body are adjusting to the increased activity. This pain will be more of an ache and soreness that will begin to decrease a few days or weeks after you have started. If you have been running or involved with a high impact sport, and suddenly start to experience foot pain there is a good chance it is an injury or biomechanical issue.
The moral of the story, yes you should stop running and check with a podiatrist. If you are a new running, you can give yourself a few days to see if the pain decreases. Getting treated early into an injury will usually make the recovery less painful, less expensive, and much faster!
Do I Need to See a Podiatrist if I Have a Broken Toe?
Yes, you should see a podiatrist if you have a broken toe. Broken toes are usually caused by dropping something heavy on them or jamming it into something whether a door or sports related. Your doctor will examine your toe and take x-rays to determine if your toe is broken or just "stubbed". Depending on the severity, you may need to tape the toe or in more serious cases- wear a boot, cast or have surgery.
If you have pain for more than 3 days, you may have a broken toe or something more serious. Your doctor will examine your toe and take x-rays to determine if your toe is broken or just "stubbed". Depending on the severity, you need to tape the toe or in more serious cases wear a boot, cast or have surgery. Arthritis and nail problems are common results of not treating a broken toe. If you have think you may have broken your toe, you should call your podiatrist.
What Should I Do If My Diabetic Ulcer Won't Heal?
Diabetic ulcers are very common, but very serious. Diabetic ulcers are commonly caused by diabetic peripheral neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy can cause your feet to become numb and with numb feet, comes injury. A person with numb feeling feet will not notice a rock in their shoe leading to cut which can quickly turn into an ulcer for a diabetic. In addition, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) will reduce blood flow to the extremities like the legs, feet and hands.
A diabetic ulcer may start small, but can turn much more serious very quickly. For a diabetic, a small cut can progress into a bone infection very quickly. With a combination of the neuropathy and PAD, an ulcer can be very hard to heal. A person, especially a diabetic should never try to treat an ulcer on their own. If you or a loved one have an ulcer, you should speak to a doctor.
Is There a Cure for Diabetic Neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy can cause the feet or toes to feel numb, tingling, even burning. Neuropathy is common in diabetics due to the damage caused by high blood sugar. High blood sugar will damage the nerves, especially in the extremities, like the feet and hands. The damage will result in the feeling of burning or even loss of feeling altogether.
There is no "cure" for diabetic neuropathy, but there are treatment options and possible preventative measures. To start, managing your diabetes and blood sugar will help to reduce your chances of developing diabetic neuropathy. Diet, exercises and close monitoring of your diabetes is the best prevention.
However, if diabetic neuropathy does develop, we have different treatment options available. There are oral and topical medications to reduce any pain you may be feeling in your feet. Additionally, MicroVas is treatment used to help reduce pain and has even helped people regain feeling once they are dealing with numb feet. MicroVas increases blood flow to the feet. It is painless and effective.
If you are dealing with diabetic neuropathy, call our office to discuss your treatment options.
Can Children Get the MLS Laser Therapy?
Children can get foot pain. Heel pain, achilles tendonitis, and sprained ankles are common complaints in children. Children can experience foot problems from simply growing, starting a new sport or over use from a sport. The main goal in treating children is to treat them quickly and efficiently because, as we all know, children rarely slow down. The chances of a child actually taking the time to give their body a rest and time to heal is very slim.
Our MLS laser is safe for children. The laser works to stimulate the body to start healing the injured or painful area all on it's own. We understand a main concern for parents is to not have their child take medication or face a surgery with a long recovery. The MLS laser has no side effects and is done right in the office. The laser is completely painless and does not require any needles or anesthesia. The laser only takes 6-10 minutes. The laser treats most common foot problems and is great for injuries. Since it has no side effects, requires no down time or needles, it is a great treatment option for children.
Should I Use Heat or Ice on a Sprained Ankle?
Heat and ice work differently in treating or relieving pain for an injury. In the case of a sprained ankle and most other acute injuries, you should use ice. Ice is the best choice for recent injuries where the main goal is to decrease inflammation or swelling. Heat is an assumed better choice as it feels better and may seem like it can help the distressed muscle or bone, it can actually do more damage.
Ice will constrict the blood vessels which decreases blood flow. This process will help to reduce the inflammation in the area. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation is the best start to treatment. After that, you should call a podiatrist!
What are the Side Effects of the Laser Treatment?
The Laser does not have side effects! The Laser is completely pain free! Even better, you can use the laser in conjunction with other treatments (ie physical therapy or steroids). The Laser is a completely nonsurgical and medicine-free option. This is a great conservative, holistic approach to healing your pain. We recommend the laser for treating a range of foot and ankle problems including diabetic neuropathy, heel pain, tendonitis and more. Make an appointment to see if you are a candidate for Laser therapy!
How Many Laser Treatments Do I Need?
Each person is different. You may have a similar problem to a neighbor but the severity may be different. The number of treatments you need will be determined by the doctor but is usually between 3-12 sessions. In addition, those with chronic pain may be recommended to have steady treatments to keep their pain away, as you would have regular teeth cleaning to keep cavities away. You will usually feel an improvement in 1-3 visits and each treatment is cumulative which means each treatments builds on the last session.
Does Laser Treatment Hurt?
No laser therapy does not hurt. In fact, you probably won't even feel it. Laser therapy is so peaceful our patients often fall asleep during the treatment and it only lasts about 10-15 minutes. Laser therapy is a great conservative treatment option for those who prefer non surgical methods, as well as, a more holistic approach to their health. There is no pain or side effects.
When Should I Buy a Baby Her First Pair of Shoes?
You should buy your baby his or her first shoe once they are confidently walking around the house. When they are in the house, let them go barefoot, but if you are planning to go out and let baby walk, it's time for shoes!
Make sure to go to a reputable store for your child's first pair of shoes. They should be measured by a professional, both in length and width. Many babies are not too fond of the shoe buying experience so a good tip is to trace your child's foot onto a blank piece of paper while they are happily standing at home. The child must be standing. You can bring this to the store to help if your child gets impatient.
Make sure the shoe is breathable, lightweight and has flexible soles. The best material is leather, canvas or cotton. Plastic shoes can make your child's feet sweat leading to other problems. You want your child to walk comfortably in the shoes without it sliding off their feet. You want to have space in the front of the shoe so your child's feet can grow.
Are Diabetics Allowed a Free Pair of Shoes?
Many people ask us if diabetics are allowed a free pair of shoes. Unfortunately, this is not true. However, qualifying diabetics with Medicare are entitled to one pair of shoes and three shoe inserts per calendar year with little to NO COST. (deductibles and co-insurance may apply).
The cost for treating diabetic complications is much higher than helping to prevent complications. These diabetic shoes can prevent ulcers and amputations by abiding by certain standards.
Our office team can verify your insurance to determine whether you are a qualifying diabetic.
How Do I Know if One Leg is Longer Than the Other?
Most people have some degree of difference in their leg length. If you have pain in your feet, ankles, hips or back then you could be suffering from leg length discrepancy. Many people are born with one leg longer than the other, while others have length discrepancy due to an injury ir illness.
The leg that is longer will usually start to have symptoms or pain first. Pain in the feet, ankles, hips and back are very common symptoms of leg length discrepancy. Other symptoms include:
- Poor posture
- Limping or toe walking
- Arthritis, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis
The treatment for leg length can vary depending on the severity. Often people just need to use a heel lift to correct the issue. A heel lift is painless and goes right into your shoe to balance out the legs.
If you suspect you have one leg longer than the other or have pain in your feet or ankles, you should see a podiatrist to help with treatment.
Are There Shoe Lifts to Fix One Leg Longer Than the Other?
Heel lifts or other shoe inserts can help to correct a limb length discrepancy. The lift is designed to balance out the unequal lengths in someone's legs. Limb length discrepancy can cause a slew of foot, ankle, hip and back pain. While most people have a slight difference in leg length, if you are experiencing pain or see a noticeable difference in your stature, you should see a doctor.
Heel lifts are also used to treat common foot and ankle injuries and pain. Achilles tendonitis and bursitis are common problems that heel lifts are used to treat. This can prevent further pain and problems from developing.
Heel lifts are painless and placed right into your shoes. Your doctor will measure your legs to determine the difference the degree and find a heel lift that matches. The heel lift will be used right in your shoes and can be used to treat the problem immediately.
Should I Get Short or Long Orthotics?
There are different types of orthotics and the type you choose will depend on what you're looking to accomplish. Typically there are dress, casual, custom and prefabricated. Dress orthotics are shorter than casual. These are designed to fit into narrow dress shoes. People who wear dress shoes most often will likely go for this option. An added benefit to dress orthotics is that they will also fit into your casual shoes or sneakers.
Casual orthotics are long and are designed to fill your entire shoe. Your doctor or Certified Pedorthist will ensure that the orthotic fits snuggly in your shoes. If needed, they will trim or shave the orthotic for the best fit. These orthotic also tend to offer more support. as they will support the whole foot from heel to toe.
The type of orthotic- prefabricated vs custom. Prefabricated orthotics are made to fit your foot type. These come in different shapes and sizes, and we will match your foot to the best comparable orthotic. Custom orthotics are specifically made for your foot. We will take a scan or cast a mold of your foot and make an orthotic for your specific foot. Both custom and prefabricated come in dress and casual.
How Can I Fix Dry, Cracked Heels?
Dry or cracked feet and heels can be embarrassing! In addition to being unsightly, they can also be painful and put you at risk for infections. First, you need to understand the cause of your problem. Your dry skin can be caused by a number of reasons. Your shoes or your gait can cause thick calluses to form on your heels. In addition, athlete's foot, a skin condition can cause a thickening of the skin. Also, going barefoot or wearing shoes without socks can cause heel problems.
Treating the problem will depend on the cause. If you have a fungus or skin infection, you doctor may prescribe a cream or medication to help fight the problem. If your just dealing with thick skin, our office will use an efficient and powerful sander to painlessly wear down the skin. This will make at home maintenance of massaging the foot with a pumice stone and applying lotion easier. Visit our office to finally get your feet smooth and soft!