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.
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.
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.
High Arch Feet
The arches of your feet are responsible for much of the shock absorption while walking and running. Having arches that are too low or too high can lead to a host of problems with not only your feet and ankles but also your back and hips.
- Cerebral palsy
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spinal cord tumors
- Spina bifida
- Charcot-Marie-tooth disease
One way to check at home if you have high arches is to stand on a piece of paper with wet feet. If the imprint you leave has no connection between the heel and ball portion of the foot, you most likely have high arches. If there is only a thin connection between them, you probably have moderately high arches.
Some of the problems that may be caused by having arches that are too high can include plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, claw toes, hammer toe, as well as foot and ankle instability. Just because you have high arches doesn’t mean you have to suffer through these conditions, though. There are several ways to support and treat high arches such as orthotic devices, foot pads, night splints, and special walking shoes.
If you still experience discomfort, it may help to ice your arches for 20 minutes at a time throughout the day and take over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen. At Kinex Podiatry, we’re happy to make some recommendations if you feel you have high arches and are experiencing pain in your feet and ankles.
For questions about high arches or to request an appointment, give us a call at (972) 709-7556 today!
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.
Make sure to wear proper shoes and stretch for at least 15 minutes before playing sports.
For more information on sports injuries or to request an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at (972) 709-7556!
Foot & Ankle Arthritis
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.
For more information on arthritis foot and ankle care or to request an appointment, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (972) 709-7556!
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.
- 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 Kinex Podiatry, our highly trained group of professionals is here to help treat your gout and keep you as pain-free as possible. For more information about our services or to request an appointment, contact us today at (972) 709-7556.
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.
For more information on pediatric foot conditions or to request an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at (972) 709-7556!