Texas Foot Doctor's Blog
Often, the problems in your feet and ankles go away with time, rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and changing your shoes. However, sometimes these problems just won’t go away, and that's when you should visit your podiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment.
When Should I See a Podiatrist?
If you are having a specific foot problem, your best bet is to visit your podiatrist for the best care available. Several serious conditions, such as diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, can show up in your feet first, making it more important than ever to get them checked out.
A Wound or Sore That Does Not Heal
If you have an open sore on your foot or ankle, you should visit your podiatrist immediately! This is especially important if you have diabetes, as it takes a diabetic longer to heal even when being treated.
Some changes to your feet are normal as you age, but having pain isn’t one of them. As you begin putting more miles on your feet, you may notice that your feet change shape, lose cushioning, experience skin changes, develop arthritis and experience an array of other complications. It's always best to get checked by your podiatrist rather than unknowingly let a serious foot issue worsen, especially as you age.
Pain Increasing with Activity or Lasting more than 24 Hours
If you are experiencing pain that gets worse with activity, this may be a sign of a stress fracture. You should not try to work through the pain. Instead, it is vital that you visit your podiatrist. If you treat a stress fracture early, you can potentially avoid more serious problems, such as a stress fracture that will not heal, or one that turns into a fully broken bone.
Don’t ignore your foot or ankle pain! Visit your podiatrist for a diagnosis, treatment and to help prevent your symptoms from worsening.
Flat feet are common and are the source of many foot problems. Also called fallen arches, flat foot is a condition in which a person has no arch on the bottom of their feet. Where most people’s feet are curved on the bottom, a person with flat feet has no curve or arch. When this occurs your feet can turn inward, causing stress on other parts of the body. With the help of your podiatrist, however, you can find relief from your flat feet while protecting other parts of your body from further problems.
If you have flat feet, it can lead to other issues with your foot. You may develop is plantar fasciitis, which causes pain and inflammation in the ligaments of the foot. Tendonitis and arthritis can also result. The lack of shock absorption in the foot can cause shin splints. Bunions and hammertoes may also result.
When problems in the feet occur, odds are you will eventually experience problems with your legs. Since people with flat feet pronate or roll their feet inward when they walk, the lower legs will try to accommodate to keep balance. When this occurs, it can lead to pain in the ankles, lower legs and, often, pain in the knees.
Treatment for Flat Feet
To stop the leg and foot pain, it is important to visit your podiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment options. Orthotics are commonly used to lift the foot and give you the cushion that your fallen arches normally would. If a fallen arch is caused by weight gain, losing weight will also help to alleviate your foot complications. Visit our office for a consultation!
With more than 30 joints in your foot, joint pain may seem like it can come from anywhere and everywhere. Swelling, tenderness, stiffness, redness, bruising or increased warmth--these all can come along with the pain and can be caused by trauma, infection, arthritis, bursitis, gout or structural foot problems. With such an unpleasant litany of symptoms and causes, it's helpful to know a few simple tips to ease your pain before you visit your podiatrist for a full diagnosis.
Joint Pain Treatment
When you first notice any joint pain in your foot and ankle, your podiatrist may initially treat your pain with RICE, which stands for:
Your podiatrist will also recommend limiting walking and bearing weight on the painful foot. Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can also help to reduce local inflammation and pain. Custom orthotics may also be prescribed to support the foot, particularly if the issue lies in foot mechanics. If your pain is caused by a condition such as gout, lifestyle changes and alterations in your diet may also help reduce or even eliminate your pain.
If you're experiencing immobilizing joint pain in your feet or ankles, your podiatrist is best equipped to determine the cause and recommend the appropriate treatment. What may seem like joint pain could also be something else entirely, such as a stress fracture, or could be caused by an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder, such as Rheumatoid arthritis. Schedule an appointment today to ensure accurate treatment and a speedy recovery!
Whether it's dropping a can of soup on your foot or whacking your toe against a wall, we've all been there before—hopping and holding our beaten, bruised toe. While you may not think anything of these common “stubs,” you may soon experience a throbbing, swollen, broken toe. A broken toe is painful, so don’t suffer through it—visit your podiatrist for a diagnosis and proper treatment plan.
How Is a Broken Toe Treated?
Treatments for a broken toe aim to reduce the pain and swelling and help the fracture heal properly. Your podiatrist offers these at home solutions:
- Elevation – by keeping your foot raised above the level of your heart, you can help decrease swelling and discomfort. Prop your foot up on some pillows, especially when sleeping.
- Ice – put ice in a plastic bag and apply it to your injured toe for 15-20 minutes every 1-2 hours. Do this for the first day or two. Don’t forget to place a towel between the skin and the ice to keep your skin protected.
- Rest – avoid any strenuous exercise, prolonged standing, or walking. You may need crutches or a special shoe to avoid placing extra weight on the broken toe.
Depending on the location and severity of your broken toe, your podiatrist might need to splint or cast your toe. Contact us for further diagnosis and treatment planning for the proper healing of your broken toe, so that you can get back to your normal day-to-day schedule.
Have you ever twisted your ankle while participating in a sport? Or maybe you simply slipped while walking? Either way, ankle sprains, and fractures should not be ignored. Ankle sprains are common injuries that occur when ligaments are stretched or torn, with nearly 85% occurring laterally or on the outside of the ankle joints. By visiting your podiatrist, you can receive the care you need to get back on your feet.
Symptoms of a Sprained or Fractured Ankle
Your symptoms upon spraining your ankle may vary depending on the severity of your pain and how it occurred. The symptoms of an ankle sprain may include:
- Pain or soreness
- Difficulty walking
- Stiffness in the joint
All ankle sprains will produce some level of pain at the time of your injury and the joint will also feel tender, beginning to swell. If your sprain is mild, you may experience a slight loss in the function of your joint.
With a more serious sprain, you will most likely fall during the initial impact of the injury. It will often be difficult to move or put weight on your injured ankle, producing bruising and swelling from the ankle to the foot. Once you have had ankle sprains or other ankle injuries before, you may have a weakened joint that creates more of a chance for future injuries to take place.
Common symptoms of an ankle fracture are similar to ankle sprains, and include:
- Pain to touch
- Inability to walk on the leg
- Deformity around the ankle
Treatment and Prevention
Treatment for your ankle sprain begins with self-care. The RICE evaluation is highly recommended upon the initial onset of your injury:
When your podiatrist feels you are ready to begin participating in sports and exercising, you can help prevent further sprains and fractures by wearing an ankle brace during the first initial months of being back on your ankle. Special wraps are also available to protect your ankle.
If your symptoms still persist after taking the initial step of at-home-care, or if you suspect you might have a fracture, a visit to your podiatrist may be in order. With a consultation at our practice, your ankle sprain or fracture can be treated and further prevented. There is no need to put an end to your athletic lifestyle with recurring ankle injuries.
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