Posts for category: Foot Care
What are the signs of metatarsalgia?
You could be dealing with metatarsalgia if,
- You have foot pain that is exacerbated by standing, walking, or flexing your foot
- Foot pain gets better with rest
- You have a sharp or burning pain in the ball of the foot
- There is a sharp or shooting pain in the toes
- Your toes tingle or feel numb
- You feel as if you have a stone in your shoe
What causes this foot problem?
Certain factors can certainly increase your risk of developing metatarsalgia. These risk factors include,
- Experiencing stress fractures in the toes
- Wearing high heels or shoes with a narrow toe box
- Being overweight or obese
- Having certain foot deformities such as bunions or hammertoes
- High arches
- Intense or endurance exercises such as long-distance running
You can ease metatarsalgia pain and discomfort on your own through simple lifestyle changes including,
- Avoiding certain activities and exercises that make the pain worse (e.g., running)
- Wearing properly fitted and fully supportive shoes
- Avoiding high heels or shoes that are too tight
- Placing shoe inserts or padding under the metatarsal bones for further support
- Icing the area multiple times a day
- Taking a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication
What causes flat feet?
Sometimes flat feet are simply inherited (thanks mom and dad!). Other times they develop as a result of a weakening of the posterior tibial tendon due to age-related wear and tear, physical activity, and overpronation. Those who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop flat feet.
Should I be concerned about my child’s flat feet?
The arches of the feet develop during childhood, so it’s not normal for your baby or toddler to have arches. Their flat feet are perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. Arches typically won’t form until your child is two or three years old, and some children won’t develop arches until the age of five.
What are some ways to treat flat feet?
If you aren’t experiencing any symptoms then there is no reason to seek treatment for your flat feet; however, if you are dealing with foot pain, particularly around the heel or arches of the foot, then you should talk with your podiatrist about ways to ease your pain and prevent further flare-ups. Some conservative ways to treat flat feet include,
- Wearing properly fitted shoes that provide ample cushioning and support for the entire foot, particularly the arches and heel
- Consider getting prescription orthotics from your podiatrist, which can evenly distribute the weight throughout the foot rather than putting added pressure on the arches or heel
- Losing weight, if the patient is overweight or obese
- Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen, which can reduce pain and swelling
- Talking to your podiatrist about special exercises that you can do to improve the strength and function of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the foot to reduce pain
- Weighing the pros and cons of surgical intervention
- Wash feet at least once a day with soap and warm water. Make sure that you dry your feet thoroughly after.
- Make sure to dry feet as soon as possible after dealing with sweaty or perspiring feet.
- Choose socks made from materials that wick away sweat and improve ventilation.
- Apply deodorizing sprays or powders in shoes every day after wear, and make sure to wait 24 hours before wearing the same shoes again.
Certain shoes can leave you prone to cracked heels and dry skin due to friction from wearing loose-fitted shoes. People who wear sandals and other open-heeled shoes are more at risk for developing cracked heels. Instead, opt for closed-heeled shoes that fit properly and provide support.
If you are overweight, you may be surprised to discover that this could be contributing to your dry, cracked heels. This is because your feet take on all of your weight while standing, walking, and running. By safely dropping that excess weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise you can alleviate some of the pressure placed on your heels to reduce the risk of cracking.
While we know just how luxurious it feels to stand in a steaming hot shower, especially during the winter months, this could be contributing to dry skin on your feet and cracked heels. If this is something you deal with regularly you may look at your current bathing or showering ritual to see if that could be the culprit. Simply use warm and not hot water, which can strip the skin of the oils it needs to stay moist.
You should moisturize your feet every day to prevent dry skin from happening in the first place. Moisturizers that contain lactic acid, glycerin, or petroleum jelly can help to lock in moisture in your feet. Moisturize every time you get out of the shower and throughout the day, especially before going to bed. If you are prone to very dry, cracked feet, you may wish to moisturize and then wear socks to bed.
On particularly cold Idaho days, frostbite can be a real possibility if you don't take a few precautions. Fortunately, your podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Meridian, Nampa and Boise, ID, offer the care you need to protect your feet year-round.
6 tips that will help you avoid frostbitten feet and toes
Frostbite occurs when skin and tissues in freeze after exposure to freezing temperatures. Following these recommendations will help you reduce your frostbite risk:
- Wear Warm Boots or Shoes: Wearing the appropriate footwear for the weather is one of the simplest ways to avoid frostbite. Make sure your boots are well-insulated and don't have any holes. Athletic shoes with mesh inserts don't provide adequate protection from freezing temperatures and can quickly become damp if it snows or sleets.
- Double Up on the Socks: Wearing two pairs of socks will help keep your feet warmer when it's cold outside. Place socks designed to wick away sweat on first, then pull on a pair of wool or 100 percent cotton socks.
- Make Sure Your Boots Fully Protect Your Feet: Your boots won't offer much protection if they don't keep the snow away from your feet. If the snow is deeper than the top of your boots, you're likely to get a little snow in the boots. Wearing waterproof snow pants over the boots can help keep snow out.
- Change Wet Footwear Promptly: Head back inside and put on a dry pair of socks or boots if your feet are wet. Allow wet boots to dry completely before you wear them again. If the boots leak, throw them out and buy a new pair.
- Limit Outdoor Time on Frigid Days: Taking a walk or playing in the snow isn't a good idea when it's 15 degrees outside and strong winds are blowing. Staying inside or spending as little time as possible outdoors will help you avoid frostbite.
- Learn How to Identify Frostbite: If you have frostbite, your feet or toes may be numb, and the skin may look white, gray or waxy. Slowly warm up your feet by placing them in warm, not hot, water. Once your feet have warmed up a little, call your Meridian, Nampa or Boise foot doctor or go to the emergency room.
Keep your feet healthy with a visit to your Meridian, Nampa and Boise, ID, podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates. Call (208) 327-0627 to schedule an appointment for the Boise office, (208) 463-1660 for the Nampa/Caldwell office, or (208) 888-9876 for the Meridian office.