Posts for category: Foot Conditions
Hiking is a great physical pursuit that allows you to combine exercise with experiencing nature first-hand. For those who enjoy this activity, however, staying safe is vitally important, and that is especially true when it comes to feet. Here at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Boise, ID, your team of podiatrists is here to provide both novice and experienced hikers alike with information about the common hiking injuries that they regularly diagnose and treat:
Studies have shown that blisters are the most common injury to affect hikers—after all, constantly being on your feet and wearing new, stiff shoes/boots that rub up against your ankles is a combination that often leads to these small, yet painful, lesions. Most of the time, blisters are easy to treat through simple cleaning and the application of antibiotic ointment and a padded bandage. However, if your blister shows signs of infection or isn't healing, contact your Idaho podiatrist.
Walking on uneven terrain or slippery rocks creates the looming possibility of a sprained ankle for all hikers. A sprain happens when the ankle turns beyond its normal flexibility and overstretches its ligaments. Your Boise podiatrist diagnoses sprains by three different degrees: mild sprains are considered first degree, moderate sprains are considered second degree, and severe sprains (designated by bruising, pain, and instability) are diagnosed as third degree.
Resting, icing, and elevating the sprain are important regardless of the degree, although you may need a compression wrap, a brace, or crutches if you have a more severe sprain.
More adventurous hikers may test their limits by hiking in cold, snowy weather. Although the sights can be breathtaking, patients should be well versed about the risk of developing frostbite. This injury occurs when skin is exposed to harsh cold, with the toes being at particular risk due to their distance from the body's core.
Wearing comfortable, well-fitted socks and shoes can help encourage proper circulation, and you should always make sure to change out of wet gear as soon as possible. If the toes become numb, stay dented in when pressure is applied, or develop a white, waxy appearance, cancel your hiking trip and seek emergency treatment immediately.
Concerned? Give us a call
To schedule an appointment with one of our podiatry team members, contact Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Boise, ID, today!
As you become more active it’s important to keep the health of your feet in mind.
Summer is such a wonderful time. It’s time to take that trip to Europe or play beach volleyball or just enjoy peaceful walks around the park. Of course, whatever you choose to do to celebrate the beautiful warm weather our Boise, ID, podiatrists want you to keep the health of your feet in mind to prevent common foot problems that often occur more frequently as people become more active.
Limit Your Flip-Flop Usage
Yes, we know how comfortable these shoes may seem, especially when it’s blazing hot out; however, many flip-flops do not provide feet with the ample support they need, which not only affects the health of your feet but could also lead to posture and orthopedic issues. Those who do wear flip-flops are more likely to deal with foot, ankle, hip and lower back pain. Therefore, replace those flip-flops with a supportive pair of quality sandals and your feet will thank you.
Slowly Increase Activity
With the warm weather it’s easy to finally get out there and start running again; however, it’s important that you don’t just jump right into a workout that’s perhaps a little too intense. Ease back into running, especially if you’ve taken time away from it during the colder months. Remember, running outdoors can be tougher on your feet due to hard pavement and uneven running surfaces. Make sure to slowly increase the duration and intensity of your run to reduce your risk for plantar fasciitis or tendonitis, inflammatory conditions that cause heel pain.
Consider Shoe Inserts
From very high arches to flat feet, there are many structural abnormalities that can affect how your feet function as a whole. To prevent deformities like bunions and hammertoes, as well as shin splints and other painful conditions, our Boise, ID, podiatrists can create custom orthotics, which can be placed inside your shoes to cushion, stabilize, support, and absorb shock. Shoe inserts are also great for athletes.
Wash Your Feet Daily
This should be a given and yet you would be surprised how many people just think that soaking in the tub or letting water run over their feet in the shower is enough. From participating in yoga to wearing loafers all day for work, there are many factors that can lead to sweaty and dirty feet. They need a proper washing each and every day with soap and water to reduce sweat and to prevent fungal infections, which are more common during the summer months.
Summer should be enjoyed pain-free; however, if you do end up dealing with a foot or ankle problem in Nampa, Meridian, or Boise, ID, it’s important to know where to turn. Our podiatrists here at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates wants to make sure you get the care you deserve. Call us today.
Diabetic feet need special care because of decreased circulation, neuropathy, joint deterioration, and more. While your primary care physician may guide you on blood sugar control, medications, a healthy diet, and active lifestyle, your podiatrist assesses and treats how your feet and ankles function everyday and for the long term. Enlist their help in the health maintenance of your diabetic feet.
Keeping ahead of neuropathy and avoiding amputation
Those are two key goals of diabetic foot care. Your podiatrist will want to see you regularly to assess the color, temperature, sensation, function, and shape of your feet and ankles, noting any developing problems. Early detection of circulation issues, nerve degeneration (neuropathy), and deformities, such as hammertoes, bunions, and Charcot Foot, are key.
Your podiatric foot examination will include an eye-on inspection of your skin (color, temperature, texture, and integrity). Your foot doctor also may perform gait analysis to watch for changes in how you walk. Sometimes a podiatrist orders X-ray imaging or an MRI to view the internal structure of the foot and/or ankle.
Remember, that foot ulcers are the primary threat to the overall health and well-being of the diabetic, says the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Untreated, they may lead to complications so severe amputation is the only option.
What can you do to treat your diabetic feet?
- Be proactive. Inspect your feet daily, looking redness or skin breakdown.
- Wash and dry your feet daily.
- Trim your toenails carefully using a clean clippers. Trim straight across and not too short to avoid ingrown toenails.
- Wear shoes at all times--even indoors--to avoid injury.
- Wear clean, well-fitting, moisture-wicking socks.
- Keep your weight and blood sugars within normal range.
- Get in-office treatment of calluses and corns, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
- Avoid all forms of tobacco.
- Report any changes to your foot doctor as soon as possible.
- See your podiatrist every six months or as he or she directs.
Healthy feet and a healthy you
Podiatric health is so important, but especially to the diabetic. So stay in touch with your foot doctor, and be routinized in your foot care for better long-term health.
Are you dealing with pain, burning, tingling or numbness between your toes or in the ball of the foot? If you said “yes” then you could be dealing with a neuroma, a pinched nerve or benign tumor of the nerve that is often found between the third and fourth toes.
The classic symptom of a neuroma is pain, particularly when walking—a factor that leads many people to liken the condition to feeling like a pebble is in their shoe. You may find that the pain eases up whenever you aren’t walking or when you rub the pained area with your hands. While neuromas can happen to anyone, they are most commonly found in women.
While the causes of a neuroma are still not clear, there are factors that can increase the likelihood of developing one, such as:
- Extremely high arches
- Flat feet
- Trauma that leads to nerve damage in the feet
- Improper footwear (high heels over two-inches tall; pointed toes)
- Repeated stress placed on the foot
Treating a Neuroma
A neuroma will not go away on its own, so it’s important to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of the condition's symptoms. The type of treatment or treatments recommended to you will depend on the severity of the neuroma.
Those with minor neuromas may be able to lessen symptoms by wearing shoes that provide ample room for the toes and offer thick soles that provide more support and cushioning for the toes and balls of the feet. Sometimes a podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to place inside the shoes, as well.
Your podiatrist may also recommend padding or taping the ball of the foot to improve faulty biomechanics and reduce discomfort. While medication will not eliminate the problem, it can temporarily alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can often briefly reduce pain and swelling, but for those dealing with more severe pain, steroid injections may be necessary to ease symptoms.
Surgery for a Neuroma
Surgery only becomes necessary when conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief, or when the neuroma has progressed enough that conservative care won’t be enough. During surgery, the inflamed nerve is removed through a simple outpatient procedure. Afterward, there is a short recovery period of a couple of weeks before patients are able to move about pain-free once again!
Give us a Call!
If you are dealing with new or worsening foot pain it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist that can help give you the answers you need. Schedule an appointment today.
Swelling, reddened flesh, shooting pain, and pus are just some of the incredibly uncomfortable symptoms of having an ingrown toenail. Although this condition can sometimes be successfully treated through home remedies, ingrown toenails often progress to the point of infection, a point that then requires professional treatment. Read on to learn what causes this problem, when it’s right to seek medical help, and how our podiatrists can help get your foot back to a healthy state!
The Causes and Symptoms
Before we cover how to treat ingrown toenails, let’s first review the core causes and symptoms that hallmark this condition…
Ingrown toenails initially develop due to a few different factors, including:
- Cutting the toenail too short
- Rounding the toenail during grooming
- Wearing improperly fitting shoes
- Experiencing toe trauma
If the flesh on the side of the toe has become red, swollen, and tender, you likely have an ingrown toenail. If you have caught this problem while it’s still in its early stages, you can try implementing some of the home remedies listed in the next section. However, if your toe is exhibiting some of the following signs of infection, you should seek professional podiatric help:
- Pervasive shooting or throbbing toe pain
- Regular bleeding
- The presence of a pus-filled blister
- The skin has started growing over the nail
As mentioned above, if an ingrown toenail is caught before infection sets in, there are a few different methods that you can practice at home in order to clear up the issue. Some of these include:
- Around 3 to 4 times a day, submerge your foot into warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Regularly doing this should reduce swelling and provide pain relief.
- Following each soaking, use cotton to separate the ingrown toenail from the flesh that it is starting to grow under. This should allow the nail to grow above the skin again.
- Avoid snug or constraining shoes.
If these actions fail to clear up the problem in 2 to 3 days, you should pursue professional treatment.
In the case of a severe or recurring infection, there are a few different procedures that your podiatrist can perform to make your toe healthy again. Depending on the specifics of your ingrown toenail, one of the following treatments may be recommended:
- Partial Nail Removal: In the case of a severe ingrown toenail, your doctor can numb your toe before physically removing the ingrown portion of the nail.
- Nail and Tissue Removal: If the same toe is repeatedly experiencing the same ingrown toenail problem, this procedure can be performed to prevent future recurrences. It entails your podiatrist removing a portion of the underlying nail bed, thus preventing the nail from become ingrown again.
Concerned About Your Toe? Give Us a Call!
If your ingrown toenail needs medical attention, call our podiatric office today!