Posts for category: Foot Conditions
There are 52 bones in your feet and ankles, which means that feet contain about 25 percent of the bones in our bodies. Our feet also contain about 20-25 percent of the total joints in our body; therefore, it’s not too surprising to find out that your feet and ankles are unfortunately more likely to deal with tendon and joint pain at some point, whether through injury or certain conditions such as arthritis. When pain and other foot problems arise it’s important that you have a podiatrist you can turn to.
Common Causes of Tendon and Joint Pain in the Feet
Tendons are soft tissues that connect the muscles to the bones. Everything from overuse and foot injuries to structural imbalances can lead to pain. Common causes of tendon and joint pain include:
- Tendonitis: inflammation of the tendon caused by injury or overuse
- Sprains and strains: a common but usually minor foot and ankle injury, typically caused by physical activity
- Arthritis: a chronic, progressive condition that leads to joint pain, stiffness, and damage (osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to affect feet and ankles)
- Obesity: being overweight or obese can also put excessive pressure on the joints and tendons of your feet and ankles, leading to pain and other problems
Treating Tendon and Joint Pain
Visiting a podiatrist is the best choice you can make if you are dealing with severe, persistent, or new foot and ankle pain. Since some conditions can get worse without proper care and rest it’s important to find out what’s causing your pain so you know how to effectively treat it.
If you are dealing with pain caused by a sports injury or strain it’s a good idea to see a medical professional so you know the extent of the injury. More severe sprains may require protective boots or crutches to reduce the amount of weight being placed on the injured ankle or foot.
Arthritis is also a surprisingly common cause of foot pain. If you notice joint pain and stiffness that affects functionality, range of motion and mobility in your feet then you could be dealing with arthritis. Since arthritis can get worse without treatment, it is important that you work with your pediatrician and a team of medical professionals to determine the best medications and course of action to help manage your foot pain and to prevent permanent joint damage.
If you are experiencing foot pain it’s important to see a qualified medical professional that can determine the best way to treat your symptoms. Call your podiatrist today for a comprehensive evaluation.
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.