Posts for category: Foot Health
When most people think about foot deformities they most often think about bunions; however, hammertoes are just as common. This unassuming deformity comes about gradually, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late. “What is a hammertoe?” You might be wondering. A hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe (often the smaller toes), causing the toe to bend downward. In severe cases, a hammertoe will look almost claw-like.
There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. As you might imagine, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can still straighten the toe out. If you aren’t able to straighten the affected toe then this is a rigid hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe isn’t as serious as a rigid one; however, it’s important that you take care of your hammertoe to make sure that it doesn’t get worse.
While there is no way to cure a hammertoe there are simple measures you can take to prevent it from progressing. First and foremost, you need to take a look at the shoes you are wearing and make sure that they aren’t too tight. When you slip your feet into your shoes, does it cause your toes to bunch up against one another? If so then this could make your hammertoe worse.
Instead, opt for shoes with an ample toe box, which will allow your toes to wiggle and move around freely. If you have a structural imbalance within the foot this can leave you prone to foot problems such as hammertoes and bunions. To correct this imbalance, talk to your foot doctor about getting custom orthotics (shoe inserts), which can be placed into your shoes to help provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption for your feet.
If pain or stiffness does rear its ugly head you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can tackle both pain and inflammation in one fell swoop, or you can place a towel-wrapped ice pack (never put ice directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns) over the area for several minutes.
Just as you can buy pads to cover a bunion or callus, you can also buy a non-medicated protective pad to cover over a hammertoe. Since the deformed toe joint juts out this can leave the toe prone to calluses, which can cause pain when wearing shoes. To prevent a callus from forming, you can apply a protective pad over the deformed toe joint before putting on shoes.
Of course, if you are dealing with significant or frequent pain, or if the hammertoe is rigid, then you will want to turn to a podiatric specialist. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the disfigured joint.
You may think of an ingrown toenail as a pesky, minor problem, but for some patients it could cause a more urgent condition. For instance, patients who need diabetic foot care or have circulatory disorders must avoid ulcers or wounds on their feet. Find out how a podiatrist at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Nampa, Meridian, and Boise, ID, can help you with your ingrown toenails.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
A normal toenail grows outward over the surface of the skin. An ingrown toenail pushes down into the skin, causing pain and discomfort. It is sometimes caused by cutting the nails too short, or wearing snug shoes that put too much pressure on the nails. Some patients are more prone to this problem due to genetics, as it can run in families. In some cases, ingrown toenails can develop after a foot injury, like stubbing the toe on a piece of furniture. People who play sports may have frequent problems with their toenails.
Treating Ingrown Toenails
The basic treatment for an ingrown toenail is to have the nail clipped carefully by your Nampa, Meridian, and Boise, ID, podiatrist. In some cases, the nail may have to be surgically removed. If there is a wound left behind, it may require antibiotic therapy and wound care. See your foot doctor immediately if the area becomes red, swollen, and infected.
An Annoying but Manageable Foot Problem
If you tend to develop ingrown toenails, rest assured that this is a foot condition that is relatively easy to manage. Here are a few tips for how to ensure that your toenails grow properly:
- Clip your nails straight across, a couple of millimeters above the line where the skin and nail meet.
- Smooth out the edges of each nail with a file regularly so that they won’t be sharp or jagged.
- Keep your feet moisturized and clean throughout the day.
- Get rid of tight, pointed shoes and replace them with shoes that are square or round at the front.
Keep Your Toenails Healthy
Your toenails provide much-needed protection for your toes, so it’s important that you keep them healthy and well-maintained. If you need help avoiding ingrown toenails, call Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Nampa, Meridian, and Boise, ID, today to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.
Are your feet ready to take on the thrilling ski season ahead? Let’s find out.
Ski season is upon us and perhaps visions of powder-white trails have you beaming ear to ear. We understand the excitement. Of course, our Boise, ID, podiatrists want to make sure that you have an enjoyable and safe ski season ahead. It’s time to ponder whether your ski boots are providing you with the proper support you need or whether your feet could benefit from custom orthotics.
There is a variety of conditions that can plague your feet if you don’t wear the proper ski boots or if you don’t offer your feet the support and stability they need to play hard but safely on the ski trails.
Once feet are situated within the ski boots they should be locked in place; however, if the foot is able to move around this can lead to heel pain or other complications in the future (e.g. hammertoes; bunions). To combat these issues you will want to consider getting custom ski orthotics from our Boise podiatrists.
Everyone who is hitting the slopes can benefit from custom orthotics. Not everyone gets properly fitted ski boots and boot issues can quickly set in. In fact, it’s not uncommon for properly fitted ski boots to flatten the arches of the feet, which can lead to muscle and tendon strain, as well as foot pain.
When you come in for custom ski orthotics we will mold and shape the accommodative device to your specific foot’s shape and to provide additional support, stability and control whenever you are wearing your boots. By placing these customized shoe inserts into your boots before activity it can provide the feet with the cushioning and molding they need to prevent the boots from forcing your arches into a flattened position, which means that you are now fully equipped to enjoy an injury-free ski season.
If you are interested in finding out whether custom orthotics could be what you need to keep sporty feet feeling their best then turn to the foot specialists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Boise. Whether you are a winter sports athlete or you just love sports all seasons of the year, let our podiatrists provide your feet with the care they need to keep you moving.
Learn more about poor circulation from your Boise podiatrist.
Cold toes, spider veins, and swollen feet after a night in heels — are these things just part of being human, or are they actually signs of poor blood circulation in the feet? Poor circulation is a serious condition. If you live in Boise, ID, you should seek help from a podiatrist at Idaho Foot and Ankle Associates. Here are five signs that you have poor circulation in your feet.
1. Cold Feet
Shivering on a bone-chilling, blustery day is often an inevitable part of life and usually nothing to worry about. There are times, however, when feeling cold cannot be cured by raising the thermostat. Your blood helps regulate your body temperature, and if there is decreased blood flow in your feet, they may become cold.
Bluish or white toes may yield in response to cold temperatures. The color of your skin is influenced by the oxygen supply, and when there is poor blood circulation, skin can change its color.
3. Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps can be the result of poor blood circulation, as muscles no longer receive the proper amount of oxygen they need to function properly. When too little oxygen reaches the feet, they become cold and muscle cramps can occur.
If your feet get swollen and puffy frequently and for no apparent reason, poor blood circulation may be the culprit. Swelling can occur in the feet because our circulatory system tries to reduce the load and leaves a build-up of fluid in the feet.
When you have poor circulation, loss of sensation may occur for a few minutes in your feet. Although many individuals have experienced numbness in their feet, those with poor blood circulation in the feet will experience it more often.
Poor circulation in the feet affects individuals of all ages and if left untreated can cause damage to your liver, brain, kidney, heart and limbs. Do your feet a favor and call Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates at (208) 327-0627 to schedule an appointment with one of our world-class Boise, ID podiatrists.