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Posts for: December, 2020

By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
December 30, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: ski boots   orthotics  

Protect the health of your feet and ankles all winter long with these helpful tips.

It’s beginning to look a lot like winter. While some people choose to hibernate during the colder months, there are snow bunnies and other winter lovers that enjoy the chilly, snowy days because it means more time to hit the slopes. If you are a winter sports lover, or you simply enjoy getting out into the wintry elements to enjoy the scenic views, our Boise, ID, podiatrists want to provide you with helpful advice on how to keep your feet and ankles safe and healthy during the winter.

Choose Appropriate Footwear

One of the best ways to protect your feet not just from the frigid and potentially dangerous winter elements but also from injuries is by wearing the proper shoes. When it’s icy out, people are more likely to fall, especially if they aren’t wearing the right shoes or boots.

Our Boise, ID, podiatrists see a lot of broken bones and ankle sprains due to winter accidents. It’s best to choose low-heeled shoes that offer a lot of traction. You’ll also want to choose shoes that are water-resistant and that offer the proper amount of insulation, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors.

Say “Yes” to Custom Orthotics

Many people turn to our podiatry team to get custom orthotics. Prescription orthotics are custom-made to fit your feet and provide them with additional cushioning, support and protection when standing, walking, running or participating in any activity.

We understand the abuse feet take, especially when enjoying winter activities such as skiing. Our team of podiatrists can provide you with high-quality, long-lasting orthotics made specially to fit your ski and snow boots. With custom orthotics, you can trust that you have ample protection for your feet and ankles so you can focus on enjoying your favorite winter sports.

Keep Feet Dry

Wet or damp feet, especially during the winter, can be dangerous. To protect against frostbite or even a nasty fungal infection, it’s important that you wear socks that wick moisture and can keep your feet dry. This, along with the appropriate footwear, can protect your feet from getting wet. If your feet do get wet, it’s important to take your shoes and socks off immediately once you get indoors.

If you are gearing up to go skiing or to enjoy your favorite winter sport, it’s important that you are protecting your feet and ankles from injury. If you would like to sit down with our Boise, ID, podiatrists to discuss whether custom orthotics could help you, call Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates at (208) 327-0627, (208) 463-1660 or (208) 888-9876. We provide comprehensive foot and ankle care to those living in and around Boise, Nampa/Caldwell and Meridian.


By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
December 15, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects the FeetRheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis, and it is characterized by joint pain, inflammation, and damage. RA, like other kinds of arthritis, is progressive, which means that symptoms will gradually get worse over time if left untreated. So, how do you know if you might be developing RA in your feet? While a podiatrist can certainly provide you with a definitive diagnosis, here are some telltale signs of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • You experience pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints of the foot, particularly the toes
  • You experience aching feet, particularly after activity or long periods of standing
  • Some parts of your foot may feel oddly warm to the touch or may emanate heat while the rest of the foot feels normal
  • The joints of the toes and ankles may swell
Symptoms are often mild at first and you may not even think that you have arthritis. Those between the ages of 30 to 60 are more likely to develop RA. You may notice intense flare-ups that are characterized by bouts of remission (in which you don’t experience symptoms). Do not take these symptom-free moments to mean that you are fine. It’s important to see a podiatrist right away if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above.

What does RA do to the feet and ankles?

Along with painful joints and stiffness, you may also notice other changes to your feet over time. Some of these changes include,
  • Bunions
  • Corns
  • Hammertoes and claw toes
  • Bursitis
  • Circulation issues (e.g. atherosclerosis; Raynaud’s phenomena)
How is rheumatoid arthritis treated?

Since RA is not curable, your podiatrist will focus on crafting a treatment plan that will help to alleviate your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease to prevent severe and irreparable joint damage. Prescription medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are biologics that can reduce inflammation and prevent the progression of the disease.

Of course, there are also lifestyle changes you can make along with taking prescription medication that can also ease symptoms,
  • Warm soaks
  • Custom insoles or orthotics
  • Pain relievers
  • Compression
  • Stretching exercises for the feet
  • Bracing
  • Steroid injections (for targeting severe inflammation)
Surgery is only necessary if there is severe joint or cartilage damage, or if inflamed tissue needs to be removed from around the joint.

Most people with RA will eventually develop foot and ankle problems, which is why it’s important to have a podiatrist on your team that can help you manage your RA effectively.

By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
December 14, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: flat feet  

Are the pains in your heel or the ball of your foot interfering with your life? Flat feet can make getting out of bed, dancing, exercise, and walking seem quite difficult to do. Our care providers at Idaho Foot and Ankle Associates can help alleviate your discomfort in Boise, ID.
 

What is the cause of flat feet?

Flat feet can be hereditary, the result of wearing ill-fitting shoes over a long period, or a symptom of another condition like tendonitis. Obesity, diabetes, and pregnancy also contribute to flat feet.
 

Find relief for your flat feet in several ways:

  • Getting physical therapy entails a custom course of hot and cold treatments, exercises, and manual manipulation to strengthen the muscles of the foot.
  • Wearing orthopedic footwear can support the foot and relieve any pain. Your foot is working hard to pull up the arch, so custom made insteps assist with absorbing the impact of your steps.
  • Some patients have pain they can’t seem to resolve. In this case, surgery may be a viable option for realigning your foot and restoring function.
  • Exercising your foot by yourself is simple. Simple movements like pointing and flexing the foot, grabbing things, and standing on your tiptoes can change the shape and function of the foot.
  • If you are diabetic or have another condition that affects the feet, it is best to try to manage those conditions as much as possible.
  • You may take over the counter meds for sporadic pain, but more chronic discomforts may require a visit to the doctor.

Dreading activities like a hike doesn’t have to be a way of life. The staff at Idaho Foot and Ankle Associates can answer any questions you may have about therapy, exercise or reconstructive surgery.  Call (208) 327-0627 to reach our Boise, ID, office, (208) 463-1660 for our Nampa/Caldwell, ID, office, and (208) 888-9876 for our Meridian, ID, office.


By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
December 01, 2020
Category: Foot Care
What To Do for a High Foot ArchHere’s what you can do to prevent foot pain caused by high arches.

If you have high arches, you may notice them but not experience any problems; however, those with high arches bear more weight on the balls and heels of the feet. Over time, you may develop corns, calluses, hammertoes, painful calf muscles, or foot pain. If you have high arches, a podiatrist can provide you with a variety of ways to support your feet to prevent these problems.

Consider wearing custom orthotics

Orthotics are special devices that are placed inside the shoes to improve stability and to cushion the foot. These devices can reduce shock absorption while standing, walking, or running. While there are over-the-counter orthotics that you can buy, they aren’t specifically designed to fit your feet or treat the issues you’re dealing with.

A podiatrist can provide you with custom-fitted orthotics that can help to support the arches of your feet and distribute weight more evenly among the foot to prevent heel pain and pain in the ball of the foot.

Wear shoes that support your feet

You must be also wearing shoes that can accommodate your high arches, especially if you are on your feet most of the day or participate in physical activities. Those with high arches are prone to stress fractures and ankle sprains, and you must consider shoes that have,
  • A high top that can cushion and support the ankles
  • A spacious toe box that won’t put pressure on the toes or cause irritation to preexisting deformities such as hammertoes or bunions
  • A midsole that has added cushioning to reduce pressure
  • A high-abrasion rubber outsole that will provide more durability (especially important for running shoes and athletic footwear)
If you are prone to Achilles tendonitis because of your high arches you may also look for a shoe that offers a little heel lift, which can take the stress off the Achilles tendon and the arches of the feet.

Talk to your podiatrist about bracing

In some cases, your podiatrist may also recommend bracing the feet and ankles to help stabilize them and provide additional support. If your podiatrist has told you that you also have a drop foot, which means that you have trouble lifting the front of your foot, then bracing may also be a great way to manage this problem and provide a more natural and comfortable gait when walking.

While high arches alone aren’t a cause for concern it can be good to know about potential issues that it can cause along the way so you can take the necessary precautions now to protect your feet. If you are dealing with foot pain or other problems, a podiatrist can help.