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.
If you have a serious health condition or are an athlete in training, visit your podiatrist in the Wilmette, IL, area, Dr. Gary Rogers. At Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic, Dr. Rogers often prescribes custom-made orthotics to alleviate problems associated with diabetes, running, and gait differences, such as overpronation. His high-quality orthotics fit your feet uniquely to reduce pain and increase mobility.
Podiatry Today reports that over the counter, or OTC, shoe inserts (orthotics) have increased in popularity in recent years, particularly as people participate more in amateur athletics and stay active long into their senior years. Primary care physicians often advise drugstore inserts as a first choice in treating foot complaints because of the lower price point of these products and the quick and ready availability at many retail outlets.
It's better to consult a podiatrist about orthotics
If you are experiencing foot pain, dysfunction, friction, or ulcers/wounds of any kind, your better choice for diagnosis, treatment, and orthotics is your podiatrist in the North Shore area. Dr. Rogers is an expert in foot and ankle biomechanics--in other words, how your lower extremities move and the pressures they withstand every day.
Also, he will diagnose your foot health issue accurately. Common foot ailments and conditions he treats include:
- Plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the ligament spanning the arch of the foot
- Diabetic wounds and ulcers
- Flat feet, toeing-in, and toeing-out
- Heel spurs
Many of these conditions respond well to consistent use of shoe inserts designed and fitted by your foot doctor.
How the orthotic process works
In general, custom orthotics are crafted from rigid, soft, or semi-rigid materials. Soft materials cushion and protect the feet. Rigid orthotics change or control how you place your feet as you walk, run or stand. Semi-rigid materials help athletes attain optimal balance and muscular function.
During your consultation with Dr. Rogers, he'll explain your diagnosis and treatment choices. Typically, foot care plans are multi-faceted with orthotics being just part of helping you feel better and function at your best.
To custom-craft your orthotics, Dr. Rogers will take a digital or plaster impression of each foot. From there, a pedorthist makes your shoe inserts. This professional consider the kind of shoe you wear--dress shoes, cleats, or running shoes as examples. Dr. Rogers will tell you when you should wear your orthotics and how to care for them.
If you have foot pain or dysfunction, contact your podiatrist at Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic in the North Shore, and Wilmette, IL, area. Dr. Rogers has wide-ranging expertise in a variety of foot and ankle conditions, and if you need orthotics, he's the doctor to see. Phone us today for an appointment: (847) 256-4434.