Posts for category: Foot Care
What are orthotics?
Sometimes known as arch support, custom orthotics give people the freedom to stand and move easier and more comfortably. Some people might opt for over-the-counter orthotics because of convenience; however, over-the-counter orthotics are not crafted uniquely to your feet, which often means that they won’t provide the relief you’re looking for from foot pain and other issues, and may even make problems worse. Instead, consider getting custom orthotics that are designed to correct your specific foot problems, ease symptoms, and make it easier for you to get back to your life.
Here are the types of custom orthotics that podiatrists often provide:
Rigid orthotics are often made from harder materials such as plastic or carbon fiber and are used to control function. They also help to control motion in the joints of the foot. They are most often used with walking shoes or dress shoes as they help with strains, aches and pains in the legs, thighs, and lower back.
Just like the name states, soft orthotics are made out of more cushioned materials so they can act as shock absorbers, help with balance, and relieve pressure. They also cradle the soles of the foot and support everything from the heel and balls of your feet to the toes. Since soft orthotics help to absorb shock, they can be a good option for athletes and those with active lifestyles.
Semi-rigid orthotics can also be a great option for sports players as they provide a good balance. As the name implies, semi-rigid orthotics are made with layers of soft material that are backed by a rigid material. While this type is great for avid walkers and the like, semi-rigid orthotics are also prescribed to treat flatfoot and other foot disorders in children. If you’re planning on running a marathon this year and you’re experiencing foot pain, semi-rigid orthotics might help relieve some of the discomforts you’re feeling while training.
Are you interested in custom orthotics? If so, your podiatrist can chat more about orthotics and how they could benefit your feet based on your foot health, age, activities, and lifestyle.
What problems does high blood pressure pose?
People with hypertension often deal with plaque buildup in the blood vessels. This is known as atherosclerosis. Plaque buildup also causes a decrease in circulation in the legs and feet. This can also increase your risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD). Over time, this decreased circulation can also lead to ulcers and, in more severe cases, amputation. This is why it’s incredibly important that you have a podiatrist that you turn to regularly for checkups and care if you have been diagnosed with hypertension.
What are the signs of poor circulation in the feet?
Wondering if you may already be dealing with poor circulation? Here are some of the telltale signs:
- Your feet and legs cramp up, especially during physical activity
- Color changes to the feet
- Numbness or tingling
- Temperature changes in your feet
- Hair loss on the legs or feet
By getting your blood pressure under control we can also reduce your risk for developing PAD, heart disease, and other complications associated with hypertension. Some medications can be prescribed by your podiatrist to improve peripheral artery disease. Surgery may also be necessary to remove the blockage or widen the blood vessel to improve blood flow to the legs and feet.
If you are worried about your hypertension and how it may be impacting the health of your feet, there is never a better time to turn to a podiatrist for answers, support, and care.
Are neuromas dangerous?
It’s important not to confuse a neuroma with Morton’s neuroma. A neuroma is a benign growth that develops on the nerves; however, Morton’s neuroma is not a growth; it’s simply inflammation and swelling of the tissue around the nerves that lie between the toes (often between the third and fourth toes).
What causes Morton’s neuroma?
Any kind of intense pressure or compression placed on these toes can lead to inflammation of the tissue around the nerves. Some people are more at risk for developing Morton’s neuroma. Risk factors include:
- Playing certain sports such as running or tennis, which puts pressure on the balls of the feet
- Wearing high heels with a heel that’s more than 2 inches tall
- Wearing narrow shoes or shoes with pointed toes
- Certain foot conditions such as bunions or hammertoes
- Flat feet or high arches (or other congenital foot problems)
Since this condition involves inflamed tissue, you won’t notice a growth or bump in the area; however, you may simply experience pain that is gradual and minor at first and is alleviated by not wearing shoes. Symptoms often get worse with time and result in:
- Swelling between the toes
- A sharp burning pain between the toes that gets worse with activity
- Tingling or numbness in the foot
- Feeling like there is a pebble or stone in your shoe (often at the balls of the feet)
- Pain that’s intensified by standing on your tiptoes or wearing high heels or pointed-toe shoes
Most people can alleviate their symptoms through simple lifestyle modifications including:
- Massaging your feet
- Shoe pads
- Custom shoe inserts (that a podiatrist can craft just for you)
- Supportive footwear that offers shock-absorption
- Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs
- Steroid injections
- Local anesthetic injections
Affiliates in Podiatry in Meredith, NH, or Concord, NH are here to help when you have ingrown toenails. Our podiatrists Dr. William McCann, Dr. Jeffery Davis, and Dr. Thomas Detwiller are skilled in diagnosing and treating every kind of foot ailment. If you are prone to ingrown toenails or have one right now, keep reading for tips on preventing them and come see us.
An ingrown toenail happens when the side of a toenail digs into the skin of the toe. It becomes red, inflamed, and can be very painful. Ingrown toenails can easily become infected and require surgery if left untreated.
Some people inherit the tendency to develop ingrown toenails, but they can happen to anyone. Ingrown toenails most often happen when a toenail has been cut too short, especially against footwear that is too tight.
How to prevent ingrown toenails
The most common cause of ingrown toenails is trimming them too short, so you need to be careful when trimming your toenails. Make sure they are trimmed straight across without rounded edges. When the corners are rounded or they are cut too short, it's easier for the nail to start to grow into the skin.
Comfortable and supportive footwear is another important step to preventing ingrown toenails. This means shoes that support your arch and give your toes room to wiggle. Socks should be fitted but not tight. Tight socks and shoes can encourage or aggravate ingrown toenails.
You can also practice some basic foot care to be extra careful of ingrown toenails. Wearing clean socks and washing your feet every day helps prevent fungal infections which increase the chance of developing ingrown nails. It's best to rotate shoes so they have a chance to completely dry out between wears and keep your feet clean and dry.
When you have ingrown toenails in Meredith, NH, or Concord, NH, come to Affiliates in Podiatry. Dr. William McCann, Dr. Jeffery Davis, and Dr. Thomas Detwiller can help treat and prevent future ingrown toenails. Contact us for an appointment in Concord at (603)-225-5281, and in Meredith at (603)-279-0330.
As we age, our feet will change shape and size, which can also predispose them to certain problems. This also means that your foot needs will change, particularly concerning footwear. Here’s how your feet will change:
- Loss of fat pads
- Dry, cracked skin
- The development or worsening of certain deformities such as hammertoes or bunions
- Widening or lengthening of the feet
- Loss of bone density (which can increase your risk for fracture)
- Changes in gait due to certain conditions such as neuropathy or arthritis
- Diabetic-related foot problems
- Issues with balance
You must look for shoes that provide proper cushioning and supportive insoles so that your feet can tackle the day-to-day activities. If you have foot problems or issues with gait, then you’ll want to turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Together, you can decide the proper footwear and whether prescription orthotics can also provide your feet with additional support and cushioning that footwear alone can’t.
You should turn to a specialty shoe store where they can analyze your gait, properly measure your feet, and determine whether the shoes you’re getting may require additional modifications including orthotics. For example, some shoes and brands adjust to foot swelling throughout the day, while others provide enough space to place orthotics.
- Any shoes with pointed toes
- Shoes with heels over 2 inches
- Shoes that aren’t non-slip
- Sandals or flip-flops
- Shoes that don’t have a firm sole (including your slippers)
- Old, worn shoes (that simply need to be tossed)
- Shoes with rocker soles (particularly if you have gait problems)