Posts for: August, 2020
What are orthotics?
These specialized shoe inserts are a little different from the ones you can find at your local drugstore. Orthotics are special, custom-made shoe inserts designed and fabricated by your podiatrist to specifically fit your foot and its unique needs. There are many reasons why a podiatrist may recommend orthotics.
Sometimes orthotics are used to alleviate symptoms and improve common foot, leg, or even back problems, while other times your podiatrist may recommend them to improve the support and health of your feet to prevent problems in the first place.
Do I need orthotics?
Orthotics is just one way to treat foot and leg problems and your doctor may recommend orthotics if you are dealing with,
- Leg, hip, or back pain
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Plantar fasciitis
- Certain injuries to the foot or ankle
Orthotics can help people of all ages and backgrounds, from athletic kids and adults to those who are overweight and seniors. Feet continue to change as we get older, and as aches and pains set in, custom orthotics could be what you need to help make getting around as easy as it once was.
Types of Orthotics
There are many different kinds of materials that can be used to create orthotics. The type of condition you are dealing with will most likely help your podiatrist determine which material to use.
Orthotics range from soft and flexible to hard and rigid. Those with plantar fasciitis or diabetic feet are more likely to benefit from the cushioning and additional support of soft orthotics while athletes and those who often wear dress shoes are more likely to benefit from rigid orthotics.
If you are interested in orthotics and how they could help you, talk with your podiatrist to learn more.
Here are some possible reasons why you may be dealing with foot and ankle swelling,
It’s normal for there to be a little bit of swelling in the ankles and feet due to extra fluid and pressure placed on the body from the developing uterus. This is more common for women in their third trimester, especially the weeks leading up to delivery, or during hotter months. However, it’s important to keep an eye on your swelling to make sure it’s not severe or appearing suddenly. If you notice significant swelling of the feet and ankles along with stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or headaches, call your doctor right away, as this could be a sign of high blood pressure (known as preeclampsia).
You have a foot or ankle injury
This is a common reason why people often turn to a podiatrist. Everything from strains to sprained ankles and fractured bones in the foot can lead to sudden swelling after an injury. It’s a good idea to ice the injury to help reduce swelling. If your swelling is accompanied by severe pain or trouble walking on the foot then you should see a podiatrist immediately.
You could have a blood clot
A blood clot in the leg, often known as deep vein thrombosis, can stop blood from flowing through the legs back to the heart. As a result of the blockage, this can lead to swelling in the ankles and the affected leg. Since a blood clot can be particularly dangerous it is important that you seek immediate medical attention if your swelling is accompanied by leg pain, fever, and any color changes in your leg.
You may have heart or kidney disease
It is possible that swelling in your feet or ankles could be warning us of problems with your kidneys, liver, or heart. If you find that your ankles start to swell at night, your body could be retaining both salt and water (a possible sign of heart failure). When kidneys don’t function properly excess fluid can accumulate within the body and lead to swelling. If you notice swelling along with weight gain, loss of appetite, and fatigue then you should talk with your doctor.
These are only some of the reasons why you may be dealing with foot and ankle swelling. Other causes could be,
- Consuming too much salt
- Sitting or standing for too long
- Side effects from certain medications
- An infection (more common in those with diabetic neuropathy)
- Weak or damaged veins in the legs
Ingrown toenails can cause extensive discomfort and pain. Without treatment, an infection can develop and lead to further problems. Fortunately, several methods are available for treating ingrown toenails, many of which can be performed at home. The skilled podiatry team at Affiliates in Podiatry in Concord and Meredith NH can recommend specific ingrown toenail treatments that you can do at home.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail grows too close to the skin and presses against it. The pressure of the toenail squeezing against the skin can cause swelling, redness, and discomfort. It is more common for ingrown toenails to develop on the big toes rather than the smaller ones. Some common causes of ingrown toenails include:
- Curving or angling the nails rather than trimming them straight across
- Trimming the toenails too short or too close to the skin
- Wearing shoes or socks that are too tight
- A fungal infection on the toes or feet
- An injury to the toes or feet
There are several ways to treat Concord ingrown toenails at home. Some steps you can take to ease the discomfort of an ingrown toenail, prevent an infection from developing, or treat the ingrown nail include:
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers for pain or discomfort
- Applying anti-fungal or antibiotic ointment to prevent infection
- Soaking the feet in warm water several times a day to soften the nail so it can be trimmed away from the skin
- Massaging the toenail while soaking in water to reduce inflammation
- Placing cotton or waxed dental floss beneath the ingrown nail after soaking to help the nail grow above the skin
- Wearing sandals or loose-fitting socks and shoes until the nail heals
At-home treatments can provide relief from the pain and discomfort of an ingrown toenail. However, if pain and inflammation persist even after implementing at-home remedies, see one of the skilled podiatrists at our office in Concord and Meredith NH. Various treatments for ingrown toenails can be discussed.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
There are some steps you can take to prevent ingrown toenails from developing. One of the best ways to prevent them is to trim the nails straight across. Giving toenails a rounded edge when trimming can cause them to grow too close to the skin on the sides of the toes. It is also best not to trim nails too short. When they are cut too close to the skin at the tops of the toes, the nails are more likely to grow back too close.
Wearing socks and shoes that fit properly and are not too tight is another easy way to prevent ingrown nails. Narrow or tight-fitting footwear can put pressure on the toes and cause the nails to become ingrown. Finally, since fungal infections can cause ingrown nails to develop, keeping the toes and feet clean and dry can prevent Concord ingrown toenails by reducing the risk of infection.
At-home treatments are quite effective in providing relief from the inflammation, pain, and discomfort associated with ingrown toenails. Professional treatments are also available when at-home remedies have not fully resolved the problem. For help treating and preventing ingrown toenails, call Affiliates in Podiatry in Concord NH at (603) 225-5281. Appointments are also available at our office in Meredith NH by calling (603) 279-0330.