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Posts for: July, 2020

By Family Foot & Ankle Care PC
July 28, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Footwear   Hammertoe  
HammertoesWhile tight, cramped shoes and those towering high heels may not immediately show you the damage that’s being done to your feet, over time you will certainly notice changes in the structure and function of your feet. Along with bunions, a common foot deformity, hammertoes are another deformity that causes the toes to bend downward at the middle joint. If the problem isn’t corrected, this simple and rather uncomfortable deformity can become severe. Here’s how to determine whether you may have hammertoes and what you can do about it now to prevent it from getting worse.

Wear Appropriate Footwear
You need to make sure that any shoes you wear properly fit your feet. While this might sound silly, many people are guilty of wearing shoes that are too narrow and put too much pressure on the toes. Look for shoes with a wide toe box that allows your feet enough room to wiggle freely. If your toes are bunched up in any of the shoes you have (particularly high heels or shoes with pointed toes) then you will want to avoid these types of shoes whenever possible.

Consider Shoe Inserts
While it’s important to find shoes that cushion and support your foot structure, sometimes people with hammertoes, bunions, and other foot problems that can cause pain can benefit from prescription shoe inserts (also known as orthotics). Orthotics can be crafted to fit the shape of your feet and also to address the issues you’re having (aka alleviating pressure on the toes when standing or walking).

Apply Protective Padding
A hammertoe causes the toe to bend down like a claw. This means that the toe’s joint is sticking out. As you may already know, this causes shoes to rub against the joint, causing a callus to develop. One way to prevent this from happening is to apply a non-medicated pad over the toe joint before putting on shoes.

Practice Pain Management
If your hammertoe starts to ache or hurt, you may want to apply ice to the area throughout the day to help alleviate pain and swelling. If the pain is intense or persistent then you may want to consider taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, which can help with both pain and swelling; however, if your symptoms are severe, you must see a podiatrist about your hammertoe.

Do I need surgery for a hammertoe?
If the hammertoe is flexible (meaning that you can straighten the toe out) then you won’t need surgery; however, if the hammertoe becomes rigid and causes pain and problems with mobility then surgery is recommended.

If you are dealing with hammertoes or other foot problems, you must have a podiatrist that you can turn to for regular and immediate care.

By Family Foot & Ankle Care PC
July 21, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Simple daily activities, such as walking or standing for extended periods, can be challenging when you are dealing with heel pain. Without treatment, the pain may only worsen with time. The good news is many effective treatments are available that can provide relief from heel pain. The experienced podiatrists at Family Foot & Ankle Care in Chandler AZ can help with your heel pain by recommending specific treatment options.

Common Causes of Heel Pain

Several factors can lead to the development of heel pain. Regularly performing repetitive motions that put stress on the feet is one cause of heel pain. Sustaining a foot injury can also result in heel pain. Other potential causes include stress fractures, tendonitis, arthritis, and heel spurs. These are all common causes of heel pain, but one of the most common is a foot condition known as plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the band of tissues along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. These tissues are known as the plantar fascia and connect the heel bone to the toes. When these tissues are irritated, the pain is felt at the bottom of the heel. For many people with plantar fasciitis, the pain worsens over time without treatment.

People with either extremely high arches or flat feet tend to be at risk for development plantar fasciitis. Activities that put a lot of stress on the heels, such as long-distance running or certain types of dancing, can also lead to the development of plantar fasciitis. Obesity is another risk factor for developing plantar fasciitis and heel pain. If you're worried you have this condition, talk to your heel pain Chandler specialist today.

Treatments Options

Minor heel pain is often treated at home by resting the foot, icing the heel area, and limiting physical activity for a while. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce inflammation of the plantar fascia tissues and alleviate any pain or discomfort. Once the heel pain has subsided, wearing shoes that provide enough support and cushioning can help prevent the pain from returning.

If your heel pain is chronic or severe, it is best to seek medical treatment from your heel pain Chandler provider. At our podiatry office, heel pain is treated through several methods. One of our skilled podiatrists can recommend the right treatment option based on the cause and severity of your heel pain. Treatments for heel pain include:

  • Padding and Strapping
  • Custom Orthotics
  • Walking Cast
  • Night Splint
  • Physical Therapy
  • Corticosteroids

Foot surgery is sometimes needed in the most serious cases when other methods cannot resolve the root problem. For instance, structural problems in the foot that are causing heel pain are corrected through surgical intervention. As another example, heel spurs, which are calcium deposits that develop on the bottom of the heel, can be a source of pain. Removing heel spurs through surgery provides long-lasting relief from the pain and discomfort they were causing.

Whatever the cause of your heel pain, there are treatment options that can help. Schedule an appointment with one of our heel pain Chandler podiatrists to discuss the different options for treating your heel pain by calling Family Foot & Ankle Care in Chandler at (480) 732-0033.

By Family Foot & Ankle Care PC
July 14, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  
BunionsIf you’re dealing with a bunion then you know that this pain is no joke. If you’re dealing with a throbbing, aching pain at the base of your big toe then you could very well be dealing with a bunion. This problem, a common complaint among women, usually develops gradually over many years so many people don’t even realize that they have a bunion until symptoms start to appear. While a bunion will not go away without surgery, the good news is that a podiatrist is usually all you need to manage your symptoms without resorting to surgery. Here are some ways to effectively manage your bunions:
  • Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain and swelling
  • Ice the bunion for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day to also alleviate pain and swelling (conversely, you may choose to soak your bunion in warm water to ease symptoms)
  • Consider getting prescription orthotics (shoe inserts) to place within your shoes to take the pressure off the deformed joint and to reduce pain with walking or standing
  • Wear a night splint, which will straighten out the big toe while you sleep to reduce morning pain and stiffness
  • Only wear shoes that have a wide toe box that doesn’t put pressure on the bunion. Avoid high heels and shoes with pointed toes.
  • Perform stretching exercises every day to alleviate stiffness and to improve mobility and range of motion within the feet
  • Apply a non-medicated pad over the bunion before putting on shoes to prevent friction and the formation of a callus
Conservative treatment is typically the first course of action when treating a bunion. A patient will go through this home care plan to see if it alleviates their symptoms; however, if symptoms persist or get worse then it’s time to see your podiatrist. Your podiatrist will be able to examine the bunion to determine the severity and to create a treatment plan that will help you manage your pain.

Should I consider bunion surgery?
Most patients won’t require bunion surgery to manage their symptoms; however, if your bunion pain is severe, the deformity is large, or if conservative and nonsurgical care isn’t helping you manage your symptoms then it may be time to talk with your podiatrist about whether or not you should get bunion surgery.

Worried that you might be dealing with a bunion? Experiencing regular bunion pain? If so, a foot and ankle professional can assess the problem and provide you with a customized treatment plan to help you get your bunion pain under control.