With our feet bearing the weight of our entire body, it’s no surprise that carrying excess weight may increase the chance of developing foot problems. In fact, recent studies have shown that overweight people experience more heel pain, tendonitis, arthritis, ball-of-foot pain, fractures and sprains in their feet and ankles than individuals at a normal, healthy weight.
Extra weight doesn’t have to be substantial to have an impact on your feet and ankles. As little as 10 or 20 pounds can trigger pain in the lower extremities. Being overweight changes the way your foot functions, and the force on the feet intensifies.
The most common foot problems from being overweight include:
Plantar Fasciitis: Excess weight adds strain to the plantar fascia, overusing and weakening it. This causes it to become inflamed and irritated. Heel pain is one of the most common problems caused by weight gain.
Tendonitis: When the feet endure extra weight, it eventually causes the tendons/ligaments to be overused, which leads to injury and inflammation.
Fallen Arches: An increase in body weight and pressure causes the supporting structures in your feet (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) to become stretched and weakened, breaking down over time. This can weaken the muscle which gives the foot its arch, causing over-pronation and leading to other problems such as knee and hip pain.
Other effects from carrying extra weight include changes in posture, changes in gait (steps become shorter), and stress fractures.
Losing extra pounds can help ease the pain and reduce problems caused by carrying excess body weight. Unfortunately, it's tough to lose weight when your feet hurt. To combat foot problems triggered by weight gain, ease into a low-impact activity that doesn’t require you to place pressure on your foot, such as water aerobics. Always start any new workout routine slowly. Work with your physician to find healthy ways to modify your diet, and your podiatrist to select the best, most supportive footwear for your feet.
Foot pain is never normal, regardless of weight, as it indicates some type of stress or injury. You should always consult an experienced podiatrist if you are experiencing any pain in your foot.
Hammertoes? If you have hammertoes, you need medical attention. Podiatrists specialize in the treatment of hammertoes. These practitioners provide a full range of medical care for problems of the ankles, feet, and lower legs. Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists, which has offices in Turnersville and Pennsauken, NJ, offers treatments for hammertoes.
Hammertoes are painful deformities of the toes. The middle three toes are most likely to be affected. This condition causes the toe to bend or curl downward. Initially, hammertoes are flexible, but if not treated promptly, they may become fixed and surgery to straighten the toes may be necessary.
Causes of Hammertoes
The most common cause of hammertoes is wearing narrow shoes that are too tight. The toe is forced into a bent position. Tendons and muscles in the toe tighten and become shorter. Hammertoe is more likely to occur in women who wear high heels or shoes that do not fit well. In some cases, all of the toes are affected.
Symptoms of Hammertoes
Patients with hammertoes may have calluses or corns on the top of the middle joint of the toes or on the tips of the toes. They may also feel pain in their toes and have trouble finding comfortable shoes. At first, they may be able to move the toes. Over time, they will no longer be able to move the toes.
Corrective footwear and splinting can help in treating hammertoes. Drugs that reduce inflammation can alleviate your pain and reduce swelling. Sometimes, your Turnersville or Pennsauken, NJ podiatrist will use cortisone shots to reduce pain. Your podiatrist may also give you an orthotic device to wear inside your shoe. This can relieve your pain and keep your hammertoes from getting worse. When the hammertoes are not resolved with the above methods, surgery may be necessary
If you have hammertoes, call Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists at 856-875-8855 now to schedule a consultation in Turnersville, NJ. Call 856-488-5290 now to schedule a consultation in Pennsauken, NJ, Our podiatrist will alleviate your pain and help you get back to a normal, happy and healthy life!
Dry, cracked heels are not only unsightly, but they can also be a source of pain and embarrassment. When the fissures in your heel become so dry and cracked that they bleed and hurt when you walk, it’s time to seek professional care from your podiatrist. Left untreated, heel fissures can become so deep and painful that they lead to an infection.
Cracked heels are most commonly caused by splitting of the skin as a result of severe dryness or thickening of a callus on your heel. Severe cases of dry, cracked heels can occur for numerous reasons, including:
- Cold winter weather or dry climates
- Having diabetes
- Scrubbing feet too harshly
- Soaking in a hot bath or shower for too long or too frequently
- Not moisturizing the feet
- Increased weight
- Walking barefoot or wearing open-backed sandals or shoes
- Prolonged standing at work or home
- Chronic skin problems, such as eczema or psoriasis
Here are a few tips for keeping heels from cracking:
- Moisturize your feet daily.
- Avoid walking barefoot or wearing open-backed shoes.
- Opt for mild soaps that won’t dry out your heels.
- Increase your water intake to keep your body hydrated.
- Limit time in the shower as hot water dries out the skin.
- Use a pumice stone or file as directed by your doctor to gently decrease thick calluses.
When to Visit Our Office
Cracked heels may begin as an annoyance or simple cosmetic issue, but they can lead to pain and serious infection if not managed properly. Most cases of dry, cracked heels will get better with a little foot pampering or over-the-counter foot cream.
When your heels are severely cracked or painful and conservative treatments have proven ineffective, visit our office. People with diabetes are at an especially high risk for health problems, and should not wait to have dry feet cared for. Severely cracked heels need moisture to avoid pain, bleeding and infection. A podiatrist can work with you to relieve your cracked heels, and get you back on your feet again.
The summertime is a great time to show off your new sandals and allow your feet to breathe. But since the warmer months can be rough on your feet, it's important to give your feet a little extra care to keep them looking great and feeling healthy. Here are a few tips for keeping your feet in tip-top shape during the summer.
Keep feet clean
The best line of defense against fungal infections is proper hygiene and regular inspection of the feet and toes. Wash feet with soap and water daily, and dry them thoroughly to prevent infection. Wear shower shoes in public places, like pools and locker rooms. And to prevent ingrown nails and toenail fungus, keep toenails trimmed straight across.
Avoid walking barefoot
Walking outside in the summertime without shoes increases the risk of injury and infection. You never know what’s sitting out on the beach, and the last thing you want is to unexpectedly step on a sharp rock or piece of debris and cut your foot.
Protect feet from the sun
Wearing sunscreen is extremely important in the summertime - and that means lathering up the exposed skin on your feet and ankles too. If you’re a habitual sandals wearer, make sure to put sunscreen on before putting your feet in your shoes!
Keep your feet fungus free
Coupled with good foot hygiene, you can also prevent toenail fungus by alternating your shoes. If you suspect a fungus infected nail, visit us right away for early treatment.
Treat your feet to a pedicure
Eliminate rough, dead, winter skin and improve the appearance of your toenails with a pedicure. Do it yourself, or pamper yourself with a professional pedicure for attractive summer feet you'll be proud to show off.
The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends getting your pedicure in the morning, when salon foot baths are at their cleanest. Don’t shave your legs prior to your pedicure, even if you’re tempted to! When your legs are freshly shaven, they can have small cuts that allow bacteria to enter. Also, ensure you or the person performing your pedicure does not cut your cuticles, because they are your nail’s barrier to infection.
After the pedicure, don’t leave nail polish on all summer long. Remove it periodically to allow your nail bed to breathe, and then you’re free to swap to another festive summer color!
Prevent painful blisters
Sandals and flip-flops can lead to irritating blisters when they rub against your bare skin. Use padding or bandages to prevent and reduce friction.
Examine your flip flops
Flip flops are great for allowing your feet to breathe all summer long, but thong sandals can result in sore feet and ankles due to their lack of support. Choose styles with arch and heel support to keep feet healthy and pain-free.
Following these easy steps during the summer months can go a long way in keeping your feet looking and feeling their very best. Inspect your feet daily, and if you encounter any unusual foot problems or experience pain, contact our office for a thorough evaluation.
Do you have plantar fasciitis? If the first few steps out of bed in the morning causes pain in the bottom of your heel, you may have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists, which has offices in Turnersville and Pennsauken, NJ, offers state-of-the-art treatments for plantar fasciitis. Here's everything you've ever wanted to know about plantar fasciitis.
Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is more common in athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Such strain injury can be from excessive walking or running and a jumping injury from landing. Additionally, people who are overweight and those who wear footwear with inadequate support have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can also be caused by certain diseases, including ankylosing spondylitis and reactive arthritis.
Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis
If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, irritated, and swollen. Then the heel of your foot hurts when you walk or stand. It can happen in one foot or both feet. The pain might be worse in the morning and after increased levels of activity. The pain may develop gradually and become worse over time.
Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis
Your podiatrist will perform an examination of your foot and watch you stand and walk. He or she will also ask questions about your symptoms, past health, and what type of physical activity you do. Your Turnersville and Pennsauken podiatrist will order X-rays of your foot if he or she suspects a problem with the bones of your foot.
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
Some of the top treatments for plantar fasciitis include injections, stretching and strengthening exercises, orthotics, splinting, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT), and surgery. Doctors only suggest surgery for patients who still have pain after trying other treatments for 6 to 12 months. Stay with your treatment. If you don't stay with your treatment, you may have constant pain when you walk or stand. The sooner you start treatment, the sooner your heel will stop hurting.
Say hello to healthy and happy feet! Don't wait another minute- call Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists at 856-875-8855 now to schedule an appointment in Turnersville, NJ. Call 856-488-5290 to schedule an appointment in Pennsauken, NJ. We will help you achieve real relief.
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