- Ingrown toenails
- Chronic heel pain
- A broken foot or ankle
- Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in the feet
- Severe pain
- Difficulty bearing weight on a foot or ankle
- A visible foot deformity
- Signs of infection (e.g. redness; swelling; fever)
- An ulcer or open wound
- Running requires shoes with shock absorption. Your feet take on a lot of pressure and friction. Cushioning your shoes in the correct areas keeps you from feeling the pain.
- Traction is important in sports that need quick changes in direction and sprinting, like basketball. Traction should never be too high or low. The right shoes keep you from slipping on the floor while letting you move and pivot.
- Ankle support is a must. It limits the side-to-side movement that knocks your ankle out of alignment. This kind of support keeps ankle sprains at bay. For sports like basketball, hockey, skiing, and skating, make sure that your shoes aren’t too high. Otherwise, they will dig into your Achilles tendon. You can also wear soft ankle braces.
- Arch support varies for everyone. Your podiatrist can test your foot to determine your gait. Depending on the results, your podiatrist can recommend orthotics or special shoe inserts.
At Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists in Turnersville and Pennsauken, NJ, your podiatrist sees and treats many bunions, helping patients keep their regular routines. However, prevention is truly the best treatment when it comes to this condition.
How do bunions form?
Basically, bunions are hard, bony, sore bumps at the base of the big toe. While heredity and age (65 and over) play roles in bunion formation, activity and type of shoe is very significant, as well.
Science Daily reports that 36 percent more women than men develop bunions, and researchers largely attribute this to shoe type. Women tend to wear very narrow, high-heeled shoes that put excessive pressure on the forefoot and toes. Over time, a bunion forms, and the big toe may turn toward the second and even third toes, forming what podiatrists call Hallux Abducto Valgus.
How can you prevent and treat bunions?
Treating bunions is not as difficult as you may think. At our offices in Turnersville and Pennsauken, your podiatrist will examine your foot and take X-rays as needed. The doctor will tailor your treatment plan specifically for your bunion, co-existing medical conditions (if any), and your level of activity. Your plan may include:
- Ice to relieve pain and swelling
- Elevation of the affected foot
- Corn and callus removal (in the office)
- Night splints to correct joint alignment gradually
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Keeping a healthy body weight
- Physical therapy and range of motion exercises to relieve stiffness and correct gait problems
- Moleskin padding inside the shoe
- Customized shoe inserts (also called orthotics)
- Bunionectomy, a minimally invasive surgery which removes the bump and straightens the big toe (surgery is a last resort)
Of course, prevention is best. Your podiatrist recommends changing your footwear to shoes with roomy toe boxes, lower heels, and good arch support. If you have an active job, plan periods of rest as best you can. If you're tipping the scales a bit on the heavy side, try to get down to your proper weight.
Additionally, all of us should exercise our feet gently and regularly to increase blood flow and improve range of motion in the toe joints. For instance, you may keep feet limber by picking up socks, pens, or other small objects with your toes.
Start taking care of your feet now. You'll enjoy better mobility through the years. If you suspect that you are developing a bunion, please contact your podiatrist at Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists in Turnersville, NJ. Call (856) 875-8855, or if you're closer to our Pennsauken, NJ, office, phone (856) 488-5290.
Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection of the feet that is typically characterized by itchy, burning patches of skin between the toes that may also crack or bleed. Since untreated athlete’s foot can spread to the toenails, it’s particularly important that you treat this problem as soon as you notice it. Athlete’s foot won’t typically clear up by itself; however, home remedies and treatments may be all you need to eliminate the fungal infection.
Treating Athlete’s Foot
If you are an otherwise healthy individual who is just dealing with an unfortunate bout of athlete’s foot chances are pretty good that you’ll be able to treat the problem on your own. There are a variety of over-the-counter antifungal creams and ointments that can be applied directly to the skin. Make sure to read and follow all instructions to ensure that the medication gets rid of the infection.
Along with properly treating your athlete’s foot it’s also important to keep feet as dry as possible. After all, fungus thrives best in warm, damp environments. By keeping feet dry you make it a less hospitable environment for this infection. This means wearing clean socks and shoes every day. Opt for socks with natural fibers, which are breathable and can wick away sweat. If your feet are particularly sweaty you can also apply an antifungal powder throughout the day.
When to See a Podiatrist
If you find that cracked, painful feet are making it difficult to stand or move around then this means it’s time to see a podiatrist for treatment; however, if the fungal infection isn’t impacting mobility then you may be able to treat the problem on your own with over-the-counter medications.
If you notice signs of an infection such as a swollen foot, pus draining from the foot, increased redness, or open sores it’s also important that you see a doctor right away. Antibiotics will be necessary in order to treat the infection.
If you are dealing with diabetes, nerve damage in your feet or other problems that impact the health of your feet it’s even more important that you see a podiatrist right away if you notice symptoms of athlete’s foot or other problems. Do not try to treat the infection on your own, as this could lead to more serious complications.
If you are dealing with persistent or recurring athlete’s foot it’s important that you also have a podiatrist that you can turn to for answers. While this condition may seem harmless it’s important that you don’t leave it untreated. A podiatrist can provide you with the treatment you’re looking for.
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