Protecting Your Feet

What Are Those Small, Red, Swollen Patches On Your Feet After Spending Time In The Cold?

Have you come inside after spending time out in the cold winter weather and found that you have some red, swollen patches on your feet? These patches may seem most prominent in areas where your toes rub together or where your feet rub against your shoe. They’re probably a bit sore, and they might itch. Chances are, you’re dealing with something known as chilblains. They’re not overly dangerous, but you do need to address them properly in order to prevent infections from developing. Here’s a closer look at why they develop and what you should do about them. What causes chilblains? Some people are prone to chilblains, while others are not. They’re a reaction of your skin to re-warming after exposure to cold.  When your skin warms up, some blood vessels underneath the skin expand more quickly than the other larger blood vessels that they feed into. As a result, the liquid in the smaller vessels leeches out into the surrounding tissues. This leads to the redness, itching, burning, and swelling that you experience with chilblains. Chilblains are more likely to develop when You wear shoes that are too tight You have bunions or other foot conditions that cause your feet to rub against your shoes You have poor circulation in your feet What should you do about chilblains? Most patients do not need to see their doctor for chilblains. However, if you have diabetes, you should contact your podiatrist immediately about this condition, since you’re at a much higher risk of developing an infection. If you’re not a diabetic, start treating your chilblains at home by massaging your...

FAQs About Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s neuroma is a foot condition that can lead to difficulty walking for some people. The condition is usually treatable without medical intervention. If you have been diagnosed with the condition, here is what you need to know.  What Is Morton’s Neuroma? Morton’s neuroma is a foot condition that results from a nerve tissue growth. As the condition develops, the tissue surrounding the nerve leading to your toes tends to thicken. The result is pain that is sometimes sharp and burning. You could also experience numbness and tingling in your toes.  In some cases, the condition develops as a result of wearing the wrong footwear. High-heeled and tight-fitting shoes are often to blame for the condition. In other instances, the cause is unknown.  However, genetic factors can often indicate who is more likely to get the condition. For instance, people with flat feet or high arches are more likely to develop Morton’s neuroma. What Can You Do? In most instances, the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma can be alleviated by simply switching to a more supportive shoe. To help with the pain, you can try ice packs and massaging the affected area. To keep the pressure off of your feet while recovering, try using shoe pads.  If the pain persists, your podiatrist can treat your condition with prescription medications. For instance, corticosteroid and alcohol sclerosing injections can help provide temporary relief.  The podiatrist can also fit you for custom shoe inserts. The inserts help to keep the pressure off of the nerves that are impacted by the tissue growth.  If you continue to experience pain or you are not getting...

Exposing A Couple Of Myths About Plantar Fasciitis

There can be a number of painful conditions that your feet may be unfortunate enough to develop. In addition to causing severe discomfort, these issues can also prevent you from enjoying the activities you enjoy. In particular, plantar fasciitis is a common injury that can cause intense pain in the heel of the foot. Unfortunately, many patients are not well-aware of this condition, which can cause them to believe some routine misconceptions about this foot problem. Myth: Your Plantar Fasciitis Will Go Away On Its Own One of the more interesting aspects of this condition is that the pain and discomfort caused by it can fluctuate over the course of a day. For example, it is common for patients to exhibit intense pain from plantar fasciitis in the mornings and evenings. However, they may feel largely fine during the middle part of the day. As a result, some patients assume that this condition will simply heal itself. Yet, it should be noted that this condition is considered a repetitive stress injury. Due to this, it is unlikely to heal until you take actions to reduce the stress on the foot. To this end, there are a variety of treatments that your doctor can utilize to address this problem, and these can range from wearing custom made shoes to undergoing surgery. The exact treatment approach will be dependent on the severity of the patient’s condition, but your doctor will be able to provide you with a treatment plant after thoroughly examining your foot. Myth: You Have To Be Athletic To Develop Plantar Fasciitis There is a common assumption among some...

Bunions Can Diminish Quality Of Life For Those At Risk

A bunion isn’t just unsightly, it can cause pain and even lead to disability. Although bunions may cause toe and foot pain, in some cases, large bunions cause pain in the lower back, knee, and hip – pain severe enough to interfere with your daily functioning. Therefore, it helps to know who is at risk as well as the problems bunions can cause. What problems can a bunion cause? Besides the difficulty of finding comfortable shoes to wear, bunions can affect your balance and gait (the way you walk). Not only can severe bunions interfere with walking and limit physical activity, they can increase the risk of falls, particularly in older individuals. If pain in your big toe causes you to constantly shift your weight onto your other toes, you may then experience pain in the ball of your foot. The pressure of the big toe pushing inward toward the small toes also can lead to corns, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and calluses on the bottom of the foot. What is a bunion really? A bunion is a deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe – the result of a misaligned joint. The deformity occurs when the first metatarsal bone of the foot turns outward, causing the big toe to drift inward toward the other toes. Shoes are difficult to fit when the joint protrudes outward. Therefore, the pressure a shoe puts on the joint can cause inflammation of the bursa (a small, fluid-filled sac located near the joint), making the joint stiff and painful. Who is more likely to get a bunion? While bunions may...

Preventing And Reducing Bunion Pain

Bunions are an enlarged portion of the joint at the base of the big toe. They grow with time, and eventually cause your big toe to point outward — facing your smaller toes. While it’s less common, bunions can also form at base of the joint of your pinky toe. Bunions are typically treated by using medications or steroid injections to keep the swelling down. Unfortunately, the only way to remove a bunion permanently is by having it surgically removed, but that doesn’t mean that you have to live in constant pain. There are several things that you can do to help prevent or relieve bunion pain. Castor Oil Castor oil contains numerous anti-inflammatory properties, making it extremely helpful in reducing any swelling around your bunion to relieve your pain. To use castor oil to treat your bunion: Place 1/2-cup of castor oil into a pan. Use your stove to heat the castor oil until it’s warm. The castor oil should be hot enough that it doesn’t cool right away, but not hot enough for it to burn your skin. Dip a cotton cloth into the warm castor oil, and make sure it’s completely saturated before you remove it. Wrap the cloth around your bunion. Cover the cloth with a towel so that the heat doesn’t escape. Repeat the process up to three times per day until your pain is gone. Wear a Bunion Pad and/or Shoe Inserts Shoe inserts help position your foot correctly, relieving pressure to the area so that you bunion isn’t as painful. You can purchase shoe inserts or arch supports at a pharmacy, or...

Aides You Can Use To Get Relief From Plantar Fasciitis Pain

If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you want to learn about the various aides that can help you to get some relief from the pain. This condition can make it very difficult for you to go about your normal routine when the pain flares up. Many times the pain will be the worst first thing in the morning. You’ll want to have access to helpful aides so you can relieve some of the pain and get on with your daily routine. This article will educate you on some of the best aides for helping with this type of pain and provide you with other helpful tips. Frozen water bottles If you have plantar fasciitis then it’s a good idea to make sure you keep a couple water bottles in your freezer at all times. This way, they will be frozen and ready to go when you need them. When the pain is present, pull the water bottles out and put one under each foot. Slowly roll your feet back and forth over them. The bottles will both cool and massage your feet to bring you instant relief. Marbles in a shoe box Another thing you want to keep around is a shoe box with a couple handfuls of marbles in it. You can put a foot in the box and roll all the marbles under it to help with the pain. You can freeze the marbles as well. Foot sleeves You can also get foot sleeves specifically designed for plantar fasciitis. They like a socks without the toes in them. You can wear them while you are sleeping and...

Play Sports?: 5 Tips To Protect Your Feet And Ankles From Injury

If you are a sports enthusiast, your ankles and feet have many more opportunities for injury than those of the average person. Nevertheless, there are ways to help safeguard your feet and ankles as you participate in sports. Although no precaution is foolproof, these tips should be helpful: Warm your muscles. If you are going to be involved in an intense activity, warm up the muscles of your ankles and feet before you begin. High-impact activities can be particularly hard on the feet and ankles, and if those muscles are cold, they are less pliable and more prone to injury. You can warm up your ankles and feet by lightly jogging or marching in place for a few minutes. Stretch. Don’t stretch cold muscles excessively, and avoid bouncy movements during your stretches. You can quickly overextend tight muscle fibers. Ankles and feet are inadvertently stretched during leg stretches. For instance, when you stretch your calf muscle by pulling your toes toward you, your foot and ankle muscles will also be elongated.  Choose your activity site wisely. Running on uneven surfaces can increase your likelihood of a foot or ankle injury. Ankle sprains occur when a ligament that stabilizes the ankle joint is torn.  Designated running tracks are often smoother and less inconsistent than off-road trails that are filled with tree roots and holes. In addition, although concrete may be a smooth surface, it creates more stress on your ankles and feet due to the hardness of the material. Smooth dirt or grass is a softer alternative.  Buy great shoes. Select an athletic shoe with good support and stability. Arch support...

5 Things Diabetics Need To Know About Poor Foot Circulation

Your circulation system sends blood and the oxygen and nutrients it carries throughout your body. When your circulation system is functioning properly, all parts of your body receive the blood flow they require. When you have poor circulation, some parts of your body don’t get enough blood. This is a big problem for people with diabetes. How does diabetes affect your circulation? Diabetes affects your circulation by damaging the veins and arteries in your legs and feet. Diabetes makes these blood vessels narrower and harder, and this makes it harder for blood to travel through the vessels. Once your vessels have been damaged, less blood will reach your feet, leading to poor blood circulation. What are the signs of poor circulation? If you have poor circulation in your feet, your feet may frequently feel cold, even when the rest of your body is a comfortable temperature. Tingling in your feet is another clue that you have poor circulation. Swollen or sore feet can also be a warning sign of poor circulation. Why is poor circulation a problem? Poor circulation doesn’t just cause cold feet; it can also lead to more serious problems. When your feet don’t get enough blood flow, they aren’t able to heal from injuries as well. This means that if you get a blister or a cut, your feet may not heal as quickly as they otherwise would. Poor circulation can also make it harder for your feet to fight off infections. This is because your blood carries white blood cells, the cells responsible for fighting off bacteria, around your body. If your feet don’t receive...

3 Reasons A Podiatrist Is Important To Your Child’s Development

Everyone wants to have their child develop healthily, but with the massive amounts of advice available to parents today it can be quite easy to overlook certain areas. One such area is your child’s foot health, which can greatly affect their lifestyle and development if not taken care of. Indeed, children are usually on their feet quite a lot, which means the slightest problem can affect them for the rest of their lives. Here’s how including a family podiatrist in your child’s life can help them develop normally. Ensure Proper Arch Development Having flat feet or fallen arches can cause a lot of problems as an adult; as such you might be worried for your child’s feet. However, children are not the same as adults physically, which means you could very well be rushing your child to a podiatrist prematurely. At an early age, children naturally have no arches and even at times have “flexible flatfeet” which might give them the appearance of having arch problems despite everything being fine. The best way to deal with this is to monitor your child’s behavior. If they seem to have trouble walking or frequently complain of leg pain, then something very well could be wrong. Luckily, catching these problems early on make it much easier to correct with the help of a podiatrist.  Protect Your Child During Sports Lots of children develop interest in sports at an early age, which can be a trying time for them physically. Indeed, leg injuries are relatively common, especially in delicate areas such as the ankles. As such, podiatrists are well qualified in dealing with...

Finding the Root Cause of Plantar Fasciitis and Efficient Treatments

Researchers in the field of podiatry are wondering why podiatrist foot care professionals have not been able, so far, to use a treatment for plantar fasciitis that completely relieves your pain. They theorize that not everyone who exercises excessively, not even all athletes, develop fasciitis. Their conclusion is that intrinsic factors cause your plantar fascia to generate inflammation and pain.  What Are the Intrinsic Factors? Scientists say that two pathways—extrinsic and intrinsic—are the likely mechanisms that may cause you to suffer from plantar fasciitis. They are now saying that intrinsic factors are more consistent with producing supination in your feet, which is a rotating motion of the midtarsal joint. That means intrinsic factors rotate in a twisted force that gives rise to an inflammatory response and associated pain. Where Pain Begins Researchers further elaborate on the supination theory by indicating where a more accurate positioning of heel pain begins. They project that pain initiates at a point around the longitudinal axis of your midtarsal joint. Their conclusion also suggests that pain originates in two specific situations involving your heel valgus or a possible forefoot valgus deformity. Your Exercise Benefits and an Athlete’s Endurance Ability Generally, people are now more aware about the benefits of exercise as it affects their health, and they attend sessions at gyms or take part in outdoor exercise programs. Athletes have the requisite ability, strength, and endurance to be competitive every day in sports activities. They become successful in their category of sports. Injuries occur, and plantar fasciitis is a regular medical condition that affects individuals in both categories. Treating Your Plantar Fasciitis Condition Footwear...

About Me

Have you ever really taken the time to think about how important your feet are? In addition to helping you to get from point A to point B, the health of your feet can also determine whether or not you can work out, play with your kids, or make that next train heading down town. Unfortunately, most people don’t give their feet the attention they deserve, which leads to painful infections, ingrown toenails, or undiagnosed conditions. I have been working on perfecting my foot regimen for a few years, and I have documented my journey on my blog. Read on to learn what I have learned!