Posts for category: Foot Care
By Grand Rapids Podiatry
September 27, 2021
Whether you are concerned about high blood pressure or you already have been diagnosed with this chronic condition you may be surprised to hear that it can also impact your feet. After all, your blood pressure affects your circulatory system, which in turn impacts the body as a whole. Since uncontrolled or improperly controlled hypertension can damage blood vessels of the feet, you must have a podiatrist you can turn to to make sure your condition is under control.
What problems does high blood pressure pose?
People with hypertension often deal with plaque buildup in the blood vessels. This is known as atherosclerosis. Plaque buildup also causes a decrease in circulation in the legs and feet. This can also increase your risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD). Over time, this decreased circulation can also lead to ulcers and, in more severe cases, amputation. This is why it’s incredibly important that you have a podiatrist that you turn to regularly for checkups and care if you have been diagnosed with hypertension.
What are the signs of poor circulation in the feet?
Wondering if you may already be dealing with poor circulation? Here are some of the telltale signs:
- Your feet and legs cramp up, especially during physical activity
- Color changes to the feet
- Numbness or tingling
- Temperature changes in your feet
- Hair loss on the legs or feet
If you are dealing with any of these symptoms you must schedule an appointment with your podiatrist. Simple physical exams and non-invasive tests can be conducted to determine how much loss of circulation is occurring in the feet. Your podiatrist will work with your primary doctor to make sure that your current medication is properly controlling your blood pressure.
By getting your blood pressure under control we can also reduce your risk for developing PAD, heart disease, and other complications associated with hypertension. Some medications can be prescribed by your podiatrist to improve peripheral artery disease. Surgery may also be necessary to remove the blockage or widen the blood vessel to improve blood flow to the legs and feet.
If you are worried about your hypertension and how it may be impacting the health of your feet, there is never a better time to turn to a podiatrist for answers, support, and care.
By Grand Rapids Podiatry
August 19, 2021
Tags: Morton’s Neuroma
Are you experiencing a sharp, burning pain between your toes that gets worse when walking or standing? Do you notice tingling or numbness in the toes, or pain and swelling on the soles of the feet? If so, you could be dealing with a condition known as Morton’s neuroma that causes thickening of the nerves between the toes. If you suspect that you might have Morton’s neuroma, a podiatrist will be the ideal doctor to turn to for treatment.
Are neuromas dangerous?
It’s important not to confuse a neuroma with Morton’s neuroma. A neuroma is a benign growth that develops on the nerves; however, Morton’s neuroma is not a growth; it’s simply inflammation and swelling of the tissue around the nerves that lie between the toes (often between the third and fourth toes).
What causes Morton’s neuroma?
Any kind of intense pressure or compression placed on these toes can lead to inflammation of the tissue around the nerves. Some people are more at risk for developing Morton’s neuroma. Risk factors include:
- Playing certain sports such as running or tennis, which puts pressure on the balls of the feet
- Wearing high heels with a heel that’s more than 2 inches tall
- Wearing narrow shoes or shoes with pointed toes
- Certain foot conditions such as bunions or hammertoes
- Flat feet or high arches (or other congenital foot problems)
What are the signs of Morton’s neuroma?
Since this condition involves inflamed tissue, you won’t notice a growth or bump in the area; however, you may simply experience pain that is gradual and minor at first and is alleviated by not wearing shoes. Symptoms often get worse with time and result in:
- Swelling between the toes
- A sharp burning pain between the toes that gets worse with activity
- Tingling or numbness in the foot
- Feeling like there is a pebble or stone in your shoe (often at the balls of the feet)
- Pain that’s intensified by standing on your tiptoes or wearing high heels or pointed-toe shoes
How is this foot problem treated?
Most people can alleviate their symptoms through simple lifestyle modifications including:
- Massaging your feet
- Shoe pads
- Custom shoe inserts (that a podiatrist can craft just for you)
- Supportive footwear that offers shock-absorption
- Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs
- Steroid injections
- Local anesthetic injections
Any persistent or severe foot pain or swelling, along with numbness or tingling, should be addressed right away by a podiatrist. There are many conditions, some serious, that can cause a lot of these same symptoms and a podiatrist will be able to provide an immediate and accurate diagnosis for your symptoms.
By Grand Rapids Podiatry
July 29, 2021
When was the last time you bought new shoes? When was the last time you threw out shoes that were old and worn out? We often keep shoes long past the point where we should have retired them. Of course, other factors such as our age also play a role in the health of our feet, including our risk factors for developing certain conditions and also our footcare needs. Our feet have different needs and require different care as we get older. Here’s how to choose the appropriate shoes for all stages of life:
How Your Feet Change Over the Years
As we age, our feet will change shape and size, which can also predispose them to certain problems. This also means that your foot needs will change, particularly concerning footwear. Here’s how your feet will change:
- Loss of fat pads
- Dry, cracked skin
- The development or worsening of certain deformities such as hammertoes or bunions
- Widening or lengthening of the feet
- Loss of bone density (which can increase your risk for fracture)
- Changes in gait due to certain conditions such as neuropathy or arthritis
- Diabetic-related foot problems
- Issues with balance
Everyday Footwear for Aging Feet
You must look for shoes that provide proper cushioning and supportive insoles so that your feet can tackle the day-to-day activities. If you have foot problems or issues with gait, then you’ll want to turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Together, you can decide the proper footwear and whether prescription orthotics can also provide your feet with additional support and cushioning that footwear alone can’t.
You should turn to a specialty shoe store where they can analyze your gait, properly measure your feet, and determine whether the shoes you’re getting may require additional modifications including orthotics. For example, some shoes and brands adjust to foot swelling throughout the day, while others provide enough space to place orthotics.
There are also certain types of shoes that aging feet should avoid. Those include:
- Any shoes with pointed toes
- Shoes with heels over 2 inches
- Shoes that aren’t non-slip
- Sandals or flip-flops
- Shoes that don’t have a firm sole (including your slippers)
- Old, worn shoes (that simply need to be tossed)
- Shoes with rocker soles (particularly if you have gait problems)
If you are having trouble finding the right shoes to fit your needs, or if you are interested in learning more about custom orthotics and how it could provide additional support for your feet, turn to your podiatrist today for the care your feet deserve.
By Grand Rapids Podiatry
July 06, 2021
Whether you simply stepped down awkwardly or you were in a sports-related accident, it could have left you with a painful, swollen ankle. Could it be a simple strain, or could you have sprained your ankle? If you even suspect that you might have a sprained ankle, or if you’ve never experienced an ankle injury before, it’s always a good idea to play it safe and to turn to a podiatrist right away for proper diagnosis and treatment.
How to Treat Sprained Ankles
Most minor sprains can be properly managed through simple at-home treatment and care. Conservative treatment is typically the first line of defense against minor ankle and foot problems, including minor sprains. While more moderate to severe sprains will require more aggressive attention and treatment options, the RICE method is ideal for most ankle sprains. Here’s what RICE stands for:
No matter the severity of your sprain, your podiatrist will be the first to tell you to stay off the ankle and to rest as much as possible to give the ankle time to heal. If the sprain is more moderate or severe, your podiatrist may recommend wearing a protective boot or using crutches to help stabilize the foot and ankle and take pressure off the ankle while standing or walking.
Especially for the first 72 hours after an ankle injury, it’s a good idea to use ice as much as possible to reduce swelling and pain. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply to the ankle for up to 20 minutes at a time. You can continue to do this every few hours throughout the day.
Your podiatrist can also show you the proper way to wrap and bandage your ankle, which not only promotes proper circulation and blood flow to the area to aid in healing but also can provide additional support and stabilization for the ankle. It’s important to know how to properly wrap your ankle to make sure it’s providing the very best support and your podiatrist can easily show you how.
Whenever you at resting (which should be most of the day!), it’s a good idea to prop your injured ankle up above your heart to reduce inflammation and bruising. You should elevate your ankle for at least a couple of hours each day!
If you are in pain, over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers can be great for reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation. For more severe sprains, your podiatrist may prescribe something stronger. Patients with more moderate-to-severe sprains may require physical therapy and rehabilitation to help rebuild and strengthen the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the ankle.
Knowing you have a proper treatment plan in place can provide you with the peace of mind you need to know that your ankle will heal properly. Don’t ignore any foot or ankle injuries. Turn to your podiatrist right away for sprained ankles, or any other problems you may be facing.
By Grand Rapids Podiatry
June 16, 2021
You probably don’t think too much about the socks you wear but maybe you should. After all, just as it’s important to have shoes that fit properly and provide ample cushioning and support, there are also criteria that you should be following to find the ideal pair of socks. Want to find your “sole” mate? Follow these helpful sock-shopping tips.
Find the Perfect Fit
This might sound obvious but it’s important to find socks that offer the perfect amount of snugness for your feet. There shouldn’t be added material that can bunch up, as this can cause friction and blistering; however, socks shouldn’t be so tight that they put too much pressure on your feet. The seams of the socks should not rub against your feet or irritate.
Wear the Right Shoes
When going sock shopping you must be wearing the shoes to which you’re trying to match your socks. After all, it’s important to see how the socks affect the fit of your shoes. If your shoes are already tight, the socks you think are perfect may actually be too uncomfortable to wear with the shoes.
Different Socks for Different Activities
The socks that you wear for work are going to be different than the socks you’ll wear if you’re running, hiking, or working out. It’s important to find socks that fit your needs. Moisture-wicking socks can be great for athletes and those who like to work out. How much padding your socks offer is up to you. Personally, some athletes love a little additional padding while others may not. The extra padding could be great if you find that your feet get tired and achy easily during activity.
Don’t Forget Esthetics
If you’re simply shopping for socks for more day-to-day wear, then you can be a little more lenient about what you’re looking for. For one, style can play a bigger role in the types of socks you choose. You may want to go for something bolder or bright or with a fun pattern. While shopping for casual, everyday socks can lead to catering to your style you don’t want to ignore the fit or comfort of the pair you choose.
If you have special foot needs or you have concerns about the health of your feet, then you may have questions about the right type of shoes for you. That’s okay! This is where a podiatrist can help. Your podiatrist can answer any questions you have about shoes and sock recommendations, along with how to properly care for your feet.