Posts for category: Foot Care
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Heel pain
- Ankle sprains and fractures
- Foot fractures
- Sports-related injuries
- Bunions and hammertoes
- Corns and calluses
- Diabetic foot care
- Fungal infections
- Ingrown toenails
- Heel spurs
An unexpected fall or twist can result in an injury of the foot or ankle, such as a sprain or strain. Immediate first aid can help prevent complications, reduce pain and improve recovery.
Rest, ice, compression and elevation--commonly referred to as R.I.C.E.--is the first and best treatment for minor injuries. The following tips can aid in the early treatment of common foot and ankle injuries to help reduce swelling and control the inflammatory process during the initial phase of injury.
Rest: Whether you have a strain or a sprain, rest from any physical activity is essential to protecting your injured ligaments, tendons or muscles from further damage while your body starts the repair process. Avoid putting weight on the injured foot or ankle as much as possible. In some cases, complete immobilization may be required.
Ice: Gently ice your foot or ankle with ice wrapped in a towel in a 20-minute-on, 40-minute-off cycle for the first few days post-injury. Ice is excellent at reducing inflammation and pain.
Compression: Applying some type of compressive wrap or bandage to an injured area can greatly reduce the amount of initial swelling.
Elevation: Prop your foot up while lying down or sitting so that it is higher than or equal to the level of the heart.
After a few days of R.I.C.E., many acute injuries will begin to heal. If pain or swelling does not subside after a few days, or if you are unsure of the severity of your injury, make an appointment with your podiatrist. A skilled podiatrist can properly diagnose your injury and recommend the best course of treatment.
Many people think corns and calluses are the same thing, but there are differences. A corn is smaller than a callus, and has a hard center which is surrounded by inflamed tissue. Unlike calluses, corns can be painful and make it difficult to wear shoes. The good news is, your podiatrist can help get rid of corns and get you back on your feet.
Corns typically develop to protect your feet and toes from friction and pressure. They can be found in both weight bearing and non-weight bearing areas including between your toes, and on the tops and sides of your toes.
According to the Mayo Clinic, common signs and symptoms of a corn include:
- A thick, rough area of skin
- A hardened, raised bump
- Tenderness or pain under the skin
Since corns are caused by friction and pressure, you can do a lot to prevent corn development. Remember to:
- Wear shoes with plenty of room for your toes
- Use padding or bandages in your shoes
- Soak your feet in warm water to soften corns
- After soaking, rub the corn with a pumice stone to remove hardened skin
- Moisturize your feet every day to keep your skin soft
If you have diabetes and you develop a corn or other foot problem, you need the help of an expert, your podiatrist. Self-treating foot issues when you are diabetic can lead to injuries that don’t heal and could get worse, resulting in a serious infection.
Fortunately, your podiatrist can recommend several treatment options to get rid of corns, including:
- Trimming away excess skin to reduce friction
- Corn-removing medication containing salicylic acid
- Custom-fit inserts or orthotics
- Surgery if the corn is caused from friction due to poor bone alignment
You don’t have to deal with painful corns by yourself. Get some relief from the pain by visiting your podiatrist. Your feet are important, so seek out the best care possible to protect your feet.
Athlete's foot is one of the most common fungal infections of the skin and is frequently seen in our office. Whether you've had it or not, it's important to understand how you can avoid and treat this highly contagious infection if you do contract it.
The fungus that causes athlete's foot thrives in damp, moist environments and often grows in warm, humid climates, such as locker rooms, showers and public pools; hence the name "athlete's foot. " This infection can itch and burn causing the skin on your feet and between your toes to crack and peel.
Tips For avoiding Athlete's Foot:
- Keep your feet dry, allowing them to air out as much as possible
- Wear socks that draw moisture away from your feet and change them frequently if you perspire heavily
- Wear light, well-ventilated shoes
- Alternate pairs of shoes, allowing time for your shoes to dry each day
- Always wear waterproof shoes in public areas, such as pools, locker rooms, or communal showers
- Never borrow shoes due to the risk of spreading a fungal infection
A mild case of athlete's foot will generally clear up on its own with over-the-counter antifungal creams and sprays. But since re-infection is common due to its contagious nature, many people require prescribed anti-fungal medication to effectively treat the infection. Generally, it's always best to consult with your podiatrist before choosing a treatment.
Mild cases of athlete's foot can turn severe and even cause a serious bacterial infection. If you notice your rash has become increasingly red, swollen and painful or you develop blisters and sores, call our office right away. Athlete's foot left untreated could eventually spread to other body parts and infect other people around you.
With the right treatment, you'll be cured of your athlete's foot in no time, which means the sooner you can enjoy the activities you love without pain and irritation!
Need help for persistent heel pain? Your podiatrists at Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia (with locations in Stafford and Lake Ridge) get to the root cause of your foot ailment and treat it effectively. Is it plantar fasciitis or something else? Learn more about why your heel could be hurting and what you can do.
The causes of heel pain
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that most heel pain originates with overuse. Overuse, plus time, age and weight issues often add up to inflammatory conditions of the foot and ankle such as:
- Plantar fasciitis, a swelling of the connective tissue between the heel bone and base of the toes
- Heel spurs, small bony projections often accompanying plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis, an overstretching of the big tendon which runs between the heel and the calf muscles
- Stress fractures, tiny breaks in the calcaneus, or heel bone, usually associated with running, jumping or dancing
- Bone bruise
Treating heel pain
Surprisingly, most heel pain doesn't require surgical intervention. More conservative measures, and preventatives, usually suffice to control or eliminate the sources of discomfort. However, to determine your best course of treatment, your Stafford or Lake Ridge podiatrist will need to examine your foot and take digital X-rays and any and perhaps another imaging system if necessary. With a confirmed diagnosis, you can proceed with a treatment plan fitted to your diagnosis, other medical conditions, and lifestyle needs.
Treatment recommendations for heel pain often include:
- Rest, ice, and elevation (helpful for stone bruises)
- Shoes with wide toe boxes and good arch support (plantar fasciitis often results from an imbalance in gait)
- Custom-made shoe inserts (orthotics) to support and balance the foot
- Over the counter medications
- Stretching exercises before strenuous workouts
- Cortisone injections
- Heel pads
- Wearing shoes at all times, even indoors
- Losing weight to avoid excessive pressure on the heels and other parts of the foot
If your heel hurts, please don't wait. Get relief and avoid long-term problems. Contact Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia. We have two locations and are open Monday through Saturday: For Lake Ridge Foot & Ankle Center, phone (703) 491-9500, and for Stafford Foot & Ankle Center, call (540) 720-0700.