Our feet are susceptible to ailments just as the rest of our body is. Here are some more common ones and whether they are serious or not. Verrucas are warts that form on the bottom of our feet due to human papillomavirus. Verrucas are contagious but are generally not a serious medical issue. Athlete’s foot is a different infection of the foot that is caused by a fungus rather than a virus. Similar to verrucas, athlete’s foot is also generally not a serious health concern and will go away. Toenail fungus, a fungal infection of the toenails, is also generally not a serious health concern but can cause embarrassment for those who have it. An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail begins to grow into the skin along the sides of the nail and can cause discomfort. While an ingrown toenail can be taken care of at home, it is recommended to see a podiatrist as they can treat it safely. Bunions are bony bumps that form at the base of the big toe and can cause pain and discomfort. While podiatrists will attempt to treat a bunion with nonsurgical options, in some cases, surgery may be deemed necessary. While there are many more foot conditions, this is meant as a brief overview of some of them. While most of the ones listed here are generally not dangerous, it’s not a bad idea to see a podiatrist as they can provide better treatments and help your feet heal faster. Finally, if you are diabetic, it is strongly advised that you see a podiatrist for any foot-related abnormality.
Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Everyday Foot Care
Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.
It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Mesa, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Every Day Foot Care
Stubbing your toe on a piece of furniture or dropping something on your foot may result in a painful toe fracture. Most fractures heal in 4 to 6 weeks with proper medical care from a podiatrist. The toe may swell and bruise, and it can be difficult to walk on. During the first few days, elevating your foot can be beneficial in reducing pain and swelling. Applying an ice pack and resting the toe by limiting standing and walking can further aid in the recovery. An X-ray may be necessary to determine the severity. Normal activities can be resumed once you can wear normal footwear and can walk around without pain. Please consult a podiatrist for treatment if you have pain in your toe, or feel that your toe might be broken. While some fractures may not cause excessive pain or seem harmful, they can become problematic or not heal properly.
A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.
What to Know About a Broken Toe
Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).
Symptoms of a Broken Toe
- Throbbing pain
- Bruising on the skin and toenail
- The inability to move the toe
- Toe appears crooked or disfigured
- Tingling or numbness in the toe
Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.
Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our office located in Mesa, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
If you are experiencing pain, redness, and swelling near the toenail, chances are you may have an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails occur when the corner of the nail grows into the flesh, which can be very painful. Diabetics may be at a greater risk for ingrown toenails due to poor blood flow which can lead to the wound not healing. Trimming toenails properly is an excellent way to help prevent ingrown toenails. Wearing well-fitted shoes can help too; keeping pressure off the toes may keep the nail from growing into the surrounding tissue. Soaking the feet in a warm bath may relieve tenderness and reduce swelling, and applying antibiotic cream and bandaging the toe can also be beneficial. If the toenail becomes infected or the pain is severe, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist.
Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.
- Bacterial infections
- Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
- Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
- Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
- Genetic predisposition
Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Mesa, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
While the exact cause of bunions is unknown, there are things that can exacerbate them. These may include improper footwear, such as pointed shoes, high heels, and shoes that are too narrow across the bottom of the toes. Since the toe typically bears most of the body’s weight, poor footwear can lead to increased wear and tear; this can increase the severity of bunions. Additionally, genetics may play a role because foot structure and shape are hereditary. It’s also common for bunions to become more pronounced for those whose occupations consist of standing or walking. Treatments can include adding padding in the shoes for protection, wearing a shoe with a flexible sole for support, and possibly stretching your shoes to make room for the bunion. If you think you have a bunion, it is recommended to consult a podiatrist for a proper evaluation.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why do Bunions Form?
Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form
How are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Mesa, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Bunions
For many people, buying larger shoes over time is common, as they may gain a half shoe size over the age of 40. There are many bones, joints, and over 100 tendons in the foot. The ligaments may lose their elasticity, which may cause the feet to flatten, and the arches to lower. Additionally, the force of the body weight causes the “fat pads” to thin, which cushion the bottom of the feet. There’s a few important pointers to remember when buying shoes. The feet are largest at the end of the day, which makes it a good time to measure the foot. Typically, there should be a half-inch of space for the longest toe while standing. Also, it's beneficial if the shoes are made from soft material that conforms to the shape of the foot. They should fit comfortably and not slip as you walk. Lastly, walking in the shoes on carpeting is a good way to make sure they feel right.
Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of one of our podiatrists from Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Getting the Right Shoe Size
There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.
- When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
- Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
- Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
- Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
- If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes
As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without pain.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our office located in Mesa, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Getting the Right Shoe Size: To Keep Your Feet Happy
A painful condition caused by pressure in the area below the bony part of the ankle is called tarsal tunnel syndrome. Possible symptoms include burning pain and pins and needles sensation in the arch of the foot that may extend into the heel and possibly into the toes. It can occur when the tibial nerve becomes compressed or trapped. Some causes may include rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, running based sports, or a possible a cyst in the tarsal tunnel. Consulting a podiatrist is advised and treatment may include medication and cold therapy, while the ankle is inflamed. Stretching the calf muscles once the inflammation has lessened may also be helpful. Going forward, a rehabilitation program may be necessary for strengthening the foot.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.
Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
- Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.
The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
- The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
- If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.
A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Mesa, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
There are a number of medical health issues which can cause poor blood circulation in the feet. Some of these include obesity, varicose veins, and blood clots. Diabetes can be another cause, while Raynaud's disease, a condition that causes the small arteries in the hands and toes to narrow, may lead to it as well. Exercise, wearing properly-fitted shoes, reducing salt intake, and avoiding sitting for too long, can all help improve poor circulation in the feet. If you like your feet aren't getting good blow flow, contact a podiatrist to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.
Poor Circulation in the Feet
Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.
Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.
Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:
- Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness
- Numbness or cramping in the legs
- Skin discoloration
- Slower nail & hair growth
- Erectile dysfunction
Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.
As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication.
When it comes to shopping for running shoes, there is no perfect shoe that works for everyone. Everyone has a different foot type so just because you’re the same size as someone else, it doesn’t mean their shoe will fit you correctly. Higher prices or brand names also don’t guarantee a great shoe either. There are certain qualities to look for when shoe shopping though. Shoes should be comfortable, especially for long periods of time. Knowing your foot type, such as whether you overpronate or have a neutral foot, can help as well. A podiatrist can help determine your foot type and can also make recommendations about what shoes to wear. A good pair of shoes should provide enough space for your toes, be breathable and comfortable, and support your feet.
If you are a runner, wearing the right running shoe is essential. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type
To increase performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is important to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type. The general design of running shoes revolves around pronation, which is how the ankle rolls from outside to inside when the foot strikes the ground.
- Neutral runners are able to choose from a wide variety of shoes, including minimalist shoes or even going barefoot.
- Runners who overpronate, or experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling, should choose shoes that provide extra motion control and stability.
- Runners who underpronate, or supinate, have feet that have high arches and lack flexibility, preventing shock absorption. They require shoes with more flexibility and cushion.
As we get older, our feet typically get larger and flatten out. This is due to a loss of elasticity in supporting tendons and ligaments, which then causes lower arches and an elongation of the sole. Many people do not realize this and wind up wearing the same size shoes which can now be too tight. Poorly fitted shoes can cause a number of foot ailments such as ingrown toenails, hammertoes, and foot pain. They can also exacerbate other foot problems, such as bunions. With this in mind, elderly persons should have their foot size examined when they are looking for a new pair of shoes. It is also best to go later on in the day when shopping as our feet tend to swell up throughout the day. Shoes should provide good cushioning and support and the toes should be able to move freely without being constricted.
Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
The Elderly and their Feet
As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.
- Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
- Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
- Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
- Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
- Shoes that don’t fit properly
- Pressure sores
- Loss of circulation in legs & feet
- Edema & swelling of feet and ankles
Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.
A new study conducted by the University of Oregon, and with the participation of Stanford University, the University of Southern California, and the University of Colorado Boulder, seeks to identify athletes who are likely to develop stress fractures. With newly known risk factor indicators available, athletes who are at risk for stress fractures can be alerted and allowed to rest to prevent them. Stress fractures, or tiny hairline fractures in the bone, most commonly occur from overuse and lack of rest. The study is still in its early stages and will take several years to produce conclusive results. Researchers are hopeful that this will help prevent athlete's injuring themselves and allow them to keep playing.
Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Desert Foot and Ankle, PC.. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.
Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use. The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.
What are Stress Fractures?
Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:
- People affected with Osteoporosis
- Tennis or basketball players
- High impact workouts
Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.