Items filtered by date: May 2022
There are many people who notice they have dry skin on their feet, especially in the cold months. This could lead to a condition that is referred to as cracked heels, which may become a serious ailment if it is not treated properly. Some of methods that can be used to prevent cracked heels include moisturizing the feet within five minutes of bathing, and wearing shoes that have a closed back. Dry skin on the heels may be prevented by applying a balm and wearing socks before bed. People who are obese may experience cracked heels, as a result of the extra weight the feet must endure. There may be existing medical conditions that can lead to this ailment, such as diabetes and thyroid disorders. Cracked heels can cause pain and discomfort, and may bleed in severe cases. If you notice dry skin on your heels, it is suggested you consult with a podiatrist before it becomes worse and develops into cracked heels.
Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM from Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.
How Do You Get Them?
Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.
Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.
Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.
Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.
Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin.
Change in Diet
Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.
Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed.
Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.
People who have severe arthritis may consider having a surgery performed that is known as a triple arthrodesis. It is a procedure that fuses three joints of the ankle. It may help to have this type of foot surgery done to relieve pain if the joints are deformed or unstable as a result of arthritis. Existing conditions that may qualify for a triple arthrodesis can include ankle instability, severe flat foot, or extremely high arches. Some patients have abnormal connections between the bones and may consider this type of surgery. A proper diagnosis is performed by having X-rays taken, which can be beneficial to completely understanding the problems in the ankle. There may be risk factors with this type of surgery. Bones may fuse abnormally, and there could be delayed wound healing or nerve injury. If you have arthritis, and it is severely affecting your ankle, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can determine if this surgery is correct for you
When Is Surgery Necessary?
Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:
- Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
- Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
- Cosmetic reconstruction
What Types of Surgery Are There?
The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:
- Bunionectomy for painful bunions
- Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
- Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage
Benefits of Surgery
Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.
Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.
Foot massages can be an effective form of foot therapy. The benefits of this form of therapy include relieving sore muscles, and it can help to aid in relaxation. Additionally, research has shown that getting frequent foot massages may help patients to sleep better and it may be easier to manage emotions. There are several methods of performing a good foot massage. These can include gently bending the toes which may help to increase flexibility, and squeezing the heel which is beneficial in relieving tension at the back of the foot. Additionally, when pressure is applied to the inside of the foot, this may help to provide an overall positive feeling in the body. Many patients enjoy having their Achilles tendon massaged which can aid in reducing any tightness in that area. If you would like additional information about how foot massages can help you, please confer with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.
Foot therapy is often necessary for those recovering from either foot deformities or foot injuries. If you have concerns regarding therapy, Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Most Common Injuries
People who are active or athletes are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is often important to take part in physical therapy in order to quickly get back on the right track.
What to Do When Injured
Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.
During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. Physical therapy often involves:
Basic stretching and twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.
Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate the muscles and relax them.
Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.
Tendonitis, or inflammation of a tendon, is common among runners as well as others who do a lot of running during sports activities. A particular brand of tendonitis that occurs across the top of the foot is typical of overuse. It is known as extensor tendonitis, and affects the three tendons that connect the leg bones to the bones in the feet that allow you to walk and run. Symptoms include aching pain that worsens through activity. Some swelling may occur, and curling the toes usually adds to the pain as the tendons are stretched. Besides overuse, other factors to address include your footwear and training regime. Running shoes that fit poorly and are tied too tightly contribute to the pressure on the top of the foot. Also, changing your training program to include running up and down hills can negatively affect the extensor tendons. The first action to take against extensor tendonitis is to stop the activity. For other treatment options, it is wise to see a podiatrist who will be able to evaluate the severity of your condition and provide the appropriate solutions.
Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with Matthew McQuaid, DPM from Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Bone Spurs
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Ingrown Toenails
- Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
- Flat Feet
- Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
- And more
To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.
Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.
Millions of people in the United States are affected by an arthritic condition known as gout. It develops as a result of excess levels of uric acid, which can happen due to genetic reasons or from eating certain foods. The first symptoms are often felt in the joints of the big toe and can cause severe pain and discomfort. The foods to avoid for patients who get frequent gout attacks include red meat, shellfish, excess alcohol, and drinks that are made with large amounts of sugar. It is important to get a proper diagnosis, and this generally happens when uric acid levels are measured via a blood test, or from having an X-ray taken. People who are diabetic or overweight may be more susceptible to developing this condition. It is strongly suggested that patients who suffer from recurring gout be under the medical care of a podiatrist who can diagnose, treat, and manage this painful ailment.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.
- Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
- Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
- Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
- Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility
- Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
- Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
- Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
- Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
- Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
- Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout
Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.