Items filtered by date: May 2023
A walking abnormality is when the walking gait is abnormal in some way. Diseases, injuries, or genetic factors may contribute to an abnormal walking pattern. Altered walking can further cause harm to muscles, bones, and nerves in the lower extremities and rest of the body. Depending on the severity of the walking abnormality, and how long it endures, different treatments are suggested. Walking abnormally can present itself as walking with the head and neck thrust forward, and walking with the legs bent. Additionally, it may be evident as the knees and thighs cross over each other in a scissor-like fashion, or the feet may drag while walking. Even a limp is considered to be a walking abnormality. If you find that your gait is altered and you do not know why, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist for an examination and diagnosis so you can be on the road to recovery.
Biomechanics in Podiatry
Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.
A History of Biomechanics
- Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
- In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.
Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.
Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.
Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.
Finding running shoes for people who have flat feet may be challenging. There can be differences of opinion as to what type of running shoe to purchase. Many stores that sell these types of shoes may suggest a shoe that has extra arch support. Conversely, sports injury experts may advise a different type of shoe. The majority of people will come to the conclusion that the choice depends on their range of motion and what type of foot they have. People who are born with flat feet may opt to choose a shoe that has minimal arch support, and this may benefit the entire leg. A collapsed arch is defined as a muscle weakness, and additional arch support may be a good choice. If you are a runner with flat feet and are seeking knowledge about what type of shoes to buy, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can give you the advice you are seeking.
What Are Flat Feet?
Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.
Conditions & Problems:
Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.
Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.
Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.
- Pain around the heel or arch area
- Trouble standing on the tip toe
- Swelling around the inside of the ankle
- Flat look to one or both feet
- Having your shoes feel uneven when worn
If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle.
People who enjoy running or jogging may be concerned if a bunion develops. A bunion is a bony protrusion that forms on the side of the big toe and is uncomfortable while wearing shoes. As the bunion grows, it may alter the foot structure, and cause the other toes to shift toward each other. A bunion is considered to be a deformity and may cause pain and discomfort. Runners may have to alter their gait to accommodate the bunion, and medical attention is often sought so their running or jogging routine may resume to normal. A common cause of bunions can come from wearing shoes that do not have ample room in the toe area. High heels fit into this category, which may cause the toes to squeeze together. It may also happen from genetic reasons, which may give people fair warning to wisely choose shoes that fit correctly. Some patients have found temporary relief for mild bunions by wearing a protective covering over it. If you have developed a bunion, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can guide you toward the correct treatment methods, which may include surgery for permanent removal.
What Is a Bunion?
Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.
- Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
- Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development
- Redness and inflammation
- Pain and tenderness
- Callus or corns on the bump
- Restricted motion in the big toe
In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.
The pain that comes from having an ingrown toenail cannot be ignored. The medical term for this condition is referred to as onychocryptosis, and it generally affects the big toe. It happens when the nail grows into the skin instead of over it, and noticeable symptoms may be redness, soreness, and swelling. Effective prevention methods for an ingrown toenail can consist of wearing shoes that fit properly and trimming the toenails straight across instead of in a curved direction. An ingrown toenail also can happen if a toe injury has occurred, or if the shoes and socks that are worn are too tight. Patients may find temporary relief when the foot is soaked in warm water, and the nail is gently pulled away from the skin by using a small piece of cotton. Permanent relief can be found when a podiatrist is contacted, who can perform minor surgery, if necessary for removal of the nail. If you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you contact this type of doctor who can determine what the best course of treatment is for you.
Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor 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.
Exercise is important for everyone, as it positively impacts health, boosts mood, and increases self-esteem. If a person is overweight, exercise can be particularly important given that excess weight can increase health risks. These can include high blood pressure, diabetes, and an array of foot problems. Beginning an exercise program can be daunting in the best of cases, but when one is overweight, it can feel especially difficult. Wearing proper workout gear and shoes for the activity to be achieved comfortably is a critical first step. Walking is a good form of exercise for those who are confronting the number on the scale because no special equipment is needed and it can be done anywhere. It also can be done at varying levels based on intensity, fitness level, and it can be easy on the feet. Starting for five to 10 minutes of walking and gradually building up to a 30 minute walk per day is an optimum goal. Speed and pace need not be a concern at the beginning, just consistency. If you have foot pain or have sustained a foot injury and want to exercise to lose weight, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist for help.
Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, 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.
Obesity and Your Feet
Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.
Problems & Complications
Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.
Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.
Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot.