Posts for category: Foot Care
What causes flat feet?
Sometimes flat feet are simply inherited (thanks mom and dad!). Other times they develop as a result of a weakening of the posterior tibial tendon due to age-related wear and tear, physical activity, and overpronation. Those who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop flat feet.
Should I be concerned about my child’s flat feet?
The arches of the feet develop during childhood, so it’s not normal for your baby or toddler to have arches. Their flat feet are perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. Arches typically won’t form until your child is two or three years old, and some children won’t develop arches until the age of five.
What are some ways to treat flat feet?
If you aren’t experiencing any symptoms then there is no reason to seek treatment for your flat feet; however, if you are dealing with foot pain, particularly around the heel or arches of the foot, then you should talk with your podiatrist about ways to ease your pain and prevent further flare-ups. Some conservative ways to treat flat feet include,
- Wearing properly fitted shoes that provide ample cushioning and support for the entire foot, particularly the arches and heel
- Consider getting prescription orthotics from your podiatrist, which can evenly distribute the weight throughout the foot rather than putting added pressure on the arches or heel
- Losing weight, if the patient is overweight or obese
- Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen, which can reduce pain and swelling
- Talking to your podiatrist about special exercises that you can do to improve the strength and function of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the foot to reduce pain
- Weighing the pros and cons of surgical intervention
Dealing with heel pain? It could be plantar fasciitis.
While there are many reasons why you might be dealing with foot pain, if you are experiencing heel pain then plantar fasciitis might be to blame. This is a problem you don’t want to ignore, as it can often get worse or become chronic. If you find that the bottoms of your heels are causing you significant pain, our podiatrists Dr. Joseph Treadwell, Dr. Christian Davis, and Dr. Rihamary Jimenez from Foot & Ankle Specialists of Connecticut can provide you with ways to ease your symptoms and help your feet heal.
We have Offices in Plainville, Danbury, and New Milford, CT where we provide service to the New Britain, Bristol, Southington, Farmington, New Fairfield and Ridgefield, CT, areas
What is plantar fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a thick ligament that goes from the heels to the toes. This tissue connects the heel bone to the toes and also supports the arches of the feet. Overuse or strain on the plantar fascia can result in inflammation and micro-tears that lead to plantar fasciitis.
What causes it?
There are certain risk factors that can increase the likelihood that someone may develop plantar fasciitis over their lifetime. Some of these factors include:
- Being female
- Being overweight
- Having to stand for long periods of time, often for work
- Being a runner
- Suddenly increasing the intensity or duration of a run or athletic activity
- Tight calf muscles
- Very high arches
- Flat feet
Can I treat plantar fasciitis on my own?
If you have had plantar fasciitis in the past, or if you’re only dealing with minor heel pain, then you may be able to treat the problem on your own without turning to a footcare professional. Those with diabetes or nerve damage in their feet should turn to our Danbury, CT, podiatrists immediately for care. In this case, do not try and treat the problem yourself.
Some ways to ease plantar fasciitis symptoms and to promote healing are:
- Rest as much as possible
- Avoid strenuous activities and exercises that could exacerbate the plantar fascia
- Stretch your feet, calves, and ankles every day to alleviate pain and stiffness
- Wear socks and shoes that provide support, even when indoors
- Elevate your feet when at rest to reduce swelling
- Ice the heel 2-3 times a day for about 15 minutes each time
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
- Soak feet in a warm bath with Epsom salt
When should I turn to a podiatrist?
If you’ve been resting and managing your heel pain at home but still aren’t seeing an improvement in your symptoms after five days, then it’s time to see a professional. You should also turn to a podiatrist if:
- You are dealing with severe heel pain or swelling
- You can’t bend or move the foot
- You can’t put any weight on your foot
- You notice numbness or tingling in the heel
- There is a discoloration in the heel or foot
With offices in Plainville, Danbury, and New Milford, CT, the podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Connecticut are proud to serve the New Britain, Bristol, Southington, Farmington, New Fairfield, and Ridgefield, CT, areas. If you’re looking for a podiatrist to treat your plantar fasciitis, give us a call today at (203) 748-2220, (860) 355-3139, or (860) 747-2200.
- Wash feet at least once a day with soap and warm water. Make sure that you dry your feet thoroughly after.
- Make sure to dry feet as soon as possible after dealing with sweaty or perspiring feet.
- Choose socks made from materials that wick away sweat and improve ventilation.
- Apply deodorizing sprays or powders in shoes every day after wear, and make sure to wait 24 hours before wearing the same shoes again.
Certain shoes can leave you prone to cracked heels and dry skin due to friction from wearing loose-fitted shoes. People who wear sandals and other open-heeled shoes are more at risk for developing cracked heels. Instead, opt for closed-heeled shoes that fit properly and provide support.
If you are overweight, you may be surprised to discover that this could be contributing to your dry, cracked heels. This is because your feet take on all of your weight while standing, walking, and running. By safely dropping that excess weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise you can alleviate some of the pressure placed on your heels to reduce the risk of cracking.
While we know just how luxurious it feels to stand in a steaming hot shower, especially during the winter months, this could be contributing to dry skin on your feet and cracked heels. If this is something you deal with regularly you may look at your current bathing or showering ritual to see if that could be the culprit. Simply use warm and not hot water, which can strip the skin of the oils it needs to stay moist.
You should moisturize your feet every day to prevent dry skin from happening in the first place. Moisturizers that contain lactic acid, glycerin, or petroleum jelly can help to lock in moisture in your feet. Moisturize every time you get out of the shower and throughout the day, especially before going to bed. If you are prone to very dry, cracked feet, you may wish to moisturize and then wear socks to bed.
If possible, try to keep the blister intact. Do not try to pop or drain a blister that hasn’t popped on its own. It’s important not to put pressure on the blister, so avoid any shoes that may be too tight. If you’re going to put on shoes, make sure to apply a bandage (some band-aids are designed specifically for covering blisters) to the area first.
If the blister popped on its own, clean it with warm water soap (do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the blister). Once the area is clean, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream to the area and apply a bandage over the blister. These simple steps can prevent an infection from occurring.
You should only drain a blister if it’s very large, painful, or affects your ability to move. In this case, you should sterilize a needle with alcohol and then make a small hole in the blister to let it drain. You may need to carefully squeeze the blister to help it drain fully. Once the blister has drained, rinse out the area with soap and warm water before applying antibiotic cream to the area and placing a bandage over it.
You mustn’t keep the same bandage on your blister day in and day out. You should check the blister every day to make sure it isn’t infected. You should clean the area daily with soap and water and then reapply another bandage.