Posts for category: Foot Care
How your podiatrists in Danbury, CT, can help with hammertoes
If you’ve ever suffered from a hammertoe, you already know how painful it can be. Putting on shoes and walking around can be agonizing. In fact, a hammertoe can dramatically affect your ability to get around. The good news is, your podiatrist can help you get relief from a hammertoe.
Drs. Joseph Treadwell, Christian Davis, and Rihamary Jimenez at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Connecticut offer comprehensive foot care services. They have three convenient office locations in Danbury, Plainville, and New Milford, CT, and proudly serve residents of New Britain, Bristol, Southington, Farmington, New Fairfield, and Ridgefield, CT, areas.
Your second, third, or fourth toes are most likely to be affected by a hammertoe, often caused by a muscle/tendon imbalance. The problem is amplified by wearing shoes that don’t have enough toe room. The middle toe joint becomes bent over time, causing your toe to stick out, resembling the shape of a hammer.
Hammertoes occur most often in women, due to wearing narrow, pointed shoes. High heels make the problem worse, because they push the toes forward, crushing your toes and toe joints together.
If you begin to develop a hammertoe, you should switch to wider shoes. You can also:
- Wear pads or cushions inside your shoes
- Manually stretch out each of your toes
- Take over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications
For stubborn, painful hammertoes, it’s best to visit your podiatrist. At Foot & Ankle Specialists of Connecticut, your podiatrist may recommend:
- Custom orthotics or footwear to correct a muscle/tendon imbalance
- Prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medication
- Splints or straps to realign your toe
- Corticosteroid injections around the joint to reduce inflammation
- Surgical treatment for severe hammertoe symptoms
To find out more about hammertoe causes, symptoms, and treatment, call Drs. Joseph Treadwell, Christian Davis, and Rihamary Jimenez at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Connecticut. You can reach them in Danbury, CT, at (203) 748-2220, in New Milford, CT, at (860) 355-3139, or at their office in Plainville, CT, at (860) 747-2200. Call today!
Why is foot health important?
People with diabetes are at a much greater risk for developing serious problems such as nerve damage, loss of sensation, ulcers, and decreased circulation. This chronic condition also increases your risk for infections. Even small cuts and minor blisters can lead to a serious infection if left untreated.
This is why it’s important that any changes to your feet, even minor ones, are addressed and treated by a podiatrist rather than trying to treat the problem yourself. By turning to a podiatrist you can prevent further complications from happening.
How do I care for diabetic feet?
There are many things that you can do every day to maintain healthy, happy feet. This is something that your podiatrist can discuss with you when you come in for a comprehensive evaluation. Even if you have your diabetes properly controlled with medication, it’s still important to have a foot doctor that you can turn to for routine care, nail trimming, and more. Some tips for keeping diabetic feet healthy and problem-free include,
- Washing feet with warm water and soap at least once a day. Make sure that you also clean between toes. Once your feet are thoroughly clean, also dry them off completely before applying moisturizer.
- Never go barefoot, even indoors, as this could lead to an injury. Make sure to always check your shoes before putting them on to ensure that dirt or small objects may not be inside (as this can lead to injury).
- Wear shoes that provide the proper fit. There are shoes designed specifically for those with diabetes; however, as long as you wear shoes that provide protection, optimal support, and the ideal fit, this is all you need.
- You should always have your feet examined by a podiatrist at least once a year to check blood flow and to make sure that there are no issues. If you have trouble trimming your nails properly, you can also turn to a podiatrist who will do it for you.
What are the signs of metatarsalgia?
You could be dealing with metatarsalgia if,
- You have foot pain that is exacerbated by standing, walking, or flexing your foot
- Foot pain gets better with rest
- You have a sharp or burning pain in the ball of the foot
- There is a sharp or shooting pain in the toes
- Your toes tingle or feel numb
- You feel as if you have a stone in your shoe
What causes this foot problem?
Certain factors can certainly increase your risk of developing metatarsalgia. These risk factors include,
- Experiencing stress fractures in the toes
- Wearing high heels or shoes with a narrow toe box
- Being overweight or obese
- Having certain foot deformities such as bunions or hammertoes
- High arches
- Intense or endurance exercises such as long-distance running
You can ease metatarsalgia pain and discomfort on your own through simple lifestyle changes including,
- Avoiding certain activities and exercises that make the pain worse (e.g., running)
- Wearing properly fitted and fully supportive shoes
- Avoiding high heels or shoes that are too tight
- Placing shoe inserts or padding under the metatarsal bones for further support
- Icing the area multiple times a day
- Taking a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication
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.