Get Answers to Your Questions About Foot and Ankle Problems From Our Plano Podiatrist
When you’re living with heel or foot pain, you don’t want to wait for answers. Get help fast by looking through this list of frequently asked questions with answers from our Plano podiatrist.
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What is pronation?
You might not be aware of this, but your foot goes through an inward roll with every step you take. This roll starts with the strike of your heel and continues all the way through the final push from your toes. We call this biomechanical process pronation.
The rolling motion is important in ensuring that forces are equitably distributed across the foot. In fact, it is a critical element for proper shock absorption.
It is important to understand that certain issues can develop when a foot pronates either excessively (overpronation) or not enough (supination). This is compared to a normal rolling motion of approximately fifteen percent. Overpronation is linked to flatfoot, whereas supination is related to cavus foot (high foot arches).
If you are experiencing biomechanical issues in your feet, you can benefit from a gait analysis performed by Dr. Reister at our Richardson, TX office. Contact us today by calling (972) 690-5374 for more information or to request an appointment. You can also contact us online right now.
What can I do at home to avoid foot problems?
There are many things you can do at home to prevent foot problems, including:
- Clip your toenails straight across (not rounded) and even with the edge of your toes (not too short) to reduce your risk of ingrown toenails.
- Ask for help when carrying heavy objects, so they don’t accidently fall on your feet.
- Moisturize your feet after showering or bathing, and before going to bed, to prevent dry skin and cracked heels.
- Stretch your lower limbs, especially your Achilles tendons and calf muscles, to prevent heel pain from conditions like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.
- Keep your feet and toes dry to lower your risk of developing fungal toenails. If you don’t have diabetes, consider walking barefoot at home to keep them dry.
- Don’t share towels, socks, or other objects with a family member who has a fungal infection, athlete’s foot, or a plantar wart.
These are a just a couple of actions you can take at home to avoid foot problems. For additional prevention tips, or to request an appointment for professional foot care services, contact Richardson Podiatry Associates by calling (972) 690-5374 or take advantage of our online form to connect with us today.
How can I reduce swelling in my feet?
Swelling in your feet or ankles is a condition known as edema, and it can be particularly common if you are pregnant, have recently undergone surgery, or were sitting in one place for an extended period of time (like on a long plane ride). The swelling happens when fluids build up in body tissues.
To reduce swelling in feet from edema, start with some home remedies, including:
- Elevate the affected limb(s) above heart level.
- Move around so your muscles will pump excess fluid back to your heart.
- Massage the area using firm, but not overly hard, pressure in the direction of your heart.
- Wear compression stockings.
- Reduce salt intake to prevent fluid retention.
If home remedies do not provide the desired relief, then it is time for professional care. Come see us here at our Richardson, TX foot doctor office and we can prescribe medication that can help.
For more information on edema, or the services we provide at Richardson Podiatry Associates, give us a call at (972) 690-5374, or take advantage of our online form to contact us today.
How does pregnancy affect my feet?
Pregnancy affects a woman’s body in many ways, and there is so much happening during the nine months, which means it’s not surprising that feet can be overlooked. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any changes or increased risk of issues with the lower limbs, though.
Some of the ways in which pregnancy affects feet include:
Edema – Feet and ankles can become swollen from excess fluids.
Bigger feet – The body releases a hormone known as relaxin, which causes ligaments, including those in your feet, to loosen. Foot growth can also be attributed to the extra weight they are now carrying.
Fallen arches – In addition to contributing to foot growth, extra weight can also cause foot arches to collapse.
Plantar fasciitis – This overuse injury that causes heel pain is common for all adults, but extra stress on the plantar fascia increases the risk during pregnancy.
Muscle cramps – Pregnancy leads to more frequent muscle cramping, especially at night during the second trimester.
What are the dangers of high heels?
Footwear choices can play a major role in the health and wellbeing of your feet. Pumps and stilettos might be stylish, but you need to be aware of the potential dangers from wearing high heels.
When you wear high heels on a frequent basis, you increase your risk of medical issues like ankle sprains, fractures, bunions, hammertoes, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and ligament damage. While footwear choices might not actually cause toe deformities like bunions and hammertoes, they can certainly make them worse.
There are two biomechanical problems with high heels – the elevated position of the heel and the excess pressure on the front of the foot. With the heel being so high, the calf muscle and Achilles tendon are shortened and tightened, which increases their risk of injury. Also, the amount of weight placed on the front of the foot can contribute to toe joint imbalance.
These are only some of the possible risks you face when you wear high-heeled footwear on a frequent basis. For more information, or if you are experiencing foot problems from the effect of wearing high heels, contact Richardson Podiatry Associates by calling (972) 690-5374 or schedule an appointment with our Richardson, TX office online.
How long is recovery from a ruptured Achilles?
Recovery from an Achilles tendon rupture will depend a bit, naturally, on the patient and severity of the injury. When casting is used to immobilize the affected tendon, there will be several weeks of exercises used to regain mobility and strengthen the tissue. Gait training exercises may be performed for two to three months following initial treatment.
Return to normal activities often happens around four to six months after treatment. This can vary based on desired activity levels and a patient’s adherence to post-operative instructions.
Your recovery from a rupture begins with proper treatment for the condition. You can find the care you need for these injuries at Richardson Podiatry Associates. Don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us if you would like additional information or need to schedule you an appointment with our Richardson, TX office. You can connect with us by calling (972) 690-5374 or using our online form on our website.
When should I replace my running shoes?
As a general rule, you should replace running shoes every 300-500 miles, but this constitutes quite a range and you need to factor in other considerations as well.
If you opt to wear “minimalist” shoes—models falling between traditional and barefoot running shoes—the range is closer to 200-400 miles. The same holds true for racing flats. These shoes are constructed from less material and considered not to be as durable as other ones.
In addition to a mileage range, which at least provides a starting point, it is important to study your footwear and listen to your body. A key indicator of wear-and-tear on running shoes is the outsole. The rubber outsole makes contact with the ground and its tread wears away over time.
A less visible indicator of worn out running shoes is the feeling of “flatness” from the midsole as it breaks down. This means the footwear doesn’t have the same “bounce” it previously had.
For additional information on when to replace running shoes, or to schedule an appointment with Richardson Podiatry Associates, simply give us a call at (972) 690-5374 and we’ll be glad to help. You can also request your appointment with our Richardson, TX office online today.
Why are my toes curling down?
Toes that curl down are often an indication of either a muscular imbalance or a nerve issue. There are three related, yet different, conditions where this happens – hammertoe, mallet toe, and claw toe.
- Hammertoe – Often affects the second toe and the digit bends at the middle joint down toward the floor.
- Mallet toe – Much like hammertoe, this happens with the second toe, but the key distinction is that the bend happens in the joint closest to the tip of the toe.
- Claw toe – This condition often affects all four smaller toes concurrently and the toes bend up at the first joint—the metatarsophalangeal joint at the base of the foot—and down at the other two joints.
This often happens when there is difference in strength between the muscles on the top of the toes versus the ones on the bottom. This situation pulls the toe into its bent shape.
These conditions are progressive, which means they do not improve on their own and worsen over time, but we can help Give us a call at (972) 690-5374 or schedule your appointment at Richardson Podiatry Associates online today.
When is bunion surgery necessary?
To start with, it is important to note that bunions are progressive conditions, which means that they will not get better without the use of surgery. That said, relief of symptoms can often be found through the use of nonsurgical methods. We may recommend bunion surgery to patients who:
- Experience severe pain from the toe deformity and cannot find relief via other methods.
- Face restricted or limited activities on account of the bunion.
- Are unable to straighten or bend their big toe.
There are definitely cases where we recommend surgical procedures, but many patients can find the relief they need through conservative measures. Our bunion treatment will typically start with conservative care. If surgery is recommended, you can take comfort in the fact that Richardson Podiatry Associates has the trained personnel, equipment, and environment for successful procedures.
Come see us for the bunion care you need. Give our Richardson, TX office a call at (972) 690-5374 for more information or help arranging a visit. You can also use our online form to request an appointment today.
Can orthotics help with high arch pain?
Yes, custom orthotics can help with high arch pain. If you have high, rigid foot arches, physical forces on your feet are not distributed in an optimal manner. This is especially true during the gait cycle (when you walk).
Orthotics can be crafted to provide additional arch support and modify any biomechanical abnormalities that take place while you walk. Both of these are instrumental in helping to relieve the pain that can come with cavus foot (high foot arches).
When your high arches are causing pain and taking away your ability to perform favorite activities, Richardson Podiatry Associates can help. Our treatment plan will be customized to your unique situation and we may prescribe a pair of custom orthotic devices to provide the relief you need.
Contact our Richardson, TX office by calling (972) 690-5374 and our friendly staff will answer any questions you might have. You can also schedule an appointment with us online today.