My Blog

Posts for category: Foot Conditions

By Karen E Anderson, DPM
July 01, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Ingrown Toenails  

Prone to ingrown toenails? Here’s what you should know…

Let’s take a look at how to protect your ingrown toenails and when it’s time to turn to a podiatrist to treat this common foot problem,

Wear Properly Fitted Shoes

While this might seem obvious, you wouldn’t believe how many people try to cram their feet into shoes that bunch up their toes and put pressure on the nails. If you wear shoes like this, it’s time to stop. Shop for shoes with a large toe box; you should be able to wiggle your toes when wearing your shoes. Looking for new shoes? Go shoe shopping in the afternoon or evening when your feet are at the largest (yes, feet often swell throughout the day).

Trim Your Nails the Right Way

Yes, there is a right way to trim your toenails, and if you find yourself dealing with ingrown toenails throughout the year, then your trimming technique could be to blame. While you want to trim your toenails regularly, you want to ensure you aren’t trimming them too short. The nails should be level with the tips of your toes; any lower, and you risk ingrown toenails. You also should never cut or trim the edges of the nail into a curve; nails should always be cut straight across.

Protect Your Feet

Are you a powerlifter or an athlete? Do you pound the pavement or work on a construction site? Suppose your daily routine, workout or work is labor-intensive and prone to injuries. In that case, you want to ensure you wear the proper protective footwear to prevent bars, beams and other hard objects from hitting your foot, as injuries to the nail can also lead to ingrown toenails.

Know When to See a Podiatrist

While ingrown toenails can often be managed with home care, there are times when you will want to see a podiatrist for treatment. It’s time to turn to a podiatrist if,

  • You have diabetes, and you develop any foot problems, including an ingrown toenail
  • Your ingrown toenail becomes severely painful, swollen or red
  • Pus or drainage is coming from the toenail
  • You don’t know if you’re dealing with an ingrown toenail or not
  • You don’t see an improvement in your symptoms within a day or two of home care

Dealing with ingrown toenails? Your podiatrist can provide your feet with the treatment they need to prevent further issues. Call yours today.

By Karen E Anderson, DPM
June 07, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Ankle Pain  

Learn more about ankle pain, how to treat it and when to seek professional care.

It should go without saying that if you are dealing with ankle pain, it isn’t something that you should ignore. Whether you noticed it while walking off the field after a game or noticed that the pain has been getting gradually worse over time, it’s important that you turn to your podiatrist to get some answers.

What are some common causes of ankle pain?

An injury to the muscles, bones, and ligaments of the ankle is usually the most common cause of pain. Other causes include,

  • Broken ankle/foot
  • Bursitis
  • Gout
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Stress fracture
  • Sprained ankle

When should I see a doctor?

Even minor issues that may go away on their own may first present with pain. While trying at-home remedies and care to help alleviate your pain is often a great first step, it’s important that you seek immediate care from your foot doctor if you have,

  • Severe pain or swelling
  • A severe malformation or deformity
  • Open wound
  • Cannot bear weight on your foot
  • Notice that the foot is red, warm, or tender to the touch, or you have a high fever (these are all signs of infection)
  • You have ankle pain or other symptoms, and you have diabetes

While you won’t need immediate attention you will still want to come in for care if you experience ankle swelling that doesn’t go away after several days of at-home treatments or ankle pain that hasn’t gotten better within a week of rest and home care.

How is ankle pain treated?

When you turn to a podiatrist, they will perform a physical examination and run imaging tests to diagnose the cause of your ankle pain. Your diagnosis will also help us determine your treatment plan. Of course, many patients that are only dealing with minor issues can often eliminate their symptoms with these self-care options,

  • Resting
  • Avoiding certain activities
  • Icing the ankle
  • Wearing compression bandages
  • Elevating the foot and ankle above your heart
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen

Experiencing ankle pain isn’t normal. If you are experiencing new or worsening ankle pain, or pain resulting from an injury, it’s best to turn to a podiatrist as soon as possible for care.

By Karen E Anderson, DPM
May 19, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions

Are you dealing with a nasty case of plantar fasciitis?

Heel pain is a frustrating little problem, especially if you are someone who values their morning run or daily exercise routine. Even if you aren’t what you’d call an avid exerciser, you may still find that your heel pain makes moving around and going about your day more complicated than you would like. A podiatrist is the best medical specialist to turn to when heel pain becomes an issue.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes inflammation within the thick band of tissue known as the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia runs the length of the foot along the soles from the toes to the heels and provides the arches of your feet with support and shock absorption. Unfortunately, microtears within the tissue can occur gradually over time (common in runners), leading to irritation and inflammation.

What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

Those with plantar fasciitis may notice that their heel pain is at its worst first thing in the morning or after long periods of sitting or standing. The tricky thing is that the pain often subsides throughout the day, making you think you can get in your run or regular workout routine after all. The only problem with that is that the heel pain often comes back with a vengeance after exercising. Along with heel pain, you may also notice painful or aching arches.

When Should I See a Podiatrist About My Heel Pain?

We know that no one wants to make an unnecessary trip to see their podiatrist unless the situation warrants it. Of course, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or nerve damage in your feet and you are experiencing heel pain or any symptoms, it is important that you always seek immediate medical care to prevent the issue from getting worse.

While most healthy individuals will be able to handle their heel pain on their own, it’s also important to know when you need proper and more comprehensive care from a podiatrist. It’s important to turn to a podiatrist right away if you have severe pain, pain that makes it impossible to walk or put weight on the foot, numbness or tingling in the heel or foot, or heel pain caused by an injury.

If at-home care isn’t easing your heel pain after five days, then you should also give us a call so that we can create a more effective treatment plan for you.

Don’t let heel pain drag you down. If you are having trouble managing your symptoms and they are impacting your everyday activities and quality of life, it’s time to schedule an evaluation with a podiatrist.

By Karen E Anderson, DPM
April 01, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions  
BunionsHave you been diagnosed with a bunion? A bunion is a common foot deformity that if left untreated can cause significant pain, swelling, structural changes and even trouble walking. Of course, it’s important to prevent a bunion from getting to this point, and the best way to do that is to turn to a podiatrist for a tailored-to-you treatment plan. The good news is that there are also some simple lifestyle changes you can make right now to slow the progress of your bunion.

Conservative Treatment Options

If a bunion is caught during the early stages, then you’re in luck. Most people can get away with at-home care and more conservative ways to manage their bunions. Most podiatrists will recommend conservative measures first to see if they ease bunion stiffness, pain and swelling. It’s when symptoms aren’t managed through these lifestyle changes that a podiatrist steps in to provide relief. Some conservative ways to treat bunions include,
  • Icing the bunion for 15-20 minutes at a time to ease pain and swelling. This can be done 3-4 times a day, every day, as needed.
  • Taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen that can reduce inflammation and pain (while medication only provides temporary relief, when you are in pain, this medication can certainly help)
  • Stretching out the foot with special mobility exercises for the feet and ankles (ask your podiatrist or simply search online for some of the best foot stretches to ease bunion stiffness)
  • Wearing proper footwear that provides the ideal cushioning, fit, and support
  • Avoiding high heels, shoes that put pressure on the bunion, and shoes with a pointed toe
  • Getting custom orthotics from a podiatrist (these custom-made shoe inserts can provide additional support for the deformed joint)
What happens if these options don’t work?

So, you’ve been trying to manage your bunion symptoms on your own but nothing seems to be working. Does this sound like you? If so, it’s time to employ the help of your trusty podiatrist. After all, that’s what they are there for. A podiatrist can provide you with the treatment plan you need when home care fails to provide you with the results you’re looking for. Your podiatrist may recommend splinting, padding or tapping, or may prescribe a stronger pain reliever. They can also suggest specialty footwear that can provide ample support. They can also determine if it’s time to get corrective bunion surgery.

If you adopt these simple solutions you may find that it drastically slows the growth of your bunions and may even keep you from needing surgery in the future. Of course, if your bunion is causing you severe pain, it’s always best to speak with a foot and ankle specialist to find out what you can do to better manage your symptoms.
By Karen E Anderson, DPM
March 15, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
What Is Raynauds DiseaseDo your fingers and toes sometimes turn numb, change color, or feel cold? While this is a common response to winter weather, if you have Raynaud’s disease, something more could be going on to impact the health and function of your blood vessels. If you find your fingers or toes turning white and going numb, you should talk with your podiatrists about Raynaud’s disease.

What is Raynaud’s disease?

This rare disorder temporarily narrows or restricts blood flow to the blood vessels of the extremities. Raynaud’s disease is characterized by an attack and is often the result of cold weather exposure. There are two types of Raynaud’s disease: primary and secondary. Primary Raynaud’s disease occurs on its own without a cause while secondary Raynaud’s disease is the result of an underlying health problem.

What causes it?

Sometimes Raynaud’s disease has no known cause (as is the case with primary Raynaud’s disease); however, certain autoimmune diseases, extreme stress, or cold weather exposure are typically the main causes. Risk factors that can increase the likelihood of primary Raynaud’s disease include:
  • Being a woman
  • Being under 30 years old (symptoms offer appear during the teen years)
  • A family history of Raynaud’s disease
Risk factors for secondary Raynaud’s disease include,
  • Thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases, and other chronic diseases
  • Certain medications
  • Exposure to certain chemicals, cold weather, or vibrating machines

What are the signs and symptoms?

When an attack occurs, skin on the toes and hands often turns white or pale. You may notice a loss of feeling in the extremities, as well. The area may also turn blue. Then once circulation returns, the area will warm and the skin will turn red. You may also notice burning, tingling, or throbbing as the sensation returns. Raynaud’s attack can last anywhere from several minutes to several hours.

How is Raynaud’s disease treated?

If a certain medication or underlying health problem is causing these attacks, your doctor may recommend switching medications or can help you better manage these chronic health problems to reduce your risks for an attack. If your primary Raynaud’s attacks are the result of cold exposure, avoiding cold temperatures is the best way to prevent attacks. Ensure that you are also properly bundled and wearing warm socks and gloves if you have to go outdoors on cold days.

Numbness and color changes in the feet can also be signs of diabetes and nerve damage, so it’s important that you see your podiatrist right away to rule out more serious health concerns.