How High Heels Can Negatively Affect The Feet

Posted on October 29, 2018

There are many women who enjoy wearing high heels despite knowing foot pain may develop from wearing these specific type of shoes. Research has shown that when the heel is high, the arch in the foot may become inflamed and this may typically cause pain and discomfort. If high heels are worn on a frequent basis, the toes may undergo stress, and this may possibly cause corns and calluses to develop. The likelihood of incurring a fall may increase as a result of the line of gravity being altered by the height of the heel. There are several ways to enjoy wearing high heels while keeping your feet as comfortable as possible. These may include slipping off your shoes at an appropriate time and performing gentle stretching exercises, including pointing, flexing and rolling your ankles. Additionally, circulation in the feet may be increased by wiggling the toes. Your feet may benefit by wearing shoes that are more comfortable the following day, which may allow the foot muscles to rest. Please speak to a podiatrist if you would like additional information concerning the dangers of wearing high heels.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Possible Treatments of a Broken Ankle

Posted on October 22, 2018

Research has shown the ankle is comprised of three bones that interlock together. If an injury is endured that fractures one or more of these bones, it is often referred to as a broken ankle. There are several ligaments and tendons that are attached to these specific bones and may become displaced if the ankle becomes fractured. This typically may occur if a fall has happened and the ankle twists unnaturally. The noticeable symptoms may often include severe pain in and around the affected ankle, unsightly bruising, or difficulty in moving the toes. There are several ways to treat this condition, including wearing a protective boot, taping or wrapping the ankle, which may provide additional support, or possible surgery, which is often determined by the severity of the fracture. If you have broken your ankle, it’s advised to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible so the correct choice of treatment can begin.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Intense Pain May Accompany Gout

Posted on October 15, 2018

An excess of uric acid levels in the blood may lead to a painful condition known as gout. When the body has difficulty in processing this buildup, crystals will typically form in the joint of the big toe. It is often considered to be a form of arthritis, and may cause considerable pain and discomfort. This ailment may develop as a result of ingesting foods that are rich in purines, which may often include red wine, seafood or chocolate. Research has shown there may be several predispositions for gout to occur. People who have high blood pressure or who have abnormal kidney functions may be at a greater risk to develop this ailment. Patients who are afflicted with gout are aware of the intense pain, swelling and redness that accompanies this predicament. If you have developed gout it's suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can provide valuable information about the treatment of this debilitating condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • <!––>Intense Joint Pain – Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • <!––><!––>Lingering Discomfort – Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • <!––><!––>Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • <!––>Limited Range of Motion – May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • <!––>Genetics – If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • <!––><!––>Medications – Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • <!––>Gender/Age – Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • <!––>Diet – Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • <!––>Alcohol – Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • <!––>Obesity – Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms–including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Is There A Reduction of Bunions in Non-Western Countries?

Posted on October 8, 2018

If you notice a large bony protrusion on the side of your big toe, you may have what is referred to as a bunion. It is considered to be a deformity, and there may be several reasons why this condition may occur. Research has shown that genetics may play a significant role in the formation of bunions. If you happen to have a pre-existing case of bunions, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly could possibly make it even worse. This type of footwear may include shoes that have a narrow toe area, which does not have adequate room for the toes to move about in. This may result in the toes being forced to squeeze into an area that is too small. There is a significant reduction in the development of bunions in non-western countries and this may be a result of wearing shoes that fit correctly. If you feel you have a bunion, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can begin treatment options that are right for you.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Reminder – When was the last time…

Posted on October 3, 2018

Custom orthotics (shoe inserts) should be replaced periodically. They need to fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles.

How the Structure of the Feet May Affect the Body

Posted on October 1, 2018

Research has shown that if the feet are enduring structural problems, it may lead to improper foot function, which may affect the body. Some of these misalignments of the feet may include low arches, feet that have a tendency to roll inward, also referred to as overpronation, or supinated feet, which is the term for feet that roll outward. If these conditions are present, some of the symptoms that may be experienced may include ankle pain, discomfort in or around the arch of the foot, and pain involving the Achilles tendon. If you are experiencing ailments that may include shin splints, heel pain or uneasiness during walking or running, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist so a proper analysis can be performed. Additionally, a discussion about correct treatment options may be advised. This may include performing exercises, which may strengthen weak muscles and wearing orthotics that are specifically fitted to your foot.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

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.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Why is it Important for Seniors to Maintain Proper Foot Care?

Posted on September 24, 2018

There are several ways seniors can practice proper foot care. These may include wearing shoes that fit correctly and are comfortable to wear during daily activities. It’s important the toes have adequate room to move around inside, and this may possibly avoid a pre-existing case of bunions from becoming worse. It may also prevent corns from developing. Additionally, performing a gentle exercise program frequently, may aid in keeping the blood flowing. These may include walking and stretching, which may help to maintain proper circulation. Washing the feet and drying thoroughly between the toes may be beneficial in preventing athlete’s foot from developing. When a moisturizing lotion is used, a painful condition referred to as cracked heels may be avoided. When the toenails are trimmed properly, occurrences of ingrown toenails may decrease. If you are a senior, it’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist on a frequent basis to discuss any foot conditions that may be present.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Symptoms of Toenail Fungus

Posted on September 17, 2018

A condition that is referred to as onychomycosis is commonly known as a fungal infection of the toenails. It is common among people who have sweaty feet or enjoy spending time swimming. It may occur as a result of the small fungi seeping through tiny cuts in the skin, or possibly lodging between the nail and the nail bed. It may be common to find this type of infection in the toenails because of the warm environment the shoes and socks provide. There are several symptoms associated with this condition, including having a yellow, white or brown appearance, the nail becoming brittle and breaking easily, or the nail becomes uncomfortable. Despite the unsightly appearance, they typically do not pose a health threat unless the patient is diabetic. Research has shown there may be preventative measures that can be taken, including washing and drying the feet, especially between the toes, trimming the nails properly and frequently, and avoiding wearing other people’s shoes. If you feel you have a toenail fungus, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for a correct diagnosis and to learn about treatment options.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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