Posts for category: Foot Health
Like adults, children and adolescents can experience a variety of foot and ankle problems. Many foot problems, such as flat foot, are congenital, while problems like heel pain are usually the result of an injury.
Due to your child’s rapidly growing bones and tendons, many symptoms associated with foot and ankle problems can go unnoticed. For this reason, it is important parents pay attention to even subtle symptoms. Thorough, regular exams of your child's feet by a podiatrist may detect an underlying defect or condition and help minimize problems later in life.
Common Foot Problems
Children can experience a variety of foot problems, many of which go away as the child’s feet become more developed. This includes pigeon toes, flat feet and knock knees. In most cases, these congenital foot and leg problems do not require any medical intervention.
Plantar warts are common in children, especially during warm months when kids are more likely to walk barefoot. Forming on the bottom of the feet, these warts are caused by a virus that enters the skin, most often in public areas such as pools or locker rooms. The condition can be very uncomfortable — like walking on a small pebble or stone — but is also highly preventable and treatable.
Ankle sprains are very common foot injuries for active kids, especially those who participate in sports. Sprains occur when the ligaments supporting the ankle are stretched or torn. Mild ankle sprains heal with treatment, while severe tearing may require more extensive care, including extended immobilization followed by physical therapy. As a general rule, rest, ice, compress and elevate the child’s ankle immediately following the injury.
Ingrown toenails occur when one or both sides of the nail begin to break through and grow into the soft skin of the toe. This can lead to painful irritation and infection. Common causes of ingrown toenails include poorly fitting footwear, toe injuries or poor nail trimming. Caught early, a child’s ingrown toenail can be treated at home, but if the pain persists or the condition worsens, treatment by a podiatrist is necessary to eliminate the infection.
Choose Proper Footwear
Many pre-existing foot conditions can be relieved and new problems prevented by simply ensuring your child is wearing proper shoes. Shoes that are too tight can cause blisters, calluses and corns on the toes and heels. Ingrown toenails can also develop and become infected. A child’s feet are constantly growing and developing, so it may be necessary to change shoe size every few months. Additionally, shoes have a tendency to lose proper cushioning and arch support over time. Footwear that shows a lack of shock absorption or wear and tear should also be replaced to reduce the risk for injuries.
If you notice your child limping, constantly rubbing their feet, tripping frequently or consistently complaining of foot pain, then have them examined by your podiatrist or physician. Many problems can be easily identified and treated, and early intervention is the key.
The feet are perhaps one of the most overlooked parts of the body. Don’t wait until something is wrong to give your feet extra attention. Keeping your feet feeling healthy and looking beautiful is easy!
How to Keep Your Feet Healthy
Here are some simple steps you can take to stay out of our office for painful foot conditions:
- Inspect your feet regularly, being mindful of any changes in appearance, color and texture.
- Maintain good foot hygiene by washing and drying feet regularly.
- Choose proper shoes, and always wear the correct size.
- Keep feet dry to prevent bacterial infections by wearing moisture-wicking socks.
- Alternate shoes each day.
- Trim toenails straight across and gently file away sharp corners to prevent ingrown toenails.
- Avoid walking barefoot to prevent injury.
- When wearing sandals, remember to apply sunblock.
- If your feet hurt, don’t ignore the pain! Consult your podiatrist if symptoms worsen or do not resolve.
If you have diabetes, you should pay extra attention to your feet, as you are at a higher risk for developing foot problems due to nerve damage and poor circulation. Mild foot problems, such as ulcers, corns, cracked heels and ingrown toenails can turn into serious complications without proper care. Since even the smallest cut can have serious consequences, it is important that people with diabetes inspect their feet every day and visit their podiatrist for routine exams.
When to Consult a Podiatrist
If you are experiencing foot pain, don’t ignore it! Pain, redness, swelling or discoloration are not normal symptoms and should be examined by a trained specialist.
Your feet are the foundation of your entire body—complex structures consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints and 126 muscles and ligaments. They support your weight, act as a shock absorber, serve as a lever to propel the leg forward and help maintain balance.
Since your entire body is interrelated, any mechanical issues with the feet can lead to chronic musculoskeletal problems in other parts of the body, including your back.
One common foot disorder affecting the back is excessive pronation. Also known as flat feet, this condition causes the foot’s arch to flatten and collapse under the body’s weight. While a normal arch promotes stability and alignment of the entire body, the ability to cushion and absorb forces is greatly reduced when the arch collapses. As a result, increased stress is placed on the joints of the body. This continued stress can cause deformities of the foot over time, such as misaligned bones, hammertoes and bunions, eventually making its way to the legs, knees and lower back.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, visit our practice for an evaluation. Your feet may be the source of your pain. If your back pain is caused by poor mechanics of the feet, orthotics may be an effective treatment option. These custom devices are designed to support and restore the arch of your foot. Restoring the alignment of your foot helps normalize posture and alignment of the lower body. This can reduce unnecessary stress to areas of your back.
Choose the Right Shoes!
The shoes you are wearing may also be contributing to your back pain. Good, proper fitting footwear will provide your feet with the support they need to stabilize your body’s weight and relieve the stress on the rest of your body.
If you suffer from back pain, visit your podiatrist for an evaluation. Your feet may be causing your pain. With proper treatment, you can achieve proper foot biomechanics and eliminate your back pain once and for all.
Foot problems can crop up anytime and often when we least expect it. Don’t let a foot problem throw you off guard. Our Williamsburg, VA, podiatrists Dr. Sara Bouraee and Dr. Mahmoud Salem are here to offer up some insight into some rather common foot problems and how you may want to handle them if they ever happen to you.
Since fungus is all around it it’s fairly common for most people to face a fungal foot infection at some point during their lifetime. While some infections may spread to the toenails, athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects the skin of the feet. You may notice that the skin, particularly between the toes, is red, scaly, itchy, peeling or burning. These symptoms can be intense at times and can continue to spread throughout the foot.
How to treat it: While symptoms are pretty annoying, this condition is not really a cause for concern if you are an otherwise healthy individual. In fact, athlete’s foot can often be treated with an over-the-counter antifungal cream that you can get from your local pharmacist. If you have diabetes, if your symptoms are severe or if symptoms persist even after treating the problem with at-home medications, then it’s time to visit our Williamsburg, VA, foot doctors.
A bunion is a deformity of the joint that’s situated at the base of the big toe and it causes the bone to jut out. As a result, it can make wearing shoes or walking around more painful. A bunion is a progressive condition but there are certain measures you can take early on to prevent it from getting worse. While a bunion will only go away if you have surgery to repair it, most people can manage their symptoms without ever needing to resort to surgery.
How to treat it: If you have a bunion, make sure that you are wearing shoes that give your toes a lot of room to wiggle and move around. Shoes should never put additional pressure on the bunion. You can also wear a protective moleskin pad over the bunion before putting on shoes to offer more protection.
While there are many problems that can lead to heel pain, the most common cause is an inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis. This is when the band of tissue running along the soles of the feet becomes inflamed. This is typically the result of overuse or strain.
How to treat it: Heel pain will often go away on its own as long as you avoid certain high-impact activities that could irritate the inflamed tissue more. Splinting the foot can also provide some stabilization and support for the heel and the arches to reduce pain and discomfort. If heel pain is severe or doesn’t respond to at-home treatment then we may recommend corticosteroid injections, shockwave therapy or even surgery to treat the problem.
Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialists in Williamsburg, VA, is dedicated to providing you with the ultimate in foot care. Whether you want to discuss your bunion treatment options or you want to figure out how to get rid of your heel pain, we are always here to help.
How to Maximize Your Game with Good Foot Health
When it comes to exercise, your feet are one of the most overlooked parts of the body, enduring tremendous strain and stress during a hard workout. It's no surprise that an athlete's foot and ankle are prime candidates for injuries. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), poor foot care during physical activity is a contributing factor to some of the more than 300-foot ailments.
The following tips may help prevent foot and ankle injuries to keep you in the game.
Get a check-up
Visit our practice and your regular physician before starting any sport or fitness activity. This should include a complete foot and physical exam. During a foot exam, a podiatrist can identify whether your previously injured ankle is vulnerable to sprains, and recommend supportive ankle braces for increased stability.
Pre-workout warm up and stretch
Jogging before a competition or workout can help reduce the risk for foot and ankle injuries by warming up muscles, ligaments and blood vessels. Proper stretching before beginning a workout is also important. When muscles are properly stretched, the strain on joints, tendons and muscles is greatly reduced.
Treat foot and ankle injuries immediately
It's possible to injure bones in the foot or ankle without knowing it. What may seem like a sprain at the time may actually be a fracture. See a podiatrist at the first onset of ankle pain. The sooner you start treatment, the better your chance of preventing long-term problems like instability, and the sooner you can get back in the game.
Wear shoes specific to your sport
Different fitness programs require different footwear. Wearing the appropriate type of athletic shoe for your unique foot type and needs can help prevent foot problems while keeping you at your best performance. Remember to replace old, worn shoes in order to ensure optimal stability and support.
Pay attention to what your feet are telling you and remember to rest and consult our office when you first notice pain. Exercising is a great way to stay energized and fit, but if you're neglecting the health of your feet, you may be setting yourself up for serious injury.