Items filtered by date: May 2022
The foot condition that is known as hammertoe is considered to be a deformity. It is a noticeable ailment that affects the toes, and can resemble a hammer. The middle joint of the second toe bends downward, and corns may form on top of the affected joint. The toes are made of muscles, bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments. These vital parts of the toe work together to bend and straighten the toes, and hammertoe can develop if there is an imbalance in the toe structure. It can come from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, or from shoes that are too tight. Wearing the wrong footwear can squeeze the toes into a bent position. There are some patients who may be prone to developing this deformity that have existing medical conditions including flat feet, or longer toe bones. Relief may be found when specific stretches are practiced, including toe flexion and extension, and performing a foam roll massage. If you have been afflicted with hammertoe, please confer with a podiatrist who can determine the severity of this condition, and recommend correct treatment options.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from In Motion Foot and Ankle. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.
- Pain in the affected toes
- Development of corns or calluses due to friction
- Contracture of the toes
Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible
Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur
Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe
Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe
Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it
Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used
Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option
Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.
When the skin on your heels is allowed to become overly dry, rough and thick, this can sometimes set the stage for cracked heels to develop. That is because when the weight of the body bears down—and the heel naturally spreads out—this callused, inflexible skin can crack. If cracked heels (heel fissures) are left untreated, they can deepen, become painful and possibly even bleed or become infected. The best way to treat cracked heels is to avoid getting them at all. Applying topical emollients or occlusive moisturizers at night and covering your feet with socks can help seal in moisture and keep the heel hydrated. Also, gently massaging the heels with a pumice stone may help to smooth out mildly cracked heels, but this practice is not advised for people with diabetes or nerve damage. If your heels are badly cracked, red, painful, bleeding, or you believe they may be infected, it is suggested you contact a podiatrist to receive professional care.
Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from In Motion Foot and Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.
How Do You Get Them?
Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.
Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.
Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.
Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.
Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin.
Change in Diet
Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.
Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed.
Flexing the foot is not something most people spend a lot of time thinking about until they can’t flex their foot. The process of raising the foot in the direction of the shin, known as dorsiflexion, comes naturally as you learn to walk. It happens as you push off the ground whenever you take a step. Dorsiflexion is the result of using the muscles and tendons in the front of the leg and depends on the deep peroneal nerve. If this nerve is damaged, you may be unable to flex your foot. Other possible causes of poor dorsiflexion include a tightened ankle joint, tight calf muscles, or an ankle injury that has not properly healed. Further, injuries to other parts of the body such as the knee, hip, or back, can affect dorsiflexion. Conversely, any problem with dorsiflexion can cause problems moving upward through the body, all the way to the shoulders. Exercises to stretch the calf muscles and strengthen the ankle joint are ways to improve dorsiflexion. If you are unable to flex your foot fully, or at all, please see a podiatrist for an examination, diagnosis, and treatment options.
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.
Anyone who runs for exercise or sports, such as track and soccer, knows that injury to their feet and ankles are bound to occur at some point. The most common injuries happen as a result of overuse. Among them are plantar fasciitis (heel pain), Achilles tendonitis (back of the ankle pain), sesamoiditis (pain at the base of the toes), and stress fractures (frequently in the metatarsal bones). By far, the most common of these is plantar fasciitis, caused by inflammation of the band of tissue that holds up the arch on the foot. Some relief can be provided by stretching exercises, resting and icing the area, and finding shoes with better arch support. Pain in the back of the heel, generally caused by an inflamed Achilles tendon, is a common sign of overuse, especially among beginners who run too far, too fast. Rest, ice, compression and elevation may help, along with stretching exercises, and possibly orthotics. Pain, burning, and swelling in the ball of the foot can be caused by a pinched nerve or inflammation in the metatarsal joints. Orthotics and different running shoes can help. Stress fractures are difficult to detect and slow to heal, but cause ongoing discomfort. For help with any of these common injuries, it is best to consult with a podiatrist who can do a thorough examination and provide proper treatment options depending on the diagnosis.
Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of In Motion Foot and Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries
Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Plantar Fasciosis
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Achilles Tendon Rupture
- Ankle Sprains
Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.
When children experience a growth spurt during puberty there can be an imbalance in the growth rate of their muscles, bones, and tendons. This is termed Sever’s disease, which generally affects children between the ages of 8 and 14. This condition occurs because the muscles and tendons in the heel become tight, pulling on the growth plate (cartilage) in the back of the heel. It is quite common in children who are particularly active in sports with a lot of running and jumping or other strenuous activities, such as gymnastics and dancing. Your child may experience redness or swelling in the back of the heel, stiffness in the feet first thing in the morning, and pain when the heel is squeezed on both sides. You also may notice them limping or walking on their tiptoes. Cutting down on the activities which induce the pain is one way to help alleviate symptoms of Sever’s disease, which may last for a few months. To be on the safe side, however, it is a good idea to introduce your child to a podiatrist who can conduct a full examination and suggest a program of treatment.
Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see one of our podiatrists from In Motion Foot and Ankle. Our doctors can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.
Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.
Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.
Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.
Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.