Find out what simple measures you can take to ensure that your hammertoes don’t get worse.
Has our Bloomington, IL, podiatrist Dr. Gerald Paul recently examined your foot and told you that you suffer from hammertoes? Perhaps you came in because your toes were starting to feel uncomfortable in your regular shoes or maybe you just came in for a routine checkup when we discovered this issue. While hammertoes aren’t often serious in the earlier stages, it’s important that you also properly care for your feet to prevent the hammertoe from progressing. While doing these things won’t cure the problem, it will provide your feet with the relief they need.
Wear Properly Fitted Shoes
By now it’s probably obvious that the shoes you wear can greatly impact the health of your feet. It’s important that the shoes you wear provide a spacious toe box (the part of the shoes that cover your toes). The toe box should be broad enough that toes aren’t bunched up. Also, if you must wear heels, make sure the heels are less than 2 inches, as high heels can put too much pressure on the toes.
Wear Protective Padding
Regardless of whether your hammertoe already has a corn on it or not, most people notice that their hammertoes rub against shoes, causing friction and discomfort. If this happens to you then it might be time to purchase some non-medicated toe pads to cover your deformity and to take pressure off the affected toe joint while wearing shoes.
Splint or Brace the Toe
If your hammertoe is still in the earlier stages, then our Bloomington, IL, foot doctor may recommend splinting or bracing the toe in order to correct the alignment. Correcting the toe’s alignment will also help distribute pressure more evenly among the foot to prevent the hammertoe from getting worse.
Exercise Your Feet Daily
Sure, this might sound odd but since hammertoes often come about due to a muscular imbalance within the foot it’s important that you perform certain foot exercises every day to strengthen the muscles and improve how the foot functions. We would be happy to show you a variety of different exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home.
Whether you are concerned that you might have hammertoes or you have questions about caring for your conditions, the foot specialists at McLean County Foot and Ankle in Bloomington, IL, are here to provide you with all the help you could need. Call us today!
Are you concerned that your foot pain may be caused by flat feet? Bloomington, IL, podiatrist Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot and Ankle shares some signs of flat feet and explain how the condition is treated.
How can I tell if I have flat feet?
Although flat feet don't always cause symptoms, you may have the condition if you experience:
- Pain: Flat feet can cause pain in the arches in the bottoms of your feet and also in your heels. Your feet support your entire body and keep it in the proper alignment. If your feet are flat, you may eventually experience pain in your ankles, knees, hips or lower back.
- Endurance Issues: Do your feet feel an ache or feel tired, yet no one else needs to take a rest? When you have flat feet, walking or running even short distances can be difficult.
- Swelling: Swollen arches may be a problem if you spend too much time on your feet.
- Difficulty Reaching the Top Shelf: Can't stand on your toes to retrieve something from a top shelf? Flat feet may be to blame.
A simple test can help you determine if you have flat feet. Wet your feet than stand on concrete or a brown paper bag. If your arches are normal, the interior portion of your foot won't make contact with the ground, resulting in a slightly curved footprint. When your footprint doesn't have that telltale curve, you may have flat feet.
What causes flat feet?
Flat feet can be caused by:
- Inherited foot conditions or abnormalities that were present when you were born
- Fractured bones
- Conditions that affect the nerves
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure
How are flat feet treated?
We can offer several solutions when you visit our Bloomington office. Custom-made orthotics and orthopedic shoes will help support your feet and reduce arch pressure, while braces can reduce ankle pain caused by flat feet. If your pain is severe, we may recommend a corticosteroid injection. Conservative treatment is usually very effective in treating pain and other symptoms caused by flat feet. Surgery is only needed in a small percentage of cases.
A visit to the foot doctor can help reduce your pain. Call Bloomington, IL, podiatrist Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot and Ankle at (309) 662-9001 to schedule your appointment.
How your podiatrist in Bloomington can help with bunions
Are you finding it difficult to wear shoes because of the painful bump that sticks out next to your big toe? Is it painful to wear your favorite pair of heels because your shoes rub up against the bump? The truth is you may have a bunion. Thankfully, there are several ways to treat bunions and Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot & Ankle in Bloomington, IL, wants to share how to treat bunions.
Women tend to get bunions more frequently than men because of wearing high-heeled, narrow shoes which bunch the toes together. The friction of the shoe wall against the big toe can cause the bunion. If you roll your feet when you walk, a condition called over-pronation, you can also get a bunion. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons estimates that over 50 percent of American women have experienced bunion pain.
If you have a bunion, there are some tips and tricks to get relief. You can try:
- Taping around your foot to cushion the bunion
- Placing pads in your shoes to prevent friction on the bunion
For large painful bunions, it’s best to seek out the help of your podiatrist. Dr. Paul will perform a comprehensive examination of your foot including x-rays. He will consider the amount of bone involvement and develop a treatment plan to help give you relief. Common treatments for bunions include:
- Custom-fit night splints
- Custom-fit orthotics
- Wider, more supportive footwear
- Injections of cortisone to reduce inflammation
- Physical therapy to increase flexibility
- A surgical procedure to eliminate the bunion
Bunions can be painful and make it difficult to wear shoes. They can also impact your ability to move around and enjoy the activities of your life. Fortunately, you can get some help for bunion pain by calling Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot & Ankle in Bloomington, IL. Don’t suffer another day with bunion pain. Call today!
How your podiatrist in Bloomington, Illinois, can help your feet feel better
If you have ever suffered from stabbing pains in your heel, you know how it can affect your quality of life. You may be afraid to walk around because the stabbing pain could hit you at any moment. If that's the case, then it’s time to get some help for your heel pain, and get back to enjoying your life. Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot & Ankle in Bloomington, Illinois, wants to share why you shouldn’t ignore your heel pain.
Heel pain can go away on its own, but it can also be a sign of a more chronic condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis results from inflammation of the thick band of tissue called the plantar fascia, which runs across your heel.
You can also develop heel pain by stepping on sharp stones or objects. The bruise that develops is called a stone bruise. Bone spurs are another common cause of heel pain. The spurs develop from muscle and ligament strain or calcium deposits.
There are some factors which can increase the likelihood of you experiencing heel pain. The risk of heel pain increases if you:
- Are diabetic
- Have flat feet
- Carry extra weight
- Wear high heels or ill-fitting footwear
- Play high impact sports
There are some easy home therapies you can try to relieve heel pain, such as:
- Taking the weight off of your feet by resting for a few hours
- Taking over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications
For chronic heel pain, it’s best to seek out the help of an expert like Dr. Paul. He will help to get you back on your feet by offering several effective treatments including:
- Prescription anti-inflammatory and other medications
- Custom fit orthotics and heel supports
- Stretching exercises and other types of physical therapy
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT)
- Surgical release procedures
You need your feet, so don’t ignore your heel pain! Get some help from your podiatrist. Call Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot & Ankle in Bloomington, Illinois. Call today!
As a diabetic, you are more prone to foot probably then non-diabetics. This is because of a painful nerve damage condition known as peripheral neuropathy. This can affect the entire body but does most often in the feet and legs. Your podiatrist in Bloomington, IL Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot and Ankle is well versed in diabetic foot care techniques.
About Diabetic Foot Care
Damage to the nerve can cause loss of feeling in the foot. Because of this, if you get a cut or wound and not notice, your foot can develop an infection. Many foot problems with diabetics can be prevented with the help your Bloomington podiatrist Dr. Paul who can teach patients proper foot hygiene habits.
Careful examination of the feet regularly is the most effective way to prevent these foot complications. By examining them daily, you are providing yourself preventative care. Skin color or temperature changes, as well as pain or swelling, all are warning signs for poor circulation. Annual examinations by a podiatrist is a necessity for diabetes. They can provide a thorough exam and detect changes such as ulcers or broken skin that can be dangerous.
Keeping the feet clean is also important. Wash feet daily with warm water and soap. After washing, be sure to dry the feet thoroughly. Avoid ingrown toenails that can become infected. If you are having trouble keeping the toenails cut properly, ask your podiatrist to help.
Diabetes is serious, but with the help of Dr. Paul at McLean County Foot and Ankle in Bloomington, IL, you can keep your feet as healthy as possible. Always wear comfortable shoes that are not too tight as well as clean, dry socks every day. A podiatrist can play an important role in preventing major foot complications for diabetics. For more information on diabetic foot care, call Dr. Paul today at (309) 662-9001 to schedule an appointment.
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