Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain, particularly if you're between the ages of 40 and 60. Fortunately, your podiatrist, Dr. Gerald Paul of McLean County Foot and Ankle in Bloomington, IL, offers treatments that can relieve your painful symptoms.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis affects the plantar fascia, a tough band of tissue on the bottom of your foot that connects your toes to your heels. The plantar fascia provides natural arch support and also absorbs the shock generated every time your feet strike the ground when you walk or run. Plantar fasciitis symptoms occur when the fascia becomes inflamed.
Pressure or stress on the fascia can cause inflammation. You may be more likely to develop the condition if you are obese/overweight or stand on your feet for many hours during the day. Age can also be a factor. After age 40, the fascia flattens and can become stressed more easily.
Certain foot and ankle conditions, such as flatfoot, high arches, or tight calf muscles may also increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Your workout routine may also be to blame, particularly if you're a runner. Beginning a new workout, increasing the length of time that you exercise, or wearing shoes that don't adequately support your feet may increase the likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis.
How can I tell if I have plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis pain may vary in intensity from a dull ache to a stabbing pain in your heel. You may notice that the pain is particularly intense after you wake up in the morning. It may also worsen after periods of inactivity or after you've been exercising.
If icing your heel and using over-the-counter pain medication doesn't relieve your pain, it may be time to pay a visit to your Bloomington podiatrist. He may recommend several methods to decrease your pain, including:
- Night splints that gently stretch the fascia while you sleep
- Prescription shoe inserts called orthotics that support and cushion your foot and heel
- Cortisone injections to reduce pain
- Exercises or physical therapy to stretch the fascia and strengthen your muscles
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy to promote healing
Most people never need surgery, but it may be an option if other treatments don't relieve your pain.
Don't let plantar fasciitis pain keep you off your feet! Call your podiatrist in Bloomington, IL, Dr. Paul, at (309) 662-9001 to schedule an appointment.
Do you know how to properly care for your feet? Here at McLean County Foot and Ankle in Bloomington, IL, your podiatrist, Dr. Gerald Paul, informs his patients on all aspects of podiatric care, helping them avoid the development of podiatric issues. After all, a little thought and care now prevents complicated, long-term problems later on—read on to learn more.
Your wonderful feet
They keep you moving, working, running, and dancing—in other words, all things mobile. Composed of 26 bones, plus ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels, your feet have incredible strength and range of motion. However, repeated stresses, injuries, and diseases can drastically impact your feet and their close neighbors, the ankles.
Healthy feet and ankles
That's your podiatrist's priority. He likes to see over-40 patients yearly for an exam in his Bloomington, IL, office. For diabetics and those with compromised circulation or acquired deformities (e.g. bunions), however, more frequent visits to Dr. Paul's office are often necessary.
Additionally, patients must support this preventive and ongoing care with at-home routines that promote flexibility, strength, balance, and more. Here are tips to keep your feet and ankles pain-free and mobile:
- Wear quality shoes with padded soles, good arch support, and ample room in the toes. Save high heels for special occasions only, and change shoes frequently.
- Rest and elevate your feet to relieve pressure and reduce swelling, particularly if you have been on your feet all day.
- Wash your feet every day with warm water and a mild soap. Be sure to dry them thoroughly, as well. Also, wear clean socks that fit well to avoid uncomfortable and damaging pressure points.
- Moisturize your feet and ankles. This daily practice avoids itchy, dry skin and the small cuts and abrasions which accompany winter weather and gym workouts.
- Massage your feet every day, not just when they are tired. Massage promotes good circulation and flexibility.
- Cut your toenails straight across, and never round the corners. This technique avoids ingrown toenails.
- Wear shower sandals or flip-flops in the gym locker room or poolside to avoid athlete's foot fungus.
- If you are diabetic, keep a close eye on your blood glucose levels, and inspect your feet carefully every day for cuts, bruises, swelling, or anything unusual.
If you have a foot or ankle problem, pain, or sudden injury, contact Dr. Gerald Paul of McLean County Foot and Ankle in Bloomington, IL, for an appointment: (309) 662-9001.
Foot pain due to injury, medical conditions, or other factors can limit mobility and make it difficult to be on your feet. Fortunately, here at McLean County Foot and Ankle in Bloomington, IL, our podiatrist, Dr. Gerald Paul, can help keep you on your feet by treating foot pain or injuries—read on to learn more!
Help with Heel Pain
Heel pain can limit your ability to carry out regular daily activities, including tasks as simple as walking and standing still. One cause of heel pain is repetitive movements that put strain on the heel. For example, daily jogging can put stress on the heels as they strike the ground with each step. Over time, this strain can lead to pain and discomfort in the heels. Other causes of heel pain include:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Stress fractures
- Foot injuries
- Heel spurs
At our office in Bloomington, IL, our podiatrist can determine the cause of your heel pain and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. One method for treating heel pain is physical therapy, which can increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles of the feet. Other methods for treating heel pain include wearing custom orthotics, night splints, and in the most extreme cases, surgery.
Help with Bunions
Another common foot condition that we can help with is bunions, which are bony protrusions that form on the side of the foot near the big toe joint. Bunions can become aggravated and inflamed throughout the day as the shoes rub against them and produce friction. Treatment options include:
- Wearing protective padding in the shoes to reduce friction and provide cushioning
- Wearing orthotic shoe inserts to stabilize the big toe joint
- Performing foot exercises to improve joint functioning
- Wearing a splint at night to realign the toe joint
- Removal of calluses or corns on the foot
- Surgical removal of the bunion(s)
General Preventive Care
In addition to treating all types of foot problems, your podiatrist also provides general preventive care to help you avoid developing problems in the first place. An important part of preventive care is scheduling regular podiatry visits. During these appointments, your podiatrist can monitor the health of your feet and identify potential problems early on so that preventive measures can be taken. General preventive care can also include recommendations for caring for your feet at home, for example:
- Wearing shoes that fit properly and are not too tight
- Wearing shoes with cushioning and support
- Keeping the feet clean, dry, and moisturized
- Keeping toenails trimmed straight across
- Promoting blood flow by remaining active
Our podiatrist can help keep you on your feet. To schedule an appointment with the Bloomington office of McLean County Foot and Ankle, dial (309) 662-9001 today!
How your podiatrist in Bloomington, IL, can help your feet
Arthritis can wreak havoc on your body, especially your feet. If you are suffering from arthritis, you already know how painful and debilitating it can be. Arthritis in your feet can affect your ability to walk or stand. There are some steps you can take to get relief from your arthritic feet.
Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot & Ankle in Bloomington, IL, offers a wide range of podiatry services including arthritic foot care to help you and your feet feel better.
Arthritic changes in your feet can be caused by:
- Osteoarthritis, which results from general wear-and-tear and aging joints; your cartilage gradually wears away, resulting in a bone-on-bone friction, causing pain, swelling, and loss of mobility.
- Rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune condition; this type of arthritis can affect all age groups, causing ligament, tendon, and joint destruction.
- Trauma-related arthritis, which is caused by an injury to your foot or ankle, including a broken or dislocated bone; your cartilage wears away, resulting in a bone-on-bone connection.
You can take steps at home to get some relief for your feet. Remember to:
- Substitute low impact activities and avoid high-impact ones
- Avoid doing things that increase your arthritis pain
- Maintain a healthy weight to avoid stressing your joints
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medication
If you suffer from moderate to severe arthritis pain in your feet or ankles and you aren’t getting enough relief from self-care, you need to seek out the help of an expert, your podiatrist. At McLean County Foot & Ankle, Dr. Paul may recommend:
- Custom-fit orthotics to support your feet and help you walk
- Custom-made footwear, braces, or canes
- Physical therapy to increase your range-of-motion
- Prescription strength anti-inflammatory and pain medications
Surgery can also be performed in severe cases. Options may include fusing your joints, arthroscopic debridement, or joint replacement.
Don’t let painful foot arthritis keep you on the couch. You deserve to enjoy a healthy, active life, and your podiatrist can help. To find out more about arthritic foot care, call Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot & Ankle in Bloomington, IL, today!
Dr. Gerald Paul in Bloomington, IL, can provide patients struggling with ingrown toenails. Your McLean County Foot and Ankle podiatrist can tell you more about foot care:
Ingrown toenails are when nails dig into your toes, especially the big toe. This causes infections which may require medical treatment. If you suffer from diabetes, the risk for complications increases, including poor circulation. Ingrown toenails are caused by:
- improper nail trimming, make sure you trim straight across the toenail
- shoe pressure, make sure shoes are slightly longer so toes have enough wiggle room
- injury, which may be a result of stubbing your toe against something, for example
- fungus infection, which may cause cracked, thickened, or yellowed nails
- heredity (poor foot structure)
If your toe becomes infected and is always in pain, you need to contact your Bloomington podiatrist. He'll need to remove the ingrown portion of the nail, and if the condition reoccurs, your podiatrist may need to permanently remove the nail.
There are several ways to prevent ingrown toenails, like cutting toenails incorrectly. You need to make sure you cut straight across because angles, irregular-shaped or curved toenails, encourage nails to grow into the skin. Also, put some effort into choosing the proper footwear. Avoid shoes that place a lot of pressure on big toes, so narrow shoes, and socks and stockings that are too tight. The last suggestion to avoid ingrown toenails, maintain proper foot hygiene, like keeping your feet clean and dry.
If you do end up having an ingrown toenail, you don't have to jump the gun and assume you need surgery. There are several home remedies:
- Soaking your feet in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day and dry well after each soak.
- Manually push skin away from the edge of the toenail with an olive oil-soaked cotton ball.
- Use over-the-counter medicines, like acetaminophen to relieve pain.
- Apply topical antibiotic, such as polymyxin or a steroid cream, to prevent infection.
If you have any questions about ingrown toenails, make sure you contact Dr. Gerald Paul in Bloomington, IL.
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