Posts for category: Foot Care
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.
How your foot doctor in Bloomington, IL, can help your feet feel better
Heel pain can be excruciating and debilitating, but fortunately there is help from your podiatrist. Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot & Ankle in Bloomington, IL, offers a full range of services for your feet including treatments for heel pain to help get you on your feet again.
Heel pain can strike suddenly, causing acute, stabbing pain. It can also be a chronic condition, resulting in increasing pain from aching arches. You are at increased risk of heel pain if you have flat feet, carry excess weight, are diabetic, run or jog regularly, or wear shoes without sufficient support.
You can also get heel pain from stepping on sharp objects, causing a heel bruise. Heel spurs are another common cause of heel pain and are caused by excess calcium deposits on your heel. You may get relief from these causes of heel pain by trying a few simple home remedies like these:
- Taking over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medication
- Placing ice on your heel several times each day
- Elevating your feet to take the weight off of them
- Changing to more appropriate, more supportive shoes
One of the most common causes of severe, chronic heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis, caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue running across your heel. It’s a frequent problem for runners and joggers, or people who walk or stand on hard surfaces for long periods of time.
At McLean County Foot & Ankle, Dr. Paul may recommend these treatments to help you get relief from plantar fasciitis:
- Custom-fit orthotics
- Physical therapy and stretching
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT)
- Prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medication
Don’t let heel pain take over your life when relief is just a phone call away. If you suffer from heel pain, call Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot & Ankle in Bloomington, IL. Call now and help your feet feel better!
Hammertoes is one of many common foot ailments that podiatrists are trained to diagnose and treat. Dr. Gerald Paul, your podiatrist in Bloomington, IL, sees many patients seeking relief from their hammertoes at McLean County Foot and Ankle, and he's outlined some details about the condition here.
What are hammertoes?
When the middle joint of one or more of the toes - most commonly the three in the middle - protrudes upwards, it gives the appearance of an inverted "V" when viewed from the side. This also resembles the head of a hammer, hence the name. Hammertoes occur when the ligaments controlling that middle joint and the one closest to the tip of your toes are constantly contracted. While many people with hammertoes only notice the cosmetic changes in their feet, others develop painful side effects like calluses, joint inflammation, or difficulty walking.
Who is at risk for hammertoes?
Hammertoes can be caused by a variety of conditions and situations. Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, including the toes. Many people have muscular abnormalities in the feet, ankles and lower legs that contribute to the imbalances in their ligaments. These problems may be genetic, but they may also be a result of previous injuries or diabetes that change the way a person walks, stands, and balances. While it's unclear whether footwear actually causes hammertoes to develop, tight-fitting shoes like high heels can definitely exacerbate the condition. A thorough examination and discussion with your Bloomington podiatrist will help determine the reason for your hammertoes.
How are hammertoes managed?
If hammertoes are caught early enough, your Bloomington podiatrist may be able to recommend appliances and exercises that gently and gradually straighten them out. However, most people do not seek the help of a foot doctor until their hammertoes have been present for a long time. In cases such as these, custom-made orthotics, devices that are worn inside the shoes, may help to even out the imbalances that led to the development of the hammertoes and relieve the pressure on them. Surgery is also an option, but typically considered a "last resort" after other methods have failed to bring relief.
If you have hammertoes, or any other foot-related condition, contact McLean County Foot and Ankle in Bloomington, IL, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gerald Paul today!