Posts for category: Foot Care
Take these simple steps now to prevent painful bunions in the future.
Whether the women in your family are often complaining about their bunions or you’re someone who can’t seem to part with your high heels, it’s a good idea to assess your risk for developing a bunion. After all, with proper foot hygiene, you can prevent a bunion from forming in the first place. From the office of our Bloomington, IL, podiatrist, Dr. Gerald Paul, here are some ways to prevent bunion formation.
Choose Footwear Wisely
If you wear poorly fitted shoes this can increase your risk for a bunion. If shoes are too tight, put pressure on the big toe joint or cramp up toes these are signs that you need to part ways with these shoes and purchase new ones. If you are having trouble finding shoes that fit your feet, someone at your local shoe store should be able to measure your feet and help you get fitted.
Pinpoint Problem Shoes
If you are someone who loves high heels, then you’re in for a rude awakening. High heels put the foot in an unnatural position, which can also put unnecessary stress and pressure on the big toe joint. That’s why you should avoid any shoes with a heel above 2 inches. You should also avoid shoes with a pointed toe.
Correct Imbalances in the Feet
Some people inherit structural abnormalities in their feet, which also leaves them prone to developing bunions. Again, if the women in your family are complaining about bunions, then chances are good that you are also more at risk for developing this bony deformity. One way to correct an imbalance is to consult with our podiatrist here in Bloomington, IL, to find out if custom orthotics (shoe inserts) could correct these imbalances and help redistribute weight more evenly throughout the feet. Shoe inserts can also provide additional support, shock absorption, and cushioning.
Your feet work hard for you every day, so when problems arise that require a qualified podiatrist’s expert treatment and care, call the Bloomington, IL, office of McLean County Foot and Ankle at (309) 662-9001 to find out how we can help.
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!