Posts for category: Podiatry
Are you prone to getting ingrown toenails? Certain “bad” habits may be to blame.
You only have to put up with an ingrown toenail once to decide you’re never going to put up with it again. Some serious ingrown toenails even require immediate care from our Bloomington, IL, podiatrist, Dr. Gerald Paul. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk for an ingrown toenail. These steps include:
Let Your Feet Breathe
If you wear shoes that are just a bit too tight or put pressure on your toes, this could be the reason that you’re dealing with ingrown toenails in the first place. Even socks and stockings that are too tight can put too much pressure on your toenails. This is why it’s important to stay away from shoes that don’t fit or shoes with pointed toes. Whenever possible, opt for supportive footwear that allows your toes ample space and room to breathe.
Trim Nails Properly
Don’t not trim at a curve, or try to angle the edges of the nails, as this can cause ingrown toenails. If you have diabetes, you should turn to our Bloomington, IL, office to have this done.
Don’t Trim too Short
If you trim your nails below the tips of your toes you are also leaving your toenails prone to an ingrown toenail. If you do accidentally trim the nail too short, use a filing board and gently smooth down any sharp edges to prevent the nail from piercing and growing into the skin.
If you are dealing with a foot or ankle problem that requires urgent or immediate treatment, know that our podiatrist and his staff at McLean County Foot & Ankle in Bloomington, IL, are still providing care. Make sure to read through our Covid-19 office rules before coming into the office. If you have questions or concerns, you can always call us at (309) 662-9001.
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.