What your podiatrist in Bloomington, Illinois wants you to know
If you have a large, hard bump next to your big toe, you could have a bunion. Bunions can make it painful and difficult to wear shoes and to walk around. Fortunately, there are effective treatments for bunions. Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot and Ankle in Bloomington, Illinois wants to share the facts about bunions and what you can do to get relief.
There are several underlying factors for bunion formation. You could form bunions if you:
- Have flat feet
- Overpronate your feet when you walk
- Frequently wear narrow shoes
- Frequently wear high heels
- Experience an injury or trauma to your foot
- Have bone deformities in your foot
- Have rheumatoid arthritis
- Overstress your feet
Women experience bunions more frequently because of the tendency to wear shoes that cramp toes. High heels add to the problem by pushing feet forward, crushing the toes.
If you experience a painful bunion, you can try a few home remedies like these:
- Taping the bunion to support and cushion it
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medications
- Wearing padding or cushions to keep the bunion from rubbing against the inside of your shoe
Large, uncomfortable bunions or bunions that don’t respond to home remedies require the services of your podiatrist. Dr. Paul will take x-rays to determine the amount of bone involved in the bunion. He will discuss a comprehensive treatment plan which may include:
- Physical therapy and exercises to increase flexibility and mobility
- Custom-fit orthotics to make standing and walking easier
- Custom-fit supportive footwear to protect your feet from stress
- Removing corns and calluses to reduce friction and irritation
Large bunions with significant bone involvement may require surgery. Common surgeries for bunions include removing bone, straightening your toe, and aligning your foot.
Bunion pain can be hard to deal with, but you don’t have to suffer. Get some help from an expert by calling Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot and Ankle in Bloomington, Illinois. Call today and help your feet!
Athlete's foot is a very common fungal infection that usually develops between the toes, but can spread to other parts of the foot like the toenails, as well as to the hands from direct contact with the rash. Also known as tinea pedis, athlete's foot can affect anyone, although it tends to affect men more frequently. Dr. Gerald Paul, a podiatrist in Bloomington, IL, offers treatment for athlete's foot and a range of foot and ankle injuries and conditions.
Athlete's Foot Prevention and Treatment in Bloomington, IL
There are a few precautions that you can take to protect yourself and reduce your risk of developing athlete's foot, but if you shower at the gym, swim at a public pool, or live with someone with athlete's foot, chances are you may develop it too.
How to protect yourself/lower your risk of developing athlete's foot:
- Keep your feet (especially between the toes) clean and dry
- Wear flip-flops or socks in communal and public areas such as showers, pools, and locker rooms
- Wear socks and shoes that keep your feet cool, dry and well ventilated to prevent moisture buildup
- If your feet are prone to sweating, use power and change your socks frequently to keep them clean and dry
- Avoid sharing your own or wearing other people's shoes
- Keep bath mats and other common surfaces in your home clean and dry, and keep your feet covered if someone in the home has athlete's foot
- Wash your hands after touching your feet to prevent spreading the infection to your hands
Mild cases of athlete's foot can usually be treated with self-care and over the counter topical treatments, but if the infection does not respond to conservative treatments or clear up on its own, a podiatrist may prescribe stronger anti-fungal medication.
Find a Podiatrist in Bloomington, IL
If you have symptoms of athlete's foot or are suffering from pain or other symptoms, contact McLean County Foot and Ankle by calling (309) 662-9001 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul today.
Out of all the foot conditions that podiatrists treat, heel pain can be one of the most distressing for patients to live with. Heel pain can be felt when you’re walking or just standing in place. Some people wake up with intense heel pain before they even step foot out of the bed. If you can relate to this, you don’t have to continue to struggle with heel pain. Help is available from Dr. Gerald Paul at McLean County Foot and Ankle in Bloomington, IL.
Struggling with Heel Pain
Your heel is an important part of the foot. Out of all the bones in the foot, the heel bone is the biggest. It holds up most of your weight when you’re standing and walking, which makes it vulnerable to injuries and inflammation. When a heel is painful, it can make it difficult to perform even basic athletic and daily activities.
How Does Heel Pain Start?
Heel pain symptoms usually begin due to stress on the ligaments that run underneath the foot and up to the heel bone. Many cases of heel pain start with a condition called plantar fasciitis, which is an irritation or stretching of the plantar fascia tissue. Another possible cause of pain is heel spurs, which are growths on the heel bone. In some cases, heel pain occurs due to constant contact with the back of a rough shoe. Whatever the cause, heel pain progresses gradually over time and should be treated as soon as possible by your Bloomington, IL podiatrist.
Treating Your Heel Pain
Your McLean County Foot and Ankle physician can effectively treat your heel pain using one or more of the following treatments:
- Medications to reduce inflammation and discomfort.
- Stretching exercises.
- Physical therapy.
- Orthotic devices (inserts and padding).
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT)
Treatment Is Available for Your Heel Pain
If you’ve been dealing with intense heel pain, know that there is hope for your case. Heel treatments are available at McLean County Foot and Ankle in Bloomington, IL. Call (309) 662-9001 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Gerald Paul.
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.
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