Advice from a podiatrist: Take care of your feet

Posted by Stacey White, DPM, NP, Ridgeview Specialty Clinic on Sep 25, 2018 1:30:00 PM

White001_4x5Feet take you everywhere in life so it's important to take care of them throughout the journey. Pay attention to pain in your feet and follow these suggestions to keep them healthy enough to walk, jog or run through life.

It is important to exercise, but if your feet hurt, it makes it difficult to stay active. Here are some common podiatry problems that lead to pain and how to treat them.

Your foot pain may be plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the most common type of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a tight ligament on the bottom of your foot that originates from the heel bone and inserts into the base of your toes. Its function is to support your arch. The best way to treat plantar fasciitis is with arch supports in good supportive shoes (avoid going barefoot). To ease pain, place a frozen water bottle on the ground and roll the arch of your foot over it and try some stretching exercises. If your pain persists, have your foot evaluated by your primary care provider or a podiatrist.

Permanently take care of your ingrown toenails

Did you know there is a simple office procedure to permanently get rid of your ingrown nails? No more  self-surgery at home, pain or infections. At the doctor's office, your toe is anesthetized and the sides of the nails that are digging into the skin are cut back. A liquid chemical is rubbed on the nail root, killing the root to prevent the corner of the nail from growing back. Your nail will still look normal after this procedure.

Pay attention to your calluses

Calluses can ulcerate, causing an open wound. If you have a painful callus with black or red dots in it, it may mean that your skin is breaking down deep in the callus. It is important to have this treated before your simple callus becomes a complex problem.

Take care of your skin

Your skin is the biggest organ in your body. Most people don't realize that, but it also has a very important function just like your heart and lungs. When your skin is dry, bacteria, viruses and fungus can get in between the cracks of your skin causing an infection, or worse, cellulitis. Lotion is like glue. It binds the cells together to keep out invading germs. It also makes your skin supple and less likely to tear. Take the time to apply lotion to your feet, and not just your hands and arms.

Can you treat a broken toe?

It isn't true that there is nothing that can be done for a broken toe. It is important to make sure the fracture is not displaced (the bone has broken and the broken ends are no longer in line with each other). If it is, this could cause permanent pain. If it is not displaced, taping the broken toe to the toe next to it (buddy taping) and wearing a rigid sole shoe will help ease the pain until it heals.

Check with your podiatrist if you experience frequent foot pain. Taking care of your feet will keep you on them, exercising, healthy and enjoying the world around you.

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Medical and health information presented here is intended to be general in nature, and should not be viewed as a substitute for professional advice. Please consult with a health care professional for all matters relating to personal medical and health care issues. In case of an emergency, please call 911. 

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