Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Blog

Posts for category: Foot Health

By ADVANCED FOOT AND ANKLE CENTER
May 17, 2017
Category: Foot Health
Tags: Cracked Heels  

Dry, cracked heels are not only unsightly, but they can also be a source of pain and embarrassment. When the fissures in your heel become so dry and cracked that they bleed and hurt when you walk, it’s time to seek professional care from your podiatrist. Left untreated, heel fissures can become so deep and painful that they lead to an infection.

Cracked heels are most commonly caused by splitting of the skin as a result of severe dryness or thickening of a callus on your heel. Severe cases of dry, cracked heels can occur for numerous reasons, including:

  • Cold winter weather or dry climates

  • Dehydration

  • Having diabetes

  • Scrubbing feet too harshly

  • Soaking in a hot bath or shower for too long or too frequently

  • Not moisturizing the feet

  • Increased weight

  • Walking barefoot or wearing open-backed sandals or shoes

  • Prolonged standing at work or home

  • Chronic skin problems, such as eczema or psoriasis

Here are a few tips for keeping heels from cracking:

  • Moisturize your feet daily.

  • Avoid walking barefoot or wearing open-backed shoes.

  • Opt for mild soaps that won’t dry out your heels.

  • Increase your water intake to keep your body hydrated.

  • Limit time in the shower as hot water dries out the skin.

  • Use a pumice stone or file as directed by your doctor to gently decrease thick calluses.

When to Visit Our Office

Cracked heels may begin as an annoyance or simple cosmetic issue, but they can lead to pain and serious infection if not managed properly. Most cases of dry, cracked heels will get better with a little foot pampering or over-the-counter foot cream.

When your heels are severely cracked or painful and conservative treatments have proven ineffective, visit our office. People with diabetes are at an especially high risk for health problems, and should not wait to have dry feet cared for. Severely cracked heels need moisture to avoid pain, bleeding and infection. A podiatrist can work with you to relieve your cracked heels, and get you back on your feet again.

By ADVANCED FOOT AND ANKLE CENTER
April 04, 2017
Category: Foot Health
Tags: shin splints  

Although a shin splint is commonly used to describe various pains between the ankle and the knee, it actually refers to a specific inflammatory condition of the tibia -- a condition called medial tibial stress syndrome.

A type of "overuse injury" to the legs, the most common causes of shin splints include excessive running, poor conditioning and over-pronation (flattening of the arch). The result is pain in the front or inside of the lower leg that usually gets worse with a sudden increase in distance or intensity of training. Shin splints are a common problem for many runners and athletes. Muscle weakness, non-supportive shoes and overtraining are also contributing factors.

To prevent shin splints, warm up and stretch muscles before starting any workout activity and choose supportive footwear. Begin workouts gradually and avoid over-training. All of these methods will go a long way in helping to prevent many lower leg problems. Conservative treatment for most shin splint pain includes rest, ice, compression and elevation. Strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory agents and custom foot orthotics may also be recommended to reduce symptoms.

Shin pain isn't always indicative of a shin splint. Lower leg pain may actually signal a more serious problem, including a stress fracture, partial muscle tear and tendonitis, all of which require special treatment. Always seek the professional care of a podiatrist if:

  • You have severe pain in your shin following an injury.
  • Your shin is hot and inflamed.
  • Swelling in your shin increases.
  • Shin pain persists during rest.

Proper diagnosis of the cause of pain is necessary in order to administer the most appropriate treatment. If you suffer from shin pain, visit your podiatrist for an evaluation and proper treatment.