Posts for category: Foot Care
Whether you’re training for your very first marathon or preparing for your 10th, it’s important to begin your training program on the right foot. A lack of experience coupled with the repetitive impact placed on the feet and ankles during a long run can produce enough stress to cause hairline fractures and other debilitating foot injuries.
Many foot problems seen in marathoners are caused by the repetitive pounding over the months of long-distance running. With some people, injury is triggered by the abnormal foot biomechanics, and in others it is because of poor training. During a 10-mile run, the feet make about 15,000 strikes, at a force of three to four times the body's weight. Even if you have perfect foot mechanics, injuries and pain are often unavoidable with this amount of stress.
To prevent injury during training, it’s important to pay close attention to your feet. When increasing mileage, avoid doing so too quickly. The increased forced can make your feet more susceptible to stress fractures.
Basic tips for training include:
- Follow a training schedule that is appropriate for your experience level
- Start easy and increase your mileage slowly
- Stretch and warm up properly to reduce strain on muscles, tendons and joints
- Choose appropriate footwear based on your foot structure, function, body type, running environment and training regimen
- Never ignore pain. If the pain gets worse with reduced exercise and rest, stop training and visit your podiatrist
Aside from stress fractures which often occur from overtraining, additional foot problems you may experience include:
- Toenail problems, including ingrown and fungus
- Heel pain, such as plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendon and calf pain
- Toe pain, such as bunions
- Shin splints
Before you start training, our practice recommends visiting a podiatrist for a complete evaluation of your lower extremities. Our office will examine your feet and identify potential problems, discuss training tactics, prescribe an orthotic device that fits into a running shoe (if needed) and recommend the best style of footwear for your feet to allow for injury free training all the way up to your race day. It is especially important to come in for an exam if you have already started training and are experiencing foot or ankle pain.
Training for a marathon is hard work. It takes time and dedication. At our practice, we offer special interest and expertise working with marathoners to ensure good foot health throughout your entire training program to help you achieve your goals.
The Achilles tendon is the strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. This lower leg tendon enables you to walk, jump, stand on your toes and climb stairs. You rely on it virtually every time you move your foot.
When the tendon is stretched beyond its normal capacity, a complete or partial tear may occur. Most Achilles tendon ruptures occur as a result of sport-related injuries when forceful jumping or sudden accelerations of running overstretch the tendon and cause a tear. Individuals with Achilles tendinitis -- weak and inflamed tendons -- are also more susceptible to tendon tears.
Signs of a torn Achilles tendon include:
- Sudden, sharp pain in the back of the ankle and lower leg
- Snapping or popping sensation at the time of the injury
- Swelling down the back side of the leg or near the heel
- Difficulty walking or rising up on the toes
The best treatment for a torn Achilles tendon is prevention. Avoiding this injury could save yourself months of rehab and extended time away from your game. Help prevent injury to your Achilles tendon by:
- stretching your calf muscles regularly
- limiting hill running and jumping activities that place excess stress on the Achilles tendons
- resting during exercise when you experience pain
- maintaining a healthy weight
- alternating high impact sports, such as running with low-impact sports, such as walking or biking
- wearing appropriate, supportive shoes with proper heel cushioning
If you suspect a ruptured Achilles tendon, visit our practice as soon as possible. Until you can seek professional care, avoid walking on the injured tendon and keep it elevated. Ice the affected area to reduce pain and swelling and, if possible, wrap the injured foot and ankle. For partial tears, swelling and pain may be less severe, but prompt treatment should still be administered.
Treatment for an Achilles tendon rupture can be surgical or non-surgical. Surgery to reattach the tendon is generally recommended, followed by rehabilitation, especially for individuals who want to return to recreational sports. Our pracitce can evaluate the severity of your tear and suggest the best treatment plan. With proper care, most people return to their former level of performance within six months.
How to Maximize Your Game with Good Foot Health
When it comes to exercise, your feet are one of the most overlooked parts of the body, enduring tremendous strain and stress during a hard workout. It's no surprise that an athlete's foot and ankle are prime candidates for injuries. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), poor foot care during physical activity is a contributing factor to some of the more than 300-foot ailments.
The following tips may help prevent foot and ankle injuries to keep you in the game.
Get a check-up
Visit our practice and your regular physician before starting any sport or fitness activity. This should include a complete foot and physical exam. During a foot exam, a podiatrist can identify whether your previously injured ankle is vulnerable to sprains, and recommend supportive ankle braces for increased stability.
Pre-workout warm up and stretch
Jogging before a competition or workout can help reduce the risk for foot and ankle injuries by warming up muscles, ligaments and blood vessels. Proper stretching before beginning a workout is also important. When muscles are properly stretched, the strain on joints, tendons and muscles is greatly reduced.
Treat foot and ankle injuries immediately
It's possible to injure bones in the foot or ankle without knowing it. What may seem like a sprain at the time may actually be a fracture. See a podiatrist at the first onset of ankle pain. The sooner you start treatment, the better your chance of preventing long-term problems like instability, and the sooner you can get back in the game.
Wear shoes specific to your sport
Different fitness programs require different footwear. Wearing the appropriate type of athletic shoe for your unique foot type and needs can help prevent foot problems while keeping you at your best performance. Remember to replace old, worn shoes in order to ensure optimal stability and support.
Pay attention to what your feet are telling you and remember to rest and consult our office when you first notice pain. Exercising is a great way to stay energized and fit, but if you're neglecting the health of your feet, you may be setting yourself up for serious injury.
At Advanced Foot and Ankle Center in McKinney and Prosper, TX, our podiatrists see many patients with bunions. In this blog post, you'll learn what bunions are, how they can affect your foot health, and how they're treated.
What are bunions?
On the surface, a bunion, also known as hallux valgus, will look like a pronounced, triangular lump or growth under the skin, but they're actually an abnormal bending of the joint at the base of the big toe. Bunions develop when the big toe is consistently pushed against the other toes and the joint begins to jut outwards. They tend to affect women more than men, largely due to popular styles of women's footwear that crowd the toes. They're known to be hereditary, so if your mother had bunions, it's more likely you will experience them as well. Arthritis can also exacerbate the development of bunions.
Are bunions dangerous?
Typically, bunions do not cause major problems, although they can develop blisters or calluses if they rub up against the inside of your shoes. This is little more than uncomfortable for most people; however, your McKinney and Prosper podiatrist urges all patients with diabetes to make an appointment any time a foot injury develops. This is to avoid potential complications associated with diminished blood circulation. We also see patients who experience joint pain associated with bunions, particularly if they have arthritis.
How are bunions treated?
Often, a troublesome bunion can be managed with a cushioned pad or shoe insert. Your podiatrist can recommend the best brands and designs for your situation. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can also help quell joint discomfort. For particularly painful bunions that do not respond to conservative treatment, there are surgical procedures that can realign the joint.
For questions about bunions or any other foot and ankle related problem, contact Advanced Foot and Ankle Center to schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists. We have offices located in both McKinney and Prosper, TX to better serve your needs!
Your big toe has become so sore that you can hardly walk on it. It's red and puffy, and the nail appears to be digging into the skin. These common podiatric symptoms likely stem from an ingrown toenail. The podiatrists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center in McKinney and Prosper, TX Dr. Eric Silvers, Dr. Dustin Lloyd, Dr. Christopher Witt or Dr. Jan Veloso have seen and treated many ingrown toenails and offer medical solutions for this condition and ways to avoid future problems.
Symptoms of an ingrown toenail
Besides the pain, swelling, and redness, patients with ingrown toenails may have an infection with pus and a strong odor. The nail itself can discolor and separate from the nail bed.
Many times, symptoms of athlete's foot accompany an ingrown toenail. There's a generalized itchiness, blistering and flaking of the skin.
Medically-termed onychocryptosis, ingrown toenails plague people of all ages but more so occur with individuals who:
- Are obese
- Have diabetes
- Are prone to abnormalities in gait and toe and foot structure
- Experience pedal edema, or foot swelling, due to compromised circulation
- Engage in athletic activities which involve repeated pressure on the foot and toes (such as running)
- Wear shoes with improper fit (both too large or too small)
What your foot doctor in McKinney and Prosper can do
Our podiatrists advise patients to seek professional care for ingrown toenails to prevent further damage and infection. At Advanced Foot & Ankle Center, your foot doctor will visually inspect and palpate (feel) your feet, including your painful toe. Depending on his findings, he may:
- Trim the intruding nail away from the skin
- Apply a chemical called phenol to the nail to aid in its partial or total removal (matrixectomy)
- Prescribe an oral antibiotic and applying antibiotic ointment
After trimming or nail removal, our podiatrists recommend rest and elevation of the foot. Feet treated for ingrown toenails recover quickly, and people generally resume normal activities within the next day.
Preventing ingrown toenails
Here are some common sense strategies to prevent ingrown toenails:
- Using a clean clippers, trim all toenails straight across. Do not trim the corners at an angle.
- Wash your feet daily, and change your socks.
- Wear properly fitting shoes with adequate room in the toe box.
Do you need treatment?
Contact Advanced Foot & Ankle Center in McKinney and Prosper, TX if you have symptoms of an ingrown toenail. Phone (972) 542-2155 for either the McKinney or the Prosper office.