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Reasons Cracked Heels Can Develop

Mildly cracked heels may feel better when a good moisturizer is applied daily. This is a foot condition that can happen for various reasons, including standing on hard surfaces for most of the day. It may also occur from wearing shoes that have an open back, such as flip flops, or possibly from washing the feet with harsh soaps. There may be existing medical conditions that can cause cracked heels to develop. This condition may be common for diabetic patients to get, who are often aware of the serious consequences if prompt medical attention is not received. Many people who are diabetic are unable to feel cuts on their feet, and cracked skin on the heels may rapidly become infected. Some people get cracked heels from a vitamin deficiency, or from a skin or thyroid disorder. If you have cracked heels, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a chiropodist who can provide you with the correct treatment techniques.

Dry, cracked heels are more than a cosmetic inconvenience. For many people, they are uncomfortable, deep, painful, and may even bleed. If you suffer from cracked heels, please consult with one of the chiropodists from The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your lower limbs and your mobility. 

Causes

  • Prolonged standing

  • Wearing open-back shoes

  • Wearing shoes that don’t cushion the heels

  • Living in a cold or dry climate

  • Taking long, hot showers

  • Not moisturizing the heels

  • Eczema

  • Psoriasis

  • Palmoplantar keratoderma

  • Juvenile plantar dermatosis

Treatments

  • Soaking the feet

  • Exfoliating with a pumice stone

  • Moisturizing the heels

  • Wearing closed-back shoes that cushion heels

  • Avoiding prolonged standing 

  • Taking warm, rather than hot, showers

  • Treating underlying skin conditions 

While milder cases of cracked heels can be treated at home, some patients present with deep, painful, bleeding heel fissures that are at risk of becoming infected and may require medical care. Additionally, patients with diabetes or any other conditions that affect the immune system should be monitored by a chiropodist. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Do You Suffer From Painful Feet?

Painful deformities, such as hammertoes, can be treated. Stop living with foot pain, and have beautiful feet again!

How Did I Get a Bunionette?

The side of the pinky toe can be an area where a bunion develops. It is referred to as a bunionette, or tailor’s bunion, and may happen from wearing shoes that are too tight. This can cause a misalignment in the metatarsal bone, and the toe ligaments may gradually weaken. The pinky toe may become deformed, as the toe squeezes into the shoes. Additionally, having tight calf muscles may lead to developing a tailor’s bunion, which can be a result of extra pressure that is exerted on the outside of the foot. Mild relief may be found when a protective pad is worn over the bunion, and it can help to wear shoes that have large toe areas. Having surgery performed to permanently remove the bunion may be an option if the pain becomes unbearable. If you have developed a bunionette, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a chiropodist who can properly treat this condition.

Bunions progressively worsen over time and may cause walking in your shoes to become difficult. To learn more about bunions, please consult with one of the chiropodists from The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

What Are Bunions? 

A bunion is a bony bump that protrudes from the base of the big toe. Bunions are caused due to a misalignment of the first metatarsal. The characteristic bump of a bunion forms when the metatarsal shifts outwards from its proper position. Bunions develop slowly over time and progressively worsen without treatment. The skin over the bunion may develop calluses due to the friction from shoes. Eventually, a bunion can make walking uncomfortable or even painful. Bunions are one of the most common foot deformities and are especially common in women and older adults.

Symptoms

A bunion appears as a bulging bump on the outside of the base of the big toe.

The bunion may also: 

  • Be swollen, red, or sore 

  • Develop corns or calluses over it

  • Cause pain

  • Limit the big toe’s range of motion

Treatment

There are several different treatments available for bunions. Conservative treatment options include wearing shoes with a wider toe box, cushioning the bunion with a specialized pad, wearing shoe inserts, icing the bunion if it becomes inflamed, and taking medications to relieve pain. In more severe cases, more invasive procedures may be done. This may involve removing the swollen tissue around the bunion, straightening the big toe, realigning the bones at the front of the foot, or a combination of these procedures. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs

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Inflamed Tibial Nerve and Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

The tibial nerve is found within the tarsal tunnel that is located in the back of the ankle. An injury can cause this nerve to become compressed or irritated, which may lead to tarsal tunnel syndrome. This is a narrow area, and may become swollen if a sprained ankle has occurred. Additionally, there may be an existing bone spur or varicose veins that can cause this condition. Patients who have medical conditions such as flat feet, high arches, diabetes, or a thyroid disorder may be prone to having this ailment. Common symptoms include foot and toe pain, and overall weakness in the foot. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is generally confirmed by having an examination performed. The inability to move the toes may lead to a positive diagnosis, which may be followed by having a nerve biopsy done. Treatment may include performing specific stretches, in addition to elevating the foot as often as possible. If you have pain in this part of your foot, it is suggested that you confer with a chiropodist who can guide you toward additional treatment methods.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause pain and progress over time. If you are experiencing any symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome, please consult with one of the chiropodists from The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

What Is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the posterior tibial nerve, which is located within a structure called the tarsal tunnel on the inside of the ankle, is squeezed. Compression of the posterior tibial nerve can be caused by injuries, such as ankle sprains, systemic diseases like diabetes or arthritis, strain on the tarsal tunnel due to flat feet, or an enlarged structure like a cyst squeezing the nerve. 

Symptoms

Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear suddenly and are generally worsened by physical activity. 

Common symptoms include: 

  • Tingling, burning, or electrical shock sensation on the inside of the ankle or bottom of the foot

  • Numbness

  • Shooting pain 

Diagnosis

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed through physical examination. If initial treatment is ineffective, imaging or nerve studies may also be necessary. 

Treatment

Nonsurgical treatments for tarsal tunnel syndrome include resting and icing the foot, bracing or immobilizing the foot, wearing an orthotic device, modifying your footwear, and taking medications to relieve pain. Surgery may be needed if nonsurgical treatments are ineffective.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Swelling of the Feet in the Summertime

When the weather is hot and you have been on your feet all day, you can get uncomfortable swelling in your feet and ankles. This is a common occurrence and becomes more likely as you age. Edema is the medical name for swelling in the lower extremities. It is the result of abnormal fluid buildup. In addition to heat, edema can be brought on by things like excessive salt intake or drinking alcohol. Those who are overweight or suffer from venous insufficiency, where the veins in the legs have trouble pushing blood back toward the heart, can be more prone to foot swelling. Certain medications can also contribute to edema, such as antidepressants, steroids, and hormones. Edema can have more serious causes, such as those involving underlying health conditions like a blood clot in the leg, an injury, or failure of the heart, kidneys, or liver. If you suffer from swelling of your feet and do not know the cause, or if the swelling does not improve with rest and cooling down, it is suggested that you consult with a chiropodist to help you find out the cause and how to best deal with it.

Summer is the season for many foot and ankle issues. If you’re suffering from a foot or ankle problem, please consult with one of the chiropodists from The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your lower limbs and your mobility. 

Common Summer Foot Problems 

  • Athlete’s foot

  • Toenail fungus

  • Plantar warts

  • Foot and ankle injuries

  • Bunions

  • Hammertoes

  • Heel pain

  • Cracked heels 

  • Sunburns

  • Blisters

Prevention

  • Wear supportive shoes and avoid flip-flops

  • Maintain good foot hygiene

  • Exfoliate and moisturize the heels

  • Apply sunscreen to the feet and ankles

  • Wear shoes in public areas like swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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What Are Foot Ulcers?

A foot ulcer is any open sore on the foot whether it is shallow or deep. People who have diabetes, poor circulation, and structural foot abnormalities that cause pressure spots on the feet are more apt to develop foot ulcers. Diabetics often have peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage which interferes with the feeling of pain or discomfort in their feet. Such people can accidentally injure their feet and not be aware of it. The visually impaired may not be able to examine their feet and catch problems. Foot ulcers can be slow to heal if circulation is a problem and may become infected, which can show as an abscess with pus. Such infections can lead to gangrene and amputation if not tended to promptly. If you have a foot ulcer, it is strongly suggested that you visit a chiropodist for a proper examination and offer a correct treatment plan.

Wound care is the process of treating and preventing wounds on the feet. This is especially important if you have diabetes, as diabetic foot wounds are common and can lead to serious complications when left untreated. To learn more about proper wound care, please consult with one of the chiropodists from The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

Why Is Wound Care Important for Diabetics?

While wound care is important for maintaining the health of your feet, it is especially important for people with diabetes. This is because diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation, causing foot wounds to heal very slowly or not to heal at all. Diabetics also frequently suffer from neuropathy or nerve loss. This means no matter how big or little the wound, they might not feel it on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. This is why it is imperative that diabetics complete daily foot checks.

Wound Care Basics

The best way to care for wounds is to prevent them in the first place. It is recommended that people with diabetes perform a daily examination of their feet to locate cuts, scrapes, sores, or wounds. Early detection allows for ample time to treat the wounds and prevent further complications. If you notice a wound at home, you can clean it using water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover the wound with a clean bandage. Seeing a chiropodist, who can examine your feet thoroughly and treat any existing wounds, can also help you maintain proper foot health. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Abnormal Foot Sweat

If feet sweat excessively, especially when participating in high intensity exercise, it may be from a condition called plantar hyperhidrosis. Besides sweaty feet being uncomfortable and embarrassing, this condition can also increase the risk of other problems, including foot odor, athlete’s foot, and toenail fungus. Things that can help with sweaty feet include wearing socks made of breathable material, like cotton, using antifungal powder or cornstarch to help keep feet dry and odor-free, and choosing shoes that fit properly and are right for the activity being done. Shoes made of patent leather or plastic should be avoided, as they trap sweat inside the shoe. If your feet sweat excessively and it is causing you discomfort or embarrassment, it is suggested that you see a chiropodist for a proper diagnosis and treatment options.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes excessive sweating of the feet. This problem is not only embarrassing but can also cause a variety of foot health problems if left untreated. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments available for plantar hyperhidrosis. If you have very sweaty feet, please consult with one of the chiropodists from The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your lower limbs and your mobility. 

Signs & Symptoms

  • Excessive foot sweat

  • Sweating from both feet

  • Slipping out of shoes due to sweat

  • Damp footprints

  • Ruined shoes

  • Frequent foot infections

  • Friction blisters

  • Whitish foot color

  • Wrinkly, pruney feet

  • Cold feet

  • Strong odor

Treatment Options

  • Topical antiperspirants - Powders, creams, or gels that are applied directly to the feet to prevent sweating; can be over the counter or prescription strength

  • Oral medications - Pills taken by mouth to reduce sweating temporarily

  • Iontophoresis - A procedure that uses a mild electrical current conducted through water to reduce activity in hyperactive sweat glands

  • Botox - Injected into the feet to prevent activation of sweat glands

In addition to these treatment options, footwear modifications, such as wearing shoes and socks made of breathable or moisture-wicking materials, are also suggested. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Common Causes of Toenail Pain

Toenail pain can be caused by wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or as a side effect of an underlying condition, such as arthritis. However, the most common causes of toenail pain are traumatic injury, ingrown toenails, and fungal infection. Pain from trauma may be caused by dropping a heavy object on the toe, stubbing the toe on a hard object, and repetitive exercises, like running. Depending on the severity, the toenail may change to a reddish black color caused by bruising, or the nail may become separated from the bed. An ingrown toenail forms when the nail grows into the skin surrounding it. This can be extremely painful and in some cases becomes infected. Part or all of the nail may need to be removed. Toenail fungal infections are caused by coming into contact with a fungus, which is extremely contagious. In some cases, such as with athlete’s foot, itching and redness result, and in other cases the nail becomes discolored and brittle. If you have continual toenail pain or notice an abnormality, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a chiropodist for an exam and treatment options.

Toe pain is common and can have a variety of causes. Causes can range from a broken toe to an ingrown toenail. Many types of toe pain can be corrected, but any toe pain that inhibits your activities for an extended period should be discussed with a chiropodist. If you suffer from toe pain, please consult with one of the chiropodists from The Footcare Centre. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your feet.

Common Causes of Toe Pain 

  • Trauma or fracture
  • Cuts, sores, or bruises
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Turf Toe
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Blisters
  • Corns
  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Plantar warts
  • Athlete’s Foot

Symptoms of Toe Pain

  • Toe deformity
  • Burning
  • Numbness
  • Toenail deformity
  • Wart or ulcer
  • Swelling
  • Redness

When to See a Chiropodist

  • Bleeding or severe swelling
  • Trauma, such as a broken bone
  • Discoloration or extreme swelling
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Persistent pain
  • Wounds that won’t heal

Diagnosis of Toe Pain

A chiropodist can conduct a thorough examination of the painful toe or toes in order to determine the best course of treatment. The exam may include assessing the tenderness of the area, taking an X-ray or other diagnostic test, or assessing your gait and range of motion. A discussion of what led to the advanced pain issue may follow. Included will likely be a health history, as well as a list of medications you are taking and other previous injuries you may have sustained.

Treatment for Toe Pain

With such a wide range of possible causes for toe pain, treatment can be varied in scope and length. Sometimes, the chiropodist will recommend lifestyle and activity changes. In cases of trauma or other injuries, X-rays or imaging tests will likely be used to determine the severity of the problem, particularly if any bones have been broken. Treatment may also include injections of pain-relief medication or anti-inflammatory drugs. Certain injuries will require the splinting, bracing, or wrapping of injured toes. Orthotics or special shoes may be prescribed in cases of bone deformities and gait issues. Removal of warts, calluses, and corns may be needed. In other cases, such as with patients who have diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, ongoing treatment may be required to avoid more serious problems. 

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