An unexpected fall or twist can result in an injury of the foot or ankle, such as a sprain or strain. Immediate first aid can help prevent complications, reduce pain and improve recovery.
Rest, ice, compression and elevation--commonly referred to as R.I.C.E.--is the first and best treatment for minor injuries. The following tips can aid in the early treatment of common foot and ankle injuries to help reduce swelling and control the inflammatory process during the initial phase of injury.
Rest: Whether you have a strain or a sprain, rest from any physical activity is essential to protecting your injured ligaments, tendons or muscles from further damage while your body starts the repair process. Avoid putting weight on the injured foot or ankle as much as possible. In some cases, complete immobilization may be required.
Ice: Gently ice your foot or ankle with ice wrapped in a towel in a 20-minute-on, 40-minute-off cycle for the first few days post-injury. Ice is excellent at reducing inflammation and pain.
Compression: Applying some type of compressive wrap or bandage to an injured area can greatly reduce the amount of initial swelling.
Elevation: Prop your foot up while lying down or sitting so that it is higher than or equal to the level of the heart.
After a few days of R.I.C.E., many acute injuries will begin to heal. If pain or swelling does not subside after a few days, or if you are unsure of the severity of your injury, make an appointment with your podiatrist. A skilled podiatrist can properly diagnose your injury and recommend the best course of treatment.
Do you have a bunion? This deformity of the big toe joint can twist the position of the big toe toward, or even over, the second toe. Often plaguing more women than men, bunions cause pain and discomfort, affect the fitting of shoes, and is just plain embarrassing. At Reisinger Farmer Podiatry in Evansville, IN, your experienced podiatrists treat most bunions conservatively. Read below to learn more about what Dr. Charlotte Resinger and Dr. Dusky Farmer can do about your bunion.
How bunions happen
Also called Hallux Abducto Valgus, a bunion presents as a painful, reddened bump at the base of the big toe. This metatarsophalangeal joint bulges outward while causing the big toe to turn inward, both in varying degrees of severity. Harvard Health reports that as a bunion progresses, bursitis and arthritis often develop, along with corns and calluses caused by the friction between the shoe and the foot.
How could a bunion develop on your foot? Many factors play into this common podiatric problem, including:
- Heredity (bunions seem to run in families)
- High-heeled, narrow-toed shoes
- Lax joints
- Flat arches
- Age and gender (advancing years and being a woman are precipitating factors, explains Science Daily)
What you can do
At Reisinger Farmer Podiatry's Evansville office, your podiatrist will examine your bunion, analyze your gait, and take digital X-rays. These steps help the doctor grade the severity of your bunion and to develop a treatment plan to reduce pain and swelling, correct gait problems, and to keep the bunion from worsening.
Frequent components of a bunion treatment plan include:
- Over-the-counter analgesics for pain
- The application of ice on the bunion
- Elevation about heart level
- In-office removal of corns and calluses
- Shoe padding or moleskin to alleviate friction and pressure
- Night time splinting to encourage proper alignment of the big toe joint
- Shoe orthotics, custom-made inserts to correct overpronation, other gait problems, and flat arches
- Losing weight
- Changing to shoes with wider toe boxes, lower heels (no higher than 2-1/2 inches, says the American Podiatric Medical Association)
- Stretching exercises and physical therapy as needed
Bunionectomy (surgical removal of the bunion and subsequent re-aligning of the big toe) is sometimes is necessary in cases of severe and debilitating deformity. However, the doctors prefer a rigorous application of more conservative measures first before ever resorting to surgery.
Find relief for your bunion today!
For more information or to arrange a consultation at our Evansville office, please contact the office at (812) 421-8555.
Understanding Heel Pain with Help from Your Podiatrist
- Wear shoes that fit well
- Wear proper shoes for each activity
- Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
- Prepare properly before exercising by stretching and warming up
- Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities
- Don’t underestimate your body’s need for rest and good nutrition
- Lose excess weight
Many people think corns and calluses are the same thing, but there are differences. A corn is smaller than a callus, and has a hard center which is surrounded by inflamed tissue. Unlike calluses, corns can be painful and make it difficult to wear shoes. The good news is, your podiatrist can help get rid of corns and get you back on your feet.
Corns typically develop to protect your feet and toes from friction and pressure. They can be found in both weight bearing and non-weight bearing areas including between your toes, and on the tops and sides of your toes.
According to the Mayo Clinic, common signs and symptoms of a corn include:
- A thick, rough area of skin
- A hardened, raised bump
- Tenderness or pain under the skin
Since corns are caused by friction and pressure, you can do a lot to prevent corn development. Remember to:
- Wear shoes with plenty of room for your toes
- Use padding or bandages in your shoes
- Soak your feet in warm water to soften corns
- After soaking, rub the corn with a pumice stone to remove hardened skin
- Moisturize your feet every day to keep your skin soft
If you have diabetes and you develop a corn or other foot problem, you need the help of an expert, your podiatrist. Self-treating foot issues when you are diabetic can lead to injuries that don’t heal and could get worse, resulting in a serious infection.
Fortunately, your podiatrist can recommend several treatment options to get rid of corns, including:
- Trimming away excess skin to reduce friction
- Corn-removing medication containing salicylic acid
- Custom-fit inserts or orthotics
- Surgery if the corn is caused from friction due to poor bone alignment
You don’t have to deal with painful corns by yourself. Get some relief from the pain by visiting your podiatrist. Your feet are important, so seek out the best care possible to protect your feet.
Don’t let chronic or persistent heel pain affect your daily life.
Heel pain is one of the most common issues that people of all ages deal with, from runners to those who stand on their feet all day. Of course, if your heel pain isn’t responding to rest and other simple self-care measures then it may be time to turn to our Evansville, IN, podiatrists Dr. Charlotte Reisinger and Dr. Dusky Farmer for further treatment options. Here are some of the ways to tackle recurring or persistent plantar fasciitis-related heel pain:
Give it a Rest
Your feet, we mean! Your feet handle a lot of pressure and force each and every day just from walking around, so you can only imagine how much more force is exerted on your feet when you workout. If you are dealing with plantar fasciitis heel pain then it’s time to take a break from running or other high-impact activities that will only make your symptoms worse.
Sport Some Shoe Inserts
If you are dealing with chronic or persistent heel pain that isn’t responding to rest or other at-home care then it might be time to talk to our Evansville, IN, foot doctor about whether your feet could benefit from custom-made shoe inserts, also referred to as orthotics. Custom orthotics can be made to fit your specific foot structure and the issues you are currently facing.
When to See a Doctor
It’s time to turn to a podiatrist if:
- Heel pain or swelling is severe
- Your heel pain isn’t responding to at-home care
- You can’t put weight on the foot
- There is a deformity or change in the shape of the heel
- You’ve never had heel pain before
Don’t let heel pain tell you how to go about your day. Call Reisinger Farmer Podiatry in Evansville, IN, today to find out how we can help you get back on your feet again.
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