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Flip Flops May Have Negative Effects on the Feet

Many people choose to wear flip flops in the warmer months because of the many styles to choose from and their simplicity to wear. However, wearing flip flops can be harmful to the feet. Some of the ways the feet can be negatively affected include having a different gait, or walking style, and the toes can cramp from trying to keep the shoe on the foot. Additionally, the skin on the heels can become dry and cracked from frequently wearing this backless shoe, and the ankles may start to point inward. They typically do not provide any type of arch support, and if these types of shoes must be worn, it is suggested that they be worn for short periods of time. They are appropriate to wear to the beach, but are frowned upon if worn all day. If you would like additional information about how wearing flip flops can affect the feet, please speak with a podiatrist who can address any concerns you may have.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Frank Henry, DPM from Marble Falls, TX. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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

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What Causes Cracked Heels

For any person who cares about the health and appearance of their feet, cracked heels can pose a unique problem. This unattractive and potentially uncomfortable condition occurs when the skin surrounding the heels becomes thick and dry, producing a cracked texture. It is very important to familiarize yourself with the causes of cracked heels as this can reduce your chance of developing the condition. The principal cause of this ailment is lacking sufficient moisture in the skin of the heels. For example, if someone fails to properly moisturize and protect the elasticity of the skin in their heels, they are increasing their chances of developing cracked heels. Additionally, prolonged exposure to water can also cause cracked heels in some cases. This is because water can diminish important oils in the heels that keep the skin elastic. Therefore, if you are someone who spends a significant amount of time in damp or moist environments, you may be putting yourself at a greater risk of developing cracked heels. These are just some of the many causes of cracked heels. To learn more, contact a podiatrist who can help with your cracked heels.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Frank Henry, DPM from Marble Falls, TX. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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

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Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

The Pain in Your Ankle May Be Arthritis

When you feel pain and swelling in the ankle that is not the direct result of an injury, it is likely caused by inflammatory, rheumatoid or crystal arthritis (gout). This condition can also be brought on as a side effect of a previously broken ankle or recurring ankle sprains from sports activities. Other symptoms include reduced mobility and a grinding noise when you move the joint. The main cause is a lack of cartilage, resulting in bone touching bone when you put any weight on your ankle. It may help to use a cane or other device, to take some of the weight off your lower extremities when you stand or walk. In addition, taking anti-inflammatory medication can help to reduce the pain. Wearing a brace to limit joint movement can also be effective. If the pain in your ankle continues or worsens, it is probably wise to make an appointment with a podiatrist, who can fully examine your ankle and offer other treatment options, depending on the severity of the arthritis.

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Frank Henry, DPM from Marble Falls, TX. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

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

 

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Arthritis in the Big Toe

If you feel pain in the joint of your big toe, especially while you are active, it could be “big toe arthritis” or Hallux rigidus. This arthritic condition typically impacts people over age 50, is more apt to affect women, and is the most common arthritic condition of the foot. The hallux metarsal-phalangeal (MTP) joint connects the head of the first forefoot bone to the base of the first toe bone and to two tiny bones under that joint. Signs of this problem are swelling of this joint and limited movement and bending of the big toe. A bump, like a bunion or bone spur, can develop on the top of this toe joint, which can get further aggravated by rubbing against the inside of a shoe. Causes for this condition are not known, however prior injury to the big toe, differences in foot anatomy, and genetics can play a role in its development. Treatments can range from being prescribed a rigid orthotic to a cortisone shot, and as a last resort, surgery. A podiatrist can properly diagnose and offer alternative treatments to lessen the pain associated with Hallux rigidus.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact Frank Henry, DPM from Marble Falls, TX. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Marble Falls, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot

Do You Suffer From Painful Feet?

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

What Is a Navicular Stress Fracture?

One of the foot’s 26 bones is called the navicular bone, which sits just in front of the ankle on the top of your foot. A stress fracture of the navicular bone is commonly the result of explosive and repetitive action of the feet, especially during running fast or jumping. During activity, the navicular bone may be squeezed between the two bones in front of and in back of it, causing stress. Symptoms of a navicular stress fracture are an ache in the midfoot area, including the inside of the arch, and pain if you press on the bone. This discomfort may subside once activity is stopped and the foot rests, but is likely to recur when the action starts again. If you have pain when flexing your foot upward, you may have a navicular fracture. A visit to a podiatrist for diagnostic imaging tests is a good idea. Treatment options, depending on the severity of the injury, include a walking splint, a full cast, or surgery. 

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Frank Henry, DPM from Marble Falls, TX. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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

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How to Care For Your Feet if You Have PAD

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a circulatory condition that reduces blood flow to the limbs. It can lead to leg pain and cramping when walking, coldness in the feet and lower legs, no or weak pulse in the legs, non-healing sores, and more. If you have PAD, you are more at risk of developing ulcers and infections, so it is important to take good care of your feet with the following tips. Keep your feet clean, dry, and moisturized. Your toenails should be trimmed straight across, but not so short that the nail grows into the surrounding skin and causes an ingrown toenail. Keep your feet protected from extreme heat or cold, always wear shoes and socks, and never go barefoot. You should inspect your feet entirely every day. Look for any cuts, bruises, bumps, swelling or red spots in the skin that may develop into a wound. Because of your condition, you should seek the care of a podiatrist if you detect any cuts or possible infections in order to receive proper treatment, and to avoid making the situation worse.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Frank Henry, DPM from Marble Falls, TX. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

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

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Faulty Pronation Can Cause Foot Problems

Pronation, a natural part of walking and running, specifically involves how you place the heel on the ground and the subsequent transfer of weight to the rest of your foot. People with normal pronation have a normal arch and the weight is transferred in line. People with flat feet generally overpronate, causing the arch to roll inward. With underpronation, the foot rolls outward as the weight is distributed. Many foot problems are associated with over- or under-pronation. Among them are bunions, arch pain, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, calluses and corns, ankle sprains and hammertoe. You may have pronation problems if your heels or knees turn inward while standing, if you develop bunions or flat feet, or if you wear out the soles and heels of your shoes quickly. Obesity, pregnancy or repetitive pounding of the feet on a hard surface contribute to the problem, along with wearing high heels and standing for long periods in them. One solution for pronation problems is wearing custom orthotics to help distribute the weight properly. A visit to your podiatrist is suggested to have a full diagnosis of your gait and consequent foot problems, and to be fitted for the appropriate shoe inserts. 

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Frank Henry, DPM from Marble Falls, TX. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

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