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Monday, 26 February 2018 00:00

Causes and Treatment Options for Bunions

If you have a growth on the bottom of the big toe that appears to be of a bony consistency, you may have what is referred to as a bunion. Symptoms of this condition may consist of pain and swelling around the big toe, in addition to the area feeling sore, and appearing red. They are often caused by a predisposed inherited gene. Additionally, choosing to wear shoes that fit poorly may be another possible cause of bunions. This condition may be more prevalent in women than men because of the type of shoes that are worn. This may occur if high heels are worn frequently, causing the toes to be cramped into a small area, which eventually may change the structure of the foot. Treatment options may include using bunion pads which will cushion the affected area, and may possibly eliminate any discomfort. A consultation with a podiatrist may be considered to discuss proper treatment techniques which may include surgery.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of Hill Country Advanced Foot and Ankle Center, P.A.. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

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Monday, 19 February 2018 00:00

Symptoms of a Toenail Fungus

White or yellow toenails is often indicative of a toenail fungus. Severe fungal infections can cause thickening of the nail, and even cause it to crumble and fall off the toe. If the feet are prone to excessive sweating, the chances may be increased for developing a toenail fungus. Additionally, this condition is contagious, and is often spread by walking barefoot in public places such as on shower floors and around community pools. Treatment remedies that may aid in helping the foot to feel better may include using a foot powder designed to eliminate moisture. Choosing to change socks often and keeping the toenails dry and trimmed will help the toes to feel better. A consultation with a podiatrist is recommended for treatment options.

For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of Hill Country Advanced Foot and Ankle Center, P.A.. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals &  Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Talcum powder – applying powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

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

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Recent research has suggested that obesity affecting children may contribute to their feet becoming damaged, possibly resulting in loss of stability. Walking can become difficult, and balance may be affected, which may encourage slower mobility.  Alignment and the overall function of the foot may suffer, often caused by pressure the joints must endure from the additional weight. If your child is overweight, it’s important to incorporate a lifestyle consisting of dietary changes and exercise habits that promote the general well-being of the feet.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Hill Country Advanced Foot and Ankle Center, P.A.. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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

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Tuesday, 06 February 2018 00:00

To Wear or Not To Wear High Heels

Wearing high heels may negate the fact that the feet act as shock absorbers. If proper shoes are worn, cushioning in the soles of the shoes generally protects the body from the constant battering incurred while walking and running. However, if the choice to wear high heels is made, the body’s weight shifts onto the balls of the feet, forcing the toes to be crammed into a small area and potentially resulting in all kinds of conditions. There are typically several reasons to avoid wearing high heels, one of which is abnormal movement occurring in the ankles. This can result from the foot being forced to bend forward, possibly restricting circulation in the feet. Additionally, the Achilles tendon is often affected which may cause pain in the calves. If high heels are consistently worn, the ankle and calf tendons may lose flexibility, making it difficult to walk. Good advice is to wear high heels as little as possible.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Hill Country Advanced Foot and Ankle Center, P.A.. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
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