My Blog
By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
June 04, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Footwear   Foot Care   Child Podiatry  

While it might not be something you think about often (or at all), the health of your child’s feet is important. Your child is growing by leaps and bounds and certain habits and other factors can affect how your child’s feet develop or if they experience injuries or other problems down the road. Unfortunately, a lot of children end up wearing shoes that are far too small for their feet, which can lead to pain, structural imbalances and certain foot deformities.

We know that going shoe shopping is certainly not a walk in the park for most parents; however, it’s an important component to making sure your child maintains healthy feet. There are many things to think about when it comes to picking the right shoes, and your podiatrist can also provide suggestions and tips to make the world of shoe shopping easier for you and your little one.

Some factors that you should consider when shopping for the right shoes include:

  • Your child’s age
  • The shoe’s material
  • Your child’s shoe size
  • The shoe’s structure

A good rule of thumb is to shop for shoes every 2 months when your child is between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. Once they reach three and four, you’ll want to purchase new shoes approximately every four months. At the point that your child is five or six years old, every six months is a good time to swap out old shoes for new ones.

As you might already know, the bones of a baby or infant’s feet are soft and haven’t fully developed. To protect your child’s feet it’s important that they wear socks and soft shoes. Make sure that as your child’s feet grow that the toes have room to wiggle and move around within the shoes. Bunched-up toes are a major no-no!

Since your little one is growing by leaps and bounds it is important that you are constantly checking their shoe size for changes. Remember that feet swell throughout the day, so shoe shopping should be done at the end of the day when feet are at their largest. If you aren’t sure what size shoe your little one wears, you can ask one of the store’s footwear specialists for help.

Of course, you can’t forget the importance of choosing the right socks, as well. Socks can prevent your little one from blisters, calluses and other foot problems. They can also wick away sweat and prevent fungal infections. When it comes to choosing the right socks for your little one consider the type of fabric, your child’s activity level, the size of your child’s feet and sensitivities they might have to certain fabrics.

When in doubt, you should talk to a foot doctor who can provide you with advice, answer any questions you might have about your child’s developing feet and also provide comprehensive care, when needed.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
May 24, 2018
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Heel Pain  

Heel PainWhen experiencing heel pain, some people keep on with the activities which seem to cause it. Does this describe you? Don't ignore sore, stiff, painful heels. Instead, see your podiatrist in Butte and Bozeman, MT, Dr. Dallin Greene or Dr. Nathan Judd, at Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute. The most common reason for heel pain is an inflammatory condition called plantar fasciitis, and it can be treated successfully.

What is plantar fasciitis?

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says plantar fasciitis causes most heel pain, particularly in people who wear poorly supportive shoes, are overweight, are on their feet continually, or who are sports enthusiasts involved in a lot of running and jumping. The broad band of connective tissue between the heel bone and the base of the toes becomes stressed, overstretched, and irritated. Without proper rest and support, heel pain and stiffness begins in the morning and may continue through the day.

Solving heel pain

Many foot and ankle conditions, including heel pain, are more easily alleviated then you may think. For instance, plantar fasciitis rarely requires surgery, but rather, common sense interventions from your Butte and Bozeman podiatrist help tremendously.

When you come to Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute, Dr. Greene or Dr. Judd will look at your foot and watch you walk. He looks for areas of tenderness, redness, and swelling and also how you place your feet on the floor as you ambulate.

Many people with heel pain also have heel spurs, tiny benign projections off the front of the calcaneus bone. So, the foot doctor likely will take X-rays or other imaging to see what's going on inside your foot. Afterwards, you'll discuss your customized treatment plan.

Treatment for heel pain often includes:

  • Stretching exercises (particularly in the morning)
  • A change in shoes
  • Shoe inserts, or orthotics, custom-made to correct gait problems or to support flat feet or high arches
  • Injections of corticosteroids
  • Physical therapy
  • Shoe padding
  • Night splints to stretch the plantar fascia

Get some relief

Heel pain tends to progress; so if you're in pain, come see the friendly team at Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute in Butte and Bozeman, MT. Dr. Greene and Dr. Judd will get you feeling better and keep you active, too. Please call (406) 782-2278.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
May 15, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Health   Aging Feet  

As you age, it becomes even more important to take care of yourself, especially your feet. Foot health tends to decline in seniors for many reasons, including:

∙       Years of walking

∙       Improper footwear

∙       Poor circulation

∙       Diseases related to foot problems such as diabetes and gout

∙       Improperly trimming toenails

When problems are ignored, they may worsen and lead to more dangerous issues. There are easy ways to take care of aging feet and nonsurgical treatments to relieve pain.

When to talk to your doctor

It’s important to know when symptoms are just common aches and pains and when they might be something more serious. Even if your pain isn’t related to something serious, you still need to take care of your feet since they are the foundation of the body. Aging foot pains may cause pain in the knees, hips, or back.

Some symptoms to look out for are:

∙       Brittle or discolored toenails

∙       Discoloration or cold/numb feet

∙       Severe pain in feet and ankles

∙       Blisters or cracked skin

∙       Sores and wounds

Tips for maintaining healthy feet

Taking care of feet is simple and will pay off in the long run. Some easy tips for foot health are:

∙       Inspect your feet and nails regularly

∙       Use soap to wash your feet and always thoroughly dry them

∙       Use lotion to prevent dry, itchy, and cracked skin

∙       Wear properly fitted shoes and clean socks

∙       Trim your toenails regularly

∙       Don’t cross your legs

∙       Elevate your feet when seated

Taking care of aging feet is simple, and your dedicated foot doctors are here to help. Foot care is something you shouldn’t avoid, and individuals that aren’t able to take care of their feet are encouraged to see their podiatrist for foot care appointments. If you have any questions about taking care of your aging feet, call our office today to make an appointment!

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
May 01, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

BunionsWhat is a Bunion?

Are you dealing with a bunion? A bunion is a protrusion of the bone at the base of the big toe. While a bunion may seem like a bump, according to the (APMA) American Podiatric Medical Association a bunion is actually the enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe – the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. While bunions are a common foot disorder, it is not something that you should ignore as bunions can cause discomfort and become inflamed if left untreated.
 

What Causes Bunions?

Bunions can be hereditary and aggravated by the shoes you wear, especially high heels or shoes that don’t have enough room for your toes. Certain factors can also contribute to the development of bunions, such as if you have flat feet or low arches or if your feet pronate (when the ankles roll in towards each other during movement and cause excessive and prolonged pressure on the joints in the feet). If you are dealing with bunions, or think that you are, it’s important to seek help from a qualified podiatrist to get the care you need to relieve your pain and discomfort.
 

How a Podiatrist Can Help

Your podiatrist may recommend certain conservative at home steps you can take to minimize the discomfort. The first thing they may recommend is that you look at or change the kind of shoes you wear. It’s important to find shoes that are wide enough to accommodate your toes. Shoes such as high heels are likely to make the problem worse. Bunion pads can also help with your discomfort.
Severe bunion pain can restrict your mobility. Untreated bunions can continue to get worse if you don’t do something about them and can lead to other issues such as calluses and corns, or you may experience pain or redness on the site of the bunion, as well as swelling.
Other treatment options include orthotics or a combination of physical therapy and medication to relieve pressure and inflammation of the bunion. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to resolve the issue.
 

Prevention is Key

We all like to remain active, and oftentimes it is the result of this activity that can make your bunion pain worse. You should visit your podiatrist if you notice any issues so they can be caught and treated as early as possible. Call our office today.
By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
April 17, 2018
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Varicose Veins  

Varicose veins are very easy to spot, which is why patients usually want them to disappear. They're a cosmetic issue but also a potentially painful podiatric issue that can be treated by a foot doctor. Learn what causes varicose veins and how you may be able to reduce their appearance with a podiatrist's help.

About Varicose Veins
When the veins appear to pop out of the skin on your legs, thighs and feet, they are called varicose veins. They often look blue or dark in appearance and can cause pain in the legs. This is because the veins are swelling from too much blood. It’s a problem that’s related to poor circulation and vascular health. Because the legs and feet are furthest from the heart, it’s more difficult for blood to flow back up through the body. It’s a condition that occurs most often in older women.

What Causes Them?
The Chicago Vein Institute says that about half of people over the age of 50 have varicose veins. They can develop for a number of reasons:

  • Obesity (the extra weight affects your circulation and puts stress on your legs when walking)
  • Pregnancy (again, due to the added weight)
  • Standing for long periods of times at a job
  • Heredity (patients who have two parents with varicose veins are more likely to get them)

Reducing the Appearance of Varicose Veins
Consider making your podiatrist your first line of defense when trying to treat varicose veins. Here are a few possible ways your foot doctor can help reduce the appearance of dark, swollen veins:

  • Taking an ultrasound of the legs to check the flow of blood (ensure there are no blockages)
  • Physical therapy and exercises to get the blood circulating properly
  • Prescribing orthotic device to relieve pressure on your feet when standing or walking
  • Compression stocks to reduce swelling and stimulate circulation
  • Leg massage therapy
  • Surgery in certain cases (sclerotherapy, laser and endoscopic vein surgeries are options)

Get Help from a Podiatrist
Relief from unsightly varicose veins can be found at your podiatrist’s office. Contact a foot doctor in your area to discuss treatments that will help you feel more confident in the appearance and function of the veins in your legs and feet.





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