Posts for category: Foot Care
What are orthotics?
These specialized shoe inserts are a little different from the ones you can find at your local drugstore. Orthotics are special, custom-made shoe inserts designed and fabricated by your podiatrist to specifically fit your foot and its unique needs. There are many reasons why a podiatrist may recommend orthotics.
Sometimes orthotics are used to alleviate symptoms and improve common foot, leg, or even back problems, while other times your podiatrist may recommend them to improve the support and health of your feet to prevent problems in the first place.
Do I need orthotics?
Orthotics is just one way to treat foot and leg problems and your doctor may recommend orthotics if you are dealing with,
- Leg, hip, or back pain
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Plantar fasciitis
- Certain injuries to the foot or ankle
Orthotics can help people of all ages and backgrounds, from athletic kids and adults to those who are overweight and seniors. Feet continue to change as we get older, and as aches and pains set in, custom orthotics could be what you need to help make getting around as easy as it once was.
Types of Orthotics
There are many different kinds of materials that can be used to create orthotics. The type of condition you are dealing with will most likely help your podiatrist determine which material to use.
Orthotics range from soft and flexible to hard and rigid. Those with plantar fasciitis or diabetic feet are more likely to benefit from the cushioning and additional support of soft orthotics while athletes and those who often wear dress shoes are more likely to benefit from rigid orthotics.
If you are interested in orthotics and how they could help you, talk with your podiatrist to learn more.
You must care for your feet daily if you are diabetic. Wounds often take longer to heal with diabetes, so there is an increased risk of developing an infection. Small or minor foot wounds are not always readily noticeable and can lead to infection, so it is essential to check the feet daily. Dr. Dallin Greene and Dr. Nathan Judd, the knowledgeable foot doctors at Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute in Bozeman, Butte, and Anaconda MT can help you develop a diabetic foot care plan to help you stay healthy.
Ways to Care for Diabetic Feet
One of the reasons it is so important to develop good foot care habits is that wounds tend to take longer to heal for patients with diabetes, due to slower blood circulation and other factors. The longer the healing process, the more risk there is of developing an infection. An untreated infection that spreads can lead to more serious health problems, including the possibility of amputation.
There are several steps you can take to care for your diabetic feet. For example, scheduling regular foot exams with your skilled Bozeman, MT foot doctor is an excellent way to ensure your feet remain healthy. The podiatrist can examine your feet for wounds, injuries, circulation problems, or signs of infection and treat potential issues right away. Steps you can take to care for your feet daily at home include:
- Moisturizing the feet daily
- Wearing comfortable shoes
- Wearing loose socks to bed
- Checking for foot wounds daily
- Avoid soaking the feet in the water
- Keeping the feet clean, warm, and dry
- Wearing warm socks and shoes during cold weather
- Preventing ingrown toenails by trimming nails straight across
- Improving blood circulation by periodically stretching and moving about during the day
Checking for Foot Wounds
Checking for foot wounds daily plays an essential role in proper diabetic foot care. When examining the feet, look for scratches, cuts, blisters, bruises, redness, punctures, and ingrown toenails. If any wounds or injuries are discovered, apply appropriate first aid measures right away. For example, a cut or puncture on the feet should be cleaned, dried, and bandaged to help prevent infection. It is also a good idea to see a Bozeman, MT foot doctor, or another doctor to ensure the wound is healing properly.
Taking care of your feet when you have diabetes helps prevent infection, which can promote better health. Dr. Dallin Greene or Dr. Nathan Judd can assist you with developing an effective daily foot care routine. To schedule an appointment with one of our foot doctors, call Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute in Bozeman MT at (406) 206-6366. You can also call (406) 782-2278 to contact our office in Butte or our satellite location in Anaconda.
- Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain and swelling
- Ice the bunion for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day to also alleviate pain and swelling (conversely, you may choose to soak your bunion in warm water to ease symptoms)
- Consider getting prescription orthotics (shoe inserts) to place within your shoes to take the pressure off the deformed joint and to reduce pain with walking or standing
- Wear a night splint, which will straighten out the big toe while you sleep to reduce morning pain and stiffness
- Only wear shoes that have a wide toe box that doesn’t put pressure on the bunion. Avoid high heels and shoes with pointed toes.
- Perform stretching exercises every day to alleviate stiffness and to improve mobility and range of motion within the feet
- Apply a non-medicated pad over the bunion before putting on shoes to prevent friction and the formation of a callus
Should I consider bunion surgery?
Worried that you might be dealing with a bunion? Experiencing regular bunion pain? If so, a foot and ankle professional can assess the problem and provide you with a customized treatment plan to help you get your bunion pain under control.
- Ingrown toenails
- Chronic heel pain
- A broken foot or ankle
- Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in the feet
- Severe pain
- Difficulty bearing weight on a foot or ankle
- A visible foot deformity
- Signs of infection (e.g. redness; swelling; fever)
- An ulcer or open wound