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Posts for category: Foot Condition

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
November 21, 2022
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Ingrown Toenail  

An ingrown toenail is a toenail which has grown into the surrounding skin of your toe. If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail, you already know how painful it can be.

You are at higher risk of developing ingrown toenails if:

  • Your toenails curve under naturally
  • You’ve had an injury to your toe or toenail
  • You wear shoes that are too narrow for your toes

When you have an ingrown toenail, you will experience:

  • Swelling and pressure around your toenail
  • Bruising and redness around your toenail
  • Throbbing pain around your toenail

Your toenail and the nail bed may also appear dark and you may see pus or blood coming out from underneath your toenail.

You can do a lot to help prevent an ingrown toenail. Remember to:

  • Avoid cutting your toenails too short
  • Trim your toenails straight across, with no rounded corners
  • Always wear protective shoes which are appropriate to the activity you are doing
  • Avoid going barefoot to prevent toe and toenail injuries

When you develop an ingrown toenail, you can try a few simple home remedies like these to get relief:

  • Soak your toe in warm water several times each day
  • Place a small piece of dental floss under your toenail to guide the toenail upward
  • Apply antibiotic cream around your toenail
  • Wrap your toe in bandaging to protect it
  • Wear open toe shoes or sandals to help your toe heal

For stubborn, painful ingrown toenails that don’t respond to home therapies, your podiatrist can help you feel better, with several professional treatments for ingrown toenails. Your podiatrist may recommend:

  • Trimming off a section of your toenail that has grown into the skin
  • Lifting and separating the toenail from the surrounding skin
  • Removing the entire toenail so a new, healthy toenail can grow in its place

An ingrown toenail can make it painful to put on shoes, and it can also affect your ability to stay active. You don’t have to suffer with an ingrown toenail because your podiatrist can help. To find out more about the causes and treatment of ingrown toenails, call your podiatrist today.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
November 01, 2022
Category: Foot Condition

Heel pain is one of the most common problems your podiatrist treats. If you are suffering from heel pain, the pain can make it difficult to enjoy an active life. Don’t worry, because your podiatrist has several effective heel pain treatments to get you back on your feet.

You can develop heel pain from a few causes, including:

  • Stepping on hard or sharp objects, which can cause a heel bruise
  • Developing excess calcium deposits, which can cause a heel spur
  • Inflammation of the tissue on your heel, which can cause plantar fasciitis

Any of the causes listed above can cause moderate to severe heel pain, but plantar fasciitis is the most severe. Plantar fasciitis causes inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the thick band of tissue running across your heel.

When you have plantar fasciitis, you may experience:

  • Stabbing pain across your heel when you stand
  • Heel pain which is worse in the morning
  • Pain across your heel and on the side of your foot

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by:

  • Overpronation, or rolling your feet when you walk
  • Walking or standing on hard surfaces for long periods
  • Doing high impact activities like jogging or running

For mild heel pain, you can try a few simple home remedies like these:

  • Placing an ice pack on your heel several times each day
  • Doing arch stretches several times each day
  • Elevating your feet when you can, to take pressure off your feet
  • Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medication
  • Wearing heel inserts inside your shoes to cushion your heels

Moderate to severe heel pain should be evaluated by your podiatrist. There are several treatment options your podiatrist may recommend, including:

  • Custom-made orthotics and footwear to provide support
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce swelling
  • Physical therapy and stretching to improve flexibility
  • Prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medications to reduce inflammation

Heel pain is a common foot problem, but one which is easily treatable. Relief from heel pain is just a phone call away. To find out more about the causes and treatment of heel pain, call your podiatrist today.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
October 03, 2022
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Ankle Pain  

Your ankles are an important part of your body. Together with your legs and feet, your ankles help carry your body weight. They help you walk, run, and enjoy daily life. So, what happens when you have ankle pain? Your podiatrist can help.

Along with pain in your ankle, you may notice additional signs and symptoms like these:

  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Stiffness

When you have ankle pain, it can cause:

  • Instability when you are walking or standing
  • Difficulty standing on uneven surfaces
  • Tripping and falling, which can injure you further

So, what causes ankle pain? There are some obvious causes like injuring or spraining your ankle, but there are also some medical conditions which can lead to ankle pain. These conditions include:

  • Arthritis in the ankle joint
  • Tendonitis or a torn tendon in your ankle
  • A fractured or broken bone in your ankle
  • A nerve injury in your ankle

For mild ankle pain, you can try a few easy home therapies including:

  • Placing an ice pack on your ankle several times daily
  • Elevating and resting your ankle
  • Taking over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medication
  • Wearing an ankle support or brace

For moderate to severe ankle pain, or ankle pain which doesn’t resolve with home therapy, you need to see your podiatrist. Professional treatments your podiatrist may recommend include:

  • Oral steroid medications to reduce swelling
  • Prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medication to reduce inflammation
  • Physical therapy and stretches to maintain ankle flexibility and mobility
  • Devices including walking casts or braces to provide support and stability

You may need surgery if your ankle pain is due to:

  • A torn ligament
  • A torn tendon
  • A broken or dislocated ankle bone

Don’t suffer with ankle pain when relief is just a phone call away. Your podiatrist can help you find relief from ankle pain and get back on your feet. To find out more about the causes of ankle pain and how you can find relief, talk with an expert–your podiatrist. Call today.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
July 01, 2022
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Ingrown Toenails  

Prone to ingrown toenails? Here’s what you should know…

Let’s take a look at how to protect your ingrown toenails and when it’s time to turn to a podiatrist to treat this common foot problem,

Wear Properly Fitted Shoes

While this might seem obvious, you wouldn’t believe how many people try to cram their feet into shoes that bunch up their toes and put pressure on the nails. If you wear shoes like this, it’s time to stop. Shop for shoes with a large toe box; you should be able to wiggle your toes when wearing your shoes. Looking for new shoes? Go shoe shopping in the afternoon or evening when your feet are at the largest (yes, feet often swell throughout the day).

Trim Your Nails the Right Way

Yes, there is a right way to trim your toenails, and if you find yourself dealing with ingrown toenails throughout the year, then your trimming technique could be to blame. While you want to trim your toenails regularly, you want to ensure you aren’t trimming them too short. The nails should be level with the tips of your toes; any lower, and you risk ingrown toenails. You also should never cut or trim the edges of the nail into a curve; nails should always be cut straight across.

Protect Your Feet

Are you a powerlifter or an athlete? Do you pound the pavement or work on a construction site? Suppose your daily routine, workout or work is labor-intensive and prone to injuries. In that case, you want to ensure you wear the proper protective footwear to prevent bars, beams and other hard objects from hitting your foot, as injuries to the nail can also lead to ingrown toenails.

Know When to See a Podiatrist

While ingrown toenails can often be managed with home care, there are times when you will want to see a podiatrist for treatment. It’s time to turn to a podiatrist if,

  • You have diabetes, and you develop any foot problems, including an ingrown toenail
  • Your ingrown toenail becomes severely painful, swollen or red
  • Pus or drainage is coming from the toenail
  • You don’t know if you’re dealing with an ingrown toenail or not
  • You don’t see an improvement in your symptoms within a day or two of home care

Dealing with ingrown toenails? Your podiatrist can provide your feet with the treatment they need to prevent further issues. Call yours today.

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
August 31, 2021
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Cavus Foot  
High Arches in ChildrenWhen babies are born they are born with flat feet. Typically the arches of the feet don’t develop until children are 3-4 years old; however, sometimes the arches of the feet develop higher than they should, which can cause the feet to flex. This is known as cavus foot and this problem typically occurs within the first 10 years of a child’s life. Since this condition can impact mobility you must see a podiatrist if this is something you think your child might be dealing with.

The Problem with Cavus Foot

Cavus foot needs to be addressed right away by a podiatrist, as this condition can lead to a variety of issues for your child. Cavus foot is more likely to lead to imbalances within the feet, which in turn can also impact the function of the ankle, legs, hips, and even lower back. Children and teens with cavus foot may be more likely to deal with aches, pains, and strains within the feet, ankles, legs, and hips. This condition can also lead to metatarsalgia, Achilles tendonitis, and chronic ankle sprains.

Causes of Cavus Foot

In many cases, a muscle or nerve disorder that impacts how the muscles function causes cavus foot. This leads to imbalances that cause the distinctive high arches of this condition. Of course, other conditions such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, muscular dystrophy, and spina bifida can also increase the chances of developing cavus foot.

Treating Cavus Foot

You must be watching your little ones as they start to walk to see if you notice any differences in how they move. Catching these issues early offers your child the best chance at improved mobility and less risk for developing foot problems later on. Your podiatrist may work together with a neurologist to pinpoint whether a nerve disorder could be the underlying cause.

Once your foot specialist determines the root cause of your child’s cavus foot then they can map out a customized treatment plan. Milder cases may benefit from more conservative treatment options such as custom orthotics and arch supports; however, surgery is often necessary to correct this problem.

Any issues with mobility, particularly in children, should be addressed and assessed as quickly as possible. Turn to a podiatrist that also specializes in providing pediatric podiatry to children and teens, as they will be able to provide the most thorough treatment plan for your little one.