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Posts for: November, 2019

By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
November 14, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Plantar Fasciitis  

While heel pain is a common problem this doesn’t mean that it should just be brushed aside or considered a small matter. Untreated heel pain can lead to long-term pain and other problems. While there are many causes of heel pain the most common cause is plantar fasciitis. This condition causes irritation and inflammation within the thick band of tissue (known as the plantar fascia) that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel.

The telltale sign of plantar fasciitis is that the heel pain occurs under the heel beneath the heel bone. The pain may radiate to the arches of the feet because the plantar fascia provides support to the arches, as well. Heel pain may be worse first thing in the morning or after long bouts of inactivity. You may notice that your heel pain gets better with movement and exercise but gets worse immediately after.

Many people can treat plantar fasciitis effectively with at-home care; however, if your symptoms are severe, become worse or aren’t responding to conservative home treatments after five days then it’s time to see your podiatrist. A podiatrist will be able to provide you with answers as to what is causing your heel pain and how to best treat it.

Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Simple, conservative measures are usually all that’s needed to treat heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. This includes:

  • Resting and avoiding exercise and high-impact activities that will make symptoms worse
  • Icing the heel and arches of the feet up to 20 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
  • Wearing supportive shoes with a low heel
  • Placing custom orthotics within shoes for additional support
  • Performing specific foot stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce pain and swelling
  • Wearing a night splint to reduce morning pain and stiffness

Your foot doctor can show you a variety of exercises to perform that can alleviate heel pain and stiffness associated with plantar fasciitis. A podiatrist can also make prescription shoe inserts to provide your feet with the proper cushioning and structural support they need to reduce pressure points and improve the biomechanics of your feet.

Those with severe and persistent heel pain may require more aggressive treatment options such as ultrasound, steroid injections or shockwave therapy. Chronic plantar fasciitis may even require surgery to get rid of inflammation and tension within the plantar fascia. Surgery is rare but may be necessary when other treatment options have failed to properly manage and treat symptoms.

If you are dealing with heel pain for the first time it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist who can determine the cause of your pain and provide you with a customized treatment plan to get your heel pain under control.


By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
November 07, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Bunions  

Find out when you should turn to a podiatrist for personalized bunion treatment.

When the big toe begins to lean inward on the smaller toes this often leads to the characteristic bump that is associated with a bunion. This Bunionsfoot deformity most commonly affects the joint at the base of the big toe; however, it can also affect the smaller joints of the toes (this condition is known as a bunionettes). From the office of our Bozeman, MT, podiatrist Dr. Dallin Greene and Dr. Nathan Judd, find out more about treating a bunion and when to see a doctor.

The goals of bunion treatment are to alleviate pain and swelling and to prevent the bunion from getting worse. Here are some of the ways to reduce your bunion symptoms.

 

Wear the Proper Shoes

Your Bozeman, MT, foot doctor can provide you with specific recommendations for the appropriate footwear to wear when you have bunions. Along with finding properly fitted shoes that don’t put pressure on the bunion, it’s also important that you avoid shoes with pointed toes and high heels. Wearing appropriate footwear can prevent a bunion from getting worse.

 

Consider Shoe Inserts

While the shoes you wear are important for keeping your feet healthy and free of bunion-related aches and pains, you may also want to talk with your podiatrist about the benefits of wearing custom shoe inserts. Prescription orthotics are made specifically for you and the condition you are dealing with to ensure that they provide the proper cushioning, support and shock absorption.

 

Icing

A simple and easy way to alleviate pain and swelling is to ice the bunion for up to 20 minutes at a time when you notice your bunion acting up. Make sure to always wrap ice packs in a towel before applying to the skin (placing ice directly on skin can lead to serious burns). Conversely, some patients prefer warm soaks to ease their bunion symptoms. Try both out to see which one provides you with the pain relief you’re looking for.

 

Splinting

Splinting the foot can help realign the deformed joint at the base of the big toe. While it will not correct the alignment it can take pressure off the joint, particularly when you are sleeping. Splinting the bunion at night before bed can reduce morning achiness and pain.

Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute in Bozeman and Butte, MT, is dedicated to providing patients of all ages with the comprehensive foot and ankle care they need. If you are dealing with a bunion, make sure you are treating it properly. Call our office today at (406) 782-2278.


By Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute
November 05, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Foot Care   Baby Feet  

A child's feet grow rapidly during the first year, reaching almost half of their adult foot size. This is why podiatrists consider the first year to be the most important in the development of the feet. Proper care at a young age is essential for healthy development.  Since many adult foot ailments develop in childhood, periodic visits to your child’s podiatrist and basic foot care can help minimize these problems later in life.

A child’s feet are formed from soft, pliable cartilage which makes them more susceptible to deformities. A young child can be affected by foot conditions such as:

  • Intoeing
  • Out-toeing
  • Flat feet
  • Warts
  • Heel pain

Tips for Parents

Parents can help promote normal, healthy foot development for their baby.

  • Examine your baby’s feet regularly. If you detect anything unusual, contact your child’s pediatrician or podiatrist right away.
  • Encourage exercise.  Lying uncovered allows the baby to kick and move feet and toes freely so not to inhibit normal development.
  • Cover feet loosely. Tight clothing or covers restrict movement.
  • Alternate your baby’s position several times a day. Lying too long in one spot may place unnecessary strain on the feet and legs.

Growing Up

As your baby continues to grow and develop, so will the feet. It may be necessary to change shoe and sock size every few months, as tight-fitting footwear can aggravate pre-existing conditions. After your child takes their first steps, you should also carefully observe walking patterns. Intoeing, out-toeing, and gait abnormalities can be corrected when they are detected early.

A baby’s feet will carry them throughout life, so it’s important to begin good foot care at a young age. Neglecting your child’s foot health invites problems in other parts of the body, such as the back and legs. Whether you have questions about your child’s foot health or suspect a problem with the development of your child’s feet, please contact our office. We want every step your child makes toward adulthood to be pain-free and easy!