Posts for category: Foot Care
Ingrown toenails are a foot condition that may require medical supervision. If you are suffering from ingrown toenails in Bozeman, Butte, or Anaconda, MT, our qualified podiatrists, Dr. Dallin Greene and Dr. Nathan Judd of Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute, are ready to help.
What are ingrown toenails?
It is a foot disorder that results from abnormal growth of the toenail toward the surrounding skin. This may cause pain and swell in the area. It occurs mostly in the biggest toe.
What are the possible causes of ingrown toenails?
In the majority of the cases, the condition appears due to improper practices from the patients. But in some cases, the genetic factor may play an important role. The following are some of the incorrect practices and foot care routines that may exaggerate the problem:
- Cutting your toenails at an angle or too short
- Wearing tight shoes and socks continuously
- Neglecting daily foot hygiene practices
- Keeping your feet wet after washing them
What are the symptoms of the condition?
The first and most common sign of ingrown toenails is the tenderness with some painful sensations in the affected toe. When the toe is left untreated, fluids may accumulate in the area if it is infected.
How is it treated?
The early treatment of ingrown toenails in Bozeman, Butte, or Anaconda, MT, will save you time and money. You can start with some at-home therapy as long as there is no infection. Foot soaks in water and foot messaging are highly recommended to relieve the inflammation and reduce the pain. For advanced cases, antibiotics or even minor surgical intervention can be recommended.
How to prevent the problem and the recurrence?
To preserve the improvement you achieved from the treatment of the ingrown toenail and prevent the recurrence of the disease or even prevent it from occurring in the first place, you should improve your foot care practices. Wearing comfortable footwear, keeping your feet clean and dry, and cutting your toenails properly without curves are helpful.
If you are suffering from ingrown toenails in Bozeman, Butte, or Anaconda, MT, contact Dr. Judd and Dr. Greene of Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute. Call us at (406) 206-6366 for the Bozeman, MT, office, or (406) 782-2278 for the Anaconda, and Butte, MT, offices.
Are neuromas dangerous?
It’s important not to confuse a neuroma with Morton’s neuroma. A neuroma is a benign growth that develops on the nerves; however, Morton’s neuroma is not a growth; it’s simply inflammation and swelling of the tissue around the nerves that lie between the toes (often between the third and fourth toes).
What causes Morton’s neuroma?
Any kind of intense pressure or compression placed on these toes can lead to inflammation of the tissue around the nerves. Some people are more at risk for developing Morton’s neuroma. Risk factors include:
- Playing certain sports such as running or tennis, which puts pressure on the balls of the feet
- Wearing high heels with a heel that’s more than 2 inches tall
- Wearing narrow shoes or shoes with pointed toes
- Certain foot conditions such as bunions or hammertoes
- Flat feet or high arches (or other congenital foot problems)
Since this condition involves inflamed tissue, you won’t notice a growth or bump in the area; however, you may simply experience pain that is gradual and minor at first and is alleviated by not wearing shoes. Symptoms often get worse with time and result in:
- Swelling between the toes
- A sharp burning pain between the toes that gets worse with activity
- Tingling or numbness in the foot
- Feeling like there is a pebble or stone in your shoe (often at the balls of the feet)
- Pain that’s intensified by standing on your tiptoes or wearing high heels or pointed-toe shoes
Most people can alleviate their symptoms through simple lifestyle modifications including:
- Massaging your feet
- Shoe pads
- Custom shoe inserts (that a podiatrist can craft just for you)
- Supportive footwear that offers shock-absorption
- Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs
- Steroid injections
- Local anesthetic injections
As we age, our feet will change shape and size, which can also predispose them to certain problems. This also means that your foot needs will change, particularly concerning footwear. Here’s how your feet will change:
- Loss of fat pads
- Dry, cracked skin
- The development or worsening of certain deformities such as hammertoes or bunions
- Widening or lengthening of the feet
- Loss of bone density (which can increase your risk for fracture)
- Changes in gait due to certain conditions such as neuropathy or arthritis
- Diabetic-related foot problems
- Issues with balance
You must look for shoes that provide proper cushioning and supportive insoles so that your feet can tackle the day-to-day activities. If you have foot problems or issues with gait, then you’ll want to turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Together, you can decide the proper footwear and whether prescription orthotics can also provide your feet with additional support and cushioning that footwear alone can’t.
You should turn to a specialty shoe store where they can analyze your gait, properly measure your feet, and determine whether the shoes you’re getting may require additional modifications including orthotics. For example, some shoes and brands adjust to foot swelling throughout the day, while others provide enough space to place orthotics.
- Any shoes with pointed toes
- Shoes with heels over 2 inches
- Shoes that aren’t non-slip
- Sandals or flip-flops
- Shoes that don’t have a firm sole (including your slippers)
- Old, worn shoes (that simply need to be tossed)
- Shoes with rocker soles (particularly if you have gait problems)
How to Treat Sprained Ankles
Most minor sprains can be properly managed through simple at-home treatment and care. Conservative treatment is typically the first line of defense against minor ankle and foot problems, including minor sprains. While more moderate to severe sprains will require more aggressive attention and treatment options, the RICE method is ideal for most ankle sprains. Here’s what RICE stands for:
No matter the severity of your sprain, your podiatrist will be the first to tell you to stay off the ankle and to rest as much as possible to give the ankle time to heal. If the sprain is more moderate or severe, your podiatrist may recommend wearing a protective boot or using crutches to help stabilize the foot and ankle and take pressure off the ankle while standing or walking.
Especially for the first 72 hours after an ankle injury, it’s a good idea to use ice as much as possible to reduce swelling and pain. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply to the ankle for up to 20 minutes at a time. You can continue to do this every few hours throughout the day.
Your podiatrist can also show you the proper way to wrap and bandage your ankle, which not only promotes proper circulation and blood flow to the area to aid in healing but also can provide additional support and stabilization for the ankle. It’s important to know how to properly wrap your ankle to make sure it’s providing the very best support and your podiatrist can easily show you how.
Whenever you at resting (which should be most of the day!), it’s a good idea to prop your injured ankle up above your heart to reduce inflammation and bruising. You should elevate your ankle for at least a couple of hours each day!
If you are in pain, over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers can be great for reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation. For more severe sprains, your podiatrist may prescribe something stronger. Patients with more moderate-to-severe sprains may require physical therapy and rehabilitation to help rebuild and strengthen the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the ankle.
Knowing you have a proper treatment plan in place can provide you with the peace of mind you need to know that your ankle will heal properly. Don’t ignore any foot or ankle injuries. Turn to your podiatrist right away for sprained ankles, or any other problems you may be facing.