Posts for: August, 2020
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.
Here are some possible reasons why you may be dealing with foot and ankle swelling,
It’s normal for there to be a little bit of swelling in the ankles and feet due to extra fluid and pressure placed on the body from the developing uterus. This is more common for women in their third trimester, especially the weeks leading up to delivery, or during hotter months. However, it’s important to keep an eye on your swelling to make sure it’s not severe or appearing suddenly. If you notice significant swelling of the feet and ankles along with stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or headaches, call your doctor right away, as this could be a sign of high blood pressure (known as preeclampsia).
You have a foot or ankle injury
This is a common reason why people often turn to a podiatrist. Everything from strains to sprained ankles and fractured bones in the foot can lead to sudden swelling after an injury. It’s a good idea to ice the injury to help reduce swelling. If your swelling is accompanied by severe pain or trouble walking on the foot then you should see a podiatrist immediately.
You could have a blood clot
A blood clot in the leg, often known as deep vein thrombosis, can stop blood from flowing through the legs back to the heart. As a result of the blockage, this can lead to swelling in the ankles and the affected leg. Since a blood clot can be particularly dangerous it is important that you seek immediate medical attention if your swelling is accompanied by leg pain, fever, and any color changes in your leg.
You may have heart or kidney disease
It is possible that swelling in your feet or ankles could be warning us of problems with your kidneys, liver, or heart. If you find that your ankles start to swell at night, your body could be retaining both salt and water (a possible sign of heart failure). When kidneys don’t function properly excess fluid can accumulate within the body and lead to swelling. If you notice swelling along with weight gain, loss of appetite, and fatigue then you should talk with your doctor.
These are only some of the reasons why you may be dealing with foot and ankle swelling. Other causes could be,
- Consuming too much salt
- Sitting or standing for too long
- Side effects from certain medications
- An infection (more common in those with diabetic neuropathy)
- Weak or damaged veins in the legs
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.