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Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

Why Are High Heels Worn?

Many women enjoy wearing high heels for a variety of reasons. They may like the extra height these types of shoes may offer, in addition to possibly enhancing the shape of the leg. Research has indicated there are painful foot conditions that may develop as a result of wearing high heels. These can include blisters that form on the heel, or bunions that gradually develop when shoes are too tight. Additionally, instability may cause falling to occur, which may result in a sprained ankle. Some patients notice uncomfortable heel pain that is often linked with plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. If you wear high heels frequently, it is beneficial to alternate with a shoe that has a lower heel. Please consult with a podiatrist if you would like additional information about how high heels affect the feet.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet

A bone that extends on the side of the big toe is referred to as a bunion. A common reason for this condition to develop can come from wearing shoes that do not provide adequate room for the toes to move freely in. The toes may shift, and one toe may overlap the other. The toes have limited space to move around in, and this may result in cramping. There are other factors that can contribute to the development of bunions, which includes genetics or arthritis. Mild relief may be found when the correct size shoes are worn, and this is helpful in preventing pressure that is put on the bunion. When this condition exists, a diagnosis is performed, which includes having an X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound taken. If you have developed a bunion, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this ailment.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood of Foot Health Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Thursday, 18 April 2019 00:00

Before you start dancing...

 

Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

Causes of Cracked Heels

Severely dry skin on the feet may lead to cracked heels. Bleeding, in addition to pain and discomfort can occur as a result of this ailment. Other symptoms may include hard, yellowed skin, and the skin may appear flaky as well. There are several reasons why cracked heels may develop. These can include standing for extended periods of time for the majority of the day, wearing shoes that have an open back, or having an existing medical conditions such as flat feet or a thyroid disorder. Mild relief may be found when the feet are washed and dried thoroughly, followed by utilizing a good moisturizer. If the pain becomes severe, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

Possible Ways to Prevent Toenail Fungus

The condition that is known as toenail fungus is a fungal infection that may attack one or more of the toenails. There may be existing medical conditions that may precede the development of this ailment, including diabetes, nail psoriasis, or a weakened immune system. The fungus that causes this condition typically thrives in moist and warm environments. These may include public pools, shower room floors, and surrounding areas. It typically enters the body through small cuts in the skin, or may lodge in between the nail and the nail bed. There are several symptoms that are associated with toenail fungus. These may include a change in nail texture and color, pain when the nail is touched, or it may easily break. There are measures that can be implemented which may prevent this ailment from occurring. These may include wearing appropriate footwear while in public areas, choosing to wear shoes that are made of breathable materials, and keeping the nails clean and trimmed. If you have developed toenail fungus, it is suggested that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and treat this condition.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood of Foot Health Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus
Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

What Are Flat Feet?

If you have noticed the absence of arches in your feet, you may have a condition that is referred to as flat feet. This can be observed when the foot is placed on the ground, and the entire foot touches the surface. This ailment may also be referred to as fallen arches, and most babies are generally born with flat feet. The arch will gradually develop as the child begins to walk, and will generally be fully formed in the teenage years. Adults who have existing medical conditions may have developed flat feet. These may include diabetes, obesity, or rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, flat feet may develop if you have sustained an injury to your ankle. If you have this condition and are experiencing foot pain, it is advised to speak with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose flat feet and can offer correct treatment options.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Flat Feet
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