Monday, November 12, 2012

Foot Health During Pregnancy

Podiatrist's encounter many foot problems during and after pregnancy. From cramps and itchiness to swelling and aching, our feet can often feel very uncomfortable throughout pregnancy and following the birth. Hormonal changes and natural weight gain have a huge impact on the body and the feet bear the brunt of the major changes that a woman's body will go through.

Swollen feet, swollen ankles and arch and heel pain are the main causes of foot pain in pregnant women. Muscles and ligaments stretch and soften because of an increase in the ovarian hormone relaxin, which makes your feet more prone to ankle and ligament strains on a daily basis.

The choice of footwear can also be a factor in the cause of foot problems during pregnancy. A shoe with a heel of approximately 1.2in (3cm) is recommended as they will help to shift the weight further forward on the feet. This can help to reduce any pain or discomfort. Wide fitting and supportive shoes will minimise discomfort and help to avoid long term damage. Choosing a shoe with a strap can help the shoe to stay in place although fiddly straps can sometimes cause problems in later stages of the pregnancy when you may struggle to reach your feet.

If high heels are a must they should only be worn occasionally or when you know you will be able to sit down through the day. On a daily basis, a supportive shoe should be worn.

When shopping for shoes try to shop later in the day as feet can swell throughout the day. Ensure that the shoes fit well before you leave the shop as it is a common myth that you can break in a pair of shoes - this is not true. Shoes with a round or square toe are recommended. If you are buying boots, make sure that there is room in the calf area as they calves can swell. Choose a boot with a side zip fastening as they will be easier to take on and off - this will be much more appreciated towards the end of your pregnancy!

Keeping active is also recommended to help reduce the risk of cramps and swelling. Do check with your midwife or GP before starting an exercise program.

If you do experience arch pain or general foot pain make an appointment with your Podiatrist to see how he or she could help you. If necessary an orthotic device can be prescribed to make your feet feel much more comfortable - as any pregnant woman will know, this may provide much needed relief.

Orthotic Treatments: Easy Solution for Foot and Back Problems

Orthotic treatments can treat many postural problems of the human body successfully. It includes severe foot ache and pain in the joints and muscles of the legs. Orthotic treatments effectively re-position the structure of your feet to achieve optimum skeletal balance, thereby reducing the stress on the joints that cause immense discomfort. They do this by controlling joint movement and by rectifying the angles to prevent excessive motion. Often, though not always, back pain has its root in the position of the pelvis which in turn is affected by one's way of walking. There are many different types of orthotic treatments. The type used depends on the most common activity which the patient is involved in, the shoes the patient wants to wear, and the basic foot problem.

Orthotic treatments do a lot more than just supporting the arches. They realign the feet and ankles and restores faulty foot function. Orthotics is a very effective device for patients with severe flat feet, painful ankles, and drop foot problems. Additionally, Orthotics aids even weight distribution and takes the pressure off sore spots in the heels, ball of the foot, corns, and between the toes. Though it is not their main purpose, Orthotics provides some degree of shock absorption as well. Doctors who are skilled in treating knee problems will advise you to opt for Orthotic aids as they would be very helpful.

Orthopedic shoes are specially-designed footwear that relieves discomfort associated with many foot and ankle disorders. They may also be worn by individuals with Diabetes or people with unequal leg length. These shoes typically have a low heel, tend to be wide with a particularly wide toe box, and have a firm heel to provide extra support. Some may also have a removable orthotic insole and inserts to provide extra arch support. The footwear can be designed and manufactured to the patient's own medical requirements.

There are many clinics with highly experienced Orthotic specialists to provide Orthotic treatments to reduce pain and aid comfort. They also have highly skilled Orthotists specializing in Men's Orthopedic Shoes. They can help you find your exact requirement for knee braces, ankle supports, and sports orthotic insoles.รข€¨They also have many years of experience providing Ladies Orthopedic Shoes that are both fashionable and functional. Orthotics that is not manufactured specifically for your needs can result in pain by stressing out your muscles, bones, and joints.

Custom-made Orthotics should be designed specifically for you and your footwear. The provider should evaluate how you walk while wearing the Orthotics. The provider should educate you on things like breaking into your new Orthotics, lifespan, and fitting specifications. You should also be made aware of any warning signs when the Orthotics are not working properly and should be instructed to return them if you experience any discomfort. Many providers use traditional methods to produce modern, stylish, and fashionable Orthopedic footwear to suit your needs, whether it is a smart pair of business shoes to wear for work, a pair of trainers to exercise in, or sandals to wear during the summer. Although Orthotic treatments can often be a useful tool in the management of these common injuries, it is prudent and reasonable to try standard treatments first.

Some Alternative Treatments for Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is often very hard to treat. Even once treated it may come back again. There are alternative treatments available for this condition but the solution is not a quick one. It can take four to six months to get rid of the infection. In some cases the entire nail has to be re-grown.

There are four types of fungal infection called onychomycosis. This is the most common form of infection found on the toe nails. Of these the most common starts on the tip of the toe nail. It penetrates all the layers and then expands down to the cuticle. There is another type that works in the opposite direction from base to tip of nail. One type that is not as common, starts out as just a small spot on a nail but can expand throughout the surface, remaining on the top layers. The Candida form will infect the skin that surrounds the nails.

A fungus is something that must be found at the initial stages. This makes it easier to remedy and keep from recurring. At the first sign of a white or yellow spot on the nail, a doctor should be seen. They can test the area to determine what it is and how to treat it.

Although the symptoms of this infection are most often cosmetic, it can be a source of embarrassment for those who have it. The nail becomes thicker and thicker then has a cracked appearance. It may become brittle and start crumbling from the tip down. The shape may be distorted and the nail loses its natural shine. It may be a severe case and involve pain and a foul odor.

The infection being in the nail makes it so the body is unable to fight the infection. All nails have keratin in them and fungus feeds off of it and grows. It should not be ignored because the damage is sometimes permanent. The nail may fall away from the skin of the toe and it is possible to get cellulites, a skin condition.

The medicine that is usually prescribed for this condition may have some unpleasant side effects. Some find it to be quite expensive, partly because of the amount of time it must be taken. The topical treatments found in the drug store work well for as long as they are being used. Once they are stopped the condition returns.

Some alternative remedies are very inexpensive. Vinegar has been found to have the ability to inhibit bacteria growth. A foot bath of two parts water and one part vinegar may provide some relief. Soak feet each day for about 15 minutes. Oregano oil is a very strong remedy. It contains antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti fungal and anti parasitic properties. A few drops mixed with olive oil can be rubbed into nails every day. Do not use for longer than three weeks. Tea tree oil acts as an antiseptic and a fungicide. It kills fungus and prohibits the growth of microorganisms. Combine tea tree oil, olive oil and thyme oil and rub into nails daily.

Toenail fungus is something that can be prevented in most cases, although it can be hereditary. Be sure to get to a doctor immediately if an infection is suspected. Keep feet clean and dry with socks that absorb sweat and keep shoes on in public showers and bathrooms.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dry Foot Treatments

Dealing with dry feet can be painful and irritating. When your feet don't get enough moisture it causes the skin to dry and this can lead to cracked heels, dry skin patches, calluses and other uncomfortable conditions. If not treated properly dry feet can worsen and the cracks in the skin can deepen and pose a risk for infection from bacteria. In addition to being unhealthy, dry feet are also unsightly and women who suffer from dry feet are reluctant to wear flip flops and strappy shoes out of embarrassment. If you are concerned about the dryness of the skin on your feet consider some easy tips for keeping feet properly moisturized to reduce the chances of cracked heels and calluses.

A lack of moisture can be due to dehydration. One way to combat dry feet and cracked heels is to drink plenty of water so your body stays well hydrated. However, moisturizing skin doesn't mean soaking in water. In fact, the more you expose your feet to warm or hot water in a bath tub or shower the more likely you are to dry the skin. Try to keep your bath and shower time to a minimum and avoid water that is too hot. If you do want to soak your feet use warm water and add honey or baby oil to it for a soothing remedy that can help heal cracked skin.

You should moisturize your feet at least twice day with a hypoallergenic lotion. Gently rub the lotion over your feet and make sure you apply a liberal amount to dry patch areas and cracks. You can also use petroleum jelly and lotions that contain vitamin E, shea butter and aloe to help soothe the irritation caused by dry, cracked skin. In addition to moisturizing your feet daily you also need to keep the soles clean. Dirt and bacteria will worsen any dry skin condition and the more you cleanse your feet the better since the skin will be healthier and smoother making it more comfortable to walk.

Exfoliating your feet is also recommended for healing dry skin and cracked heels. By removing dead skin cells you revitalize the feet and rejuvenate the skin by revealing new skin layers. All parts of the body shed dead skin but people often overlook the feet and this can lead to an accumulation of dead skin that will only worsen conditions of dry feet and cracked heels. By taking careful steps to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize the skin on your feet you can alleviate dry skin.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Talking to a Foot Surgeon About Bunions

With the help of a foot surgeon, you can get relief from a bunion. This abnormal bump that pushes your big toe up against the others can be painful and frustrating. The joint ends up going in the opposite direction, away from its normal alignment. Instead of solving the problem or providing any relief, this causes even more pain as the joint gets larger and the toes get even more crowded. At some point, it makes sense to consider surgery.


Once a bunion begins, the pain and frustration alone are enough to send you running into the office of the closest foot surgeon. The bulging of the big toe begins to change the shape of one of your feet, making it difficult to find comfortable shoes. Without a shoe on, the toes are crowded; when you try to put any type of shoe on, the crowding is worse and the pain is often unbearable. There are not a lot of place that a person can go without wearing shoes.

The overlapping of the toes often creates corns and callouses that ensure that patients feel pain throughout the foot. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of relief when it comes to the pain and eventually the big toe loses some of its mobility. When that happens a person needs to talk to a foot surgeon as soon as possible to ensure that he or she gets some type of relief.

The Surgical Procedure

A foot surgeon will talk to the patient about the type of anesthetic that will be used. Some patients are okay with just a local anesthetic while others needs to have some type of sedative to make sure that they feel comfortable with the procedure. Once the area is numb, it is time to go in and make adjustments to the big toe. There are multiple ways that the operation can be handled and it is important that both the doctor and patient talk about which procedure will be used and how it will affect the person's feet.

It is possible for the operation to remove the area of the toe that is bulging out. This is called a bunionectomy and it only takes about an hour to have the work completed. Other patients opt for realignment of the ligaments, removal of some of the bone of the toe, or a fusion of the big toe joint. In some cases, if the bunion is severe enough, it may require that an implant be inserted or a completely artificial joint.f.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Your Feet Are Your Foundation - Keep Them Healthy

Most people suffer from foot pain at some point in their lives. Foot problems can be very annoying because you are always on your feet. A simple walk in the park becomes frustrating and painful. Your feet are your foundation- they are the major weight-bearing part of your body. It is important to maintain their health. Because your feet can be affected by many ailments, it is good to be knowledgeable about the different types of foot conditions and their treatments.

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the skin that causes flaking, scaling, and itching in the affected areas. This condition is usually contracted in communal areas where people walk barefoot. These include showers and bathhouses. It can also be spread by sharing footwear with an infected person (make sure you think twice before sharing your flip flops!). To avoid this condition, be conscious of your environment and wear flip flops to protect your feet so they are not exposed. If you do contract athlete's foot, you should contact your podiatrist. They will likely provide you with a topical cream to apply to the infected area. The symptoms should begin to subside after several weeks of treatment.

Heel pain is another common foot condition. When you walk long distances, you are putting a large degree of stress on each foot. When you play sports, you put even more stress on your feet. All of this stress can sometimes cause heel pain. Common causes of heel pain are decreased circulation, heel spurs, and insufficient shock absorption. A sore heel can usually get better on its own with the appropriate rest. However, because many people ignore the early warning signs of heel pain, the condition becomes more severe. You should see your podiatrist if you experience heel pain so you can avoid prolonging the condition and potentially causing more lasting, chronic problems. Treatment for heel pain can involve using a heel insert, stretching your Achilles tendon, anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling, and simply icing the back of the heel.

Arch pain can result from ligament sprains, direct force trauma, muscle strains, stress fractures, and several other factors. Tenderness and pain on the bottom of the foot are common symptoms of arch pain. When you first begin to notice discomfort in this area, you should rest it and treat yourself with ice, compression, and elevation. Rest and elevation will reduce and potentially prevent any swelling in the area. If the pain and tenderness continues, your podiatrist can provide further treatment.

Your feet are your foundation. Pain in the feet can lead to pain in other areas of the body such as the knees and legs. Maintaining great foot health is a great step towards overall health and wellness. If you experience any of the above problems or any other foot condition, be sure to get the issue handled. Your podiatrist can treat your foot condition and help prevent any unnecessary chronic issues.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Get Rid of Foot Cramps

Foot cramps can be at the least annoying and at the most quite painful. It can be caused due to various factors like foot exertion, improper blood circulation, substance abuse, malnutrition etc. Foot cramps may also be caused when your feet don't get enough oxygen due to poor blood circulation to the feet. The best relief for foot cramps is stretching exercises. Though annoying, they are not a cause for concern by themselves but sometimes may lead to serious problems. So it is a good idea to see a podiatrist if you have severe foot cramps often.

You can lessen the chances of developing foot cramps by wearing right-fitting shoes. Do some simple stretching before you do any kind of exercise program to loosen the muscles. It is very important to loosen the leg muscles before you take a swim as you may get foot cramps in the water. When you have a cramping sensation, place your feet under running water alternating between cool water and warm water. Follow this with a good foot massage for five to ten minutes.

Do you have peripheral vascular disease? 
You may have peripheral vascular disease when there is poor blood circulation to the feet and legs. The walls of the arteries get thickened and this may lead to this foot problem. It could occur due to diabetes. Some of the common symptoms of Peripheral vascular disease are a dull cramping pain in the calf muscle or numbness or tingling in the foot or toes. There may also be changes in the color of the skin.

This problem can be treated though it may take a while and you have to be extra careful with your foot hygiene while it is healing. It is also important to wear right fitting footwear that does not cause too much pressure. If you have any corns or calluses, get it treated immediately because if you don't, the skin may break down and may be difficult to heal later on.

Treating children's foot problems 
Proper foot care and foot treatment should begin in childhood. Some common foot disorders that affect children are flat feet, ingrown toenails and knock knees. Preventive foot treatment is important to your child. Many children walk in an awkward way which is termed pigeon toed, flat footed, or bowlegged. This may not cause pain at present but may get worse and cause pain as they get older. It is important for parents to get these foot disorders treated early. Curved feet and tendon contractures are other childhood foot problems. A podiatric doctor will be able to diagnose the problem and treat the child.

Some complaints from children could be because of what is called growing pains. The bones grow faster than tissues, tendons and ligaments and so may take several months to catch up to the length of the bones. This causes pain but it will pass. But do not ignore any complaint of pain from your child.

Treat your tendonitis 
The tendon is found at the end of the muscle and attaches the muscle to the bone. Athletes overwork their tendons during rigorous practice and this may stress the area and cause tendonitis. Tendonitis is usually found in the foot as we use it the most and this is true for every one of us, not just athletes. The muscle gets tired and weakens, which may cause pain and swelling. Podiatrists or foot doctors may ask you to wear a support to restrict movement and help it heal. Your podiatrist may also want you to take an ultrasound to check the damage. If the pain persists, an MRI Scan may need to be taken in case there is a tear in the tendon or a rupture where the tendon meets the bone.

Athletes need to see a good foot doctor who understands sports injuries and can help, as severe tendonitis can hamper their sports career. They should go back for follow up visits after they are better, especially when they get back to their normal training and participation in competitions. Sometimes corrective surgery may be needed to realign the tendon.

To consult with a professional podiatric doctor specialized in sports medicine, contact Cupertino Podiatry. Call 408-358-6234 for an appointment. Dr. Cornelison will be able to treat any foot related problem and injury. If you are an athlete, extra precautions have to be taken when it comes to treating an injury. Do not put off visiting a podiatrist as the problem could worsen and jeopardize your career.