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March 2022

Tuesday, 29 March 2022 00:00

Why High Heels Are Bad for Your Feet

Wearing high heels on a regular basis is, quite frankly, bad for your feet. High heels wedge your feet and toes into awkward positions that can have long term unhealthy effects. By wearing high heels, your body weight is unnaturally forced into a small area at the front of the shoe which squishes your toes together and, depending on how narrow the toe box is, can force your toes into a bent or clawed position. Over time, this can shorten your tendons and make your joints rigid. This dysfunction can lead to foot deformities such as hammertoes (permanently bent, or clawed toes) and bunions (a bony bump on the outside of the foot) that causes a misalignment in the big toe. Wearing high heels places the bones that connect your ankle with your toes (metatarsals) at a severe angle which, along with your body weight shifted forward, can lead to nerve damage and pain. High heels tighten and thicken your tendons. They may also shorten your calf muscles, causing discomfort and strain, and may lead to plantar fasciitis (heel pain). High heels change your center of gravity, which may lead to ankle instability and increase your chances of injury. If you are experiencing any condition or pain caused by wearing high heels, it is a good idea to contact your local podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors 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 our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 22 March 2022 00:00

Why Your Heel May Be In Pain

Your feet take a pounding every day, and thankfully, the strong band of connective tissue on the sole of the feet (plantar fascia) is there to absorb a lot of this stress. However, the plantar fascia can eventually become overly stressed or damaged, and even suffer micro-tears where it attaches to the heel. This condition, known as plantar fasciitis, causes inflammation in the tissue and a great deal of heel pain. This pain may come on gradually and is usually at its worst first thing in the morning or after periods of rest. Once you start moving around the pain typically subsides, but eventually returns as the day progresses. What causes the plantar fascia to become damaged? There are many possible factors that can lead to plantar fasciitis such as: obesity, age, ill-fitting or non-supportive footwear, standing for long periods of time, excessive strain during exercise, tight Achilles’ tendons or calf muscles, running on hard surfaces, and certain foot disorders like flat feet or high arches. There are a variety of treatments that a podiatrist can administer to relieve the pain and reduced mobility associated with plantar fasciitis. If you have heel pain, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 15 March 2022 00:00

Reasons You Might Have an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail occurs when the outer edge of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin, rather than over it. This causes redness, swelling, pain, and inflammation around the ingrown toenail. The area is also at an increased risk of infection. Several factors make an ingrown toenail more likely to develop. Trimming the toenails improperly, by cutting them too short or into a rounded shape, makes the skin more likely to fold over the nail. Wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow in the toe area can squish the nails into the skin. Having excessively sweaty feet can make the skin surrounding the nails too soft, allowing the nail to pierce through the skin more easily. Sometimes an injury to the toenail can cause an ingrown nail to develop. Some people also have nails that naturally grow in a curved or fan-like shape that can make ingrown nails more likely. If you have a painful or infected ingrown toenail, or if you are prone to ingrown toenails, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist.  

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact the podiatrists of InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog
Wednesday, 09 March 2022 00:00

Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Published in Blog

Runners understand the joy the sport brings, however, they are also aware of the possible pain that can come with the activity as well. About 70 percent of all runners injure themselves each year. They may run too fast, too far, or too soon after a previous injury. Luckily, a number of simple guidelines can keep runners on the move. If you are new to running, it’s wise to take it in phases that include walk-run activity. Try not to increase your activity more than 10 percent a week, and try to avoid running more than 45 miles per week, because after that distance, injury is more likely to occur. It’s important to listen to your feet and avoid running through pain. Give your feet and legs a chance to heal before renewing activity. Find running shoes that fit your feet well and cushion your heels, and get new ones after 500 miles. Finally, there are a number of stretching and strengthening exercises you can do to help avoid injuries. If you run consistently, it’s a good idea to plan regular visits with a podiatrist, who can examine your feet, identify any problems, and make custom orthotics as needed. 

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact the podiatrists of InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Preventing Running Injuries
Published in Blog