Posts for category: Foot Care
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.
Bunions: When to See a Foot Doctor?
A bunion is a hard protrusion that develops on the lower joint of the big toe. Bunions develop slowly, and over time, they gradually push the big toe to the inside of the foot until eventually, it crossed the second toe. This causes the big toe joint to protrude and to become sore and inflamed due to pressure from shoes. Dr. Kyle Sundblad and Dr. Samantha Gibson are podiatrists at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Care in Sterling Heights. They specialize in all foot and ankle problems including the treatment of bunions.
When Is It Time to See a Podiatrist?
While you can take care of bunions yourself in the early stages, Sterling Heights residents with bunions should see a podiatrist if:
- The movement of your big toe or foot is decreased due to the bunion
- The bunion is large and is forcing your big toe across your other toes
- You are experiencing persistent pain in your big toe or foot
- You are having difficulty finding shoes that will fit comfortably because of your bunion
Can Bunions Cause Further Complications?
Unless they are treated with surgery, bunions are permanent. Typically, they do not result in complications, although in some cases, they could cause other foot condition, such as:
- Bursitis: This condition occurs when the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion your toe joints become inflamed.
- Hammertoe: Usually, this condition occurs in the toe next to your bunion. It can put further pressure on the surrounding toes.
- Metatarsalgia: This condition causes the ball of the foot to swell and become painful.
If you live in Sterling Heights and you need to see a podiatrist about your bunions, call Drs. Sundblad and Gibson today at (586) 731-7873 to schedule an examination and consultation.
- Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain and swelling
- Ice the bunion for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day to also alleviate pain and swelling (conversely, you may choose to soak your bunion in warm water to ease symptoms)
- Consider getting prescription orthotics (shoe inserts) to place within your shoes to take the pressure off the deformed joint and to reduce pain with walking or standing
- Wear a night splint, which will straighten out the big toe while you sleep to reduce morning pain and stiffness
- Only wear shoes that have a wide toe box that doesn’t put pressure on the bunion. Avoid high heels and shoes with pointed toes.
- Perform stretching exercises every day to alleviate stiffness and to improve mobility and range of motion within the feet
- Apply a non-medicated pad over the bunion before putting on shoes to prevent friction and the formation of a callus
Should I consider bunion surgery?
Worried that you might be dealing with a bunion? Experiencing regular bunion pain? If so, a foot and ankle professional can assess the problem and provide you with a customized treatment plan to help you get your bunion pain under control.
- Ingrown toenails
- Chronic heel pain
- A broken foot or ankle
- Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in the feet
- Severe pain
- Difficulty bearing weight on a foot or ankle
- A visible foot deformity
- Signs of infection (e.g. redness; swelling; fever)
- An ulcer or open wound