Heel pain is one of the most commonly seen foot conditions in podiatrists’ offices around the world. We all work and lead busy lives, and in doing so, ask a lot of our feet. This wear and tear add up over time, and if you don’t give your feet a rest, it could result in plantar fasciitis or, more commonly, heel pain. In this blog, we’ll talk about a few ways you can avoid and heal heel pain once and for all.
Stretch Your Feet
Little things like walking from your home to the train station every day may not seem like a workout for you, but it is for your feet. Just like any workout, it’s important that you stretch before you start. Your plantar fascia is the muscular band that connects the ball of your feet to your heel. When it becomes inflamed, you experience heel pain. Avoid the chance of inflammation performing the following stretch before walking:
- Lean against a wall with your palms flat against it
- Press your weight forward and leave your feet in place
- Feel the resistance on your heels as you slowly lean further, stretching your heels and toes
Talk About Orthotics
So often when we buy shoes, we prioritize form over function. The shoes that look best, don’t always support our feet the best. That’s where foot orthotics come into play. Orthotics are custom inserts designed by a foot doctor to fit the unique shape your feet. By putting custom orthotics in your shoes, you can still wear the footwear you love, without sacrificing support.
When heel pain strikes, the most important thing to do is see your local podiatrist right away. When treatment is started immediately, heel pain can typically be resolved through conservative treatments alone. However, if left untreated, your podiatrist may need to resort to surgical options.
If you’re located in East Orange, NJ, or the surrounding Essex County area, come see Dr. Bruce Theall and his friendly staff at Gentle Touch Foot Care. Together, they can work treat your heel pain and keep it from coming back. Make an appointment online or call (973) 673-3668 today.
Ouch! Stubbing your toe is both painful and frustrating. It seems like stubbed toes most often occur while we’re in the middle of another important activity. The nature of this injury makes it seem like one could brush it off with little consequence. However, ignoring a stubbed toe can exacerbate the damage that’s been done. In this blog, we’ll talk about what to do after stubbing your toe, from the seconds after the incident to the days after the incident.
Stop! And Inspect
Stubbed toes are painful. Pain is our bodies’ way of letting us know to slow down and address the cause of the pain. When you stub your toe, make sure to take off your shoe if you’re wearing one and inspect the toe. You should be looking for:
- Abnormal coloration
- Misshapen toes
Ice and Elevate
There’s a chance your toe is mostly fine, and you can resume activity. However, if your toe becomes quickly swollen, then you can reduce the inflammation by elevating the foot to keep blood from collecting in the area. Apply ice to the damaged toe in 15-minute intervals. Give your hurt toe plenty of time to rest before slowly returning to normal activities. If you find that after several hours or days, you’re still unable to move the toe, you may have a fracture that could require surgery to heal.
Look Out for Broken Toenails
Even if the bone of your toe is undamaged, your toenail may be a different story. Broken toenails can lead to ingrown toenails. Diabetic patients should be wary of broken toenails, as they could lead to wounds or sores later on. At Gentle Touch Foot Care, we can replace your broken toenail with a quick and painless procedure, using the Keryflex Toenail Restoration System.
If you’re worried about your stubbed toe, the best way you can take care of it is by visiting your local podiatrist as soon as possible. If you’re located in East Orange, NJ, or the surrounding Essex County area, come see Dr. Bruce Theall and his friendly staff. They can address any of your foot ailments and get you back to doing the things you love. Make an appointment online or call (973) 673-3668 today.
How many times have you let something small turn into a much bigger problem than it ever needed to be? It’s time to break out of the habit of putting off warning signs for a later date, especially when it comes to foot injuries. Most foot conditions are treatable with no lasting side effects as long as treatment begins on time. In this blog, we’ll talk about the early signs of common foot injuries and how you can stop them before they start.
All bunions start as a small bump. Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between the natural curve of your big toe joint and the early stages of a bunion. However, the bunion could grow tremendously in the time you spend deciding, so look for these signs:
- Shininess and warm to the touch
Wounds and Ulcers
Diabetic patients already know the importance of maintaining strong foot health habits. Preventing wounds and ulcers is incredibly important because it can be the difference between living a healthy and active lifestyle or losing the ability to do the things you love. Watch out for wounds by looking for:
- Friction points in shoes
- Discoloration on feet
- Deteriorating skin on the sole of the foot
Ingrown toenails start as small annoyances but can progress quickly, becoming infected and taking you off your feet entirely. The key is to catch them early on or stop them entirely before they start. You can do this by:
- Cutting nails straight across and never ripping them
- Redness around toenail
- Swelling around toenail
So, as soon as you recognize any of these early signs, the best way to avoid creating a worse injury is to see your local foot doctor as soon as possible. If you’re located in Essex County or East Orange, NJ, come see Dr. Bruce Theall or Dr. Emad Youssef - DPM at Gentle Touch Foot Care. He and his friendly staff will evaluate your symptoms, make a diagnosis, and get you back to doing the things you love. Make an appointment online or call (973) 673-3668 today.
Does thick, dry skin on your feet have you worried about wearing sandals or going barefoot this summer? Corns and calluses can be discouraging, but don’t give up on smooth feet. By identifying the causes of your rough feet and increasing your at-home care, you can renew the look of your feet just in time for your beach vacations, pool days, and other summer fun.
Where’s the Rub?
Corns and calluses are caused by irregular friction irritating the skin on your feet as you walk. The difference between the two terms is that corns are generally deeper and more rigid than calluses, which are often more superficial. The key to relieving both is to identify the source of friction on your feet.
Corns and calluses often occur at the same time from repetitive friction caused by bone abnormalities like:
There are external causes of corns and calluses like improperly fitting shoes or foreign objects like pebbles, dirt, or sand buried in your shoes.
Once you’ve found the source of friction on your feet, it’s time to focus on smoothing out your corns and calluses. If your rough skin has been caused by bunions or hammertoes, you can counteract the misshapen bones by being fitted for custom orthotics. You can even treat yourself to an at-home spa day to soften your skin a little bit. You can create your own foot bath and scrub by:
- Filling a large bowl or your bath tub with enough warm water to submerge feet
- Combining a little lemon juice, baby oil, and brown sugar
- Soaking and rubbing feet with homemade exfoliant
At-home care is a great way to start smoothing out corns and calluses, but the fastest way to get rid of them is by seeing your local podiatrist as soon as the problem starts. If you’re located in Essex County or East Orange, NJ, come see Dr. Bruce Theall at Gentle Touch Foot Care. He and his friendly staff will evaluate your feet and help you make that as pretty as can be. Make an appointment online or call (973) 673-3668 today.
Happy April! April is one of the best months because it means the days are getting warmer and longer. April is also a great month for feet because it’s National Foot Health Awareness Month. So, while we’re all welcoming the new season by cleaning our homes, those of us here at Gentle Touch Foot Care would like to also help you welcome National Foot Health Awareness Month with some foot beautification tips.
Watch Out for Bunions and Hammertoes!
Bunions and hammertoes can be both painful and unsightly. Although they’re different conditions, they share some of the same causes. If you’re planning on wearing open-toed shoes this summer, you should be sure to prevent bunions and hammertoes by:
- Avoiding tight-fitting shoes that cramp toes and cause friction
- Treating even minor traumatic toe injuries to complete restoration
- Wearing custom orthotics
If you are already struggling with bunions or hammertoes, talk to your foot doctor about treatment options available to you. Conservative treatments are usually prioritized over surgical options.
Scrub Your Skin
You don’t need to spend a fortune on a day at the spa to pamper your feet. Regularly washing your feet with an exfoliating scrub can prevent dry skin that creates extra friction in your shoes and often leads to the development of corns and calluses. You can even make your own sugar scrub at home using the following ingredients:
- Brown sugar
- Coconut oil
- A few drops of your favorite essential oil
Fend off Fungus
Running around in bare feet in the summertime but doing so makes you vulnerable to picking up fungi that can cause toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, or other smelly conditions. Keep your feet as pretty as possible by:
Wearing shower shoes in public locker rooms
- Keeping flip flops on while walking on pool decks
- Never sharing shoes or socks with anyone
The best way to keep your feet pretty this spring is by making regular visits to your local podiatrist. If you’re located in East Orange, NJ, or the Essex County area, our board-certified podiatrist, Bruce Theall, DPM, and his friendly staff are ready to work with you today. Make an appointment online or call our office at (973) 673-3668.
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