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Monday, 25 June 2018 00:00

Possible Causes of Hammertoe

An uncomfortable and painful foot condition known as hammertoe may occur from wearing shoes that fit poorly. These ill-fitting shoes may cause the muscles in the toes to become shorter, possibly resulting in permanently bent toes. Additionally, genetics may play a significant role in contributing to the onset of this deformity. This ailment affects the toes, and will cause the smaller toes to bend upwards. Corns and calluses may develop as a result of the consistent friction the toes encounter from shoes that do not fit correctly. It may be beneficial to perform specific exercises in the early stages that may aid in straightening the toe, in addition to wearing shoes that have adequate room for the toes to move about. If you are afflicted with hammertoe it’s important to consult with a podiatrist for additional information and proper treatment options that are right for you.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Kimberly Eickmeier of Eickmeier Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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

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Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

What is a Plantar Wart?

There are many different types of warts, and a condition known as plantar warts appear on the sole of the foot. While warts on other parts of the body may grow out, plantar warts grow into the heel of the foot as a result of the pressure the foot endures while standing and walking. This typically causes considerable pain and discomfort and may appear as bumpy growths on the sole of foot. It comes from the human papilloma virus, which is also known as the HPV virus, and may enter the body through small scrapes or cuts. This particular type of virus is known to be contagious and generally thrives in public swimming areas and showers. It may be beneficial to wear appropriate shoes while in these areas which may aid in preventing the spreading of this condition. If you are afflicted with plantar warts, it’s advised to consult with a podiatrist so proper treatment can be obtained.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Kimberly Eickmeier from Eickmeier Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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

Read more about All About Plantar Warts

Many joggers are acutely aware of how incurring an injury can hinder running activities. Achilles tendinitis is a common injury that is felt by runners who increase the miles they run in a short amount of time. The Achilles tendon is considered to be the longest tendon in the body and it connects the heel bone to the calf. Symptoms of this includes severe pain and tenderness at the back of the heel, and the pain may extend to the calf. This may be prevented by strengthening the calf muscle which can be accomplished by standing on a step and then alternating lowering the heels until a gentle stretch is felt. Additionally, shin splints can be a common injury and can produce considerable pain and soreness. This discomfort can often be felt from the shin to the arch of the foot. Wearing the correct shoes may aid in preventing this condition in addition to strengthening the foot by performing toe raises while holding dumbbells. It’s important to speak with a podiatrist for additional information on how to protect the feet from running injuries.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Kimberly Eickmeier of Eickmeier Foot and Ankle Clinic. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training Into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries
Monday, 04 June 2018 00:00

Disadvantages of Wearing High Heels

Wearing high heels may possibly be the reason why many women experience foot pain. Despite the fact that most women think high heels flatter the appearance of their legs, several issues may develop as a result of wearing this type of shoe. When high heels are worn, the foot is often in an unnatural position, which may inhibit blood circulation to the feet. The purpose of the Achilles tendon is to connect the calf to the heel. A disadvantage of wearing high heels is that heels may cause this tendon to become stiff and inflamed, possibly resulting in the development of additional foot ailments. Recent research has shown that moderation is the key to wearing high heels, and limiting the number of days they are worn may benefit the overall well-being of the foot. If you experience discomfort and pain from wearing high heels, please consult with a podiatrist to learn about proper stretching techniques for the foot.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Kimberly Eickmeier from Eickmeier Foot and Ankle Clinic. 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 our office located in Champaign, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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