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The most common cause of heel pain may be a condition that is referred to as plantar fasciitis. It occurs when the thick ligament that connects the heel to the front of the foot becomes inflamed. It’s purpose is to aid in walking, in addition to supporting the arch. Some of the symptoms that many patients experience is heel pain and moderate to severe stiffness, which may make walking up and down the steps difficult. This condition may affect people from all walks of life, and more specifically runners, women in late pregnancy, and those who are overweight. Additionally, this ailment may be caused by inherited traits, which may play a role in altering the structure of the foot. If you feel you may be afflicted with plantar fasciitis, it’s important that you contact a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can advise what the best possible treatment options are for you.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Marla Wilson  from Advanced Foot & Ankle Care. Dr. Wilson can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

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Published in Blog
Monday, 23 July 2018 00:00

Are Ingrown Toenails Painful?

Increased pressure of a toenail that grows into the surrounding skin is often referred to as an ingrown toenail. This condition can often produce severe discomfort and pain as a result of inflammation that may occur. If this ailment is left untreated, infections can occur, which may lead to additional unwanted foot conditions. Typical reasons why ingrown toenails can develop, may include having a pedicure performed incorrectly, traits from inherited genes, or shoes that do not fit correctly. Medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, bunions, or hammertoes may play a significant role in developing this painful condition. If you are afflicted with an ingrown toenail, it’s advised to seek a consultation with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to learn about correct treatment options.

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 Dr. Marla Wilson of Advanced Foot & Ankle Care. Dr. Wilson 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 one of our offices located in Springfield and Litchfield, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00

Are Flip Flops Good for my Feet?

The idea of wearing flip flops can be enticing in the hot summer months. They can easily be worn for most daily activities and many are available in attractive colors. Despite their popularity, if you choose to wear flip flops you may be inviting the formation of painful foot conditions. The plantar fascia provides the necessary support the foot needs while connecting the toes to the heel bone. Wearing flip flops can cause this tissue to become inflamed, which may often result in discomfort and pain. Additionally, the Achilles tendon may be at risk for injury as a result of the lack of arch support that comes from wearing flip flops. If you are afflicted with diabetes, you may have nerve damage which can hinder the ability to feel any cuts that the material between the toes may incur. If you choose to wear this type of shoe, it’s best to do so in moderation, and this may possibly avoid potential foot problems that may be associated with wearing flip flops.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Marla Wilson from Advanced Foot & Ankle Care. Dr. Wilson will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are there injuries associated with flip-flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like wearing flip-flops, are there safe alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more, but will also last longer as a result.

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

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Published in Blog

It’s important to properly care for the feet, especially for diabetic patients. Minor cuts and scrapes may be slow to heal, which is often due to the elevated insulin levels. These high levels may cause the nerves to become damaged, which may in turn cause a lack of feeling in the feet. Research has shown there are ways to possibly prevent specific foot conditions from occurring. This may be accomplished by having regular foot exams, wearing shoes that are designed for various foot ailments that may be present, or by performing low-impact exercise. The nerve damage that may occur is referred to as neuropathy, and can be very painful. If you are diabetic, it is strongly suggested that you visit a podiatrist frequently while also being sure to do daily foot inspections at home.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Marla Wilson from Advanced Foot & Ankle Care. Dr. Wilson can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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

Read more about How to Care for Diabetic Foot
Published in Blog
Monday, 02 July 2018 00:00

What Does Hammertoe Look Like?

A deformity of the toes that resemble a claw-like shape may be referred to as hammertoe. If the toes do not have adequate room to move about, they may have to bend to fit into the shoe. Additionally, if tight socks are worn, the toes may have to squeeze together, which may cause them to overlap. This condition can produce discomfort and pain, and may possibly cause corns and calluses to develop. Preventive measures may include choosing to wear shoes that fit correctly, while making sure there is ample room in the top of the shoe. Patients who have high arches or bunions may be more susceptible in developing hammertoe, and research has shown that permanent removal of a hammertoe affliction means surgery. It’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can recommend temporary relief options, which may include custom-made protective pads over the affected area.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Marla Wilson of Advanced Foot & Ankle Care. Dr. Wilson 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 one of our offices located in Springfield and Litchfield, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Published in Blog
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