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Wednesday, 10 August 2022 00:00

A hammertoe is when a toe is stuck in an upward bent position at the middle of a joint. The top of the toe is bent forward and looks like a hammer, hence its name. It is one of the most common deformities of the forefoot and can affect balance as well as cause pain and trouble with walking and other activities. Hammertoes can happen when the small muscles on the bottom of the feet (intrinsic muscles) are weaker than the larger muscles on the top of the foot (extrinsic muscles). Hammertoe can often be a result of other issues, such as having flat feet with longer metatarsals or middle foot bones, having a bunion, having a medical condition such as diabetes or inflammatory arthropathies that affect muscles, tendons, and nerves in the feet, and wearing shoes that are too narrow or tight, forcing the toes down into the tip of the shoe. Beyond pain, if you have a hammertoe, you may experience swelling or redness of the toe, callus formation on the parts of the toe that rub against the shoe, and changes in walking patterns. Treatment includes wearing properly fitted shoes with wide toe boxes, doing toe stretching and other exercises to build up the strength of the intrinsic muscles of the foot, wearing cushions, pads, or insoles, taping, and possibly surgery. Early intervention is more likely to work since the toe joint will be more apt to be flexible. If you feel you have a hammertoe, and particularly if it is causing you discomfort, talk with a podiatrist about treatment that might work best for you.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Deborah Holte, DPM of Northeast Missouri Foot 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 Kirksville, MO . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Tuesday, 09 August 2022 00:00

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!

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

The feet are considered to be the foundation of the body. Their function is to provide stability and balance to the body, in addition to making it possible to stand, walk and run. Children’s feet grow rapidly to keep up with the rest of their bodies, and will grow faster during puberty. As the child approaches adulthood, the bones in the feet become larger, and will continue to grow until the age of approximately twenty. There are 26 bones in each foot, and the bones in both feet add up to one quarter of the bones in the body. An interesting fact is the feet have the most sweat glands per square centimeter, and 125,000 of them are located on each sole. Additionally, the feet have 8000 nerve endings, and this can contribute to the feet being one of the most ticklish areas of the body. Research has indicated that toenails grow slower than fingernails, and a toenail can take 12 to 18 months to fully grow. If you would like to know more about foot structure, and interesting information about the feet, please consult with a podiatrist. 

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Deborah Holte, DPM from Northeast Missouri Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

Read more about The Importance of Biomechanics in Podiatry
Tuesday, 26 July 2022 00:00

One of the most common sources of foot pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This foot affliction usually results in heel pain and affects the plantar fascia, or the band of tissue that runs between the heel and the toes. Many people who suffer from plantar fasciitis will experience sharp heel pain. Runners are one group of individuals that are at risk of developing plantar fasciitis, which can make running significantly more difficult and painful. There are several steps that runners can take to essentially decrease their risk of developing plantar fasciitis from running. First, runners can be intentional about choosing what surfaces they run on. Specifically, runners can choose to run on soft, rather than hard surfaces to ultimately reduce the impact and pressure felt on their heels. Also, to reduce the strain felt on feet, runners can be careful not to increase the distance of their runs by anything more than 10 percent each week. If a runner wants to be particularly proactive, they may choose to also perform a gait analysis with a professional. The purpose of performing this kind of analysis is to try to detect any potentially problematic qualities of the runner’s stride before it leads to issues like plantar fasciitis. If you are a runner and want to learn more about how you can reduce your risk of developing plantar fasciitis, reach out to 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 Deborah Holte, DPM from Northeast Missouri Foot Clinic. Our doctor 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 office located in Kirksville, MO . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
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