Painful Ingrown Toenails

One of the most painful foot conditions is considered to be an ingrown toenail. It happens when the nail grows into the sides of the skin instead of over it. The noticeable signs that an ingrown toenail has developed can include pain when the affected nail is touched, swelling, redness, and a discharge may come from the nail. There are various reasons why an ingrown toenail can develop, consisting of wearing shoes that are too tight, having feet that sweat profusely, or cutting the toenails incorrectly. Some patients find it helpful to soak the affected foot in warm water, and this can make it easier to pull the nail away from the skin. This is a temporary solution, and should not be confused with consulting a podiatrist for permanent relief. This type of doctor can prescribe an antibiotic for an existing infected nail, and offer treatment that may include surgery. It is strongly advised that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can offer you the best way to find permanent relief. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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

Read more about Ingrown Toenails

Dealing With Stress Fractures of the Foot

Repetitive pressure on the feet can cause stress fractures, which are tiny hairline cracks in the bones. The long bones of the feet, known as metatarsals, are the most common location of stress fractures. Heavy training or exercising for long periods, such as getting ready for a marathon, increases the risk of getting stress fractures. Women are more likely to sustain stress fractures than men because of lower bone density. Symptoms, which usually develop slowly, include pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area. The first and best way to handle stress fractures is to stop the activity that caused them. If symptoms last more than a week after that, it is a good idea to see a podiatrist who can examine the feet using X-rays or other imaging tests. Once the severity of the fractures is understood, the podiatrist can offer further treatment solutions, including medication, a walking boot or brace, and in extreme cases, a cast or splint. As an active athlete, it may be wise to add a podiatrist to your medical team.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Arthritis Can Cause Pain in the Feet and Ankles

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

How Hammertoe Occurs

Many people do not think twice about their toes until a foot condition develops. Hammertoe is one such condition that is considered to be a deformity. An imbalance of the toes can cause the second and third toes to bend downward at the middle joint, resembling the shape of a hammer. The toes contribute to maintaining balance and pushing off while walking. Hammertoe may develop from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely. When high heels are frequently worn, the toes may gradually bend to fit into the narrow toe box, causing a hammertoe. Additionally, blisters may form on the affected toes due to friction as they rub against the top of the shoes. Existing medical conditions like arthritis, bunions, and high or low arches may lead to the development of hammertoe. Relief may be found when the shoes have ample room for the toes. It can also be beneficial to wear a protective pad over the affected toes. Surgery may be suggested in severe cases to obtain permanent straightening. Please consult a podiatrist who can determine the best course of treatment.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors 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 Canonsburg and McMurray, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe

Being Overweight Can Cause Foot Pain

Foot conditions, including gout, plantar fasciitis, and calluses can be related to being overweight or obese. Feet and legs hold you up, and the more weight they sustain, the more pressure they are under. It is like a support beam holding up a bridge that is too heavy and susceptible to collapse. Being overweight can also cause medical issues that can negatively affect the feet, such as diabetes, and can make exercising more uncomfortable. Fortunately, we can appreciate our own unique bodies while still working on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and preventing foot pain. Improving diet and exercise are the first things that should be tended to. Simply cutting back on high sugar foods and alcohol can make a difference in one’s weight. Adding even a small amount of exercise will reduce pressure on your feet as well. Make it a routine, and have patience with yourself in developing new habits. If you are overweight and have foot pain, consider consulting with a podiatrist who can provide further suggestions for reducing pressure on your feet.

The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and Your Feet

People who are overweight are putting more pressure on their ankles, knees, and hips as well as their feet. This unfortunately can lead to variety of different issues.

Problems & Complications Stemming from Obesity

  • When the body is overweight, it tries to compensate by changing the way that it moves. An obese person may lean forward and put extra weight on the wrong part of the foot. This puts unnecessary stress on the feet.
  • Obese people are also more likely to develop type II diabetes which is a condition that causes a lot of foot problems. People with diabetes often don’t feel the cuts and sores that they may have on their feet, which can lead to more complicated and severe issues.
  • Plantar fasciitis is another foot condition that can be caused by obesity. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot, which causes pain and stiffness while walking and climbing stairs.

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

Read more about Obesity and the Feet

What Is a Puncture Wound?

Wounds on the feet are open sores, and they can be particularly problematic for individuals suffering from diabetes. A puncture wound is a specific kind of foot wound that results when a sharp, pointed object essentially punctures or creates a hole in the foot. As a result of the puncture wound, the foot may become swollen or bruised. Additionally, the foot may be painful or bleed. To treat the puncture wound, a medical professional might try to remove the dirt and debris from the punctured area. This step is typically taken to reduce the extent to which an individual is susceptible to an infection. If you believe that you have suffered from a puncture wound, it might be a good idea to contact a podiatrist.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

Read more about Wound Care

Methods That Can Help Feet as They Age

Research has indicated the number of foot conditions can increase as the aging process occurs. The feet may gradually lose cushioning, and the nails to become dry and brittle. Additionally, existing foot wounds may take longer to heal as a result of reduced blood circulation. The feet will generally feel better when the shoes that are worn are comfortable and are the correct size in both length and width. Some elderly people do not take the time to get fitted for shoes, and may continue to wear shoes they have outgrown. This can lead to possibly developing unpleasant foot conditions that may consist of bunions, ingrown toenails, corns, and calluses. Many elderly people may spend the majority of the day sitting in a chair and can develop poor circulation. This may be avoided by performing gentle exercises and stretches and incorporating walking into the daily routine. There are simple methods to care for feet as they age, and if you would like to know more about how to implement these, please confer with a podiatrist. 

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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

Read more about Taking Care of Elderly Feet

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

How Often Are Children’s Feet Measured?

Children grow at their own pace, and this is especially true of their feet. The feet can grow quickly, and it is beneficial to measure them every two months until they reach two years old. The next phase consists of measuring their feet every three months up to the age of five, followed by every six months between the ages of six and 11. The majority of babies are born with flat feet, and their feet are typically flexible and soft. There are benefits to children walking barefoot while they are indoors, and these can include sensing different types of surfaces, in addition to stretching their toes. When it is time to purchase their first pair of shoes, it is important for proper foot development to ensure that they fit correctly and have adequate arch support. Velcro closures or shoes that lace up are preferred, and this may allow for changes to the instep. If you have questions about what type of shoes your child will wear, or general concerns about children’s foot health, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you in the right direction.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

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

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy

Dealing With Bunionettes

A bunionette is a bony bump on the base of the 5th, or pinky, toe. Bunionettes are not pretty and not always problematic, but they sometimes can cause severe pain. For instance, they can make trying on shoes more difficult. A callus may form at the site of the bunionette, as a result of rubbing against a shoe. In other cases, inflammation of the joint can join with the bunionette to produce pain. In many cases, a bunionette forms on only one foot, but may appear on both feet. If a bunionette becomes problematic, surgery is a treatment option. Non-surgical treatment includes avoiding pointy-toed shoes, which tend to aggravate the condition. One can also wear pads on the area to cushion the bone inside a shoe. Other non-surgical methods include orthotics, which correct gait problems and other side effects of having a bunionette, as well as certain medications to relieve pain. If you need assistance in dealing with a painful bunionette, please consult a podiatrist who can offer appropriate treatment options. 

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about What Are Bunions?

Connect With Us