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Six Painful Problems of High-Heels Shoes - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Women and high heels, this is something men may never understand. Women love high heels for several reasons. This is because women feel more confident because high heels make them look taller, have longer, thinner legs. But all is not roses as wearing high heels could also have its downside.

Wearing high heels is just one of the common causes of foot injuries. To learn more about the possible causes of foot injuries, consult a podiatrist. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people with foot disorders.

What are the problems associated with wearing high heels?

  1. Heels limit the movement of ankle joints. Our ankle joint is used for walking, and because of its location, a lot of weight is put on them. It is important that we keep our ankle joint as healthy as possible to ensure that we will not have problems when walking or running.
  2. Achilles tendon, which is the main tendon in your ankle, becomes at high risk for injury. According to studies, wearing high-heels often will cause Achilles tendon and calf muscle to become stiff and short. This will cause problems even if you wear shoes without heels.
  3. It may cause or worsen existing foot problems such as hammertoe, corns, bunions, plantar fasciitis and Morton’s neuroma by putting heavy pressure on the ball of the foot or through forcing the toes inside a small toe box.
  4. Wearing of high-heels does not just negatively affect the feet but it can affect your knees as well. It causes your knees to become bent all the time and to bend inward slightly as well. It further increases the stress on your knees by limiting the natural movement while walking.
  5. Osteoarthritis can be a problem later in life too from constant walking with high-heels.
  6. It can cause your back to move out from its natural alignment. Wearing of high-heels often will make changes on the ability of your spine to absorb shock and may cause back pain. It will result to the over usage of your back muscles and will also compress the vertebrae at your lower back.

 At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with foot and ankle disorders. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114.

 

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Repetitive stress causes small breaks in the bone and these are called stress fractures. The bones of the foot or ankle absorb the full impact of each step you take, and this constant abuse can lead to stress fractures.

Causes:

  • Overuse
  • Abnormal foot structure
  • Bone deformities
  • Wearing of incorrect footwear while exercising
  • Osteoporosis

Stress fractures are hard to detect and if left untreated can lead to severe foot injuries. Consult a podiatrist to learn more about stress fractures and its causes. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from fractures of the foot and ankle.

Groups at high risk

This injury is common among people whose daily activities include high levels of impact on their feet and ankles such as those who:

  • Play tennis or basketball
  • Run
  • Practice gymnastics
  • People who had a sedentary lifestyle and suddenly gets active through a high impact and intense workout. They are affected since they do not yet have a strong muscle to handle the intensity and degree of their activity.
  • Someone with osteoporosis are at high risk because their bones are weakened by the disease, thus, prone to fractures.

Characteristics of pain in stress fracture

  • The pain felt usually occurs at the general area of the fracture.
  • It manifests as a “pinpoint pain” or pain felt upon touching the site of the injury and is accompanied by swelling.
  • Pain occurs during or after the activity, disappears when resting, and may return when moving or standing.
  • Any activity, high-impact or not, will just aggravate the pain.

If you increase your level of activity before a stress fracture is healed properly, it may lead to a full fracture.

Treatment (Check with your podiatrist for treatment)

It varies depending on the individual and the level of injury.

  • Resting the hurt foot is the primary way to treat a stress fracture
  • Use of crutches
  • Immobilization
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery may be required to have support pins installed around the stress fracture and assist in healing.

Some ways to that may help to prevent foot and ankle fractures

  • If you have a new exercise regimen or other kind of high level impact activity, set incremental goals weekly so that you can still build-up your muscle strength. Also wear supportive shoes to protect your feet better.
  • Stop exercising and rest if you start to experience any symptoms of the stress fracture. Should the symptoms persist, it is best if you consult a podiatrist and get yourself checked and examined.
  • Knowing and remembering these tips will help you prevent stress fractures to your foot and ankle, and will allow you to live normally and continue running without any injury at all.  

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with foot and ankle fractures. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114.

 

Running Shoes and your Feet - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Running shoes are not created equal. And this goes beyond its shape, size or color. Using the right type of running shoe can go long way in improving your performance and preventing foot injury. The key to maximizing the health benefits of running is to use the right equipment. And when it comes to running equipment there is nothing more essential than running shoes.

Determining your Foot Type

  • Determining your foot type is essential when shopping for the right type of running shoe that can enhance your performance and protect you against injuries.
  • Closely inspect shoe wear. Its location can indicate foot type. People with flat foot have wear located at the inner side of the shoes. High arch have wear on the outside or the shoes and those with neutral foot have evenly worn out shoes.
  • Wet test – soak your feet and place it over a piece of paper. Observe the outline or foot impression left.
  • Ask your local shoe outlet if they have foot specialist that can identify your foot type.
  • Visit a podiatrist for help. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists  who can help identify your foot type and give you advice on which running shoes works best for you.

Types of Running Shoes

Choosing your personal pair of running shoes can be a daunting task especially with the wide selection of running shoes that come in all shapes and sizes available today. While most of us would base our decision on aesthetic appeal, smarter runners incorporate form and functionality into the mix.

Trail Running Shoes

Trail shoes offers a mix of traction, stability and toughness for running on less than ideal running surfaces. These are often used during wet weather conditions or off-road.

Stability Running Shoes

Ideal doe people with neutral feet that only require shoes with shock absorbing qualities, extra foot support and durable.

Motion Control Shoes

This type of shoe limits or controls over-pronation. This is recommended for people with flat foot.

Minimal and Barefoot Running Shoes

Easy to recognize, minimal and barefoot running shoes is an alternative for highly built running shoes. It provides minimal cushioning abilities and promotes optimum contact between your feet and the ground.

Foot pain when running can indicate injury. This should not be taken lightly and should be immediately rested to prevent further injury.    

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with foot disorders.   To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114

Smelly Feet No More - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Yes, science has a medical term for it. Smelly feet or foul-smelling feet is known medically as bromodosis. This can be a chronic condition that can be embarrassing for suffers and cause discomfort for people who are within nose length of the condition.

Smelly feet is mainly caused by the odor produced by fungus. Dark, damp places which perfectly describes our feet when wearing shoes or socks are perfect breeding ground for fungus. Wearing the same shoes and socks without changing it increases your risk for developing smelly feet.

Sweat and Smelly Feet

The feet has the greatest concentration of sweat glands. There are 250,000 sweat glands present in both feet. We’ve all had the experience of extra sweaty feet due to a number of causes which are totally natural. However, some people suffer from excessive sweating or a condition called hyperhidrosis. Teenagers and pregnant women can experience excessive sweating due to hormonal changes.

Feet become smelly when it is soaked in shoes and socks that are not regularly cleaned or used before it is totally dried. Bacteria or fungus located in shoes or socks feed on sweat and expel a foul smelling odor.

Regularly changing your shoes and socks is the best way to keep bacteria and fungus at bay. Dirty shoes and socks defeats the purpose of keeping your feet clean. This is because it is eventually exposed to a dirty environment. Consult a podiatrist if smelly feet becomes a constant concern The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from all types of foot disorders.

Some Ideas That May Help Prevent Smelly Feet:

  • Smelly feet can be prevented by good personal hygiene and changing your shoes and socks regularly. 
  • Apply antiperspirant or use antibacterial soap. Foot powder can also be a good way to reduce moisture.
  • Using a medicated insole with a deodorizing effect helps absorb moisture while killing fungus and bacteria
  • Sports socks are designed to suck in moisture while helping the feet breathe much easier by keeping it ventilated. Some even contain chemicals with antibacterial properties.
  • Avoid wearing shoes made of plastic. Stick to leather or canvass shoes.

Keeping your feet smelling fresh is a matter of proper hygiene. This holds true even for people with hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating problems. A visit to a podiatrist can help you explore all the possible options for treating smelly feet and preventing it from happening in the future.

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with sweaty feet.   To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114

 

Webbed Toes Explained - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Webbed toes is a condition described as the fusing of two or more toes. Medically referred to as syndactyly, this condition can also be seen in the fingers. Webbed toes and fingers are normal during our early fetal stage. However, this disappear as the toes and finger are separated by enzymes that dissolve the tissue that connects the digits.

Webbed toes is commonly seen in the second and third toes.  But these are not only connected by soft tissue and skin. Complex webbed toes are toes connected by fused bones. And is some rare cases, there is also the presence of an extra toe or finger connected to a digit.

This foot condition may not interfere with our ability to walk or perform normal activities. It may not take a toll physically, but having webbed toes can leave people feeling embarrassed or suffering from low self-esteem. Visiting a podiatrist is the best option when planning to undergo web toe treatment. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people with web toes.

What Causes Webbed Toes

Some studies show a genetic connection in the development of web toes. But this is inconclusive since people with no previous history of relatives suffering from web toes also develop the condition. Since web toes happens during fetal development, factors that affect normal development during pregnancy is more likely. Factors such as smoking, underlying diseases or poor nutrition that have been traced to the development of deformities during pregnancy are the more likely culprits.

Treating Webbed Toes

Although web toes don’t interfere with normal feet functioning, it can elicit unusual looks which can lead to poor self-esteem. And the desire to appear “normal” is the main reason why people undergo treatment for web toes. 

Surgery is the only option available for treating web toes. This is usually done in children aged 6 months to 2 years. Anesthesia is introduced to desensitize the target area. The surgeon then marks the areas where the toes will be separated. The surgeon then cuts the skin along these marks. Excess skin is then removed exposing the separated areas of the toes. 

A skin graft or taking skin from another part of the body is used to fill in the missing skin. Using the patient’s skin reduces the chances of the body rejecting the skin graft. The toes are then bandaged or a cast is placed to allow the wounds to heal properly.   

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with web toes and other foot disorders To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114.

David Savard Falls to Sesamoiditis - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

David Savard, is a defense specialist for the Columbus Blue jackets’ ice hockey team. The player later underwent surgery because of a piece of bone found floating in his foot. Reports later confirmed that he suffered from Sesamoiditis, an injury that affects the plantar foot.

Sesamoids are bones connected to the tendons or embedded in muscles. Sesamoids assist in activities such as weight bearing. Like any bones, sesamoids can break, irritated or inflamed. This type of injury is common among ballet dancers, runners, and professional athletes. Consult a podiatrist for any signs of foot pain. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering with foot pain and other types of foot conditions.

What are the causes of sesamoiditis?

Sesamoiditis is usually caused by repetitive and excessive pressure on the foot. The surrounding tissue become irritated and inflamed. Any activity that places constant force on the ball of the foot can cause sesamoiditis. Stress fractures may also result in sesamoiditis. Persons with bony feet in particular are prone to this type of injury.

Symptoms of sesamoiditis

The symptoms of sesamoiditis manifest gradually and increases in intensity over time.

  • Tenderness upon pressure
  • Pain during barefoot walking especially on the ball of the foot
  • Pain disappears when resting
  • Bruising and swelling of the big toe area
  • Limited movement of the big toe
  • Pain upon any activity like running or jumping
  • Difficulty and pain when bending and straightening the big toe

Can sesamoiditis be treated?

Sesamoiditis can be treated with home remedies. The following are recommended conservative treatments for sesamoiditis but always check with your podiatrist first.

  • The person should stop the activity that is causing the pain
  • Take over the counter drug to relieve the pain
  • Rest and apply ice on the sole of the feet every 2 to 3 hours for about 15 minutes
  • Wear low-heeled soft-sole shoes and avoid wearing stiff-soled shoes
  • To relieve stress, use a felt cushioning pad
  • Return to the activity slowly but keep on wearing a cushioning pad to provide support
  • Tape the big toe in a slightly downward position
  • To reduce inflammation and swelling, your doctor may recommend an injection of steroid
  • If symptoms continue, wear a removable fracture brace for 4 to 6 weeks
  • Recovery time for sesamoiditis usually take a few weeks for complete healing to occur.

How to prevent sesamoiditis

  • Avoid walking in barefoot
  • Use a cushioned and supportive footwear
  • Stretching is also beneficial in preventing sesamoiditis
  • Avoid repeated jarring to the feet
  • Always follow safety rules in any sport and wear protective equipment 

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people suffering from foot problems. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114

Top Ten Diseases In United States Is Diabetes - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

One of the top ten diseases in United States is diabetes. Over 29 million Americans suffer from diabetes, with a few more famous diabetics being novelist Anne Rice, Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor and pop culture icon, Nick Jonas.

Diabetic foot care is of critical importance, since diabetes can cause lack of blood flow in the legs and feet, resulting in numbness and loss of feeling. Due to the numbness, cuts and sores go unnoticed, which leads to infection. This means that diabetics need to spend a little extra time paying attention to their feet so they can remain healthy. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from diabetes.

How do I take care of my feet if I am a diabetic?                       

Wash and dry your feet on a daily basis

Wash your feet gently in warm water using soap and mild water, but don’t soak them, since that will dry the skin on your feet. Use lotion on the bottom of your feet to prevent cracking and for preventing infectionsbetween your toes, using talcum powder generally works well .

Keep your feet covered at all times

People with diabetes need to make sure not to go barefoot- it is important to always wear shoes and socks, since diabetics cannot necessarily feel if they step on something sharp. Make sure your shoes are empty before putting them on- look in them to ensure that no foreign objects are in there that could possibly cut you.

Trim your toenails regularly

If you can comfortably see and reach your feet, keep your toenails trimmed. However, if your toenails are thick or yellowed, if you cannot reach your feet, or if you cannot feel your feet, have your podiatrist cut your toenails for you.

 

Keep the blood flowing to your feet

Don’t wear socks or shoes that cut off your circulation to your feet and legs or are too tight. Do not cross your legs for extended periods of time, and keep your feet elevated when sitting down.

Check your feet every day

Make sure you examine your feet every day for infected toenails, swelling, cuts or sores. If you have difficulty seeing your feet, use a mirror or ask a family member/caregiver to help you out.

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with diabetes take care of their feet. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114

 

Foot Conditions that May Require Foot or Ankle Surgery - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Ankle surgery is a medical procedure that aims to restore normal ankle functioning when more conservative treatments prove ineffective. Ankle injuries can result to severe bone damage requiring surgery to fuse the bones together or for replacing the ankle joint.

Consult a podiatrist or foot specialist if you feel that you are suffering from a foot disorder. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from ankle and foot disorders.

Bunions (Hallux valgus)

This condition is characterized by the development of bony lumps at the base of the big toe and at the side of your feet. Bunions causes the big toe joint to bend towards the other toes. Thus giving your feet a deformed appearance. Unchecked, this can cause severe and chronic pain which could only be corrected by surgery. Foot surgery can be performed in under an hour. During the recovery period, the patient is required to wear a surgical shoe to facilitate the healing process.

Ankle Arthritis

This type of arthritis is commonly caused by weak bones or osteoarthritis. People suffering from ankle arthritis have thin cartilages and thick bones underneath. The condition can also be caused by rheumatoid arthritis or if the ankle was previously injured.

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is a painful foot condition caused by an inflamed nerve that runs between two adjacent toes. It usually manifests between the third and fourth toes. Surgery is recommended for removing the painful nerve. Treatment can be done in as little as a day. 

Tibialis Posterior Dysfunction

The tibialis posterior muscle is responsible for supporting the shape of the instep arch. The problem occurs when the tendon connecting the tibialis posterior to the bone becomes inflamed. This can lead to pain and swelling in the area. If left untreated, the tendon weakens which leads to the appearance of a flat foot. Surgery is recommended for repairing the instep arch.

Achilles tendon conditions

The Achilles tendon is the body’s largest tendon. And it is constantly exposed to a lot of pressure from the lower legs during movement. Like all things, aging can weaken the tendon. It can become inflamed and painful. Surgery can be performed to correct this condition. Non-invasive treatments are usually employed for treatment but surgery is also a treatment option.

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people find relief from chronic foot pain and foot disorders.  To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114

What Are The Causes For Dry, Cracked Heels - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Avoiding the causes of cracked feet can save you the trouble of treating cracked feet in the future. If you have problems treating stubborn cracked feet then consulting a foot specialist is your best option. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from with skin conditions.

Cracked Heels - Causes

Cracked heels may not be classified as a medical emergency or even close to it. But if you’re planning to head to the beach this summer then you’d better make sure that you’re picture perfect, from head to toe. Unless you’re contemplating on wearing running shoes to the beach then having smooth, healthy heels is a must. So before you head out and buy those lovely pair of flip flops for your next summer outing, here are some tips on how to get rid of cracked heels quickly and naturally.

  • Wet feet – we know how keeping our feet moisturized is important in keeping our skin healthy but standing or soaking our feet in water can lead to cracked feet. Our skin losses its natural oils when soaked in water for long periods of time. More than a few minutes in the swimming pool or bath tub can get your feet all wrinkled up.
  • Dry Skin – if you have natural dry skin then a little moisturizer could work miracles in preventing cracked heels. Dry skin plus the constant friction caused by walking or running is the perfect formula for dry skin.
  • Standing for long periods – cracked feet are not only caused by skin exposed to constant friction. The pressure of your weight bearing down on your feet could also lead to excessive skin growth in your feet effort to cushion this weight.
  • Cold weather and low humidity – skin exposed to cold temperatures or low moist environments can lead to dry skin. It robs us of our natural oils which keeps our skin moisturized.
  • Aging – aging causes many changes in our body and the loss of our ability to produce natural oils can lead to cracked feet. This is evident in our skin. The development of wrinkles for example is a sign that we are losing some of our natural oil producing capability. 
  • Weight Problems – the feet and the heels in particular are unwilling recipients of our love for food. Running, walking or even standing can cause our heels to grow more skin than needed. 
  • Illness and Medical Conditions – dry skin can be symptoms of an underlying medical condition. Thyroid disease, diabetes and skin diseases can lead to dry skin and cracked feet .

 

 At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, suffering with foot skin disorders like cracked heels. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114

Do Children With Flat Feet Need Treatment? Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

One common foot problems seen by podiatrists in children is flatfoot. This condition is characterized by the under development or non-development of the foot arch. Almost all babies are born with flat feet but outgrow this condition.

What are the different types of flatfoot?

There are three different types of flatfoot. The first is called a flexible flatfoot in which the foot is flexible or hypermobile. However, this does not cause any pain or a source of disability in children. The next type is a flexible flatfoot with a short Achilles tendon. This condition is very rare and can cause pain and disability. The last type is called a rigid flatfoot and the rarest among the three types.

Only a podiatrist could properly identify if your child is suffering from a flatfoot condition. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping children with foot conditions.

Flatfoot Classification

Flatfoot could further be classified into symptomatic and asymptomatic. Those suffering from symptomatic flatfoot exhibit symptoms such as pain, outward tilting of the heel, awkwardness in walking, difficulty in wearing shoes, and foot pain during physical activities. The latter, asymptomatic as its name implies does not show any symptoms and could only be diagnosed by a podiatrist.

Proper classification enables the podiatrist to develop an appropriate treatment plan. Children that exhibit symptoms require treatment such as shoe modifications, orthotic devices, medications and physical therapy. The podiatrist may select from one of the said non-surgical approaches. If the degree of deformity of the condition is severe, surgery may be needed to relieve the symptoms and improve foot function.

Children that do not exhibit any symptoms does not require any treatment. But the podiatrist will check, observe and re-evaluate the child’s condition periodically. However, custom orthotic devices can be considered for some cases of asymptomatic flatfoot.

How to diagnose flatfoot in children?

In the diagnosis of flatfoot, the podiatrist examines and observes the foot when the child stands, sits, and walks. Sometimes the podiatrist also examines the knee, hip, and leg because it can also be associated with flatfoot. Radiological tests are also done to know the severity of the deformity.

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping children with developmental foot problems. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114.