Answers to Your Top Questions About Foot and Ankle Pain
When you’re in pain, it’s hard to focus on anything else. We understand - we can help you get started towards fast relief with these answers to the most common questions we hear about foot and ankle pain in Carolina and get youback to focusing on what actually matters to you.
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Can I have neuropathy if I'm not a diabetic?
Have you noticed a gradual onset of tingling and numbness in your hands or feet, which may spread to your arms or legs? There's a chance you maybe suffering from peripheral neuropathy. Other symptoms you may be experienceing are a burning, sharp or jabbing pain. Some patients also complain of sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness or lack of coordination. Though 60% of diabetics do suffer from neuropathy, you do not have to be a diabetic to have it. There are a number of other different causes of neuropathy. It can come from alcoholism, autoimmune diseases, medications, trauma or even pressure to the nerve.
A variety of treatment options are available. Early diagnosis and treatment are the best chances for controlling symptoms and preventing any further damage. To schedule an appointment with Carolina Podiatry Group at one of our three locations, call us at 803-285-1411.
Why does it feel like I’m stepping on a stone?
Have you checked your shoe to see if there’s actually a stone in there?
Assuming there’s no foreign object actually lodged underfoot, and the pain is located toward the front of your foot (often between second a third or third and fourth toes), there’s a good chance you might be suffering from a condition known as Morton’s neuroma. In this condition, repeated irritation or pressure on one of the nerves leading to your toes causes surrounding tissues to thicken. Although this may not create a visible bump you can feel with your fingers, it’s enough to create painful sensations when pressed.
Women are about 10 times more likely than men to develop the condition, suggesting that footwear (particularly high heels) may play an important role in either causing or at least aggravating the problem. Certain activities (like high-impact sports) and foot problems (like bunions) are also associated with increased risk.
A variety of treatment options are available, and most cases do not require surgery if help is sought early. To schedule an appointment with Carolina Podiatry Group, call us toll free at 888-569-9559.
Can stretches help with bunion pain?
Although bunions can only be “corrected” via surgery, stretching is often an important component of a non-surgical approach we use to provide pain relief, as well as help you to limit the progression of the deformity. A good exercise and stretching routine for your feet and toes will help you preserve flexibility in the joint and strengthen muscles that support and move the affected toe.
Typical exercises may include:
Toe stretches, flexes, and contraction to keep you limber and provide pain relief
Resistance exercises using a towel, belt, or resistance band
Rolling a golf ball underfoot to relax muscles, fighting strain and cramping
Gripping exercises, such as towel curls and picking up small objects such as marbles, to work on strength and flexibility
For a comprehensive approach to bunion relief, talk to the experts at Carolina Podiatry Group. You can request an appointment online, or call us today at 888-569-9559.
When is it necessary to have surgery for a hammertoe?
At Carolina Podiatry Group, we strongly recommend pursuing conservative, non-surgical solutions first before considering surgical correction for hammertoes. This may include padding, splinting, inserts or custom orthotics, or other strategies.
If the hammertoe is rigid and inflexible, and conservative options have been unsuccessful, surgery may be the best choice for relieving your discomfort. A number of other considerations may be considered, including your age, severity of your condition, and lifestyle goals. Since hammertoe surgery recovery will take some time and may require several weeks (or more) of limited weight bearing, you may also wish to consider how a procedure may affect how much time you need off from work, or whether you will have a friend or family member available to assist you with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or shopping.
Whatever your needs and concerns, the expert doctors at Carolina Podiatry Group will help you make a decision that is right for you and your future health. You can contact us online, or call us toll free at 888-569-9559 for an appointment in Lancaster, Fort Mill, or Chester, SC.
What causes hammertoes?
The underlying source of hammertoes is a problem with the tendons that bend and straighten your digit. When they become unbalanced, the middle joint of the toe can bend and get stuck in a “hammer” position. Many different issues can encourage the connector imbalance that causes this deformity. It could be as simple as wearing shoes that don’t fit correctly. Footwear that puts too much pressure on the ball of the foot or that squeezes your toes can imbalance the tendons.
An injury to a toe could also be a cause. Anything that puts abnormal pressure on the toes and balls of your feet can be behind the problem as well, even preexisting conditions like bunions. Abnormally high arches increase your risk. Nerve problems that affect muscles or connective tissues can tighten those structures, bending the toe. Preexisting arthritis could be a culprit, too. If you’re concerned you’re developing a hammertoe, contact Carolina Podiatry Group in South Carolina for more information or to make an appointment to get it checked. You can reach us online or call one of our locations: (803) 285-1411 for Lancaster, or (803) 548-FEET for Fort Mill.
How do I pick the right shoe for my sport?
Choosing the right sports shoes doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what to look for. In most cases, sports have footwear designed specifically for the motions and stressors they put on the feet. That’s why football and soccer cleats aren’t actually interchangeable, and why basketball and tennis shoes look different. A specialty store should be able to provide you with athletic shoes for your activities. Once you’ve selected a kind that fits the unique demands of your sport, you can start trying on the shoes.
The fit is crucial. Make sure your footwear fits in both the heel and the toe. The arch should support you appropriately as well. Make sure the sole has cushioning you need to absorb hard impacts properly. The laces should secure your foot without pinching it, and the toe shouldn’t squeeze your own digits. If you’re concerned about the fit or anything else with your sports shoes, let us know at Carolina Podiatry Group. We’ll help you get your feet measured and fitted for the right athletic shoes. Make an appointment online or call us: (803) 548-FEET for our Fort Mill office, or (803) 285-1411 for our Lancaster office.
How does diet affect gout?
Diet has a direct effect on gout because the uric acid that causes a gout attack comes from food. Your body creates the uric acid when it breaks down the purines in certain foods. When there’s too much uric acid in your blood stream, it crystalizes and settles in your joint spaces, causing gout. By eating gout-safe foods and avoiding ones that have high purine contents, you help control the levels of uric acid in your blood. This decreases the odds of a flare-up.
This means sticking to a strict diet. You’ll have to cut out or limit red meat. Many types of seafood, including anchovies, scallops, and tuna, are bad as well. Cut out alcohol as much as you can, too. Beer and liquors are especially bad for gout. Instead, consume lots of water, fruits and vegetables, and moderate amounts of whole grains. Lean meats and low-fat dairy products supplement your protein. If you’d like more help managing your gout, or you’re concerned your diet puts you at risk for it, let us at Carolina Podiatry Group know. You can make an appointment online, or call: (803) 285-1411 for our Lancaster office, or (803) 548-FEET to reach us in Fort Mill.
What are the different types of arthritis?
There are actually many types of arthritis. A few of them are frequently found in the feet and ankles, however. Osteoarthritis is the most common one. Years of friction, stress, and wear and tear damage the protective layer of cartilage. The tissue becomes rough, frayed, and thin, allowing the hard bones underneath to rub against each other, inflaming and stiffening the whole joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system attacks and destroys tissues protecting the body’s joints, deforming them. Post-traumatic arthritis develops after a serious injury. The damage permanently injures the protective cartilage and encourages it to wear away.
Gout actually fits into this list as well. Although a highly unusual form, it’s also a type of arthritis that affects the feet. No matter what type of joint condition you have, however, you need to work on managing it to keep your feet moveable. Our team at Carolina Podiatry Group can help you with this. Just make an appointment at one of our South Carolina locations online. You can also call us: (803) 548-FEET for our Fort Mill location, and (803) 285-1411 for our Lancaster office.
How can I correct my child’s clubfoot?
Clubfoot is a common lower limb deformity for babies, so many treatments have developed over the years to eliminate it. Conservative methods are highly successful when started early enough. Typically, specialists like our team at Carolina Podiatry Group start not long after your baby is born. We evaluate the extent of the condition, then begin therapy. The most common method uses a combination of stretching, manipulating, and casting the feet to straighten out the clubbed one.
First we gently stretch and manipulate your child’s foot into a straighter position. Then the limb is casted into place. After roughly a week, the cast is removed and the process repeated. This continues until the foot is straight and stays in a normal position. At this point, some children need a minor procedure to lengthen their Achilles tendons. Afterwards a final cast is used for several weeks. Once this is complete, your child will wear special foot braces for an extended period of time to prevent the problem from returning. Let our team at Carolina Podiatry Group take care of your child’s clubfoot today. Just call (803) 285-1411 for our Lancaster, SC, office, or (803) 548-FEET for our Fort Mill, SC, location.
What kinds of conditions can affect your toes?
Many different conditions can affect your toes, from common issues like bunions and hammertoes, to the uncommon ones like Freiberg’s disease. Some toe problems specifically affect the skin and nails, such as black nails, corns, calluses, nail fungus, and ingrown toenails. Sports injuries may affect your lower digits, particularly turf toe and fractures. A tailor’s bunion causes a deformity in your smallest toe, while capsulitis affects the supporting tissues around a toe joint. Multiple types of arthritis can damage these joints as well. Even Morton’s neuroma can cause nerve pain that radiates into your digits.
Any of these toe injuries can cause significant discomfort and make normal foot functions difficult. You don’t have to suffer with toe pain, however. Taking care of your toes and getting treatment for whatever condition arises helps keep your lower limbs healthy and functional. Contact Carolina Podiatry Group for an appointment to take care of your toe problems. Call either of our office locations: (803) 548-FEET in Fort Mill, or (803) 285-1411 in Lancaster.