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November 2021

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 00:00

The Many Causes Behind Flat Feet

Flat feet refer to feet that have no visible arch in the middle of the sole of the foot while bearing weight. In other words, while standing, the foot lies flat on the ground. Flat feet can be genetically inherited. They can also be acquired during your lifespan for various reasons. These may include damaged, inflamed, overstretched or torn tendons in the foot, damage to the foot or ankle bones, arthritis, stiffening and weakening of the foot muscles due to nerve damage, obesity, and pregnancy. Acquired flat feet are also associated with aging, as wear and tear on the ligaments that support the arch can cause it to collapse. If you have flat feet that are causing you pain, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Thomas J. Rizzo DPM from Step Ahead Foot Care. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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

Read more about Flat Feet
Tuesday, 23 November 2021 00:00

When Walking Normally Is No Easy Feat

Walking may not seem to be a complex activity, however, several body functions, structures, and systems need to work together seamlessly to allow a person to walk normally. A person’s gait (way of walking) can be affected by genetic factors, injuries, physical abnormalities or conditions affecting the feet and legs, illnesses, inner ear problems, and age. These abnormal gait patterns may be temporary or permanent, usually falling into one of five categories. When someone drags their feet, or looks stiff while walking, this can indicate a spastic gait. When legs bend inwardly or hit each other during walking, this is known as a scissors gait. If a person’s toes scrape against or point towards the ground, they may have a steppage gait. Moving from side-to-side with short steps is indicative of a waddling gait. A propulsive gait is walking with a stooping, stiff posture, with the head and neck pushed forward. Using state-of-the-art technology, a podiatrist can perform a biomechanical assessment and gait analysis. Custom orthotics and other methods can be used to help improve feet function and ease any associated pain—including treating any underlying foot condition.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Thomas J. Rizzo DPM from Step Ahead Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Geneseo, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes

You can help your teenage daughter strike a healthy balance between foot health and fashion. Encourage them to wear more supportive footwear (which can still be cute) on a daily basis, while reserving high heels for special occasions. Explain that wearing high heels regularly can damage their muscles and even change their gait. Go over modifications that can help mitigate any damage caused by high heels while still satisfying their desire to be fashionable. For instance, 1 or 2 inch heels can cause fewer foot issues than 4 inch heels. Wider high heels help distribute body weight much more evenly than stilettos, and wider toe boxes avoid toes being squished from pointy or narrow-toed shoes that place excessive pressure on the bones of the foot. When you take them shoe shopping, help them choose footwear that fits well and is comfortable right then and there, rather than buying tighter shoes with the hope of stretching them out at home. Most flip flops do not provide adequate support either and should only be worn getting to and from the beach, in public places that are wet (around pools, in locker rooms and public showers, etc.) and for short periods of time. For more tips on proper footwear and foot care for your teenager, contact a podiatrist.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Thomas J. Rizzo DPM of Step Ahead Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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

Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet
Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

Nerve Pain Between the Toes

Morton’s neuroma is caused by irritation or damage to a nerve in the foot. It typically affects the nerve between the third and fourth toes and causes a shooting, stabbing, or burning pain, as well as an odd sensation of walking on a pebble. Morton’s neuroma can also cause tingling and numbness in the foot. Symptoms may get worse while moving your foot, bearing weight, or wearing high heels or tight shoes. This condition tends to worsen without treatment. If you are suffering from pain in the ball of the foot, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Thomas J. Rizzo DPM of Step Ahead Foot Care. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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

Read more about Morton's Neuroma
Thursday, 04 November 2021 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

When the ligaments that hold the ankle in place and connect the bones together become overstretched or torn, an ankle sprain may occur. They are one of the most common injuries of the ankle, and they usually happen when stepping on uneven surfaces causes the ankle to twist too much. This results in the ankle swelling and becoming bruised. You may also have difficulty walking. Because the symptoms of an ankle sprain are similar to that of a broken ankle, patients who believe that they have sprained their ankle should have it examined by a podiatrist. A podiatrist will be able to take an X-ray to check for broken bones, and they can check for less common injuries such as an avulsion fracture, high ankle sprain, or a lower leg fracture.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact Thomas J. Rizzo DPM from Step Ahead Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

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

Read more about Ankle Sprains
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