While high-heeled shoes may look stylish or complement your favorite outfit, they are rarely the best option for a woman's feet. According to a study by the American Podiatric Medical Association, 39 percent of women wear high heels every day; of the women who wear heels daily, three out of four reported foot problems. Despite these numbers, many women continue to underestimate the health risks associated with high heels.
High-heeled shoes disrupt the body's alignment, crowd the toes and force the body's weight onto the ball of the foot. Wearing heels can contribute to a variety of foot and ankle problems, including:
Achilles tendonitis: The Achilles tendon and calf muscles tighten and shorten as the front of the foot moves down in relation to the heel. This causes stress and painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
Bunion:. Narrow-toed shoes can cause a bony growth on the joint at the base of the big toe. The bunion forces the big toe to slant in toward the other toes, resulting in discomfort, blisters, corns and calluses.
Hammertoes: A narrow toe box crowds the smaller toes into a bent, claw-like position at the middle joint.
Metatarsalgia: Continued high heel wear can lead to joint pain in the ball of the foot as a result of heels forcing the body's weight to be redistributed.
Ankle injuries: Because heels impair balance and increase the risk of falling, ankle sprains and fractures are common.
Pump Bump: The rigid back of a pump-style shoe can cause pressure that irritates the heel bone, creating a bony enlargement known as Haglund's deformity.
Neuromas: A narrow toe box and high heel can compress and create a thickening of tissue around a nerve between the third and fourth toes, leading to pain and numbness in the toes.
Still not willing to ditch the heels? There are ways to relieve some of the damaging effects of high heels.
Avoid heels taller than 2 inches
Choose thicker, more stable heels. Thicker heels are still stylish, plus they lessen the stress on your feet and provide better shock absorption.
If you must wear heels, wear your gym shoes or flats for commuting and change into your heels once you arrive to your destination.
Stretch and massage your calf, heel, and foot muscles. This helps relax the muscles and tendons and prevents them from tightening and shortening.
Avoid shoes with pointed toes
High heel shoes can cause pain and foot deformities that can last a lifetime. So the next time you go to slip on your heels for a long day at work or a night out, consider the consequences and rethink your options. If foot pain persists, visit us for treatment.
Also known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus can be painful, irritating and embarrassing. When you experience trauma to your nail, the nail bed is lifted, allowing fungus to invade. Without treatment, this fungus can grow and spread, particularly in dark, warm, moist environments, such as socks and shoes.
Common signs and symptoms of toenail fungus include:
Discoloring or yellowing of the nail
Thickening or crumbling of the nail
Swelling around the nail
Streaks or spots down the side of the nail
Foul-smelling debris under the nail
Pain and discomfort
Complete nail loss
Prevention is Key
Fungal infections can affect the fingernails as well as the toenails, but toenail fungus is more difficult to treat because toenails grow more slowly. Because removal of the fungus is challenging, prevention plays an important role in treatment.
Keep nails neatly trimmed.
Practice good foot hygiene, including daily washing with soap and water, drying feet and toes, carefully, and changing shoes regularly.
Always wear shoes in public areas, such as showers, locker rooms and pools.
Wear comfortable shoes that aren't too tight.
Avoid wearing nail polish for long periods, as it prevents the nail from breathing and can seal in fungus.
Treatment of Toenail Fungus
If you do develop toenail fungus, especially if the infection has become painful, visit our office. People with a chronic illness like diabetes should always see a podiatrist if they notice any changes in their nails, as it may be an indication of a more serious issue.
To eliminate the fungus, a podiatrist may remove as much of the infected nail as possible by trimming, filing or dissolving it. Oral or topical antifungal medications may also be prescribed to treat the infection. Laser treatment options are also sometimes available.
It’s only for severe, chronic infections that surgical removal of the nail might be recommended. Our office can help diagnose the cause of your toenail troubles, and make the best recommendation for treatment.
A normal activity that most of us take for granted, like taking a shower after a workout at the gym, can put you at risk for developing common foot infections like athlete's foot or toenail fungus. They also spread throughout households from contact with bath mats, bathroom floors and other communal areas where people walk in their bare feet. Dr. Ben Dimichino and Dr. George DeVito, podiatrists at Comprehensive Podiatry Associates, P.C., serving Smithtown, Selden, East Setauket and Midown, New York, NY, offer treatment and patient education for a range of foot and ankle conditions and injuries.
Get Treatment for Your Foot Infection in Smithtown, Selden, East Setauket and Midown, New York
Because athlete's foot and toenail fungus are chronic infections, they can linger or return again after they have cleared up. Some cases can generally be treated at home with over the counter treatments, but if conservative treatments don't work, or if you suffer from diabetes, it is best to see a foot doctor for treatment. (Diabetic patients are at risk for serious complications from even minor foot problems like a cut or infection).
The best way to protect yourself and your partner from a fungal foot infection is to practice prevention, and to take a few precautionary steps at the first sign of infection. To keep from spreading athlete's foot or toenail fungus to your partner and family, it is important to keep both your feet and shared surfaces clean in order to keep it from spreading.
- Thoroughly clean the bathtub and shower with bleach after each use
- Do not share towels, and wash towels that come into contact with the feet after use
- Avoid using a bath mat while a member of the family is being treated for a foot infection
- Keep feet clean and dry, and wear flip flops or cotton socks to avoid contaminating the floors
- Do not share shoes, sandals or socks
- Consult with a foot doctor for the best treatment
Find a Foot Doctor serving Smithtown, Selden, East Setauket and Midown, New York
To learn more about protecting yourself and your partner and family members from foot infections like toenail fungus and athlete's foot, contact our office by calling to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dimichino or Dr. DeVito today.
Maybe you've heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition in the wrist that occurs when swelling or a change in position of the tissue within the carpal tunnel squeezes and irritates the median nerve. Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome is tarsal tunnel syndrome, an ankle condition that occurs from the compression of a nerve in a confined space.
What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?
The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space located on the inside of the ankle next to the ankle bones. Protected by the tarsal tunnel are many arteries, veins, tendons and nerves, one of which is the posterior tibial nerve - the main focus of tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is caused from a compression on the posterior tibial nerve. Causes include:
- Injury to the ankle, which may produce swelling near the nerve.
- Abnormal blood vessels or cysts that occupy space within the tunnel.
- Scar tissue that press against the nerve.
- Foot deformities, such as flat feet, which increase strain on the nerve.
- Systematic diseases, such as diabetes or arthritis.
When patients visit us at our office with tarsal tunnel syndrome, they often experience one or more symptoms, usually felt on the bottom of the foot or the inside of the ankle. In some cases, the pain may extend to the heel, arch, toes and calf. Symptoms include:
- Burning or tingling sensation
We Can Help
If you experience pain, burning and tingling in your feet or toes, make an appointment with our office. Left untreated, tarsal tunnel syndrome could result in permanent nerve damage. Treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome varies depending on the severity of your condition. Anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, immobilization, rest and modifications in footwear are a few methods used to treat the damaged nerve and reduce the pain. When non-surgical treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may be recommended.
If you were to check out most normal adult feet you would notice a curve right in the middle. This is the arch of the foot. Tendons within the feet and the legs help to form those healthy arches. Of course, if you aren’t noticing that arch or curve in your foot then you might actually have flat feet. But are flat feet actually a problem? Our Smithtown, NY, podiatrists Dr. Ben Dimichino and Dr. George DeVito offer up some information about whether flat feet require special care.
What are the signs of flat feet?
A lot of people actually have flat feet, so it’s not that uncommon. Most people don’t even notice it or don’t experience any problems; however, this isn’t always the case. Some people will experience tired or achy feet, particularly around the arches or heels. If you’ve ever found it difficult or painful to stand on your tiptoes, this could also be a sign of flat feet. Sometimes those with flat feet also notice more leg or back pain because these areas of the body are taking on more pressure and shock absorption.
If you are noticing any of these symptoms it’s always best to visit our Smithtown, NY, foot doctor to get a thorough evaluation. Your symptoms could just be due to flat feet or another issue could be to blame, so it’s a good idea to get to the bottom of your aches and pains to put a stop to it.
What are some ways to treat flat feet?
If you aren’t experiencing any problems from your flat feet then you won’t have to do anything about it. Of course, if aching, painful feet have become the norm for you then it’s time to manage your symptoms better. First and foremost, it’s important to take the time to rest your feet, especially if they get tired more quickly. When feet feel achy, ice the areas to help keep swelling and discomfort down.
We can also show you a variety of exercises you can do throughout the day from wherever you are to help keep the muscles of the feet strong and limber.
Talk to us about whether custom orthotics (shoe inserts) could also take pressure off areas of the feet when standing, walking or exercising. Wearing shoe inserts each day could provide the support, cushioning and shock absorption your feet need to reduce pain.
If flat feet are causing soreness and other issues then it’s time you got the care you need. Call Comprehensive Podiatry Associates in East Setauket, Selden and New York, NY, today to schedule an appointment if foot pain or other problems have you sitting out from your daily activities.
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