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Treatment of Cracked Heels

Many people suffer from cracked heels. Despite all our heels do for us, it is easy to forget to take care of our them. Medically, cracked heels are known as heel fissures or regular linear cut wounds that appear on the surface of the skin. Besides being unattractive, cracked heels can become painful and start to bleed if not tended to. This condition can result from dry skin and footwear that does not fit well or have enough cushioning. Additionally, walking improperly, and being overweight may contribute to the onset of cracked heels. This ailment is more common in senior citizens and those who are on their feet a lot. To avoid complications of cracked heels, it is important to treat them as soon as they are noticed, and it is wise to prevent them from happening in the first place. In general, keep feet clean and dry, moisturize regularly, do not go barefoot, wear properly fitted closed shoes, and keep hydrated. If attempting to take care of cracked heels on your own, avoid picking at or peeling the dead skin as this can make it worse or lead to infection. It is best to consult with a chiropodist who can better help you safely treat this condition and provide suggestions for preventing this from happening again.

Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, can cause pain and discomfort. If your cracked heels are bothering you, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

Dry, thickened skin around the rim of the heel is typically the first sign of cracked heels. While this condition is common and usually just a nuisance, some cases can be more severe. If left untreated and as more pressure is placed on the heel, the cracks become deeper and eventually walking and standing can be painful. These deep cracks or fissures can bleed and also become infected. Those with diabetes need to be especially careful as fissures could lead to diabetic foot ulcers. 

Causes

Cracked heels can be the result of several different factors, including: 

  • Dry skin

  • Taking long, hot showers or using harsh soaps

  • Standing for long periods of time

  • Walking barefoot

  • Walking in shoes with an open back, such as sandals or flip flops

  • Wearing shoes that do not fit properly

  • Living in a cold or dry climate 

  • Certain skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis

Treatment

There are many at-home treatment remedies for cracked heels. Applying moisturizers to the heel can help hydrate the skin. Soaking your feet in warm water and exfoliating them with a loofah or pumice stone can help to buff away dead skin cells. If you are afflicted with cracked heels, it is recommended that you see a chiropodist for treatment. 

Prevention

You can prevent cracked heels by:

  • Avoiding standing in one position for prolonged periods of time

  • Wearing well-fitted shoes with a closed back

  • Washing your feet with gentle soaps and lukewarm water

  • Moisturizing the feet daily

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

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Stretching While Standing at Work

There are many people throughout the world that stand for the majority of the day. Frequently moving about can help to promote blood circulation to the feet, and performing simple foot stretches can help the feet to feel better. It is important to wear shoes that fit properly and to also stand on a stress mat, which can both help make standing all day more manageable and healthy for the feet and overall body. An effective stretch to strengthen the feet is done by using a foot roller. This can help to increase the strength in the arches, and may help to reduce the risk of developing plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. Many people who stand while working find it helpful to perform ankle rotations several times per day, in addition to wearing compression socks which can help to support the legs. If you would like more information about the benefits of stretching while standing all day, please speak with a chiropodist.

If you stand all day, you may be at an increased risk of developing various foot conditions. If you are experiencing foot pain of any kind, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

What Foot Problems Are Caused by Standing?

Standing all day at work may increase your risk of developing foot or ankle problems.

Some common foot conditions that may arise from spending all day on your feet include: 

  • Foot pain

  • Blisters

  • Corns and calluses

  • Arthritis

  • Flat feet

  • Bunions

  • Sprains 

  • Athlete’s foot

Prevention

If you stand for prolonged periods of time for work, taking preventative measures to preserve the health of your feet is strongly recommended. 

Measures you can implement to help prevent foot problems include: 

  • Wearing shoes that are comfortable and fit well - these shoes should be made of breathable materials and provide you with arch support and cushioning. It is best to avoid shoes that have heels or narrow toe boxes.

  • Taking breaks to rest, walk, and stretch your feet throughout the day

  • Maintaining good foot hygiene - wash and dry your feet thoroughly every day

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

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Symptoms of Diabetes

Elevated blood glucose levels may cause a serious condition that is known as diabetes. Proper foot care is crucial with this condition, and this may be helpful in preventing foot ulcers. The body’s ability to heal is affected by diabetes, and it is important to check the feet daily. This can consist of using a mirror to look for any existing cuts, bruises, or scrapes. Neuropathy often accompanies diabetes, which is the diminished ability to feel any wounds on the feet. Foot protection can come from wearing shoes that fit correctly, trimming the toenails properly, and washing the feet daily. If you have diabetes, and the skin on your feet feels warm and turns red, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a chiropodist who can effectively treat diabetes.

Diabetes can cause serious problems in the lower limbs if proper preventive measures are not taken and diabetic wound care is not performed. If you would like to learn more about caring for diabetic feet, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your lower limbs and your mobility. 

Diabetes can lead to a host of foot and ankle complications, including: 

  • Poor circulation

  • Peripheral neuropathy

  • Diabetic foot wounds and ulcers

  • Infection 

  • Corns and calluses

  • Dry, cracked skin

  • Nail disorders 

  • Hammertoes 

  • Bunions

  • Charcot foot

If you have diabetes, you must be vigilant of any changes in your foot health. This is best done through daily foot inspections. Using a mirror to help you if necessary, look for any: 

  • Cuts, scrapes, sores, or wounds

  • Bruising or discoloration 

  • Swelling

  • Rash

  • Foul odor

  • Nail changes 

  • Hair loss 

  • Warmth and inflammation

  • Deformities 

  • Lower limb pain

  • Strange sensations (numbness, tingling, burning, pins, and needles)

If you detect anything unusual, seek the care of a chiropodist as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Heel Pain Caused by Thinned Out Fat Pads in the Heel

Fat pads on the bottom of your heels that provide cushioning and shock absorption are usually 1-2 centimeters thick. As you age, these fat pads can wear out and thin down to less than 1 centimeter. This condition, known medically as fat pad atrophy, can cause pain in the heel and difficulty in walking and performing daily tasks. Other factors that may contribute to fat pad atrophy include wearing inadequately supportive shoes or having rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, lupus, and type 2 diabetes. Fat pad atrophy can be additionally concerning for diabetic patients because this condition may contribute to the development of a foot ulcer and other complications. Podiatrists can offer a variety of treatment options for fat pad atrophy including using custom orthotics and heel cups to support the heel and offload pressure, as well as injectable fillers or fat grafting to replace the body’s natural cushioning. Make an appointment with a chiropodist who can diagnose your condition and discuss your treatment options.
 

Heel pain is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of injuries, medical conditions, and other factors. If you suffer from heel pain, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your lower limbs and your mobility. 

When it comes to heel pain, the exact location and type of pain are important to note. Some of the conditions that may cause heel pain include: 

  • Plantar fasciitis - An inflammation of the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot; it causes a stabbing pain under the heel that is at its worst when taking your first few steps after a long rest and while standing on your tiptoes or climbing stairs

  • Achilles tendonitis - An inflammation of the tendon in the back of the calf; it causes pain in the back of the heel that is at its worst after resting, as well as ankle and calf stiffness, swelling, and tenderness 

  • Bone spurs - Bony lumps on the back of the heel bones that cause sharp pain upon first standing up; the pain becomes dull and achy over time 

  • Heel fractures - A break or crack in the heel bone that causes pain, swelling, and difficulty walking

  • Retrocalcaneal bursitis - Swelling of the small, fluid-filled sac at the back of the heel bone; it causes pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in the back of the heel

  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome - Compression of the posterior tibial nerve which causes a pins and needles sensation in the heel, foot, and calf 

Your chiropodist will be able to diagnose the underlying cause of your pain and prescribe the right treatments for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs. 

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What to Do About Athlete’s Foot

If the space between your toes begins to itch, becomes scaly, or appears red, you may have developed a case of athlete’s foot. This condition, which may also cause your skin to crack and bleed, can appear on the sole of your foot as well. It is caused by a highly contagious fungus that thrives in moist, warm environments, such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers. It is normally transmitted by stepping in an area where someone with athlete’s foot has been, sharing a towel that carries the fungus, or touching the infected area and passing it to another part of the body. If you have sweaty feet or have an open sore on your foot, you may be more at risk.  If you think your athlete’s foot infection is spreading or becoming more seriously infected, it is suggested that you visit a chiropodist as soon as possible for a thorough examination and advanced treatment options.

Athlete’s foot can be uncomfortable and unsightly. To learn more about preventing and treating this condition, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

What Is Athlete’s Foot? 

Athlete’s foot refers to an infection of the skin on the feet that is caused by a fungus. This fungus is contagious and thrives in warm and moist environments. It is often spread in common areas such as public pools, locker rooms, and showers. It can also spread when sharing personal items, like shoes or towels, with an infected person. 

Symptoms

The symptoms of athlete’s foot may include: 

  • Itching, stinging, or burning of the skin on the feet

  • Cracking or peeling skin, especially between the toes and on the soles of the feet

  • Scaly, red rash on the foot

  • Blisters 

  • Foul odor

Treatment

Treatment for athlete’s foot typically involves using over-the-counter topical antifungal medications on the feet. When over-the-counter options are ineffective, you may need to take prescription oral medications or topical antifungal drugs, or a combination of both. 

Prevention

Preventing athlete’s foot places an emphasis on good foot hygiene practices. 

You can prevent athlete’s foot by:

  • Washing and drying your feet thoroughly every day

  • Wearing shoes when walking in public areas

  • Not sharing personal items, like shoes or socks, with others

  • Wearing shoes and socks made out of breathable materials

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

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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.

Treating Corns and Calluses

For most people, corns and calluses on the feet and toes are an inconvenience that can cause some pain and discomfort. Corns are typically found on the toes and calluses on the heel and sole of the foot. They are thickened layers of skin that have formed because of pressure and friction. A corn is generally smaller and has a hardened center, usually the result of rubbing against the inside of a shoe. A callus is spread over a wider area, sometimes as the result of a bunion, hammertoe or other foot deformity. Neither is particularly serious and often can be handled with a few simple steps. Soak feet in warm water to soften the callused skin. Gently rub with a pumice stone to remove the skin. Do not cut either corns or calluses. Wear shoes and socks that fit properly. Try using pads in the sole of your shoes to cushion the feet. If you have diabetes, or any disease that inhibits blood flow to the feet, it is suggested that you do not try to treat corns or calluses yourself. If the corn or callus looks to be infected or becomes extremely painful, it is a good idea to see a chiropodist at your earliest convenience for a thorough exam and suggestions for treatment.

Corns are small bumps or dry, hardened skin that can arise on the feet, usually in response to friction. Corns can be asymptomatic, or they can be uncomfortable or painful. If you have corns that are bothering you, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your lower limbs and your mobility. 

There are three types of corns:

  • Hard corns

    • Often occur on the tops of toes

    • Feature a hard core surrounded by dry, irritated skin

    • Can be painful

  • Soft corns 

    • Often occur in between the toes

    • Soft due to constant exposure to sweat

    • Can be painful 

  • Seed corns

    • Tiny

    • Often occur on the soles of the feet

    • Usually asymptomatic

Corns can be prevented by wearing shoes that fit properly. They are typically benign and don’t require medical treatment. However, if your corns are causing you pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to reach out to a chiropodist near you for treatment options. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Why Do You Get Ingrown Toenails?

An ingrown toenail happens when a toenail grows into its surrounding skin, or the skin grows over the edge of the nail. An ingrown toenail can get red, swollen, and painful. In extreme cases, an infection can develop. This condition usually occurs from trimming toenails in a curved way rather than straight across. They can also result from broken or brittle nails with sharp edges that dig into the skin, shoes that are too snug, one’s posture, gait, or structural problems with the feet (e.g., foot pronation). If you have a condition, such as diabetes, where you might not feel pain or discomfort in your feet, it is important that you examine your feet regularly for issues such as an ingrown toenail. Proper foot and nail care will help prevent ingrown toenails but if you suspect you have one, it is suggested that you consult with a chiropodist who can properly diagnose the situation and make helpful recommendations.

Ingrown toenails may require medical attention. If you have significant pain or notice signs of infection from an ingrown toenail, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

What Is an Ingrown Toenail? 

An ingrown toenail occurs when the edges of a toenail grow into the surrounding skin. The toenails of the big toe are usually affected, however, an ingrown toenail can happen on any toe. Sometimes, the area can become infected leading to potentially serious complications. The ingrown toenail may be caused by improper trimming of the toenail, wearing ill-fitting shoes, or injury to the nail.

Symptoms

The symptoms of an ingrown toenail include: 

  • Pain

  • Swelling

  • Redness

  • Warmth

  • Pus or drainage from the affected nail or a fever may indicate an infection of the area. 

Treatment

Treatment depends on the severity of the ingrown toenail. In less severe cases, home treatment may be adequate. Soaking the affected foot in warm water and gently lifting the nail from the skin with a piece of clean cotton can help. In more severe cases, you may need to use topical or oral antibiotics to treat an infection. Surgical removal of the ingrown toenail may be required if more conservative treatments fail. 

Ingrown toenails may be prevented by wearing well-fitted shoes and properly trimming the toenails. Toenails should be trimmed straight across and not too short when using nail clippers. 

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

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Common Foot and Ankle Injuries Treated by Chiropodists

There are many foot and ankle injuries that a chiropodist can treat. These include injuries of the nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, or joints in the feet and ankles. Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot, is a common cause of heel pain. This condition can also lead to or be accompanied by heel spurs, calcium buildups on the ends of the heel bone that can irritate the plantar fascia ligament. Stress fractures, which are tiny breaks in the bones of the feet, are also common. Further up in the ankle and calf region, common injuries include Achilles tendonitis and ankle sprains. If you are experiencing any foot or ankle pain, please consult with a chiropodist.

Trauma to the foot or ankle is one of the most common reasons that people visit a chiropodist. If you have a foot or ankle injury, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists can help you maintain the health of your lower limbs and your mobility. 

Your feet contain 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Your ankles are large joints made up of three bones and various ligaments. All of these components work together to allow your lower limbs to move you throughout your life. Injuries to the feet and ankles can affect any one of these structures and can occur at any time. Some of the most common foot and ankle injuries include:

  • Morton’s neuroma - Swelling of a nerve that runs between two toes, causes pain in the ball of the foot

  • Stress fractures - Tiny cracks in one or more bones that can cause severe pain

  • Plantar fasciitis - An inflammation of the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot, causes stabbing heel pain

  • Sesamoiditis - Causes pain in the sesamoid bones, located beneath the ball of the foot

  • Achilles tendonitis - Inflammation of the tendon that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, causes pain in the back of the calf 

  • Ankle sprain - Overstretching or tearing of one or more ligaments in the ankle, which causes ankle pain and can make it difficult to walk 

Injuries to the feet and ankles often occur during athletic activities, such as running or playing a sport, or while wearing ill-fitting shoes. Other potential causes of injury include impacts from accidents, a sudden twisting while walking, or underlying biomechanical problems or medical conditions that affect the feet. Treatment for most of these injuries typically involves resting the feet and modifying activities and footwear to take pressure off of the affected foot. 

All of these conditions, and many more, can be diagnosed and treated by a chiropodist. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Why Does My Foot Hurt?

There are many potential causes of foot pain. From an overuse injury to an underlying disease, foot pain is a sign that something is wrong and needs to be treated. Pain at the heel could be indicative of plantar fasciitis, bursitis, or heel spurs, while pain in the ball of the foot may be sesamoiditis or Morton’s neuroma. Pain in the toes may be from an injury, like a broken toe, or deformities, such as a bunion or hammertoe. Various systemic diseases, including arthritis and diabetes, can also affect the feet. Problems with the skin on the feet, such as athlete’s foot, corns, calluses, and plantar warts are sometimes painful as well. If you are experiencing any foot pain, it is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a chiropodist. 

Foot pain can have many causes. To receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment for your foot pain, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

Causes

There are a variety of different conditions that can cause foot pain, including: 

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Deformities, such as bunions or hammertoes

  • Injuries to the muscles, bones, tendons, or ligaments in the feet

  • Arthritis

  • Flat feet

  • Ingrown toenails

Symptoms

The type and location of your foot pain can help determine what may be causing it and what type of treatment options are best for you. 

Common types of foot pain include: 

  • Heel pain

  • Arch pain

  • Toe pain

  • Ball of foot pain

  • Pain that has a stabbing, burning, or tingling quality

  • Pain that is constant, intermittent, or that gets better or worse depending on the situation 

Diagnosis

A thorough medical history and physical examination of your feet will be required to determine a diagnosis. Imaging studies, such as X-rays or MRIs may be performed to rule out or confirm certain diagnoses. 

Treatment

Treatment will depend on the cause of the pain. Common treatments for foot pain include resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the affected foot, wearing orthotics, or taking anti-inflammatory medications. 

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

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