This winter has been an odd one for all of us in New England. Though our winter started off easy enough, the more recent blasts of icy air from the returning polar vortex have posed some difficulty for many of us! When the temps drop so low into the single digits or below, it’s hard to resist the urge to hibernate. This is especially true for those of us with foot or ankle conditions that seem to feel worse in cold weather or become more painful the less we keep moving on a regular basis. There are simple and easy ways to take care of yourself at home while paying attention to when and where your foot or ankles hurt.
It’s important to start out by considering whether or not your foot or ankle pain ever resolves with rest, or if it’s gone unaddressed by a podiatrist for longer than a few weeks. One out of every three people experience foot or ankle pain, yet only half of those experiencing pain seek help from a podiatrist. Dr. Jeffrey S. Kahn, Dr. Craig M. Kaufman, Dr. Ayman M. Latif, and Dr. Raffaella R. Pascarella encourage you to advocate for the health of your feet and ankles. If you’ve already addressed your foot issues with a foot doctor, the next step is to figure out what works and feels best for you to stay active.
What does ‘being active’ mean to you? When it comes to foot and ankle health, we don’t mean that you have to run triathlons on a monthly basis to be considered active. It’s hard to be active when it can be difficult enough to identify when, where, and why your feet or ankles hurt. Connecticut Foot Care Specialists want to offer a few easy ways to keep your feet moving and stay aware of what hurts:
- Sit in a chair and stretch your legs forward.
- Roll your ankles around clockwise, then counter-clockwise.
- Point your foot up and down, left to right, and in a circle.
- Repeat this, but while your toes are curled.
- Place your feet on the ground and point down to be on your toes.
During these exercises, pay attention to where it hurts and when. Write it down and share with our doctors at your consultation to get a step ahead of the game when dealing with your foot pain. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!
It’s hard to not be aware of the societal issue of weight gain and obesity in today’s culture. Sometimes, this makes it hard to be aware of our own issues regarding weight and obesity, which can prevent us from addressing those issues for the benefit of our health.
Did you know that many doctors today are actually prescribing exercise as a therapeutic treatment for various health conditions? Exercise is not only great for boosting your mood but it keeps your muscles, joints, and tendons lubricated and flexible. In turn, this can help slow down the progression of age-related issues and some of the symptoms from foot and ankle conditions like plantar fasciitis or arthritis.
While weight gain can worsen or trigger the development of these issues, did you know that untreated foot and ankle problems can also lead to weight gain by keeping you less active due to pain? Out of all the podiatry issues you could imagine, these are the top three ways weight gain can affect your feet:
- Losing the arch in your feet - when we’re overweight, this puts extra pressure on our feet. Over time, this pressure can cause the irreversible flattening of the arches of our feet. This potentially could lead to instability on your feet that can make you vulnerable to injuring your feet or ankles.
- Pain in your heel - conditions that cause heel pain such as heel spurs or plantar fasciitis can develop or worsen due to weight gain. Conditions like plantar fasciitis often hurt the most in the morning and after a long day of being on your feet, which can make getting to the gym after work nearly impossible.
- Slowing down due to arthritis - while there are several types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is most commonly developed due to excess weight wearing down the cartilage in our joints. Arthritis can lead to stiff and painful joints which can prevent you from feeling up to exercising.
You don’t have to deal with the pain and give up on getting fit! Our podiatrists are here to help: Dr. Jeffrey S. Kahn, Dr. Raffaella R. Pascarella, Dr. Craig M. Kaufman, and Dr. Ayman M. Latif. With locations throughout Hartford and Middlesex Counties, as well as Greater Hartford and Bristol, our doctors at Connecticut Foot Care Center, LLC lead the podiatry scene. Call us today to schedule an early morning or late evening appointment!
If you’ve been in and out of winter boots, ice skates, or ski boots this winter, you may have found yourself with a painful blister. These pesky podiatric problems are a result of friction or rubbing against the foot. This rubbing causes the outer layers of skin to rub together, separate, and fill with fluids. Here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we often see blisters at the point of infection and that are causing mass amounts of pain. You can avoid this state by learning a bit about blisters.
Never pop one!
It can be so tempting to pop them, but all that does is create an opening into the skin where bacteria can get in. This can easily lead to infection. Eventually, your body will reabsorb the liquid. The best solution is to cover the blister with a bandage and avoid wearing the boots or shoes that caused it until it fully disappears.
How to prevent blisters
Here are some great ways to prevent blisters:
- Wear moisture-wicking socks that help pull perspiration away from your feet and help to reduce friction. Bring a backup pair of socks with you and change socks as soon as you notice they are damp.
- Wear shoes that fit properly. Improperly-fitting shoes are the number one cause of blisters. There’s no such thing as a “breaking in period” for shoes – don’t fall for that one. Shoes should fit well and feel comfortable from the moment you walk out of the shoe store with them. Get your feet professionally measured and take the time to try on both shoes. Take them for a spin in the store on multiple types of surfaces if possible. Your feet tend to swell throughout the day, so it’s a great idea to shoe shop at the end of the day when your feet are their largest. Check the inside of the shoes for loose stitching or any stiff areas that might rub on your foot and cause a blister.
- Try a foot powder throughout the day that will help reduce sweating and keep your feet dry, especially if you’re going to be active!
If you’re dealing with a blister, we are here to help you. Here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers, our team of foot doctors is equipped with a wealth of knowledge and resources in diagnosing and treating your feet or ankle issues. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff has unparalleled experience and can help you at any of our six conveniently located Connecticut offices. Request an appointment today!
Bunions might seem like an issue relegated only to the elderly, or maybe to women who wore high-heels their wholes lives. However, here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers, our podiatrists treat patients of all ages and walks of life who are seeking relief from bunion pain.
What are bunions?
When your big toe’s bone or tissue is pushed against the next toe, a bump called a bunion begins to form at the outer joint. This abnormal pressure could be caused by your shoe choice, your gait, arthritis, or a trauma to the foot. While bunions themselves are not considered genetic, foot shape is passed down which can lead to a bunion.
How are they treated?
The first step is to visit your podiatrist for proper diagnosis. Your podiatrist will likely ask about your foot history, examine the shoes you wear, and maybe take an x-ray to see how far the bunion has progressed. Our podiatrists’ first treatment options are always conservative and non-invasive methods, such as:
- Icing and rest to alleviate inflammation and soreness.
- Changing your shoe style to a more comfy shoe that doesn’t squeeze your toes.
- Anti-inflammatory medications that reduce inflammation and pain.
- Cortisone injections to reduce swelling and pain.
- Taping and padding the area to reduce stress upon the bunion.
- Padded shoe inserts to help redistribute pressure on your foot.
- Custom orthotics to alleviate pain and prevent bunion growth.
When surgery is an option
If your ability to walk or participate in normal activities is limited even after conservative treatments were attempted, your podiatrist will likely discuss a surgical option. Bunion surgery helps to return your big toe to its normal position to alleviate pain and discomfort. Bunion surgery is typically done on an outpatient basis.
We’re here for you
If you’re dealing with bunion pain every day, we are here to help you. Here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers, our team of foot doctors is equipped with a wealth of knowledge and resources in caring for whatever is ailing your feet or ankles. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff has unparalleled experience and can help you at any of our six conveniently located Connecticut offices. Request an appointment today!
Do you wince at the first steps out of bed every morning from excruciating heel pain? You’re likely living with a very common condition called plantar fasciitis. There is a ligament in your foot, the plantar fascia, which connects your heel to your toes and supports your foot’s arch. When the plantar fascia ligament becomes inflamed or suffers small tears, it can cause great pain in your heel – especially first thing in the morning.
Can I minimize the pain of plantar fasciitis?
Luckily, plantar fasciitis pain can be managed and minimized with some simple stretches that you can do even before you get out of bed. This is a great way to start your day! Try these stretches to ease the pain and start the day right:
- First things first, it’s always important to warm up before any exercise – even stretching. Wake your feet up by tracing the alphabet in the air with your toes.
- Next, try to point your toes and flex each of your ankles 10 times.
- Roll both ankles simultaneously in one direction, then the other. Repeat 10 times.
- Pretend that you’re trying to pick up a pen or small object with your foot by crunching your toes towards your sole. Hold for up to 15 seconds and release. Repeat 10 times with each foot.
- Finally, sit on the edge of your bed and place your heel on the floor. Use your hand to pull your big toe towards you. Hold that for 15 to 30 seconds, then release. Repeat this four times on each leg.
Having a nice cushy pair of slippers waiting for you when you first step out of bed can also be a huge help for comfort, as can wearing supportive footwear the rest of the day. If your plantar fasciitis continues to flare up, and ice, rest, and over the counter anti-inflammatory medication are not helping, it’s time to check in with a podiatrist.
If you are dealing with painful heels, it’s time to call us. Our team of foot doctors here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers is equipped with a wealth of knowledge and resources in caring for your heels or any foot or ankle issue. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff has unparalleled experience and can help you at any of our six conveniently located Connecticut offices. Request an appointment today!
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