Next Step: Foot Care In Connecticut

Posts for tag: proper footwear

October 09, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions

At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know patients are able to readily identify a hammertoe by its characteristic bent shape causing it to resemble a hammer. However, they often don’t know much about what causes them or what treatments are available. Below are some facts about this common podiatric problem.

FACT: Hammertoe is actual a deformity of or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toe. It is caused by a muscle imbalance.

FACT: Wearing improperly fitting shoes that are too short for your feet can also aggravate or encourage a hammertoe to form.

FACT: Hammertoes are a progressive condition. This means they will get worse over time unless treatment intervenes with the progression. In their early stages, hammertoes are still flexible and the toe can be straightened using conservative measures. Left untreated, the hammertoe will become rigid and unable to bend. At that point, surgery is the only option for correcting the deformity.

FACT: In addition to examining your toe and foot, the podiatrist will likely order an x-ray of the foot. This will be used to assess the severity of the deformity and also to monitor its progression in the future.

FACT: A secondary condition that often accompanies hammertoes is painful corns. These develop on the top and front of the toe as a result of rubbing and pressure from footwear on this part of the toe that is exposed due to the contracture of the hammertoe.

FACT: There are several effective treatment options for hammertoes. These include:

  • Changing your shoes to styles made of soft materials with roomy toe boxes
  • Doing exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles
  • Straps to realign the bent toe
  • A custom orthotic device to help correct the muscle imbalance and foot position
  • Icing and oral medications to relieve pain
  • Pads to cushion and protect corns if they have formed

If you have noticed your toe appearing to be bending oddly at the joint, don’t delay. Contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices so that our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. can treat your hammertoe before it becomes a debilitating problem.

October 01, 2019

Ah, that crisp fall air and leaves changing colors—that’s autumn in Connecticut and a time when many of our patients at Connecticut Foot Care Centers enjoy going hiking. And while hiking is a great way to take in the beauty of fall, it can also be injurious to the health of your feet if you fail to take the proper precautions. Below are some reminders to consider before you hit the trail.

Do Your Homework—before setting out on a hike, study the trail you are considering. Note how long it is as well as the degree of difficulty. Determine the type of surface you will be walking on and the elevations. Remember, a mile around your neighborhood is vastly different from a mile hiking up a mountain!

Get the Right Shoes—like all activities, your feet need to have the right footwear for maximum comfort and safety. Hiking boots should be made of sturdy material, well-insulated and moisture-proof and have steel or graphite shanks. If you have chronic weak ankles, choose a high-top style for added ankle support. Proper hiking boots protect your feet and reduce tendon and muscle fatigue. Your hiking shoes/boots should have a good tread to help compensate for loose rock and natural material on the trail.

Pair with Good Socks—even with the right shoes, the wrong socks can ruin your hike. When feet sweat, friction between foot and footwear is increased and this means a greater likelihood of getting blisters. A good strategy is to wear two pairs of socks: One thin, synthetic sock to help keep feet dry and then a pair of wool socks over them to add warmth and cushioning. Look for materials that wick moisture away from your feet. Damp feet are more prone to fungal infections.

Stock Your Pack—while you don’t want to be weighed down, a few small items will go a long way toward making your hike more comfortable. Pack moleskin and apply to any spot on your foot as soon as it begins to feel sore or irritated to prevent blisters. Bring an extra pair of socks and of course a water bottle, which will help you stay hydrated and reduce swelling of your feet and ankles.

If you do sustain an injury while hiking or are experiencing foot pain after you return, be sure to contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices. Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. can examine your feet and determine if an injury has occurred.