Posts for category: Foot Care
Heel injuries often get better with a little rest and home care. When your heel pain doesn't improve or worsens, your Mountain Home, and Harrison, AR, podiatrist, Dr. Eric Arp of Arp Foot and Ankle, offers treatments that can get you back on your feet again.
How to Treat Your Heel Injury
Resting is one of those things that's harder than it sounds. Even though you know you should stay off your feet, you have so much to do. Unfortunately, if you don't take it easy for a few days, your injury may worsen. Until your heel starts to feel better, avoid exercising, take advantage of grocery store delivery services, and embrace being a temporary couch potato.
While you rest, keep your heel elevated on a pillow. Raising your heel can help decrease swelling and inflammation, as can applying ice packs. Be sure to follow the 20-20 rule when applying ice. Keep the ice pack on for no more than 20 minutes, then remove it for at least 20 minutes. After two or three days, your injury may feel better if you apply heat to your heel. Remember that ice can't be applied directly to the skin.
Over-the-counter pain medications, like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, will help reduce pain and inflammation. Acetaminophen eases pain but won't help inflammation.
Cushioning your heel may make may standing or walking more comfortable. The foot care aisle of your local pharmacy or grocery store in the Harrison, or Mountain Home, areas may offer heel cups. The soft inserts are placed in the heel area of your shoes to reduce pressure on the heel.
When to Call the Podiatrist
Get in touch with your foot doctor if:
- You are in severe pain.
- Your pain is getting worse.
- You can't put any weight on your heel.
- Walking is difficult.
- Your heel looks misshapen.
- If it's been a week or two since your injury, and your heel isn't getting better.
Depending on the cause of your pain, your podiatrist can offer a variety of helpful treatments and devices, such as boots, walking casts, crutches, pain medication, corticosteroid injections, night splints, physical therapy, shockwave, ultrasound, or electrical nerve stimulation treatments.
Are you suffering from heel pain or another foot and ankle issue? Dr. Arp, your podiatrist in Mountain Home, and Harrison, AR, can help ease your pain. Schedule an appointment with the Harrison office by calling (870) 365-3668, or call (870) 425-7363 for the Mountain Home office.
Certain shoes can leave you prone to cracked heels and dry skin due to friction from wearing loose-fitted shoes. People who wear sandals and other open-heeled shoes are more at risk for developing cracked heels. Instead, opt for closed-heeled shoes that fit properly and provide support.
If you are overweight, you may be surprised to discover that this could be contributing to your dry, cracked heels. This is because your feet take on all of your weight while standing, walking, and running. By safely dropping that excess weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise you can alleviate some of the pressure placed on your heels to reduce the risk of cracking.
While we know just how luxurious it feels to stand in a steaming hot shower, especially during the winter months, this could be contributing to dry skin on your feet and cracked heels. If this is something you deal with regularly you may look at your current bathing or showering ritual to see if that could be the culprit. Simply use warm and not hot water, which can strip the skin of the oils it needs to stay moist.
You should moisturize your feet every day to prevent dry skin from happening in the first place. Moisturizers that contain lactic acid, glycerin, or petroleum jelly can help to lock in moisture in your feet. Moisturize every time you get out of the shower and throughout the day, especially before going to bed. If you are prone to very dry, cracked feet, you may wish to moisturize and then wear socks to bed.
Here are some simple but helpful strategies to provide relief from your bunion pain.
If you’ve been told by our Mountain Home and Harrison, AR, podiatrists that you have a bunion, we know how important it is to be able to get your foot pain under control. You want to be able to do the things you love without worrying about whether your bunion is going to ruin the fun. While it’s always important to discuss lifestyle changes with your podiatrist when you have a bunion, some easy ways to manage your symptoms on your own include,
- Resting your feet as much as possible and avoiding any activities that make the pain and swelling worse
- Alternatively, you may find more relief from soaking your tired, sore feet in warm water with Epsom salts rather than icing (everyone is different, so test out both options to see which one provides better relief)
- Make sure that you are wearing comfortable, supportive shoes that don’t bunch up your toes or put pressure on the bunion
- Avoid wearing high heels (heels higher than 2 inches tall)
- Perform stretching and strengthening foot exercises every day (a resistance band can be a helpful tool for performing some of these exercises to strengthen the muscles and tendons of the foot)
- Talk to our podiatrist about whether your feet could benefit from custom orthotics (most people with bunions can benefit from orthotics because they correct faulty biomechanics that often leads to problems like bunions in the first place)
- Massage your feet throughout the day to ease any discomfort and promote blood flow
So, what happens if home care just isn’t cutting it? If this is the problem you’re facing right now, then it’s time to come into our office for a consultation. We can talk about the treatment options you’ve tried and then recommend certain alternative options. Bunion surgery isn’t typically recommended or necessary unless you are,
- Dealing with severe bunion pain and swelling
- Experiencing persistent foot pain that is affecting your quality of life
- Dealing with bunion symptoms that are unresponsive to nonsurgical treatment options
- Having to miss out on activities and things you love to do because of your bunion
If you think you have a bunion, it’s important that you see a qualified podiatrist for a diagnosis and customized treatment plan. The team at ARP Foot & Ankle Clinic at the Harrison and Mountain Home clinic locations is here to help you get your bunion pain under control. Call us today at (870) 365-3668 or (870) 425-7363.
If possible, try to keep the blister intact. Do not try to pop or drain a blister that hasn’t popped on its own. It’s important not to put pressure on the blister, so avoid any shoes that may be too tight. If you’re going to put on shoes, make sure to apply a bandage (some band-aids are designed specifically for covering blisters) to the area first.
If the blister popped on its own, clean it with warm water soap (do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the blister). Once the area is clean, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream to the area and apply a bandage over the blister. These simple steps can prevent an infection from occurring.
You should only drain a blister if it’s very large, painful, or affects your ability to move. In this case, you should sterilize a needle with alcohol and then make a small hole in the blister to let it drain. You may need to carefully squeeze the blister to help it drain fully. Once the blister has drained, rinse out the area with soap and warm water before applying antibiotic cream to the area and placing a bandage over it.
You mustn’t keep the same bandage on your blister day in and day out. You should check the blister every day to make sure it isn’t infected. You should clean the area daily with soap and water and then reapply another bandage.
If you have high arches, you may notice them but not experience any problems; however, those with high arches bear more weight on the balls and heels of the feet. Over time, you may develop corns, calluses, hammertoes, painful calf muscles, or foot pain. If you have high arches, a podiatrist can provide you with a variety of ways to support your feet to prevent these problems.
Consider wearing custom orthotics
Orthotics are special devices that are placed inside the shoes to improve stability and to cushion the foot. These devices can reduce shock absorption while standing, walking, or running. While there are over-the-counter orthotics that you can buy, they aren’t specifically designed to fit your feet or treat the issues you’re dealing with.
A podiatrist can provide you with custom-fitted orthotics that can help to support the arches of your feet and distribute weight more evenly among the foot to prevent heel pain and pain in the ball of the foot.
Wear shoes that support your feet
You must be also wearing shoes that can accommodate your high arches, especially if you are on your feet most of the day or participate in physical activities. Those with high arches are prone to stress fractures and ankle sprains, and you must consider shoes that have,
- A high top that can cushion and support the ankles
- A spacious toe box that won’t put pressure on the toes or cause irritation to preexisting deformities such as hammertoes or bunions
- A midsole that has added cushioning to reduce pressure
- A high-abrasion rubber outsole that will provide more durability (especially important for running shoes and athletic footwear)
Talk to your podiatrist about bracing
In some cases, your podiatrist may also recommend bracing the feet and ankles to help stabilize them and provide additional support. If your podiatrist has told you that you also have a drop foot, which means that you have trouble lifting the front of your foot, then bracing may also be a great way to manage this problem and provide a more natural and comfortable gait when walking.
While high arches alone aren’t a cause for concern it can be good to know about potential issues that it can cause along the way so you can take the necessary precautions now to protect your feet. If you are dealing with foot pain or other problems, a podiatrist can help.