Common Foot Care Myths Debunked

  • By Ruth Ann Cooper
  • 20 Mar, 2017

Healthy feet happen when you have the facts, but you would never believe how many old wives’ tales and myths exist about foot care.  Now is the time to debunk the myths that stand in the way of you and healthy feet.

Myth: Cutting a notch in an ingrown toenail relieves pain.

Fact: This does not relieve the pain and may actually cause more problems and discomfort. If you have an ingrown toenail, do not perform bathroom surgery-call my office to schedule an appointment. In many cases, a simple in office surgical procedure will fix the ingrown toenail.

Myth: The ability to walk on an injured foot means it isn’t broken.

Fact: Depending on the injury and your threshold for pain, it is possible to walk on a broken foot or ankle. This can make the injury worse and can also lead to serious complications. Stay off an injured foot until you can come to my office for an evaluation.

Myth: Shoes cause bunions.

Fact: Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot, which only surgery can correct. However, there may be treatment options to help your symptoms.

Myth: A doctor can’t fix a broken toe.

Fact: Untreated broken toes may develop arthritis or become deformed. Schedule an appointment with my office immediately if you believe your toe may be broken. Treatment options may include;

  • Rest- Sometimes rest is all that is needed to heal a traumatic fracture of the toe.
  • Splinting- The toe may be fitted with a splint to keep it in a fixed position.
  • Rigid or stiff-soled shoe- Wearing a stiff-soled shoe protects the toe and helps keep it properly positioned.
  • “Buddy taping”- the fractured toe to another toe is sometimes appropriate, but in other cases, it may be harmful.
  • Surgery- If the break is badly displaced or if the joint is affected, surgery may be necessary.

Myth: Foot pain is normal as you get older.

Fact: Foot pain is not normal at any age. I, along with my excellent and caring staff, can provide relief for many painful conditions such as arthritis, bunions, hammertoes and much more. Visit FOOTHEALTHFACTS.org to learn more about these conditions and how to recognize their symptoms so you can get a head start on treatment.  

Dr. Ruth Ann Cooper

By Ruth Ann Cooper 22 May, 2017

What lies hidden in the grass, dirt or sand can definitely wreak havoc on bare feet. From nails, shards of glass, slivers of wood, pieces of seashell at the beach, thorns from trees and plants or sometimes discarded toothpicks, each can puncture the skin of the foot and cause serious injury. Even after the object has been completely removed from the foot, any dirt or bacteria pushed into the wound from the puncture can lead to an infection, painful scarring or even a cyst. Any puncture wounds should be promptly treated in my office within 24 hours.

Besides hidden dangers, “everyday childhood injuries” can also interrupt a summer break. Protect your children’s feet from traumatic injuries, such as bicycle injuries and lawn mower accidents, by making sure they wear sturdy shoes while riding a bike or when cutting the grass.

Do not discount sunburn on the feet. Protect your children’s feet from the sun’s harmful rays by applying sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of their feet. Feet, like shoulders, burn faster than the rest of the body since they are most perpendicular to the sun’s rays. Not only is sunburn of the feet painful, it can also cause skin cancers that often go unnoticed until they become very serious.

By Ruth Ann Cooper 20 Apr, 2017

Competitive youth sports often require many athletes to transition from winter activities to spring activities without considering the increased risk of incurring a foot or ankle injury. Moving from indoor to outdoor playing surfaces with varying impact can stress a young athlete’s feet and ankles. Going from sport to sport without allowing time for muscles and bones to rest can cause overuse injuries.

If your child plans to participate in a sport this spring after playing through the winter sports season, follow these six tips:

  1.       Get a preseason health and wellness checkup. A medical evaluation before the season begins can help identify any health concerns that could possibly lead to injury.

2.       Take it slow. Ask the coach to gradually increase children’s playing time during practice to avoid pushing them full throttle. Your child’s feet and ankles need to become accustomed to the activity level required for a sport.

3.       Wear proper, broken-in shoes.   Different sports require different shoe gear. Wearing the appropriate, well-fitting, broken-in athletic shoes can eliminate heel and toe discomfort.

4.       Check your child’s technique. Watch for any changes in your child’s form or technique. Ask the coach to notify you if your child is placing more weight on wide side of his/her body or limping.

5.       Insist on open communication if your child has pain. Express to your child athlete that s/he should inform you and the coach of any pain or discomfort as soon as it occurs. Overuse injuries, such as Achilles tendonitis and shin splints, can be subtle and develop over time.

6.       If an injury occurs, remember RICE. An injured foot or ankle can often be healed with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). If your child complains of foot or ankle pain, s/he should take a break from playing and allow time for recovery.

By Ruth Ann Cooper 06 Apr, 2017

This painful condition results from inflammation of the tissue band (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. Repetitive activities, such as a new exercise routine or walking on a daily basis, can put stress on the ligaments in the foot, leading to inflammation and pain.

The good news is heel pain can often be relieved using conservative methods, but it must be treated early.

 Heel pain can become chronic and debilitating if not properly treated.

I can help you find relief with therapies, such as:

  •  Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Stretching exercises
  • Orthotic devices
  •  Physical therapy
  • Footwear modifications
  •  Activity limitations
  • MLS Laser Therapy
  • Extra Corporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)

 Although most patients with plantar fasciitis respond to nonsurgical treatment, some require surgery. If you continue to have heel pain with non-surgical treatment, we can discuss your surgical options.

Heel pain should not stop you from enjoying the beauty of Spring. Make an appointment with my office if you are experiencing heel pain so my staff and I can help you resume a healthy and active lifestyle.

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