Often, the problems in your feet and ankles go away with time, rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and changing your shoes. However, sometimes these problems just won’t go away, and that's when you should visit your podiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment.
When Should I See a Podiatrist?
If you are having a specific foot problem, your best bet is to visit your podiatrist for the best care available. Several serious conditions, such as diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, can show up in your feet first, making it more important than ever to get them checked out.
A Wound or Sore That Does Not Heal
If you have an open sore on your foot or ankle, you should visit your podiatrist immediately! This is especially important if you have diabetes, as it takes a diabetic longer to heal even when being treated.
Some changes to your feet are normal as you age, but having pain isn’t one of them. As you begin putting more miles on your feet, you may notice that your feet change shape, lose cushioning, experience skin changes, develop arthritis and experience an array of other complications. It's always best to get checked by your podiatrist rather than unknowingly let a serious foot issue worsen, especially as you age.
Pain Increasing with Activity or Lasting more than 24 Hours
If you are experiencing pain that gets worse with activity, this may be a sign of a stress fracture. You should not try to work through the pain. Instead, it is vital that you visit your podiatrist. If you treat a stress fracture early, you can potentially avoid more serious problems, such as a stress fracture that will not heal, or one that turns into a fully broken bone.
Don’t ignore your foot or ankle pain! Visit your podiatrist for a diagnosis, treatment and to help prevent your symptoms from worsening.
How your podiatrists in Louisville, KY, can help with diabetic feet
Having diabetes can be challenging, especially because the condition attacks so many of your body’s systems. This is especially true for your feet. Fortunately, the podiatrists here at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists offer a full range of footcare services, including diabetic foot care. With several convenient office locations in Louisville, Elizabethtown, Bardstown, and Bowling Green, KY, as well as New Albany, IN, they're here to help you—read on to learn how!
More about diabetes
If you have diabetes, you’re not alone. In fact, over 29 million people in the United States suffer from the condition, according to the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes is a harsh disease, with the ability to greatly affect your immune, circulatory, and nervous systems, all of which can create grave consequences for the health of your feet:
- Immune system problems cause your body to not heal well. That means if you get a small blister or cut, it can turn into a large, painful ulcer on your foot.
- Circulatory system problems cause a lack of adequate blood flow, especially to your feet and toes. This means that your soft tissue can die, resulting in amputations.
- Nervous system problems cause you to lose feeling in your feet and toes, often leading to chronic nerve pain, a condition called peripheral neuropathy. That means you may not feel it if you injure your feet or toes.
There are several things you should be doing to take care of your feet if you have diabetes. Remember to:
- Do foot and toe exercises to boost circulation
- Examine your feet and toes daily for any injuries, cuts, or blisters
- Wash, dry, and moisturize your feet and toes daily to keep your skin from drying out
- Apply antiseptic and bandage any open sores or cuts
- Always wear comfortable shoes and avoid going barefoot
You should also visit your podiatrist regularly for a professional foot examination, as this can prevent a minor foot or toe issue from becoming a major problem.
Concerned? Give us a call
To learn more about how to care for your diabetic feet, then call the podiatrists at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists, with offices in Louisville, Elizabethtown, Bardstown, and Bowling Green, KY, as well as New Albany, IN. Call now to take care of your feet!
If you are embarrassed to show your bare feet because of toenail fungus, it’s time to seek out help from an expert, your podiatrist. Toenail fungus is a common problem for people who spend a lot of time in public pools, showers, or locker rooms.
The podiatrists at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists can help clear up your toenails, so you can show your feet again! They have several convenient office locations in Louisville, Elizabethtown, Bardstown, and Bowling Green, Kentucky, and New Albany, Indiana to help you and your feet.
The fungus that causes toenail fungus thrives in warm, moist areas. That’s why it’s so easy to acquire the fungus if you walk barefoot around public pools, showers, locker rooms, or gym facilities. Remember to always wear flip-flops or sandals when you are in these areas.
You are also more prone to acquiring the fungus if you are older, or have reduced circulation or immune system issues. You are also more likely to get toenail fungus if you are diabetic, have psoriasis or have a history of athlete’s foot.
Toenail fungus begins as a tiny white or yellow dot underneath your toenail. As the fungus grows, the spot becomes larger as it burrows further underneath your toenail. Your toenail eventually becomes:
- Brittle and crumbly
- Thicker and darker
- Oddly-shaped or distorted
Your toenail also begins to separate from its nail bed. You may also experience pain and a foul smell coming from your toe. If you notice these symptoms, you can try:
- Trimming and thinning your toenail to reduce pressure
- Using over-the-counter antifungal cream underneath your toenail
For stubborn toenail fungus that doesn’t respond to home therapies, you need the help of a podiatrist. At Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists, we may recommend:
- Prescription-strength anti-fungal medications
- Removing the diseased area of your toenail
To read more detailed information about causes and treatment of toenail fungus, please visit the Toenail Fungus section on the Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists website at https://www.kentuckyfootdoctor.com/library/1894/NailFungus.html
Fungal toenails are unsightly and uncomfortable, but you can get relief. The podiatrists at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists with offices in New Albany, IN, as well as Louisville, Elizabethtown, Bardstown, and Bowling Green, KY want to help! Call today and help your feet!
Find out different ways to effectively manage your bunion symptoms.
Has one of our podiatrists informed you that the foot pain you are experiencing is due to a bunion? A bunion is a common foot deformity that often affects the joint at the base of the big toe, causing it to stick out. You may have noticed that certain shoes just don’t fit like they used to, rubbing against or putting pressure on this area of the foot. This is how many people realize that they have a bunion.
Of course, our goal is to provide you care that will treat your foot and ankle symptoms. While bunion surgery is the only way to actually correct the deformity, it is rarely necessary unless the bunion is severe or is affecting your ability to walk.
In most cases, patients are able to prevent their bunions from getting worse by following these simple non-surgical treatment options.
*Wearing the Appropriate Footwear
If you wear shoes that are too tight or bunch up your toes then you are going to be in for a really tough and painful time. It’s important that you only wear shoes that will provide your feet with enough support and stability without putting pressure on the bunion. Avoid high heels or shoes with a pointed toe. If you are in need of a pair of shoes that will aid in supporting your feet, our physicians can recommend the best footwear for those suffering with bunions.
*Consider Custom Orthotics
Getting fitted for shoes is important if you have bunions; however, you may still feel like your feet need a little added protection. In this case, our foot specialists can create prescription orthotics, or shoe inserts that are crafted based on the specific structure of your foot and any specific issues you are dealing with (e.g. high arches; flat feet; overpronation). Custom orthotics can provide your feet with more support, stability, cushioning, and shock absorption while standing or moving around.
*Splinting the Toe
While splinting won’t actually be able to correct the deformity permanently it will realign the foot and place the big toe back in the proper position to help take pressure off of the bunion and the surrounding area. This, in turn, can reduce pain and swelling. Splinting may also slow the progression of your bunion and can also be worn while you sleep.
*Other treatment options include:
- Over-the-counter painkillers
- Stretching and strengthening foot exercises
- Cortisone injections (for severe pain and swelling)
- Avoiding activities that exacerbate bunion symptoms
Of course, if your bunion is causing serious and constant pain then it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation with us to find out if your best treatment option may be surgery. Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists has offices in New Albany, IN, as well as Louisville, Elizabethtown, Bardstown, and Bowling Green, KY, to serve you better.
Are you suffering from an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails can cause irritation, severe pain, swelling and infection. The podiatrists at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists in Louisville, Elizabethtown, Bradstown and Bowling Green, KY, and New Albany, IN, can help you!
More on Ingrown Toenails in Louisville, Elizabethtown, Bradstown and Bowling Green, KY, and New Albany, IN
Ingrown toenails are when your toenails perforate the skin corners, or sides, of your feet. They may be hard, swollen, and tender in the beginning, eventually causing an infection, if not taken care of immediately. If you do have an ingrown nail, your toe may become sore. You'll notice your toe turning red, which means an infection is underway.
There are several things that may lead to ingrown toenails, such as:
- Improper toenail trimming
- Heredity, poor foot structure
- Repeated trauma and/or injury to your feet when you play sports
- Foot issues, like fungal infections
- Wearing inappropriate shoes, too tight, or too much pressure on feet
Treating with Ingrown Nails
Treating ingrown toenails can be a simple fix. Try wearing shoes that give your toes more space to move and avoid socks. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic if there is an infection, but soaking the foot in warm, soapy water several times a day and keeping your feet clean may resolve the issue.
If your podiatrist prescribes medication, follow their instructions orders for optimal results.
Surgery may be necessary if you are suffering from an acute infection.
You should maintain a basic foot care regimen. Don't ignore foot pain. It's how your body indicates something is wrong. Trim toenails straight across, wear properly fitted shoes and avoid walking barefoot.
If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, make sure to contact one of your podiatrists at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists, with offices in Louisville, Elizabethtown, Bradstown and Bowling Green, KY, and New Albany, IN.
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