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Monday, 27 August 2018 00:00

The Causes of Hammertoe

Research has shown the main cause for developing the foot condition known as hammertoe originates from wearing poorly fitting shoes. Shoes that have little or no arch may cause the middle joint in the toe to bend downward abnormally, and this may cause the bent toe to resemble a hammer. This condition typically causes severe pain and discomfort, and may affect the surrounding muscles that are used to keep the toe straight. There may be several reasons why this muscle imbalance occurs, including wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move about, having specific diseases such as diabetes or arthritis, or genetic factors. Some of the symptoms that may accompany this ailment may include redness and swelling, open sores on the affected toe, and noticeable pain and discomfort. Certain measures are typically taken to treat hammertoe, and these may include performing gentle foot exercises that incorporate the muscles of the toes, in addition to choosing proper footwear. It’s important to speak with a podiatrist who can determine a treatment plan that is best for you as quickly as possible.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Michael Haag of Delaware. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Wilmington, DE. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Wednesday, 22 August 2018 00:00

Heel Pain Can be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning?

Improper shoe fitting can lead to many problems such as bunions, corns, and hammertoe. ill-fitting shoes can also lead to muscular imbalances in the body, which can eventually lead to hip and knee injuries. A perfectly fitting shoe should not have any excess material that may interfere with the foot’s natural motion. Many runners tend to wear shoes that are too small for their feet. If you are looking to purchase a new pair of shoes, be aware of the fact that your foot is at its widest at the toes, even though many shoes are not. You should also be mindful of the fact that your foot will spread up to half an inch in length when you are running. If you are experiencing problems with your feet due to poorly fitting shoes, you may want to schedule an appointment with your podiatrist.

Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Michael Haag from Delaware. Our doctor  will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in proper fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improper fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, properly-fitting shoes are vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Wilmington, DE. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Proper Shoe Fitting

Most people associate flip flops with sunny days and relaxed summer months. One benefit that many people enjoy is the ease of wearing this type of shoe. They do this, however, in spite of the many problems that may arise as a result of frequently wearing flip flops. A pre-existing foot condition that may become worse would be bunions, which are large bony protrusions on the side of the big toe. This may occur because the toes must consistently flex to keep this type of shoe on, often causing pressure on the side of the foot. People who have flat feet are advised to cease wearing flip flops because of the lack of support. Additional disadvantages may consist of increased heel pain, possible exposure to a fungal infection, and an altered posture, which may could affect the entire structure of the body. Research has shown if you choose to wear flip flops, it may be beneficial to significantly limit the time they are worn.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Michael Haag from Delaware. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are there injuries associated with flip-flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like wearing flip-flops, are there safe alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more, but will also last longer as a result.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Wilmington, DE.  We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Flip Flops and Feet
Wednesday, 08 August 2018 00:00

Reminder - When was the last time...

Custom orthotics (shoe inserts) should be replaced periodically. They need to fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles.

Monday, 06 August 2018 00:00

How to Properly Stretch Your Toes

There are several benefits to the overall health of the feet when the toes are properly stretched. Toes may deform gradually over time as a result of several factors. These may include wearing shoes that are too snug for extended periods of time, improper use of the foot muscles while walking, or standing with the feet pointing outward, which puts pressure on the big toe. When the toes are stretched, the possibility of developing Athlete's foot may diminish as a result of adequate space between the toes. There are simple and effective toe stretches that can be performed daily for optimum results. These may include bending your toes downward to stretch the top of the foot, and taking each toe in your hands while pulling it away from the toe next to it. If you would like additional information about the benefits of stretching your toes, please consult with a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Michael Haag from Delaware. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Wilmington, DE. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Stretch Your Feet
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