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If you are experiencing abnormal walking patterns, you may want to consider wearing orthotics. Orthotics are custom-made inserts that are slipped into your shoes. Generally, an impression of your feet is taken to obtain a perfect fit, preventing any feelings of discomfort. The benefits of wearing orthotics may include keeping the foot stable while performing daily activities and helping to correct debilitating pronation. They’re also beneficial in aiding in conditions such as bunions, corns, and heel pain. It may take some time to get used to your new orthotics, since your feet have been functioning in a certain way for years. Therefore, a gradual increase in wearing them may be recommended. Please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for advice on how you can be measured for custom-made orthotics.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain, but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct over arched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you, or if you have a more severe foot issue, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and more severe heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses, and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist on the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain free.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Children are usually flat-footed when walking first begins, which typically happens around 12 months of age. As the muscles in the foot start to strengthen, this condition commonly disappears. Walking barefoot at this age not only teaches the child to develop balance, it can eliminate the need to buy shoes every few months to accommodate the growing feet. Once the decision is made to buy shoes, it would be beneficial to have the feet professionally measured for length and width to avoid certain problems, such as ingrown toenails. Choosing shoes that have proper heel support and enough room for the toes to fit comfortably is vital for correct foot development. On occasion, the child may exhibit symptoms of certain foot issues, such as toes that are abnormally shaped, stiffness in the foot, or not walking by the age of 2. A consultation with a podiatrist may be helpful if you have concerns about how your child’s feet are developing.

Making sure that your children maintain foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet in childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care from birth to school-age.

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

  • Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet
  • Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet

  • Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus
  • Be watchful of any pain or injury
  • Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible
  • Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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The heel is comprised of numerous tendons, ligaments, and fatty tissue. Common causes of pain in the heel may include possible stress fractures, bursitis, and obesity, and can typically be treated with ice packs, foot massages, and exercises designed to flex the foot. Probable diagnosis may include plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and Sever’s disease. Refraining from activities that may have caused the pain not only reduces the stress on the heel, but will help in healing the tendons. This pain is commonly avoided by choosing shoes with laces for a firmer fit, discarding shoes with heels that are worn, and stretching the foot by warming up before a sports related activity. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised in properly diagnosing the cause of the pain, in addition to discovering the best treatment options available.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

● Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

● Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

● Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

- Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
- Wearing non-supportive shoes
- Weight change         
- Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a thing of the past.

With the advancements in technology and greater knowledge of how muscles and joints work, physical therapists can turn things around dramatically.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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A large piece of bone protruding on the top or side of the foot may be referred to as a bunion. It’s often the result of inflammation of the tissues surrounding the big toe, in addition to the bones and tendons not lining up correctly. Narrow and high-heeled shoes are a common cause of bunions, which may become larger as time progresses and can possibly cause conditions like bursitis and arthritis. Symptoms can include tingling or numbness of the big toe, nerve irritation, and severe pain. Common bunions typically don’t require an exam, and most will be managed by applying cold therapy, wearing shoes with cushioned pads, and possibly taking anti-inflammatory medications. Surgery may be an option to consider if the pain is persistent or is affecting the quality of your life. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised for treatment of this condition.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs by the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

  • Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
  • Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects the skin on the foot. While generally not a serious condition, it can be bothersome and is contagious. As a parent, making sure your children maintain proper foot care is an important step in preventing ailments like athlete’s foot. Here are some steps that you should teach your children to help prevent athlete’s foot. Make sure that they wear flip-flops or sandals in public bathrooms and around pools. When they are drying their feet, make sure they dry in between their toes, as athlete’s foot often occurs in this area. Keep your house and their play areas clean. Teach them to not share some items like towels or shoes, as these items may be contaminated already. Finally, check their feet for any symptoms of athlete’s foot such as redness, itchiness, or scaly skin.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily treated if done properly. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of athlete’s foot, as well as helping you figure out which treatment options are best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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