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April 19, 2019
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If your middle toe is bent in a downward position, you may have a condition that is known as hammertoe. The shape of the toe may resemble a hammer and wearing shoes may be uncomfortable. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition include corns or calluses that form on top of the toe and pain that is felt when the toe is straightened. Hammertoe may develop as a result of wearing shoes that do not have adequate room in the toe area, causing the toes to be in a cramped position for the majority of the day. Medical conditions such as arthritis or diabetes may be responsible for the formation of hammertoes, in addition to genetic factors. If you believe that you have a hammertoe, schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this condition.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors 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 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.

Read more about Hammertoe

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.

Read more about Keeping Children’s Feet Health

Flip-flops are a common footwear selection for many Americans during the summer. However, these shoes can be very problematic for your feet. While flip-flops may be a better choice compared to walking barefoot, they provide no arch or heel support for your feet. As a result, you may suffer from issues such as plantar fasciitis and stress fractures. If you still choose to wear these shoes despite the dangers they put your feet at risk for, you should choose a pair that are made out of soft leather. If you have an old pair of flip-flops in your closet, you should inspect them and see if they are still fit to wear. Flip-flops that are worn out should be thrown out immediately since they can easily cause injury.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors 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, 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 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 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 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.

Read more about Flip-Flops and Your Feet

Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant recently suffered an ankle sprain that is expected to keep him out of gameplay for at least one week. It is possible that the Cubs organization will opt to place Bryant on the 10-day disabled list to allow him time to heal and to refill his spot on the active roster. Bryant suffered the injury when he rolled his ankle trying to catch a pop-up in foul territory. In regard to the amount of time he will be sidelined, the third baseman said, “It shouldn’t be too long — I don’t think it should be.”

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, 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. 

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits can aid in prevention

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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.

Read more about ankle sprains

About 79 percent of runners experience some type of foot injury each year. It requires a bit of extra work to keep your feet in top running order, however it is necessary in order to prevent injury. If you want to make your feet less susceptible to injury, you should focus on strengthening your soles. According to clinical director Luke Bongiorno, "When your feet are stronger, you'll have better propulsion, which can help you run faster and more efficiently.” You should also be more selective when it comes to buying a new pair of running shoes. Recent studies have shown that minimalist sneakers may be more effective in preventing injury compared to running sneakers with high arches.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber, this will help you gain better flexibility.

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

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries