We Answer Your Top Questions About Podiatry and Physical Therapy
Have questions about bunion removal, orthotics and more?
When you live in constant pain, you have questions about what causes your pain and how you can get the relief you crave. Get the answers you need from our podiatrists and physical therapists.
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Can I get rid of a bunion on my own?
Unfortunately, you cannot simply get rid of a bunion yourself. The only way to banish the painful bump is by way of a surgical procedure. There are, however, things you can do to slow the progression of the problem and ease painful symptoms.
Choosing shoes with wide and deep toe boxes, low heels, and made of materials that offer a little give to accommodate the bump, will go a long way toward reducing discomfort. Stretching your big toe, using bunion pads, and wearing splints that hold the toe in proper position can all help as well. You can also try taping your toe in to place, or slipping orthotics into your shoes. If your bunion is red, swollen, and painful like they can often be, take a load off, ice the area, and relieve inflammation with medication.
If these methods fail to bring you relief, then you might want to consider the only true way to get rid of a bunion, and that’s surgery. Call Dr. O to discuss your options by dialing (303) 805-5156.
What foot stretches should I do for my job?
Whether done before you head to work, or on your break, foot stretches can help working feet stay limber and strong. Try simply raising up and down on your toes to strengthen muscles, or flexing your feet then pointing your toes. Face a wall with hands pressed against it and legs extended behind you, then press your heels to the floor to stretch your calf muscle, bending your knee slightly to stretch your Achilles. Ankle rotations are great for keeping joints healthy, too.
Make sure if your job requires standing for long periods of time that you take breaks to give your feet a rest, and invest in supportive comfortable shoes. One last thing—remember, when you get home from work, there’s nothing like a nice foot massage!
For more tips to make sure your working feet get the TLC they need, give Dr. O a call at (303) 805-5156.
What’s the difference between a bunion and a bunionette?
A bunion and bunionette are very similar, but they have one key difference: they develop on opposite sides of your foot. A bunion is an enlarged bump at the base of your big toe, where the digit meets the ball of your foot. A bunionette is a swollen bump on the outside of your foot at the base of your smallest toe. Also called a tailor’s bunion, this is an issue with the fifth metatarsal bone tilting away from its neighbors while the little toe tilts toward the other digits, causing the joint to bulge outward—just like a bunion, but on the outside of the foot. Pressure on the bump inflames and irritates it, creating swelling and pain. This can make it uncomfortable to wear certain shoes.Although bunions and bunionettes are not the same, they are very similar and develop for similar reasons. The best way to take care of either condition is to address it before it gets worse. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will help you eliminate the pain and prevent the problem from deteriorating. Contact our offices in Parker, Castle Pines, and Cherry Creek, CO for more information or an appointment by calling (303) 805-5156.
What’s the best first aid for a puncture wound?
Step on a nail and your scream will let the whole world know. And the whole world will tell you to get that looked at immediately. Puncture wounds to your feet need prompt care to avoid complications. If the object you stepped on is small, like a needle or a splinter, carefully remove it and apply gentle pressure to your foot to stop any bleeding. If debris is left in the wound, you may need professional help to remove all the pieces. Use soap and water to clean the puncture and minimize your infection risk. Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic and a clean bandage to protect the hole. You may need to pad the area around the wound to protect it from pressure, too.Make sure you change the bandage regularly and check the wound for signs of infection. If you see anything suspicious, get it checked right away. You should also get immediate care if you notice rust on whatever you stepped on. Puncture wounds can easily result in tetanus, and that doesn’t depend on how small they are. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. is here to help you with any type of wound healing. Make an appointment at our Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, or Parker, CO offices by calling (303) 805-5156 or using our online forms.
What causes muscles to cramp?
Muscles cramp for multiple reasons. The most common causes are fatigue and overuse, dehydration, holding one position for too long, and poor circulation. The more tired and overworked your muscles are, the more likely they will seize up when you continue to use them. Without sufficient water in your body, your muscles are prone to cramping as well. Holding one position for too long stresses your muscle tissues in several ways, which can make a cramp more likely. Poor circulation means your lower limbs aren’t able to get the oxygen and nutrients they need, and so leads to painful problems.Sometimes serious health conditions can make you prone to muscle cramping as well. Kidney disease, thyroid disorders, nerve problems, and even diabetes can contribute to muscle cramps, particularly in your lower limbs. Sometimes the pain is a side effect of medications or vitamin deficiencies, too. If you’re struggling with frequent foot cramps, let our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. help you discover the underlying cause. Make an appointment at our Castle Pines, Parker, or Cherry Creek, CO, offices online. You can also call (303) 805-5156 to reach us.
What’s the best way to treat a blister?
Blisters on your feet are best kept intact and covered as much as possible while they heal. When you discover a blister, don’t “pop” it—simply clean it with soap and water. If it has already ruptured, try to leave the torn skin in place. After that, cover the spot with a bandage to protect it from friction. Making a donut bandage can alleviate the pressure on the sore, too: to do so, cut a hole the size of your blister in a moleskin bandage, then place that over the little wound. The thick moleskin protects your blister from pressure and friction without pressing against the sensitive bubble.Also, change your footwear so that you use moisture-wicking socks and shoes that do not squeeze or rub against the sensitive spot. If the blister is particularly large, or you have a preexisting condition like diabetes that affects your immune system, you may need to have it lanced and treated. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, and Parker, CO, can help you. Make an appointment online, or by calling one of our offices at (303) 805-5156, to take care of your blisters today!
How can I prevent blisters?
To prevent blisters from forming, you need to eliminate the damaging friction between your skin and your footwear. Wear fitted, moisture-wicking socks, particularly when you are active. Sometimes layering thin and slightly thicker socks can help reduce friction even further if a simple sock change is not enough. Always wear shoes that fit correctly for your foot shape, length, and width so your feet don’t get squeezed. Choose a style that is appropriate for your activities, too—don’t wear fancy fashion boots to go hiking, or sandals to go running, for example.When you get new shoes, particularly work boots or other types of active wear, take a little time to break them in before subjecting them to heavy use and hours of wear. That way they have time to mold to your feet without giving you blisters. If you know certain areas of your lower limbs are prone to blistering, protect them with athletic tape or moleskin pads. If you suffer frequent blisters, let Podiatry Associates, P.C. help you take care of your lower limbs. You can contact our offices online, or call (303) 805-5156 to reach our locations in Cherry Creek, Parker, and Castle Pines, CO.
Can I treat toenail fungus without medication?
There are alternatives to treat toenail fungus, though they can vary in how effective they are. Many people swear by natural and home remedies, but the success of these remedies is inconsistent and what may have helped your neighbor may not do anything for you. Some common, natural alternatives include Vick’s VapoRub, apple cider vinegar, and essential oils like tea tree, oregano, and lavender oil. All of these have to be applied topically to your toenails consistently over time for them to work.
A more reliable, non-medication method is to treat your toes with laser therapy. This method uses intense, highly focused laser lights that are set to very specific wavelengths to destroy the infecting fungus under your nails. The light passes harmlessly through your nail and affects the infection underneath, all without harming your toe or nail at all. In clinical studies so far, this method has been successful for a majority of patients, though again, it may not work for everyone.Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. are experts at eliminating toenail fungus. Contact our Cherry Creek, Parker, or Castle Pines, CO, offices today for more information or an appointment by calling (303) 805-5156.
When should I start toenail fungus laser treatment?
When you start laser treatment for toenail fungus depends entirely on you, your needs, and your discussion with foot and nail experts like our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C.. The sooner you address nail fungus, though, the easier it is to eliminate. The condition gets harder to treat the more it spreads and damages your nails. You are able to begin laser treatment once the condition has been diagnosed accurately, but it might fit your needs better to start with other treatments first before jumping to the laser therapy.
Our team will help you determine what will be the best fit for you and your needs, whether that’s laser treatment or something else. The key is to get your nails checked as soon as you notice changes that might be an infection. Our experts will perform diagnostic tests to check for the fungus. Once it has been confirmed, we’ll discuss the nail laser and other treatment options with you.Make an appointment today to have your nails checked if you’re even suspicious that something isn’t right. You can reach our Castle Pines, Parker, and Cherry Creek, CO, offices online, or by calling (303) 805-5156.
Does being overweight put me at risk for diabetes?
Yes, being overweight increases your risk for developing diabetes. Obesity and diabetes are closely linked because of how excess fat and inactivity negatively affect your body. Excess fat actually increases your body’s resistance to insulin, which is the substance your body uses to process blood sugar correctly. Over time, this resistance can result in diabetes, or make existing diabetic problems much worse. Just as serious, obesity strains other systems throughout your body—including your heart, circulation, muscles, and skeleton—making it more likely you’ll develop diabetes and other health problems.Although it’s challenging, changing your diet and losing weight is the best way to prevent weight-related health problems like type 2 diabetes. Then you’re able to avoid diabetic complications, including foot problems like ulcers and Charcot foot. If you’re concerned your weight is putting your health at risk, or you’ve been told you now have diabetes, let our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. help you take care of yourself. We’ll make sure you and your feet get the help you need. Call (303) 805-5156 or use our online request forms to reach us.