My Blog
By Ankle and Foot Institute
March 01, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Orthotics  

Orthotics are a device that is inserted into a shoe and are used to help people to walk, run or stand better and with comfort. These orthoticscustom-made shoe inserts are just one treatment method that your Saint Louis area podiatrist in Fenton, MO, Dr. Richard Wittock, can recommend for patients of all ages. Determining the best type of orthotics for your particular foot health is important.

Types of Orthotics

Ultimately, orthotics are designed to change foot function and can be protective. There are a few types to choose from and your Saint Louis area podiatrist can help determine which suits you best. Rigid orthotics are designed to help with walking and dress shoes and to aid function. They are usually made of a firm material. They help to control motion in foot joints that lie below the ankle joint. This helps to improve aches, pains and strains in the lower back, thighs or legs.

Soft orthotics are a type that is used to increase balance, take pressure off sore spots or the foot as a whole and/or to absorb shock. These are great for those with arthritis, diabetes or deformities. They are usually made of soft materials that can be worn against the sole of the tooth. They are custom-made with a plaster cast of each patient’s foot.

Semi-rigid orthotics offer balance to patients. They are made of a combination of both soft materials and reinforced with rigid materials. These are especially great for children with flat feet or other toe disorders. They also can help athletes with pain as they are training.

To determine which orthotics would fit your particular foot pain or injury the best, contact your Saint Louis area podiatrist, Dr. Wittock. To schedule an examination with him in his Fenton, MO, office, call (636) 717-1100 today.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
January 11, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Don’t let unsightly toenail fungus ruin the appearance of your feet!

You may think a toenail fungal infection could never happen to you, but it certainly can. There are many things that can increase your toenail funguschances of developing a fungal infection such as walking barefoot at the local gym or pool. Luckily, if this does happen to you, our St. Louis, MO podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock can help. Here are some common treatment options to consider when it comes to treating your fungal infection.

Most people’s first course of action when they find out that they have a fungal infection is to head to their local pharmacy or drugstore and pick out an over-the-counter medication. This can certainly be helpful for some people but not everyone. If you've tried to treat the issue yourself but have found no relief with over the counter solutions, you'll want to turn to our St. Louis foot doctor for treatment.

There are laser therapies that can be used to treat more serious and stubborn infections. Since some topical medications cannot easily penetrate through the nail to target the fungus, this treatment option is more effective. When the laser is directed at the infected nail, it can safely penetrate through the nail to break up and kill the fungus living underneath. Laser fungal treatment is completely safe and won’t affect healthy skin or nails. Laser therapy will require up to three treatment sessions. After treatment, you won’t actually see results until the infection has grown out completely. It can take several months to see a clearer nail, so patience is key to successful treatment of fungal infections.

If you’ve been unsuccessful in treating your toenail fungal infection, then turn to Dr. Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO, to get the proper, effective care you need to say goodbye to fungus infected nails and say hello to beautiful clear nails again.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
November 08, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Don’t let heel pain disrupt your daily life. Find out how we can help you!

You are getting up and getting ready to face the day but your feet have other plans. The first thing you’ve noticed is that your foot hurts. heel painThe pain is originating from the heel but it’s pretty unbearable and it’s making it difficult to even get around the house let alone go for your daily run. If this scenario sounds familiar, our St. Louis, MO podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock is here to provide some useful advice for treating your heel pain.

The good news is that heel pain can sometimes go away on its own, but you’ll need to take some precautions in your daily life to promote faster healing. Some things you can do to speed up the process include:

Rest

For people who are physically active most days of the week this rule can be a major challenge, but if you want to get back on that running trail right away then you’ll need to let your foot heal fully. High-impact activities will just prolong the pain. If you must exercise talk to our St. Louis, MO foot doctor about safe activities you can do while your foot heals. Popular low-impact exercises include swimming and riding a stationary bicycle.

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy can be used to temporarily reduce the symptoms of heel pain. You can use a heat pad, or a towel dipped in hot water or simply soak your foot in hot water. If your pain continues or if your symptoms get worse, it's important to visit us so that we can provide additional treatment options.

Stretching Exercises

It’s important to stretch and strengthen the muscles and ligaments in your feet to reduce inflammation and improve mobility. Plantar fasciitis is certainly a condition that benefits the most from these stretches. It can even improve biomechanical issues, which could be to blame for your heel pain in the first place. We are always happy to provide you with a list of exercises that you can perform each day at home.

If your heel pain doesn’t respond to these treatments we may also recommend orthotics, corticosteroid injections, ultrasonic therapy and other treatment options for easing your symptoms and boosting your recovery time.

Don’t let heel pain ruin your activities and put a damper on your quality of life. Turn to Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO if you are noticing that your heel pain isn’t getting better with at-home care.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
August 30, 2016
Category: Foot Care

A sprained ankle, while painful and inconvenient, usually heals on its own and, in the long term, is nothing to worry about. However, ankle instabilitymultiple sprains or a very severe sprain can cause a chronic condition called ankle instability. Learn more about ankle instability from your podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO.

What causes ankle instability? 
Ankle instability occurs when the ligaments in the ankle fail to tighten as they heal from a sprained ankle. This condition results in pain, difficulty walking, especially on uneven ground, swelling, stiffness, and an increased risk of ankle sprains and ankle rolls. Ankle instability is a chronic condition, meaning it lasts for a long period of time. If you experience ankle pain, especially after a sprain, for longer than several weeks or months, you may have ankle instability.

Is ankle instability preventable? 
Properly treating an ankle sprain is key in preventing chronic instability. If you believe you have an ankle sprain, be sure to see your podiatrist Dr. Wittock for the proper treatment. Allowing your doctor to monitor your sprain as it heals decreases your chances of ankle instability. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy or custom orthotics to further protect you from ankle instability.

Ankle Instability Treatment in St. Louis, MO 
Untreated ankle instability can eventually lead to tendonitis and other secondary conditions, making treatment in its earlier stages important. Often, treatment begins with more conservative methods like splinting the ankle or physical therapy. If these methods fail, surgery becomes necessary. During the surgery, your doctor makes several small incisions in order to access and repair the loosened ligaments. Recovery takes about two to six weeks, after which a walking boot after this time helps the ligaments heal correctly. Physical therapy is normally necessary alongside the healing process.

For more information on ankle instability and its treatments, please contact Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO. Call 636-717-1100 to schedule your foot and ankle examination with Dr. Wittock today!

By Ankle and Foot Institute
July 11, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: ingrown toenail  

An ingrown toenail happens more often than you think. How should you handle the problem?

Ingrown toenails may not seem like a big deal until they happen to you. This painful condition can become so bad that it might even hurt ingrown toenailto walk around or put on shoes. Whether you are prone to ingrown toenails or you are dealing with one now, find out how to care for your feet and what symptoms warrant a trip to see your Fenton, MO podiatrist in the St. Louis area, Dr. Richard Wittock.

Preventing an Ingrown Toenail

While ingrown toenails can be painful and unpleasant you’ll be happy to hear that this condition can be prevented. Here are some ways to prevent an ingrown toenail from happening to you:

Know how to trim your nails properly

It might seem odd, but there is a wrong way to trim your toenails. Sometimes people hack away at their nails to keep them very short, but this is not the best approach. When it comes to trimming your nails, make sure that the tip of the nail is even with the tip of the toes. Cuttings the nails too short may cause shoes to put too much pressure on the nail, which can result in an ingrown toenail.

When you do trim your nails, make sure to trim them straight across rather than at a curve. If you have diabetes or a circulatory problem and are unable to trim your own nails, see our St. Louis area foot doctor routinely to get your nails trimmed.

Wear the right shoes

Shoes that are too tight or don’t give toes enough room to wiggle and move can pinch feet and put too much pressure on your toenails. Make sure that when it comes to buying shoes that you only find ones that actually properly fit your feet and are the right shoes for the job.

Athletes, those with foot disorders and those who are on their feet for most of the day will need different kinds of shoes to cater to their lifestyle. Be sure to visit a specialty shoe store for all your needs.

How to Treat Your Ingrown Toenail

You can often treat this problem with at-home remedies, including:

  • Soaking feet in warm water for 15-20 minutes three to four times a day
  • Placing some cotton under your toenail
  • Applying antibiotic cream
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol to reduce both swelling and pain

If these treatments don’t eliminate the problem then it’s time to see your podiatrist in the St. Louis, MO area for more aggressive treatment that will actually get rid of your painful symptoms. If you’ve found conservative at-home care to not be enough then turn to our Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO.





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