My Blog
By Ankle and Foot Institute
March 24, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Flat Feet  

Flat feet can cause pain, limited mobility and more. At Ankle and Foot Institute serving the St. Louis and Fenton, MO, areas, Dr. Richard Wittock helps many people overcome this hereditary problem.

What makes flat feet flat?

You have bones and muscles in your feet and ankles. Connective tissue called ligaments and tendons helps them operate with every step you take.

Typically, when these connective tissues do not tighten sufficiently to form distinct arches on the bottom of your feet, you have pes planus, or flat feet. Also called fallen arches, this common podiatric condition results from developmental immaturity (babies and toddlers have flat feet until they reach the age of three or four), tight Achilles tendons and posterior tendon dysfunction. This acquired deformity happens when the tendon between the calf and the inside of your ankle becomes overstretched (even to the point of tearing).

What's so bad about flat feet?

The Institute for Preventive Foot Health has found that a full eight percent of American adults have flat feet. Diabetics, people with body weight issues and those with hypertension may suffer from pes planus. Sprains and fractures in the lower extremities may lead to flat feet as well.

Sadly, flat feet impact mobility and quality of life with:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion
  • Calluses
  • Numbness

Plus, symptoms can be progressive. That's why an exam and symptom management with your Fenton and St. Louis, MO podiatrist are so significant.

What your foot doctor can do

Dr. Wittock is a published podiatric expert on flat feet. When you come to Ankle and Foot Institute, he'll ask you about your symptoms and what may worsen or alleviate them. He'll do a complete podiatric exam and X-rays as needed. He may ask you to walk and to stand on your toes.

With a confirmed diagnosis, Dr. Wittock may advise:

  • Good quality footwear with adequate support in the arches
  • Custom-crafted shoe orthotics, or inserts, to lift the arches
  • Stretching and light exercise

Some people require foot surgery on the arches, or occasionally, a procedure to lengthen the Achilles tendon.

Get the relief you need

Flat feet can be managed with help from your podiatrist serving Fenton and St. Louis, MO, Dr. Richard Wittock. For an in-office consultation, please call Foot and Ankle Institute at (636) 717-1100.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
February 24, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Fasciitis  

Find out when you should turn to a podiatrist to treat your heel pain.

If you’ve suddenly developed heel pain, especially after running long distances or being on your feet all day, then you may have a condition known as plantar fasciitis. While this is a very common condition it’s also important not to ignore it or brush it off as something benign. Heel pain can become chronic if not properly cared for. Find out more about plantar fasciitis and how our Fenton and St. Louis, MO podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock can help you.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

There are many factors that could increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis. Some of these factors include,

  • Wearing worn or improperly fitted shoes that do not provide cushioning and even support for your feet
  • Being on your feet all day for work
  • Having faulty foot mechanics such as flat feet or high arches
  • Being an athlete or long-distance runner

How can you treat your heel pain?

It can take weeks or even months for plantar fasciitis to go away. It’s important to rest as much as possible and to avoid any exercises such as running that could exacerbate symptoms. Besides rest, there are a variety of self-care and lifestyle changes that you can implement to speed up the healing process. These include,

  • Performing calf and foot stretches every day
  • Wearing properly fitted shoes that provide arch support
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen

How can a podiatrist help?

If you don’t notice any change in your symptoms after a week of home care then it’s time to turn to our Fenton and St. Louis, MO foot doctor to figure out better strategies for treating your heel pain. One way in which Dr. Wittock can help improve your symptoms is with custom orthotics.

These shoe inserts are custom-fitted to your feet and are designed to provide you with the specific support you need to address certain foot problems (e.g. flat feet) that could be causing your heel pain.

Physical therapy may also be a good option for getting symptoms under control and for preventing future foot problems. Your podiatrist can guide you through a variety of non-weight bearing stretches and exercises that can also improve range of motion. Other options for more persistent or severe forms of plantar fasciitis include shockwave therapy, steroid injections, splinting and surgery

If you are dealing with plantar fasciitis or heel pain in the St. Louis and Fenton, MO, areas then you’ve come to the right place. The medical team at Ankle and Foot Institute can help you manage any type of heel pain, no matter how serious. To schedule an evaluation call us at (636) 717-1100.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
November 14, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions  

There are many painful foot conditions and not everyone is well informed about how to treat themselves. So, they end up living in Bunionsunnecessary pain.

Dr. Richard Wittock of Fenton and St. Louis, MO, understands that there's a lot of information out there and people need help combing through it all.

Here's some information you can start with:
 

What is a bunion?

A bunion, a hallux valgus, is the appearance of a bump on the side of the big toe. This bump is actually a result of the big toe leaning towards the second toe, which means the bone isn't properly aligned.

If bunions aren't properly cared for, they can become worse with time. a progressive disorder. The bump becomes increasingly prominent and, the symptoms mentioned below, start appearing during later stages.
 

What are the symptoms of bunions

Well, besides the bump on the side of your big toe, you may also experience:

  • Pain
  • Soreness
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Burning sensation
  • Numbness

 

What are the causes of bunions?

Bunions are inherited. How? Well, you inherit a faulty foot structure of the foot which makes you more prone to developing a bunion. Podiatrist realize some foot structures are more susceptible than others, but wearing inappropriate shoes doesn't help either. It may even exacerbate the condition.
 

How does your podiatrist diagnose a bunion?

Well, it's pretty obvious if there's a prominent bump on your big toes but your Fenton and St. Louis podiatrist also uses x-rays to evaluate the condition and monitors the progressiveness of the bunions with time.
 

What are some non-surgical treatments?

  • Wear appropriate shoes that aren't pointed, so toes have enough space to move, and avoid high heels.
  • Make sure there's plenty of padding to help minimize pain.
  • Avoid activities that intensify pain, like standing for too long.
  • A good idea is to use oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce pain and inflammation, as well as icing several times a day.
  • Use orthotic devices for added support.

Would you like to know more about bunions from your Fenton and St. Louis, MO, podiatrist? No problem! Just give Dr. Richard Wittock a call at his office at (636) 717-1100 today.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
July 19, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Orthotics  

Custom-made shoe inserts called orthotics may ease your foot pain if you suffer from pain due to flatfoot, arthritis, or diabetes, or want to orthoticsprevent overuse injuries if you're an athlete. Your St. Louis, MO, podiatrist, Dr. Richard Wittock, can help you decide which orthotics type is right for you.

What do orthotics do?

Orthotics cushion and support your feet, keep them properly aligned in your shoes and control joint movement. The inserts not only protect your feet but can reduce pain in your entire body. If your feet aren't properly supported, you may eventually develop pain in your ankles, knees, hips, or backs. Orthotics keep your weight evenly distributed over your feet and may help reduce your risk of developing leg, hip, or back issues.

What's the difference between drugstore shoe inserts and orthotics?

The inserts sold in stores offer a one-size-fits-all solution to foot problems. Although they provide some degree of cushioning and support, they may not do enough to improve your problem or may even make it worse. Orthotics are designed by your St. Louis foot doctor to address your specific foot condition.

What types of orthotics are available?

Depending on your foot problem, you may benefit from one of these common orthotics types:

  • Rigid: Rigid orthotics are stiff, full-length inserts made of carbon or plastic. They may be recommended if your feet turn in when you stand and walk, your legs are different lengths, or you have an abnormal gait. They can also help reduce back or leg pain.
  • Semi-Rigid: Semi-rigid orthotics are also full-length inserts, but they're composed of a soft, cushioning material placed over a rigid core. They're a particularly good choice for runners and athletes, as they decrease pressure on your tendons and muscles, control foot movement, enhance balance and cushion your foot.
  • Soft: Soft orthotics not only offer superior cushioning but also decrease pressure on the foot and improve shock absorption. The full-length inserts are often prescribed for people who have diabetes, arthritis, or age-related changes in the foot.
  • Heel Cups: Heel cups only cover the heel area of your shoe and offer additional cushioning. They're a good choice if you have heel pain due to plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, heel spurs, or thinning fat pads under your heels.

Could orthotics help you? Call your St. Louis, MO, podiatrist, Dr. Richard Wittock, at (636) 717-1100 to schedule an appointment.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
May 24, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Orthotics  

Find out if your aching feet could benefit from something as simple as shoe inserts.

We’ve all seen shoe inserts in the footcare aisle of our local drugstore. Maybe you’ve tried them before or perhaps you are wondering whether they are right for you now. Did you know that your St. Louis, MO, podiatrist, Dr. Richard Wittock, can create prescription orthotics to handle a wide range of problems that these over-the-counter, one-size-fits-all orthotics just can’t? Read on to learn more!

What is the purpose of prescription orthotics?

These custom-made shoe inserts are carefully crafted at our St. Louis office to cushion and support your foot. They help realign the bonesFoot Doctor in the foot and ankle, while also distributing weight and force evenly throughout the foot to prevent common problems such as bunions from developing. Orthotics also provide shock absorption and stabilization while taking pressure off of certain sore areas such as the balls of the feet.

Who can benefit from orthotics?

If you are dealing with foot pain or biomechanical issues that affect walking, then the imbalance you are dealing with could be improved with the help of custom orthotics. Athletes, as well as those who stand or walk throughout the day, will find that orthotics will not only lessen pain, swelling, and discomfort, but they also prevent issues from occurring in the first place by counteracting the pressure and stress exerted on the feet.

Are orthotics meant for everyday wear?

Absolutely! No matter whether you are donning your daily work shoes or you are throwing on your tennis shoes to go for your run, orthotics can provide your feet with the TLC they need to function at their best without taking on too much stress along the way.

Are there certain conditions that orthotics can improve?

Orthotics are great for patients dealing with a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries including,

  • Heel pain (often caused by plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Flat feet
  • Neuromas
  • Arch pain
  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Knee, leg, or lower back pain
  • Structural imbalances in the feet

It’s important to note that while orthotics can improve symptoms brought on by the conditions above, shoe inserts are not designed for those with severe foot deformities, patients with neuropathy, or patients who have foot ulcers. If you aren’t sure whether prescription orthotics are right for you, then it’s time to ask your podiatrist!

Give us a call!

If you want to learn more about custom orthotics and whether they could improve the health and function of your feet, then it’s time to call the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO, at (636) 717-1100 to learn more!





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