Your job requires you to be on your feet almost constantly throughout the day. Over the past few months, you've noticed increased pain in your heel and across the arch of your foot. What could be happening? Well, many adults with heel pain suffer from an inflammatory condition called plantar fasciitis. Your foot doctor at the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Richard Wittock, sees it frequently in adults of all ages, and he successfully treats in many ways for maximum comfort and foot function.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Affecting the wide band of tissue which connects the base of the toes to the calcaneus, or heel bone, plantar fasciitis in St. Louis may come on suddenly. However, Dr. Wittock says this painful condition rarely results from trauma. Rather, overuse typically causes it-- for instance, simply standing for hours on hard surfaces or playing sports such as tennis and running.
Other contributing factors are:
- Age (the fat pad on the bottom of the foot thins as we get older)
- Wearing poorly supporting shoes or high heels
- Overpronation, or excessive flattening of the arch of the foot when walking, running or jumping
In addition. while some people with heel spurs, small bony projections off the heel bone, have plantar fasciitis, not all people with plantar fasciitis have heel spurs.
How your foot doctor can help
If you're having pain in the heel and/or arch of your foot, please contact your foot doctor so he can perform a complete podiatric examination, including a visual inspection of how you place your feet when you walk. Also, Dr. Wittock may take X-rays to visualize your heel structure.
If Dr. Wittock diagnoses plantar fasciitis, there are several options available which supply substantial relief to most patients. Typical interventions include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Shoes with good arch support
- Custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts
- Cortisone injections
- Stretching exercises and physical therapy
If a patient does not improve significantly over the course of several months, Dr. Wittock may recommend innovative Extracorporal Shock Wave Therapy. Performed right at the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, ESWT treats plantar fasciitis with short, painless waves of energy. These mini-shock waves reduce inflammation and speed healing.
The Food and Drug Administration reports that 92 percent of patients treated with ESWT experience significant pain relief, and there's no down time. Patients are in and out of the office quickly after their treatments and enjoy better foot and ankle function.
And, feel better. See Dr. Richard Wittock of the Ankle and Foot Institute of St. Louis, MO, about your heel pain. It could be plantar fasciitis, and it's totally treatable. Contact the office today for an appointment, won't you? Call (636) 717-1100.
Like many foot and ankle injuries and conditions, bunions range in severity from mild to severe and can often be managed successfully with conservative treatments. Surgery is typically reserved for extreme cases where conservative treatments have failed, and the bunion is causing excessive pain or mobility issues. Bunions are fairly common and can affect people of all ages. Dr. Richard Wittock, a podiatrist in St. Louis, MO, offers diagnostic and treatment options for bunions and other foot and ankle problems.
Bunion Treatment in St. Louis, MO
There are a number of factors that can cause bunions. Although wearing narrow shoes that crowd the toes or that don't provide sufficient arch support can put pressure on the joint and increase the risk of inflammation and pain, shoes are not always responsible for a bunion.
Non-surgical Bunion Treatment
Conservative treatments and lifestyle modifications can often help to ease joint inflammation and bunion pain. Some of the most common non-surgical bunion treatments include:
- Orthotics and supportive footwear and shoe inserts
- Massage therapy
- Bandage or pad to protect the skin over the bunion from corns and calluses caused by friction from shoes
- Maintaining a healthy weight
When is Bunion Surgery Necessary?
In some cases, bunions can become extremely painful, making it difficult to walk or even wear shoes. If bunion pain becomes chronic, does not respond to conservative treatments, and interferes with your ability to walk and remain physically active, your podiatrist may recommend surgery.
Find a Podiatrist in St. Louis, MO
You don't have to live with foot and ankle pain. If you are suffering from bunion pain or are having difficulty walking or engaging in your normal physical activities, contact the Ankle and Foot Institute by calling 636-717-1100 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wittock today.
A research study by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) found that about 77 percent of Americans have problems with their feet, yet only a small portion ask for help from a podiatrist. Common foot problems include deformities, growths, oppressive odors, and ligament tears that cause pain. Discover more about the most common foot issues that are treated by Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in the Fenton and St. Louis, MO, area each year.
A bunion is a foot deformity that causes an inward protrusion of the bottom of the bone that supports your big toe. The top of the big toe then presses against the other toes, causing them to crowd. It’s caused by years of wearing shoes that press the toes together unnaturally.
Corns are an embarrassing and sometimes painful problem. They are layered growths of skin that usually form on the first and second knuckles of the toes. They are a sign that you do a lot of walking and physical activity—especially in shoes that are not good for your feet.
Athlete’s foot is an odorous and embarrassing problem that develops mostly in runners and athletes. Because their feet are often sweaty and hot in their sneakers or cleats, fungus infections are common. Athlete’s Foot can be contagious and recurrent, but there are basic treatments for it available from your Fenton and St. Louis podiatrist.
A callus is similar to a corn, except for the location where it forms. A callus usually develops on the bottom or side of the foot. The skin layers as a form of protection due to constant contact with a hard surface (usually your shoe) and gets hard.
The Achilles tendon runs along the back of your foot, attaching your heel to your calf. It’s crucial for athletic activities. When this tendon is stretched or inflamed, the problem is called Achilles Tendonitis. It causes swelling and discomfort in the heel.
Let a Foot Doctor Fix Your Feet
Are you struggling with one or more of these foot ailments? If so, Dr. Richard Wittock at the Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO and serving St. Louis, MO, can help. Call 636-717-1100 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Richard Wittock.
Ingrown toenails are nails whose sides or corners dig into the skin often causing pain and/or infection. They are caused by shoe pressure, injury, fungal infection, improper nail trimming, genetics or just poor foot structure. Dr. Richard Wittock in St. Louis, MO, can offer several helpful tips to help his patients reduce their chances of ingrown toenails in the future.
Toenails should always be trimmed straight across and slightly longer at the end of the toe with toenail clippers only. Never curve your nails. Keep the toenails the proper length as too short can lead to an immediate toenail issue and increased risk of ingrown nails. If you have a condition where you have poor circulation to your feet, seek help from a St. Louis podiatrist for proper toe trimming.
Also, always wear shoes that fit. Shoes that place too much pressure on the toes can cause the nail to grow into the tissue around it. Protective footwear is also important for individuals who may be at risk for hurting their feet or toes at work.
For individuals with ingrown toenails, soak your feet several times a day to reduce tenderness and swelling. Place cotton or dental floss under the toenail edge that is ingrown to help it to grow properly. Over-the-counter pain relievers also help ease the pain. Never avoid treatment whether you are diabetic or not as it can lead to more serious foot problems later in life and even infection. Diabetic patients should check their feet daily for any issues including the risk of ingrown toenails that can lead to more serious problems for them because of their medical condition.
A podiatrist can evaluate the nails and determine the proper course of treatment to prevent infection. To schedule this important appointment today, call our St. Louis, MO, podiatry office at (636) 717-1100.
Find out what you can do to prevent athlete’s foot from happening to you.
While athlete’s foot is not a serious problem, we can probably all agree that no one wants to deal with it if they don’t have to. If you find yourself dealing with athlete’s foot, then you may be wondering why this keeps happening to you and what you can do to keep it at arm’s length. Luckily our St. Louis, MO, podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock offers up some handy little tips for keeping your feet athlete’s foot-free.
Keep Feet Clean
While it might not come as much of surprise that you should be washing your feet everyday, you may just hop out of the shower and let your feet dry on their own. Of course, fungus thrives in areas that are moist and damp so if you want to prevent athlete’s foot then try and keep your feet thoroughly dry at all times. This means toweling off completely and between the toes after bathing. If you deal with particularly sweaty feet, apply an antifungal powder in your shoes prior to wearing them.
Wear the Proper Shoes
It’s also a good idea to wear shoes that are breathable, especially if you are prone to sweaty feet. You may even be able to find work-appropriate shoes that are also well fitted and waterproof. If you are having trouble finding shoes that provide enough breathability then talk to our St. Louis foot doctor or turn to an athletic shoe store for additional help.
Change Your Socks and Shoes
Most people just shove their feet into the same shoes day in and day out. You may even think that socks can be worn more than once, but if you are concerned about putting your feet at risk for athlete’s foot then you’ll want to shove those socks right into your hamper after using them. Give your shoes a day to air out before wearing them again. In the interim, you can spray or powder your shoes with an over-the-counter antifungal.
Don’t Share with Others
Regardless of whether someone has athlete’s foot or not, which can easily spread from one person to another, it’s important to keep things like towels or shoes to yourself. Sharing these items, especially with someone who has this fungal infection can make you prone to infection, too. If a member of your household has athlete’s foot make sure to disinfect the tub or shower after each use and make sure bath mats are properly laundered and stored away until athlete’s foot is completely gone.
Keep Feet Covered in Public Areas
Whether you love frequenting the community pool in the summer or you use your gym shower everyday, remember that these areas are hotbeds for athlete’s foot. If you want full protection, make sure to at least wear a pair of sandals in these public areas at all times.
If you are dealing with a nasty case of athlete’s foot or you just have questions about caring for your feet, you know you can always turn to the Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO. Call our office today!
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