Orthotics may offer a simple solution if you suffer from back pain, a foot condition or experience discomfort after spending hours on your feet. Dr. Richard Wittock, your St. Louis, MO, foot doctor prescribes the shoe inserts to his patients at the Ankle and Foot Institute.
What are orthotics?
Orthotics support your feet, improve their alignment, add extra cushioning and absorb shock. Depending on your symptoms or condition, your foot doctor may recommend rigid, semi-rigid, or soft orthotics. Unlike drugstore orthotics that favor a one-size-fits-all approach, the inserts provided by your podiatrist are designed to address your particular foot issue. After evaluating your gait and examining your feet, your St. Louis foot doctor makes impressions of your feet, which are then used to create your custom inserts.
How can orthotics help me?
Orthotics offer many benefits, and your podiatrist may recommend them if you have:
- Back, Hip, or Leg Pain: Did you know that pain in your back or legs can actually originate from your feet? Structural issues, arch problems, or overpronation mean that your feet can't properly support your legs, hips, or back. Orthotics not only offer support but also realign and re-position your feet, easing your painful symptoms.
- A Job That Requires Standing: Standing for long periods can increase your risk of several foot conditions, including plantar fasciitis, a condition that occurs when the long band of tissue that connects your toes to your heels at the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed. When you wear your orthotics, you'll also be less likely to experience fatigue and foot pain at the end of a shift.
- Diabetes: Blisters can quickly become infected ulcers that are difficult to treat if you have diabetes. Cushioning inserts redistribute your weight, reducing the pressure that can cause blisters.
- Bunions or Hammertoe: Orthotics can improve your comfort if you have bunions or a hammertoe. Wearing orthotics may even slow the progression of these conditions.
Orthotics can also be helpful if you have flat feet, high arches, arthritis, Achilles tendonitis, retrocalcaneal bursitis, tarsal tendonitis, or uneven foot lengths. If you're an athlete, you can lower your risk of developing tendonitis, bursitis, stone bruises, or other foot conditions by wearing orthotics regularly.
Give us a call!
Could you benefit from orthotics? Phone your St. Louis, MO, podiatrist, Dr. Richard Wittock, at (636) 717-1100 to schedule an appointment.
4 Signs You May Have Plantar Fasciitis
Do you have plantar fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of pain in the bottom of the foot. The condition is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Podiatrists offer treatments that can provide relief from plantar fasciitis. Dr. Richard Wittock is one of the top podiatrists in Fenton, MO. Here are five signs you may have plantar fasciitis.
1. Foot Pain
Plantar fasciitis causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel. The pain may develop gradually and become worse over time. The pain is usually the worst after stepping out of bed in the morning, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or rising from sitting. Pain is also usually worse after physical activity, not during it.
Plantar fasciitis can cause stiffness and limited range of motion. Climbing stairs can be difficult due to stiffness in the heel. Physical therapy is a very important part of treatment for plantar fasciitis. It can help you safely stretch your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Physical therapy can also help reduce stiffness, as well as improve range of motion, making you more mobile.
Plantar fasciitis can also cause numbness in the bottom of the foot. If you experience this, you may have no or little sensation. Numbness of the foot can also occur because of injury to the foot, nerve damage, and poor circulation (such as with peripheral vascular disease and diabetes).
Plantar fasciitis is associated with swelling and warmth in the heel area. This inflammation is caused by excessive stretching of the plantar fascia. There may also be tenderness of the bottom of the heel at the plantar fascia's point of attachment.
The key to proper diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is an examination by a podiatrist. Whether your goal is getting back to sports, hobbies, work, or just enjoying life, our podiatrist can help. Don't wait another minute—call Ankle and Foot Institute at (636) 717-1100 right now to schedule an appointment in Fenton, MO. We want you to live your best life!
As summer begins to wind down, it is important to keep the health of your feet in mind, even when they are cooped up in socks and boots throughout the winter. Toenail fungus can happen to anyone and is often nothing to worry about. However, some cases of toenail fungus are stubborn and hard to treat, meaning your podiatrist may suggest procedures like laser therapy for your condition. Find out more about laser toenail fungus treatment with Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO.
Do I have toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus begins subtly and symptoms worsen over a long period of time. At first, the fungus appears on the toenail as a small yellow dot or spot. The discoloration progresses into a yellowed, thickened nail which may grow into a distorted shape. Eventually, the nail becomes brittle and begins to flake or crumble. The nail may also begin to separate from the bed. Your nail may also have a foul smell.
Where does toenail fungus come from?
Toenail fungus comes from fungal spores entering into the skin and coming to a rest under the nail. Some contributing risk factors for toenail fungus include:
- older age
- sweating heavily
- decreased blood flow
- a family history of toenail fungus
- tight shoes
- frequenting locker rooms or public pools
- athletic activity
You can prevent fungal toenail infections by keeping your feet clean and dry. Always wear shower shoes in areas like locker rooms or public pools and ensure that your feet are completely dry before putting on your socks and shoes. Additionally, always wear clean socks and ensure you change your socks immediately following activities which cause excessive sweating.
Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus in Fenton, MO
Toenail fungus is often a stubborn condition to treat. Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medication, ointments, or lacquers. However, laser treatment can help you and your condition. Your doctor directs the laser at the fungus, allowing it to treat the fungus and infected areas without harming the tissue around or under the toenail.
For more information on laser toenail fungus treatments, please contact Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO. Call (636) 717-1100 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Wittock for a consultation today!
Find out if the foot problems you are experiencing could be due to this foot deformity.
If you are noticing a large bump sticking out at the bottom of your big toe then you might be dealing with a bunion. As the bunion progresses it can even cause the big toe to lean in on the other toes. Our St. Louis, MO, podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock is here to tell you about to best handle a bunion if you do have one.
First and foremost, if you suspect that you have a bunion you will need to get a proper diagnosis. Usually, early on, people won’t notice any symptoms that a bunion may be brewing. While this deformity is gradual, it will continue to grow and worsen if you don’t properly care for your feet.
A bunion will cause a bony protrusion at the base of the big toe. You may notice that this hard lump is often red or swollen, particularly after walking or wearing shoes. Over time, the big toe will begin to lean in on other toes. You may have a bunion on just one foot or both of your feet. Once you notice any of these changes it’s important that you schedule a consultation with our St. Louis, MO, foot doctor.
We can often diagnose bunions just by looking at your feet. While the only way to repair the deformity is through surgery, you’ll be relieved to hear that some people can manage their symptoms without ever needing surgery.
The most common ways to treat a bunion include:
- Wearing the proper footwear that doesn’t bunch up toes or put pressure on the bunion
- Wearing a bunion pad over the bunion to protect it while wearing shoes
- Placing custom orthotics into shoes to provide support and to take pressure off of the bunion
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers
- Performing certain stretching and strengthening foot exercises
- Steroid injections (for more serious pain and swelling)
If you suspect that your foot pain could be the result of a bunion we recommend that you get an evaluation from Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO, the experts in handling everything from bunions to fractures. Call our office today to book your appointment.
A sprained ankle can cause serious pain, discomfort, and frustration. Though they present some of the same symptoms as a broken bone, a sprain affects the soft tissues which surround the bones and joints. If you sprain your ankle, you may not know the first steps to take to ensure a timely and healthy recovery. Find out what to do if you think you have sprained your ankle with Dr. Richard Wittock at the Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO, and serving the St. Louis area.
Is my ankle sprained or broken?
Sprains almost always occur after an event or injury, such as tripping or rolling the ankle. A sprain affects the soft tissues, often those which lie above the ankle joint. If your ankle is sprained or broken, you will notice pain, discomfort, and swelling. However, the pain associated with a sprain is concentrated over the ankle’s soft tissues around the joint. A break would be centered on the bone itself. Additionally, if you have a break, chances are that you will not be able to place any pressure on the affected area at all. A sprain may allow you to place some pressure on the area.
When should I see a doctor?
Your doctor is able to help you determine if your injury is a sprain or a break. If you have severe pain or swelling or you notice an open wound around the affected area, or if you experience the signs of infection, such as a fever or redness, warmth, or tenderness in the area, you should seek immediate medical attention. Schedule a visit with your doctor if you have persistent swelling or pain which lasts more than a few days, or if you still have pain after several weeks. Your doctor will use an imaging technique to definitively determine whether your ankle is broken or sprained.
Treating a Sprained Ankle in Fenton and St. Louis
Treating a sprained ankle often begins with the RICE method, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This allows the body’s natural healing processes to work uninterrupted. Over-the-counter medications can help with pain and swelling. If these methods fail to produce results, your doctor may suggest more invasive or in-depth techniques like physical therapy or, in rare cases, surgery.
For more information on sprained ankles, please contact Dr. Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO, and the St. Louis area. Call (636) 717-1100 to schedule your appointment today!
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