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Monday, 23 April 2018 00:00

Why Do I Have a Bunion?

Hallux valgus is the scientific name for the condition commonly referred to as a bunion. This condition occurs when the bone between the joint and the base of the big toe protrudes, often causing pain and discomfort. An additional bone may form as a result of severe inflammation the bunion can cause, in addition to developing arthritis. The area may become red, tender, and swollen, and it’s suggested that larger-sized shoes are worn to replace shoes that do not provide adequate room for the bunion. There are several reasons why bunions may develop, including a predisposed inherited gene, improper shoes that are worn, or a condition referred to as flat feet. If the bunion is mild and tolerable, there may be conservative ways to treat this ailment. For more severe bunions, surgery may be a remedy to alleviate pain associated with this condition. A consultation with a podiatrist is recommended for additional information consisting of proper treatment techniques.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. James Kutchback of James Kutchback, DPM. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to develop bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development
  • Wearing Improper Footwear - shoes that are narrow and pointed

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in The Woodlands and Woodville, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 16 April 2018 00:00

Causes of Heel Spurs

If a tiny bone protrudes from the heel of the foot, you may have what is known as a heel spur. This condition occurs when the portion of tissue that connects the heel to the toes sustains an injury. Early symptoms may consist of swelling, pain, and general discomfort, and these typically occur while walking. Other contributing reasons for this condition can include weight gain or if the wrong shoes are worn. To properly diagnose this condition, an X-ray is typically performed to view the bone protrusion. There are several treatment options available, and these may include properly stretching the calf muscles, losing excess weight, and wearing shoes that fit correctly. It’s advised to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist to receive a proper diagnosis and to learn about the best treatment options for your heel spur.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot. Bone may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs. Pain sometimes intensifies with age. Heel spurs are known to cause a substantial amount of pain. One of the main associations spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our offices located in The Woodlands and Woodville, TX. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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Wednesday, 11 April 2018 00:00

Wounds that Don't Heal Need to be Checked

Your feet are covered a good part of the day. If you are diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often another sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Maintaining proper foot care is essential at any age, and it’s especially important for the elderly population to pay close attention to their feet. Commonly, assistance is often needed to properly trim the toenails because of eyesight concerns or experiencing difficulty in bending down. There are several steps to correctly trimming the toenails, and it’s suggested to start by soaking the feet in a warm bath to aid in softening the nails. It’s wise to thoroughly dry the feet, especially between the toes, and apply a moisturizer that will prevent the skin from cracking. Trimming the toenails straight across the nail bed can prevent ingrown toenails and infections from developing. Please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for additional information on how to care for elderly feet.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in The Woodlands and Woodville, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 02 April 2018 00:00

Are The Feet Affected By Obesity?

There are several ailments that may develop concerning the feet when obesity exists. When the body endures additional weight, it’s common to experience blisters, cracked skin on the heels, ankle sprains, and athlete’s foot. Many injuries occur because of damage inflicted on the soft tissue, so it’s important that the feet are protected during daily activities. This may consist of choosing to wear thick socks that serves as insulation against any friction. Pain and discomfort in the feet makes it difficult to exercise, and it often inhibits the desire to stay active. Diabetes can often develop as a result of being overweight, and it’s suggested that checkups of the feet are done regularly to aid in controlling this condition. Please consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist for additional information on how obesity can affect the feet

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in The Woodlands and Woodville, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How Obesity Affects Your Feet
Monday, 26 March 2018 00:00

Common Causes of Cracked Heels

A condition referred to as cracked heels may often be the result when the skin on the heels becomes thick, dry, and tiny tears or fissures appears. Possible causes for this ailment occurring may include added pressure, generally due to obesity or standing for the majority of the day. If you choose to wear shoes with an open back, the possibility of developing cracked heels increases because the skin on the heels is not protected. Occasionally, skin conditions such as eczema or athlete's foot may play an important role in developing this condition. Additionally, having dry skin will also aid in developing cracked heels. Utilizing a good foot cream when the feet are damp will not only seal in moisture, but make the feet feel good in general. If you have heels with severely cracked skin, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for information about possible treatment options that are right for you.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How do you get them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in The Woodlands and Woodville, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Wednesday, 21 March 2018 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet.

Want to wear open toe shoes again? ...Special occasion? Vacation? ...You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails.

Runners may be prone to experiencing injuries frequently if they neglect to perform proper training techniques. The feet endure an enormous amount of stress because of the pounding that occurs while running. If you choose to run as a part of your daily or weekly workout, it’s advised to slowly increase the distance and speed of your run. A runner’s worst nightmare can come from an injury that forces the running to cease. An injury to the Achilles tendon is common if proper stretching exercises are not performed prior to running. To prevent injury from occurring, stretching this tendon is crucial and needs to be implemented daily. This may help you avoid any irritation that can causes tendinitis. Additionally, if pain and tenderness in the heel is present, you may have a condition referred to as plantar fasciitis. This is caused by small tears in the tendons that connect the heel to the toes. It is suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist to discuss treatment options if your feet are affected by a running injury.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. James Kutchback of James Kutchback, DPM. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in The Woodlands and Woodville, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries
Monday, 12 March 2018 00:00

Causes of Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot condition which affects the toes, causing the joints to become deformed. Choosing to wear shoes that fit tightly is often the cause of this condition, resulting in the toes bending into a forced, abnormal position. The shoes will rub on the toe which causes friction, and corns and calluses will most likely develop. Additionally, medical conditions that presently exist, such as diabetes and arthritis, may contribute to the development of hammertoes. There are treatment options available, including splints to realign the toe and orthotics specifically designed to accommodate the affected toe. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised to learn about choosing proper footwear and advice on how to treat hammertoe.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in The Woodlands and Woodville, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?

It’s common for women who are pregnant to experience swelling and discomfort associated with their feet. Excessive sweating is a typical condition many pregnant women struggle with, and it may result in fungal infections that can occur as a result of excess moisture accumulating between the toes. Keeping the feet healthy, especially during pregnancy, is vital for the general well-being of the body. Performing stretching techniques may aid in preparing the feet to accommodate the additional weight that will be carried during the pregnancy. It’s suggested that incorporating moderate exercise into your daily routine may possibly avoid any numbness occurring in the feet due to excessive inactivity. The choice to avoid wearing high heels is often a wise decision.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. James Kutchback from James Kutchback, DPM. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy, but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in The Woodlands and Woodville, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
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