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June 2024

Tuesday, 25 June 2024 00:00

How High Heels May Damage Your Feet

Wearing high heels regularly can lead to various types of foot damage. The unnatural position of the foot in high heels places excessive pressure on the ball of the foot, which can result in metatarsalgia, a painful inflammation of the metatarsal region. High heels also force the toes into a cramped position, often leading to bunions, hammertoes, and other deformities. The elevated heel shifts the body's weight forward, altering posture and putting additional stress on the knees and lower back. This unnatural alignment can cause chronic pain and long-term joint issues. Additionally, the lack of proper support in high heels can contribute to plantar fasciitis, characterized by severe heel pain. The risk of ankle sprains and fractures is also higher due to the instability of walking in high heels. Over time, the cumulative effect of these issues can lead to significant and sometimes irreversible foot and musculoskeletal problems, emphasizing the importance of moderating high-heel use and opting for more supportive footwear. If you have developed foot pain and feel it may be from wearing high heels, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can offer you treatment solutions in addition to guiding you toward safer footwear.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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

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Tuesday, 18 June 2024 00:00

Dealing With Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, usually between the third and fourth toes. This common issue is caused by the thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes. Thickening often occurs from excessive pressure or irritation from wearing tight or high-heeled shoes. Activities that involve repetitive foot stress, like running or certain sports, can also advance the development of Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma can significantly impact your ability to walk comfortably. As the tissue around the nerve thickens, it causes sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot, which can make each step excruciating. The pain often spreads into your toes, causing numbness or a tingling feeling. Over time, walking or even standing for a long time can become hard, making it tough to complete daily activities and move around normally. The discomfort can also cause you to alter your walking pattern to avoid putting pressure on the painful area. This might lead to additional problems in areas such as the knee, hip, or back due to the uneven balance of weight. If you are struggling with Morton’s neuroma, it is highly suggested you consult with a podiatrist for an exam and diagnosis, followed by treatment options.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists of North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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

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Tuesday, 11 June 2024 00:00

Symptoms and Causes of Gout

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that causes painful flares typically lasting for a week or two. It most often affects the big toe, but also can develop in ankles. Gout is triggered by the accumulation of urate crystals in the joints, resulting from high levels of uric acid in the body, termed hyperuricemia. This can lead to crystal formation, though not everyone with elevated uric acid levels develops gout. The disease progresses through stages, including hyperuricemia, acute flares, periods of no symptoms, and, if untreated, crystal formation. Symptoms commonly include sudden intense pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in the affected joint. Gout attacks are often caused by certain foods, alcohol, medications, or other illnesses. Without proper management, gout can lead to complications, such as joint damage and associated health issues like hypertension, kidney disease, obesity, and heart problems. Risk factors for gout include genetics, diet, age, and gender. Menopause, alcohol consumption, and obesity may also be factors. Early diagnosis, diet and lifestyle changes, and treatment can significantly alleviate symptoms and prevent complications. If you are experiencing symptoms of gout in the big toe or ankle, it is suggested that you schedule a appointment with a podiatrist.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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

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In any workplace, the safety and well-being of employees are paramount, and preventing falls is a key aspect of maintaining a secure environment. Employers can implement various strategies to mitigate the risk of falls and minimize potential injuries. One effective method is to maintain a clean and organized workspace, free from clutter or obstacles that could cause tripping hazards. Ensuring proper lighting throughout the premises enhances visibility and reduces the likelihood of missteps. Additionally, installing handrails, guardrails, or non-slip surfaces in areas prone to falls, such as staircases or slippery floors, provides essential support and stability. Regular maintenance of equipment and infrastructure also plays a vital role in preventing accidents. Additionally, comprehensive employee training programs on fall prevention techniques and safety protocols empower workers to identify risks and take proactive measures. If you have a foot injury as a result of falling during your workday, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can offer effective treatment options.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

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