If you experience cracked heels, it may be the result of wearing non-supportive shoes such as flip-flops or open-back sandals. These types of shoes have little or no support at the back of the foot, often causing the heel to endure excessive strain. A hardened patch of skin, referred to as a callus, will often form to protect the heel against this added pressure. The skin on the heel may also begin to crack. A possible reason for cracked heels may be the extra pressure the heel must endure when standing on hard floors for long periods at a time. There are pre-existing medical conditions that should be considered as well, such as thyroid conditions, eczema, or diabetes. Several options are available to make your heels feel better, including using a moisturizer that softens the skin and soaking the feet in warm, soapy water. If you experience cracked heels that hinder your daily activities, please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for a proper assessment.
Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact our podiatrists from Michigan Foot and Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
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.
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 one of our offices located in Michigan. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
As the aging process occurs, the cushioning in the feet becomes thinner and the nails can become brittle and dry. Sores on the feet may take longer to heal typically due to poor circulation, a common ailment in elderly people. Walking, stretching, and keeping the legs uncrossed are all beneficial in keeping the blood flowing freely. Feet generally become larger over time, and choosing shoes that avoid friction is necessary for a comfortable fit. There are several foot issues elderly people are most likely to experience, including athlete’s foot, dry skin, and ingrown toenails. These conditions may be prevented by washing and drying the feet thoroughly, especially in between the toes. When the toenails are properly trimmed, ingrown toenails may be avoided. Applying a moisturizer on the feet will not only feel good, but help keep the skin from getting dry. Please consult with a podiatrist if you have any questions regarding elderly foot care.
Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact our podiatrists from Michigan Foot and Ankle. Our doctors 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.
- 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
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 one of our offices located in Michigan. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Elderly and their Feet
Proper support is crucial while running and is typically obtained through purchasing running shoes as opposed to shoes designed for walking. Running is considered a high impact sport, and it’s important to have the correct cushioned shoes to help promote proper balance. A firmer sole is important to a runner for maintaining stability, and a sole that’s more flexible is easier for a walker to wear as it grips the toe and the heel. Thick heels are preferred in running shoes as they provide proper cushioning and support for the jogger. If a walker should wear shoes made for running, they may experience conditions such as shin splints or Achilles tendons injuries. This is often because the mechanics of walking and running are different. Running shoes offer features designed to keep the foot in a neutral position and may provide more stability than walking shoes. An additional difference between the two types of shoes may be that running shoes are made of lighter materials that are meant to enable a jogger to move faster.
For more information about walking shoes versus running shoes, consult with our podiatrists from Michigan Foot and Ankle. Our doctors can measure your feet to determine what your needs are and help you find an appropriate pair of footwear.
Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes
There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.
You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.
Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.
Flexibility – Walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Michigan. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Differences between Walking and Running Shoes
Stretching the feet before an exercise regimen is crucial in preventing foot injuries. To increase flexibility in the ankles, a resistance band is typically used. Stretches done on a step also work very well to loosen the heels. Rising up on the balls of the feet and holding the position for a few seconds will not only feel good, but also stretch the bottoms of the feet. Utilizing a tennis ball for stretching the foot is effective in flexing the tendons and ligaments. This is practiced by rolling the ball around with the sole of your foot to help stretch the arch, in addition to helping relieve tension. Occasionally, pain experienced in the feet may come from the need to purchase different sized shoes. If the foot pain experienced is severe or lasts for several days, it is recommended to see a podiatrist to get a proper diagnosis.
Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with our podiatrists from Michigan Foot and Ankle. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
Stretching the Feet
Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.
Great ways to stretch your feet:
- Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
- Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
- Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle
Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Michigan. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Stretching Your Feet
A large piece of bone protruding on the top or side of the foot may be referred to as a bunion. It’s often the result of inflammation of the tissues surrounding the big toe, in addition to the bones and tendons not lining up correctly. Narrow and high-heeled shoes are a common cause of bunions, which may become larger as time progresses and can possibly cause conditions like bursitis and arthritis. Symptoms can include tingling or numbness of the big toe, nerve irritation, and severe pain. Common bunions typically don’t require an exam, and most will be managed by applying cold therapy, wearing shoes with cushioned pads, and possibly taking anti-inflammatory medications. Surgery may be an option to consider if the pain is persistent or is affecting the quality of your life. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised for treatment of this condition.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why do Bunions Form?
Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form
How are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts