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When you come in with heel pain, there is a decent chance we will tell you it is due to plantar fasciitis. We’ll explain that it involves an inflammation in the ligament under your foot, and prescribe a course of treatment, but what if you want to learn more? You know you can always ask us questions, but maybe you retain information better if you can read it rather than just hear it. That’s what our online patient education library is for—to give you a written resource to dig a little deeper into the causes of foot problems and learn more about foot care techniques.

Explaining Your Foot Problems

Did you know that about one fourth of your bones are found in your feet? 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments comprise this complicated foundation of your body that allows you to run, walk, and jump. Add to that your blood vessels, nerves and skin, and you can see how many possibilities there are for something to go wrong.

Understanding your problem can help you see the causes, the importance of treatment, and the ways you may be able to prevent it from getting worse or coming back. Take Achilles tendinitis, for example. When you learn that this condition often happens from overuse, or from not properly conditioning your feet and ankles for the actions you demand of them, it will help you realize the importance of resting to let the tissue heal and stretching to make the tendon more limber. You can also be careful to add new activity gradually in stages so your body gets used to the added trauma and can withstand it better.

Understanding Your Foot Care Options

You can use the patient education resources to learn about various remedies for a problem. Look up the causes of bunions, and you will understand that treatment may be as simple as changing your shoe style or being fitted with orthotics. Learn that if you do nothing the problem will most likely get worse, and may end up requiring surgery to correct the alignment of the bones in your foot, so you can regain comfort and mobility.

The library includes information on all types of foot conditions, including deformities like hammertoe and heel spurs, injuries like fractures and sprains, nerve compression problems like Morton’s neuroma, complications from disease such as diabetic ulcers, or nail and skin problems like calluses, warts, and fungal nails. Just enter the term you want to learn about in our search bar to see what we can tell you about it.

Don’t forget to check out our blogs, too. These help keep you up-to-date on common foot conditions and the current trends in caring for them.

Working Together for Your Foot Health

We strongly believe that an informed patient has a better chance at a good outcome, because then we can partner and work together to put an end to your pain and allow you to resume your normal activity. Great foot care is a team effort, with all hands needed on deck—including yours!

If you have pain or numbness in your feet or have injured them in some way, give Axis Foot & Ankle Clinic a call at (403) 477-3338 to set up an appointment at one of our three, convenient locations in Calgary, AB. We look forward to helping you restore your feet to full health and function!

Foot and ankle problems usually fall into the following categories:

  • Acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot.
  • Arthritic foot problems, which typically involve one or more joints.
  • Congenital foot problems, which occur at birth and are generally inherited.
  • Infectious foot problems, which are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal problems.
  • Neoplastic disorders, also known as  tumors, which are the result of abnormal growth of tissue anywhere on the foot and may be benign or malignant.
  • Traumatic foot problems, which are associated with foot and ankle injuries, such as fractures.

Leading foot problems are:

  • Bunions—misaligned big toe joints that swell and become tender, causing the first joint of the big toe to slant outward and the second joint to angle toward the other toes. Bunions tend to be hereditary, but can be aggravated by shoes that are too narrow in the forefoot and toe. Surgery is frequently performed to correct the problem.
  • Hammertoes—usually stemming from muscle imbalance, this condition occurs when the toe is bent into a claw-like position. Hammertoe can affect any toe, but most frequently occurs to the second toe, when a bunion slants the big toe toward and under it. Selecting shoes and socks that do not cramp the toes may help alleviate any aggravation of pain or discomfort.
  • Heel Spurs—growths of bone on the underside, forepart of the heel bone. Heel spurs occur when the plantar tendon pulls at its attachment to the heel bone. This area of the heel later calcifies to form a spur. Proper warm-up and the use of appropriate athletic shoes can reduce the strain to the ligament and prevent the formation of heel spurs.
  • Ingrown Toenails—toenails with corners or sides that dig painfully into the skin. Ingrown toenails are usually caused by improper nail trimming, but can also result from shoe pressure, injury, fungus infection, heredity, and poor foot structure. Women are more likely to have ingrown toenails than men. The problem can be prevented by trimming toenails straight across, selecting proper shoe styles and sizes, and responding to foot pain in a timely manner.
  • Neuromas—enlarged benign growths of nerves, most commonly between the third and fourth toes. Neuromas are caused by tissue rubbing against and irritating the nerves. Pressure from ill-fitting shoes or abnormal bone structure can also lead to this condition. Depending on the severity, treatments may include orthotics (shoe inserts), cortisone injections, and, in extreme cases, surgical removal of the growth.
  • Plantar Fasciitis—an inflammation on the bottom of the foot that leads to heel and/or arch pain. A variety of foot injuries or improper foot mechanics can lead to plantar fasciitis. Treatments range from icing and foot exercises to the prescription of custom orthotics to correct the foot position and help alleviate pain.
  • Sesamoiditis—an inflammation or rupture of the two small bones (known as sesamoids) under the first metatarsal bone. Proper shoe selection and orthotics can help.
  • Shin Splints—pain on either side of the leg bone caused by muscle or tendon inflammation. Shin splints are related to excessive foot pronation, but also may be related to a muscle imbalance between opposing muscle groups in the leg. Proper stretching before and after exercise and corrective orthotics for pronation can help prevent shin splints.
  • Stress Fractures—incomplete cracks in bone caused by overuse. With complete rest, stress fractures in toes or any bones of the foot heal quickly. Extra padding in shoes can help prevent the condition. Left untreated, stress fractures may become complete bone fractures, which require casting and immobilization.

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