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Foot 101: Plantar Fasciitis

Though the top three most common issues to arise with our feet are bunions, calluses, and corns, other foot related issues are still common and just as troublesome to experience! Plantar fasciitis, for example, is when the tendon along the bottom of your feet are damaged. This damage can happen due to a traumatic injury or it can develop over time from over use of the tendon or ill fitting, non-supportive shoes. The pain of plantar fasciitis can be mild to severe and greatly impact your ability to walk.

As a coping mechanism, many people will change the way they walk to avoid or decrease the discomfort associated with their plantar pain. When it goes untreated for long periods of time, sometimes plantar fasciitis can lead to developing a bone spur on the heel where the tendon meets the heel bone. At this point, walking can be too painful to bare and it is likely that the sufferer would already be on their way to their podiatrist for relief!

If you ever find yourself experiencing plantar pain, the first step is to see your podiatrist. Your specialized and trained podiatrist will be able to examine your feet and let you know the options that you have for treatment–from orthotics to surgical intervention. In the meantime, try to find shoes which focus on arch and ankle support. It isn’t a cure, but it will help decrease your pain and discomfort until you and your podiatrist have a closer look at your feet.

At your next appointment with our doctors at McKinney Podiatric Associates, be proactive and ask any questions you may have lingering! To learn more, message us conveniently online or call us today at (713) 946-1500 to schedule your next appointment with Dr. McKinney and associates at one of our 8 convenient locations in the Houston area and surrounding towns.

Are Your Feet Giving You Trouble?

Do you know when you should go see a podiatrist? It can be hard to tell sometimes! When problems arise with our feet, often times we simply ignore the issue or address it with moderately effective treatments. For example, when you have a bunion, you may just grab a tool meant to cushion the bulge on the side of your big toe to put on when you wear shoes at your local pharmacy. Most of the time, however, this isn’t enough. There is only so much we can do to treat our problems from home. Here are some ways we can tell it’s time to see our podiatrist at McKinney Podiatric Associates:

1.) You have bothersome blisters.

If you have developed blisters, you know how inconvenient they are. Blisters happen so commonly that most folks don’t consider them something to bring up with their podiatrist. If you find yourself frequently developing blisters, we highly encourage you to bring this up with your podiatrist. There could be something right in front our noses contributing to the problem and your podiatrist will help you figure it out!

2.) Calluses and corns are a nuisance.

Not only can they be unsightly, but calluses and corns can also cause discomfort. When you consider how they develop, it makes total sense: the sensitive skin of our feet will thicken into corns and calluses over time where we experience repeated friction and impact. On the thicker parts of our skin, like the pads of our feet or the tips of our toes, we may develop corns and calluses. There are ways to help prevent these from developing and ways to remove them–be sure to ask about it at your next appointment!

3.) Your feet are in business with bunions.

Unlike blisters, corns, and calluses, bunions are a bit more of a commitment. You can take care of corns and calluses, you can nurse a blister away, but once a bunion happens, there are few ways to fix it that don’t involve surgical intervention. If folks in your family have developed them, chances are you will too. When they’re severe, bunions are seriously uncomfortable. Your podiatrist is eager to help you prevent and manage bunions–just schedule an appointment!

We use them all day every day–it’s no surprise that our feet can develop these issues so easily! Be proactive about your foot health. Contact or call us today at (713) 946-1500 to schedule your next appointment with Dr. McKinney and associates at one of our 8 convenient locations in the Houston area and surrounding towns.

Is Your Child Foot-Intelligent?

For children, many decision-making situations can be overwhelming. When it comes to picking the right pair of shoes for your child, there’s no exception to this rule. Children are constantly growing little by little every day, and before you know it, those shoes you bought for them last week won’t fit by this time next month! Better yet, your child said they fit because they wanted to get shoe shopping over with, and one month later, they’re disinterested in them because they’re uncomfortable.

When you go to a children’s foot store there are more options than there are days of the year, but it’s a good time to sit down with your children and have a talk about foot intelligence. Be sure to explain to your child, in a way they will understand, that taking a little extra time to find a pair of shoes they not only like the looks of, but also the feel of is important.

When talking to your child, explain that there are many bones in their feet, 26 to be exact! Those bones of theirs are always growing, and we need to make sure we don’t squish them and instead give them plenty of room to grow. Tell them how sometimes when we buy shoes that look cool but don’t really fit, we can hurt our feet!

Having unhappy feet means that it’s uncomfortable to run around at recess, and when they’re more grown up, can lead to foot problems like bunions, hammertoes, or ingrown toenails. When you schedule your next appointment with your podiatrist, be sure to let your child know that Dr. Scott McKinney and his team of foot doctors would agree that flashy shoes are cool, but knowing that they’re good for our growing feet is even better.

Your child wants cool looking shoes, and you want your child to feel confident as well as comfortable. Before heading off to the shoe store, call ahead and tell the shoe specialist that you’re looking to help your child make a better decision with a comfortable, safe pair of shoes. Help makes the sometimes overwhelming decision easier and simplify the task–let your child choose just a few pairs of shoes to try on at a time.

Ask your child how they would feel sitting at their school desk, running around at recess, or even going for a walk with family in those shoes. This will help them think critically and they will feel good about having a say in the decision. Next time you visit McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A., let your child tell Dr. McKinney all about how he or she helped make a good decision for his/her feet and developed better foot intelligence. Call us at (713) 946-1500 or schedule an appointment online today to visit one of our 8 convenient locations in the Houston area.

How To Maximize Your Summer Pedicures

When you hear that someone is going to go get a pedicure, you instantly visualize a relaxing environment that may include a massage chair, hot stones, and soft, calming music. For some, pedicures are an occasional luxury, while others regularly visit their favorite pedicurist monthly, or even weekly! There are pros and cons to getting pedicures done at home or by a professional and necessary precautions to take when looking to get pampered. Pedicures certainly benefit the appearance of our feet and legs, and getting pampered has some great benefits for your overall foot health.

Here are some ways that pedicures can benefit you and your feet:

  • Increase blood flow and circulation of the legs and feet.
  • Help prevent infection of the toenails and ingrown toenails.
  • Reduce foot odors.
  • Keep skin moisturized and healthy.
  • Clean the feet of potentially harmful dirt and bacteria.
  • Reduce stiffness and stress in foot and leg muscles.
  • Help identify problems early on, such as bunions or fungal infection.

When looking to get a pedicure, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  • Ask if they use tub liners–these can prevent the spread of bacteria and fungi.
  • Wooden tools cannot be sterilized; Ask for reusable sterilized tools or a new pair of tools.
  • Cuts on feet or legs are vulnerable to infection, hold off on a pedicure until it’s healed.

As you can see, there are a few potential drawbacks when treating yourself to a pedicure. With careful consideration of the tools used for your pedicure and the condition of your feet, these drawbacks can be avoided and you can enjoy a worry-free pedicure. At your next appointment with Dr. Scott McKinney at McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A., be sure to ask about any recommendations for your pedicure experience based on your personal history of foot health. Call us today at (713) 946-1500 to schedule an appointment at one of our 8 convenient locations in the Houston area!

Work Related Weary Feet

Do your feet ache on a regular basis?  Do you have a job that keeps you on your feet all day long?  If so, there are some things you can do to help relieve the discomfort.  I don’t have to tell you how exhausted you can get from the long days on your feet.  Especially when you don’t get many chances to get off them and take a rest.  Some days they throb and ache in the evenings.  And unfortunately, this wear and tear can have more adverse effects on your feet than everyday aches and pains.

Besides symptoms like discomfort, fatigue and swelling in the legs, you also put yourself greatly at risk for musculoskeletal disorders.  Due to the strain on the feet, this spreads to the shins, calves, knees, thighs, hips and lower back.  Also, you may find yourself facing some serious health concerns in the future.

People that experience long periods of prolonged standing daily can experience coronary heart disease, varicose veins, and chronic venous insufficiency.  Work associated back pain is about twice as common in those who work standing compared to those who usually work sitting.  As people age, it gets harder for them to cope with constant standing, too.  They can develop or exacerbate arthritis, and get varicose veins.

So, the effects of standing all day can show up almost right away, and prolonged standing or walking can accelerate soft tissue injuries and health problems.  The list is long as to the damage that can be done!  It includes…

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Muscle soreness and fatigue
  • Varicose veins
  • Lower back pain
  • Knee or hip arthritis
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Bunions
  • Neck and shoulder stiffness and pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Swollen or painful feet or legs
  • Various foot problems and pain
  • Circulatory and chronic heart disorders
  • Joint damage
  • Poor circulation in feet, which can lead to edema

The moral of this story is: if you must stand on your feet throughout the day because of your job, be sure to take breaks whenever possible to sit down!  Good luck, and if you do need some help with a foot issue, McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A. skilled team have 8 Houston locations available for consultation & treatment of your foot or ankle woes!  Contact us!

Are Bunions Cramping Your Style?

Is it sandal season again, and your feet are not ready to be bared?  You may be thinking it’s time to do something about that large bump jutting out at the base of your big toe- aka those unsightly bunions!  Bunions form at the joint at the bottom of the big toe when the bone or tissue at the joint moves out of place.  Years of pressure and abnormal motion on the joint forces the big toe to bend toward the others, which causes an often-painful lump on the joint.  Because this joint at the base of the big toe carries much of your weight while walking, bunions can cause severe and constant pain… Never mind how they look!

Bunions can run in families, but they also can be the result of the shoes we wear, or the way we walk.  Typically, bunions are seen more often in women, especially when they get older.  One might make the correlation between years of wearing high heels and the formation of bunions!  Doctors say that people who have flexible joints tend to tolerate their bunions more, but people with arthritis or stiff joints usually are troubled by their bunions more and may experience more pain due to them earlier than a person with flexible joints.

If you have bunions that are bothering you in any way, call Dr. Scott McKinney and his team of board certified podiatrists!  They offer eight convenient locations in the Houston area, so you can pick and choose which is easiest for you to get to!  Bunions are permanent unless they are surgically corrected.  However, there are some measures you can take to be more comfortable or to slow the progression of a bunion.  Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of wearing properly fitting shoes.  Other recommendations include:

  • Maintaining a normal weight
  • Protecting the bunion with a gel-filled or moleskin pad
  • Using shoe inserts to help position the foot correctly
  • If your doctor recommends, wearing a splint at night
  • Taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen
  • Using warm soaks, ice packs, whirlpool, ultrasound and massage

So, by all means, try any of these things at home to try to help yourself.  Contact Dr. McKinney and his staff if you need any help with any foot problem you are experiencing!