Posts

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.

“Orthotics: Are They The Right Fit?”

Compared to other limbs, our feet sure do a lot of work–they carry us around everywhere we go, up and down flights of stairs, across smooth and rough terrain, and take the brunt of our physical activity. In 2014, it was found that nearly 80% of Americans experience foot pain, yet barely one third of those suffering from discomfort would seek the help of a podiatrist. For the able-bodied person, relying on your feet is essential and even minor discomfort can deter a person from taking an evening stroll. One of the many ways your podiatrist can help you get back on your feet is by recommending the right fit of orthotics.

Orthotics are specially designed to help the foot align in a way that is best for your anatomy. In a way, orthotics are like prescription eyeglasses in that they provide corrective care for your feet, allowing them realign to a healthier position that they otherwise wouldn’t achieve on their own. Unlike store-bought insoles, orthotics are biomechanical medical appliances made from actual imprints of your feet–not someone else’s! Orthotics can help you with many foot related issues: bunions, leg and knee pain, hip pain, hammer toes, and even neck pain!

When you are prescribed custom orthotics, it may take some time for your feet to adjust. At first, it might feel uncomfortable, but giving yourself adequate time to adapt to your new orthotics is essential. You may opt to start wearing them on the weekend to give yourself plenty of time to adjust and feel them out. Once your feet have adjusted, wearing your custom orthotics as often as possible is the best path to success for pain-free feet. However, if you often participate in physical activities, you may want to order a second pair to wear when being active. Almost any pair of shoes with removable insoles can fit your custom orthotics in them, making orthotics even more appealing! Imagine how good it will feel knowing that you are helping your feet rather than harming them by wearing unsupportive shoes through your long, strenuous day.

If you think that custom orthotics are something you would like to try, reach out to your reliable podiatrists at McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A. for advice on how orthotics may benefit you and 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.

[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form]

6 Ways To Ensure A Good Fit

Our feet,​ ​like​ ​the​ ​foundation​ ​of​ ​a​ ​building,​ ​are​ ​important​ ​to​ ​providing​ ​structure​ ​and​ ​stability​ ​in our​ ​bodies.​ ​Improperly​ ​fitting​ ​shoes​ ​aren’t​ ​just​ ​uncomfortable–they​ ​can​ ​cause​ ​damage​ ​in​ ​the​ ​long term​ ​to​ ​our​ ​lower​ ​extremities.​ ​Everyone’s​ ​feet​ ​are​ ​different.​ ​The​ ​shape​ ​of​ ​our​ ​feet​ ​will​ ​change throughout​ ​our​ ​lives​ ​as​ ​we​ ​age​, and even​ ​if​ ​we​ ​experience​ ​pregnancy​ ​or​ ​illness.​

Enlisting​ ​the​ ​help​ ​of Dr. Scott McKinney ​at​ ​McKinney Podiatric Associates will​ ​give​ ​you​ ​the​ ​tools​ ​you​ ​need​ ​to​ ​know​ ​what​ ​to​ ​look​ ​out​ ​for​ ​when​ ​getting your​ ​next​ ​pair​ ​of​ ​shoes.​ ​Here​ ​are​ ​some​ ​tips​ ​to​ ​help​ ​you​ ​figure​ ​out​ ​if​ ​your​ ​shoes​ ​truly​ ​fit:

  • Find a​ ​fitting​ ​specialist near you.​ ​Get​ ​both​ ​feet​ ​measured,​ ​as​ ​there​ ​may​ ​be​ ​a​ ​difference in​ ​sizes​ ​between​ ​your​ ​feet.
  • Ask​ ​a​ ​fitting​ ​specialist​ ​if​ ​the​ ​shoes​ ​are​ ​straight​ ​or​ ​curved.​ ​Shoes​ ​are​ ​made​ ​of​ ​varying materials​ ​and​ ​can​ ​be​ ​uncomfortable​ ​if​ ​the​ ​material​ ​isn’t​ ​strong​ ​enough​ ​to​ ​support​ ​the​ ​foot.
  • Take​ ​a​ ​stroll​ ​in​ ​your​ ​shoes​ ​before​ ​purchasing​ ​them.​ ​Pay​ ​careful​ ​attention​ ​to​ ​any​ ​tightness or​ ​friction​ ​and​ ​where​ ​it​ ​is​ ​occurring.​ ​Be​ ​sure​ ​to​ ​let​ ​the​ ​fitting​ ​specialist​ ​know!
  • At​ ​your​ ​next​ ​appointment​ ​with​ Dr. McKinney,​ ​tell​ ​him​ ​about​ ​any​ ​symptoms​ ​of​ ​discomfort. This​ ​will​ ​help​ ​him​ ​figure​ ​out​ ​where​ ​your​ ​feet​ ​need​ ​more​ ​support​ ​and​ ​corrective​ ​footwear.
  • Check​ ​with​ ​Dr. McKinney ​to​ ​see​ ​if​ ​your​ ​feet​ ​would​ ​benefit​ ​from​ ​supportive​ ​orthotic shoe​ ​inserts,​ ​or​ ​if​ ​you need​ ​medical​ ​grade​ ​orthotic​ ​inserts​ ​or​ ​shoes.
  • When​ ​deciding​ ​if​ ​a​ ​new​ ​pair​ ​of​ ​shoes​ ​is​ ​necessary,​ ​give​ ​your​ ​insurance​ ​hotline​ ​a​ ​call–Some​ ​insurance​ ​companies​ ​will​ ​cover​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​cost​ ​of​ ​orthotic​ ​inserts​ ​or​ ​shoes​ ​to​ ​help you​ ​feel​ ​better.

 

After​ ​reading​ ​this​ ​helpful​ ​list,​ ​you​ ​will​ ​surely​ ​be​ ​on​ ​your​ ​way​ ​to​ ​getting​ ​a​ ​better​ ​fitting​ ​pair​ ​of shoes.​ ​Dr. McKinney and associates are trained ​to​ ​answer​ ​any​ ​questions​ ​you​ ​may​ ​have when ​finding​ ​a​ ​properly​ ​fitting​ ​pair​ ​of​ ​shoes.

At McKinney Podiatric Associates, our doctors are ready and eager to help you find the right pair of shoes. Call us today at (713) 946-1500 to schedule an appointment at one of eight locations nearest to you.

 

Bunions

Hallux Abducto Valgus or HAV, is the Latin medical term for a bump on the base of the big toe, commonly known in English as a bunion. Although very common, bunions should not be taken lightly as they are a progressive disorder. A bunion begins with the formation of a bump on the outside base of the big toe, but on the inside, it is actually changing the entire bony framework of the hallux. An x-ray of a bunion shows the deviation of the big toe towards the second toe, throwing the bones out of alignment. If ignored, the foot may become severely deformed. A bunion can also form along the base of the little toe and is known as a ‘bunionette’.

Causes

It was commonly believed that bunions were formed when tight narrow shoes were worn over a long period of time. However, podiatrists are of the opinion that bunions develop due to:

  • faulty foot development
  • an inherited structural defect
  • a medical condition causing stress on the foot
  • arthritis
  • foot injuries
  • wearing high-heeled, pointed shoes which exacerbate the problem
  • standing for long periods of time

Symptoms

  • the development of a bump on the base of the big toe
  • irritated skin on the bump
  • corns caused by overlap of toes
  • pain or soreness when walking
  • inflammation and redness in the joint
  • a burning sensation around the site of the bunion
  • possible numbness
  • difficulty while wearing shoes
  • if left untreated, the foot can hurt in different places

Treatment for Mild to Severe Bunions

Home Remedy Tips:

  • application of a non-medicated pad around the bony prominence
  • application of ice packs to reduce swelling if inflamed and painful
  • wearing shoes with a wide toe box
  • avoiding high-heeled shoes over two inches high

When pain persists, podiatrists recommend:

  • ultrasound therapy, a popular technique to provide relief from the pain
  • acute pain be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections
  • padding the bunion and taping the foot to help reduce stress and pain
  • shoe inserts which help reduce symptoms and prevent worsening of the deformity
  • a surgical procedure called a simple bunionectomy, in which the bony prominence is removed
  • the cutting of the bone and realignment of the joint

Dr. Scott McKinney, Dr. Jorge Cuza, Dr. Mark Moss, Dr. Francisco Cuza, Dr. Edna Reyes- Guerrero and Dr. Hina Hissan will take into consideration the extent of the deformity by studying the x-ray results, the lifestyle, health and age of the patient. To help you with your painful bunions make an appointment with our board certified podiatrists at McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A. We have 8 convenient locations with 3 in Houston, 2 in Pasadena, Baytown, Pearland and Alvin Texas. Contact us today and don’t let bunions slow you down.

 

Essential Oils for the Heels

Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that causes chronic heel pain.  Many of the treatments that are out there have side effects a person might want to avoid- steroids, prescription drugs, surgery… the options aren’t always the greatest.  So, many people look for alternative treatments to deal with it.  Essential oils is a popular choice we are seeing these days.  Some of the essential oils that can be used to treat this condition are:

  • Frankincense
  • Peppermint
  • Lemongrass oil
  • Grapeseed oil

Usually, the sufferer will apply the oil directly onto the inflamed tissue and massage the oils into the affected area.  They may also ingest the essential oils, as well.

People suffering from plantar fasciitis are often frustrated with this condition, hence the search for alternative methods for dealing with pain.  Your podiatrist should definitely assess the condition and advise what he or she thinks is the best route to go.  As far as essential oils go, some people swear by them, but there isn’t really any actual research to back up claims that essential oils can be used to effectively treat the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

Due to this condition caused by wear and strain to the fascia, small tears and inflammation develop over time, due to improper support of the arch (fascia)- which is what leads to the heel pain.  Since this is the situation, the best way to treat it is to strengthen, cushion and support the base of the ligament.  So, if you’re suffering, you may want to try a combination of a visit to the podiatrist, the use of essential oils, and a change in footwear!  Also, the use of inserts can really reduce pain.  Using orthotic supports that the doctor sets you up with can make a big difference.

So, don’t let that heel pain get the best of you.  Call Dr. Scott McKinney and his team of board certified doctors to have a look at it. He has 8 different convenient locations in the Houston area to visit.  Any foot or ankle issue you are experiencing, he and his team can help!

Are Heel Spurs the Problem?

Recently, we had a patient come in to see us that was complaining that her heels were hurting her.  She said that even in some sneakers, she had pain.  She wasn’t sure what the problem was… however, she had noticed that her heel appeared to have a bumpy protrusion on it.  What she was experiencing is something we know as “heel spurs”.  Heel spurs are calcium deposits that cause a bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone.  If you look at it on an x-ray, you can see that the heel spur can extend forward by as much a half-inch!  Sometimes, heel spurs are painless, but other times they can cause heel pain.  They can definitely add to some discomfort when walking, and wearing many types of shoes.

Occasionally a heel spur doesn’t show up on an x-ray, and this condition is known as “heel spur syndrome”.  Heel spurs are frequently associated with plantar fasciitis, which is a painful inflammation of the plantar fascia (the fibrous band of connective tissue) that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the ball of the foot.  They are often caused by strains on the foot muscles and ligaments, stretching of the plantar fascia, and repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone.  For this reason, heel spurs are very common among athletes whose activities include large amounts of jumping and running.  If you are doing the following things, you are more at risk for heel spurs occurring…

  • If your walking gait tends to have you placing excessive stress on the heel bone, ligaments, and nerves near the heel.
  • If you wear poorly fitted or very worn out shoes, especially ones lacking appropriate arch support.
  • If you are carrying a lot of extra weight… obese people are more prone to heel spurs than people of average weight.
  • If you run and jog a lot, especially on hard surfaces.

The treatments associated with heel spurs and associated conditions include:

  • Exercise
  • Custom-made orthotics
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Cortisone injections
  • Surgery, if all other treatments fail

If you are having any problems with heel pain, and you suspect heel spurs, help is only a phone call away.  Call Dr. Scott McKinney, he and his team of board certified podiatrists have 8 convenient locations in the Houston Area for patients to visit.

Party Without the Pain!

Ladies… love your high heels?  The higher the better, right? WRONG.  Although high heels are pretty, and fashionable, it is important to wear heels no higher than 2 ½ inches.  Why, you ask?  Unfortunately, heels higher than 2 ½ inches can cause problems with the feet, ankles, and back!  Many ladies do not realize this when choosing their fabulous footwear to party in.  With examples such as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City to emulate, women often make bad footwear choices.  So many designers make high heels with heights of 3, 4 and sometimes even 5 inches!  While this appeals to fashionistas, especially those with short statures, it is smart to keep the heel height under 3 inches!  Do yourself a favor and heed this advice, as you may save yourself a visit to the doctor.

Dr. Scott McKinney and his staff of six board certified doctors treat many foot, and ankle afflictions caused by wearing too-high heels, over too-long periods of time.  Usually a good rule of thumb is not only to limit the heel height you wear, but the length of time you are wearing them!  Now, this is not always possible, especially at formal functions.  A helpful hint to alleviate foot and ankle pressure when wearing high heels is to place orthotics in the shoes to provide cushion.  Also, if possible, bring a pair of flats with you, and switch out when your feet start to hurt!  You can save yourself a lot of future aggravation by doing so.

Some examples of feet and ankle problem we treat that are caused by high heels are:

  • Sprains and strains of the foot and ankles
  • Severe blisters
  • Chronic pain and nerve damage
  • Swelling, bursitis, even pain in the Achilles tendon
  • Bony protrusions and muscle inflammation

Chronic stress to the foot bones can even lead to hairline fractures!

So, if you are suffering from any of these problems, you are in luck, as we can help.  McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A. has 8 convenient locations in the Houston area to provide relief.  Call us at the location that is most convenient to make an appointment, and relief is in your future!  In the meantime, stay away from those stilettos, and you will party without the pain!