Odds are, we all probably have a buddy with foot or ankle pain, or we might have it ourselves. And ironically, the internet can be a real maze when you're trying to figure out what to do about it. So, we’ve compiled five frequently asked questions on foot and ankle problems, Dr. Nick Argarakis, our podiatrist at HEMA, gets asked the most. And we had the kind Dr. Nick answering them for you.
1. When should I be worried about my foot pain?
Dr. Nick: You know, foot pain is pretty common, but watch out for severe, sudden pain, injuries, swelling, or signs of infection around the foot. If pain sticks around despite rest and over-the-counter meds, or if you have diabetes or circulation issues and notice foot trouble, it's time to see a healthcare professional.
2. How can I prevent common foot problems?
Dr. Nick: Great question! Prevention is key. Start by choosing well-fitting, supportive shoes. You know, I ask many of my patients to avoid squeezing into those tight high heels daily to sidestep bunions and plantar fasciitis. Keep your feet clean and do some easy exercises to strengthen those foot and ankle muscles. Plus, if you're on your feet often, remember to take breaks to rest them. It's these everyday habits that can keep those feet feeling fantastic!
3. Can foot problems affect my overall health?
Dr. Nick: Yeah. What many don't realize is that foot issues can trigger a chain reaction; messing with your gait and, in turn, affecting your knees, hips, back, and more. Especially for folks with diabetes, foot care is a must to dodge serious issues. And in cases of poor posture, it could disrupt your balance, raising the risk of slips and falls. This means more injuries. So, if you have chronic foot troubles, it's best to consult a podiatrist to keep other potential secondary health issues at bay.
4. How can I prevent ankle sprain while playing sports?
Dr. Nick: Playing sports is amazing. Proper warm-ups, pre-game stretching routines, and ankle-supportive shoes can go a long way. I often recommend balance and agility exercises to improve proprioception (kinesthesia) and reduce the risk of rolling your ankle during the game. If you have a history of ankle injuries, ankle braces or a bit of taping can be a big help. And don't forget to scan the playing field – safety first!
5. Why does it often feel like there's a pebble in my shoe while walking?
Dr. Nick: That sensation can be quite annoying! It's important to consider all possibilities. Sometimes it's just a pesky pebble, or Morton's neuroma might be the culprit. Now, what's Morton's neuroma? It's a condition where the nerves between your toes get thicker (thanks to ill-fitting shoes), leading to burning pain and odd tingling. However, to be sure, consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.
Got more questions on foot & ankle issues? Or got foot & ankle issues looking for answers?Either way, Dr. Nick will help you out! Drop us a line!