What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenails occur when a sharp corner of your nail rubs against the sensitive flesh of your toe, Because toenails are naturally rigid, that sharp edge of the nail against soft tissue causes discomfort and pain. When you need help with an ingrown toenail in Austin, contact the office of Dr. Jeffrey Lamour.

An ingrown nail can happen to anyone. The following are some of the most common causes:

Improper Toenail Trimming

People often cut fingernails in a way that mimics the curvature of their fingers. But doing this with toenails might lead to ingrown nails. The corners of your toenails could grow into your skin if you cut them too short or in a curved shape.

Trim toenails in a straight line instead, and avoid the urge to trim toenails too short. If toenail trimming becomes problematic for you, your Austin podiatrist can take care of it for you.

Ill-Fitting Shoes

Shoes with narrow toe boxes and shoes that are too small for your feet can cause the toes to squeeze together in an unnatural fashion. When this happens, the toenails can be forced into the delicate skin around them, making it more likely that you will develop an ingrown toenail.

Instead, opt for comfortable, high-quality shoes that fit well. Choose leather shoes when possible, as leather stretches and conforms to the shape of the feet better than man-made materials.

Naturally Bent Toenail

Sometimes individuals are born with one or more naturally bent toenails. In a case like this, you can expect to have a higher risk of developing ingrown toenails over the course of a lifetime.

If this is the case, it’s even more important to follow the advice mentioned above. In addition, regular visits to Dr. Jeffrey Lamour’s podiatrist office are crucial to help prevent potential issues with ingrown toenails before they worsen.

If you do develop an ingrown toenail, contact us today to book an appointment as soon as possible. Ingrown toenails are highly treatable, but left untreated they can develop into a serious infection.

Do I Have to Only Wear Flat Shoes Forever?

If you have had trouble with your feet, your Austin, TX podiatrist may have indicated that at least part of the trouble may be with your footwear. Improper footwear can cause a host of problems with feet and other parts of the body. But don’t take that to mean that you can only wear flat shoes for the rest of your life. Both high heels and flats can cause feet trouble.

The Trouble With High Heels

High heels are fashionable, but they aren’t the best kind of footwear for your feet. They can cause and exacerbate several problems, like:

Forcing Feet into an Unnatural Position

Excessively high heels place undue pressure on the metatarsal and sesamoid bones as well as the bones in the toes. This leads to inflammation because of the stress and pressure. Frequent wear may even cause hairline fractures in these bones.

Heel Pain

The hard area at the back of standard high heels rubs against the ankle bone at the back of the foot. This painful pressure can cause bursitis, swelling, blisters and intense discomfort in the Achilles tendon.

The Trouble With Flats

Flat shoes aren’t necessarily the answer, either. They have their own issues:

Lack of Arch Support

Popular shoes such as ballet flats and flip flops offer zero support for the arch of the foot. This can cause problem called plantar fasciitis in Austin, TX, which is when the band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched, torn or inflamed. Lack of arch support in shoes is often the culprit behind “mysterious” back, knee and hip pain.

Moderate Heels Are Okay

The solution may be to opt for moderate heels that are no more than two inches in height. This type of shoe lends itself to the natural shape of the foot and supports the arch.

Never ignore foot pain, as it can indicate serious problems that could be helped with timely treatment. For any kind of foot pain or other issues, visit Dr. Jeffrey Lamour, your Austin, TX podiatrist.

Achilles Tendinitis: Signs and Symptoms

Your Achilles tendon is the band of tissue that connects the heel of your foot to your calf muscles. If you overuse it, you may develop a painful condition called Achilles tendinitis. Achilles tendinitis can affect anyone who has recently abused their Achilles tendon, but it happens mostly to athletes. This is especially true of runners, joggers, and those who play aggressively active sports, such as racquetball or tennis. Usually, it begins as an ache in the heel or calf and intensifies with use.

If you suspect you may have Achilles tendinitis in Austin, TX, a visit to your podiatrist will provide solutions.

Early Signs of Achilles Tendinitis

If you stress your Achilles tendon, your first symptom may be stiffness or a dull ache in the affected area upon waking in the morning. As you move throughout your day, the pain may lessen, only to return in full force the next morning.

This condition may be mildly painful or comfortable. Or, it may feel debilitating, making it difficult for you to walk. If you’re suffering severe pain in your Achilles tendon, this may indicate something more serious than tendinitis, such as a torn tendon. In this instance, you should seek emergency care.

Additional Symptoms of Achilles Tendinitis

If you’ve overstressed your Achilles tendon, it may feel painful to the touch. You may also experience heat and swelling in the area surrounding your heel. Additionally, you may find it nearly impossible to climb stairs or to stand on your toes.

These are all signs that you need to make an appointment with your podiatrist in Austin, TX, right away. Dr. Jeffrey Lamour, DPM, PA, is a top choice. Call today to schedule a consultation and to begin treatment for Achilles tendinitis.

3 Common Myths About Plantar Fasciitis

While plantar fasciitis may be common, it’s also sometimes misunderstood. The myths about the condition can unintentionally influence how people choose to react to the pain. Dr. Jeffrey Lamour is here to help dispel the misperceptions, so it’s easier to take action.

1. Is plantar fasciitis a torn muscle?

The plantar fascia isn’t a muscle, but a band that supports your arch. It actually runs over the top of the muscles on the sole of the feet. If it’s stretched too much, it will trigger pain under the heel of the foot.

2. Do heel spurs lead to plantar fasciitis?

A heel spur is a calcium build-up, and it’s not uncommon for people who have them to also have plantar fasciitis in Pflugerville, TX. However, the truth is that there’s no causal link between the two, and many people with spurs don’t suffer from any pain at all.

3. Is plantar fasciitis is hereditary?

Things like bunions can often be traced back through your hereditary lines, but plantar isn’t one of them. You’re most likely to suffer from it around the age of 50 (give or take a decade), though it can technically occur to anyone at any time.

Find a Podiatrist in Austin or Pflugerville, TX

Another myth about this condition is that there’s only so much that can be done about it. People might recommend some targeted stretches and then stop there. However, a qualified podiatrist in Austin, TX can devise a customized treatment plan to get you back on your feet. Dr. Jeffrey Lamour is here to diagnose and develop a solution to limit the discomfort and prevent it from happening again. If you’ve found this to be a recurring problem in your life, it’s time to contact our staff today for more information.