What to Look For in a Running Shoe

Running can be a great way to stay in shape. But if you are wearing the wrong kind of running shoes, the act of running can cause more harm than good. Whether you’re a daily runner, a professional athlete or you just run for fun every now and then, make sure you select the best running shoes for your needs.

Consider Your Specific Foot Needs

Your Austin, TX podiatrist can help you when it comes to choosing running shoes. Everyone has a unique foot shape, when it comes to arches. Find out from your podiatrist if you have high arches, neutral arches or flat feet. Your podiatrist can also tell you if you have supination when you step, or overpronation. The podiatrist will explain how each of these affect your gait and how it will influence which running shoes you purchase.

Avoid Trends

Trendy running shoes aren’t usually the best. For instance, shoes with individual toe sections might look cool, but they force the feet into an unnatural position that could cause pain or even harm over the long-term.

Go Bigger

Select a running shoe in a half size larger than your standard shoe size. You’ll want to wear thicker socks when you run, and the extra room will keep your feet from being pinched when they swell after exertion.

Rubber Soles are Best

Stay away from plastic soles. They won’t absorb enough shock when you hit the pavement. Instead, choose shock absorbent rubber soles.

Use Running-Designated Shoes

Quality athletic shoes are made specifically for specific movements. For instance, tennis shoes are made for foot movements that are back and forth, from side to side. Running shoes are made to support the arch and absorb shock. Make you choose shoes specifically made for running, and not a general, “multi-sport” shoe.

When you’re ready to invest in a good pair of running shoes, talk to your podiatrist in Austin, TX for recommendations.

Back Pain? The Problem Could be With Your Feet

If you suffer from chronic back pain and it hasn’t responded to massage, weight loss, chiropractic or physical treatment, the problem could be with your feet. Millions of Americans suffer from back pain that is caused by feet problems. While it sounds far-fetched that back pain could be solved by a visit to your podiatrist in Austin, TX, the truth is that many people have had their back pain resolved by podiatrist treatment.

How Feet Can Cause Back Pain

Because of the way our bodies are put together, poor foot health is related to a range of possible issues, including back pain. Most commonly, podiatrists find that back pain is associated with a collapsed arch. This situation puts the entire skeletal system out of balance, which creates pressure on nerves and strain on muscle tissue.

The arch is the part of the foot that rises up beneath the ankle. When the arch collapses, it’s called a fallen arch, or “flat feet.” Interestingly, you can sometimes tell if you have a fallen arch by leaving a wet footprint on the pavement. If the entire foot print is there, it’s likely you have a fallen arch. Otherwise, there would be a blank space between the heel and the ball of the footprint.

Shoes Can Cause Back Pain, Too

If your shoes don’t fit properly, they may be pinching your feet and causing you to walk in an unnatural way. You may be walking on the outer sole or the inner sole instead of in the middle. Either way, this also causes an imbalance in the way your spine moves, which can lead to spinal disc problems and back pain.

Visit your podiatrist in Austin, TX if you have back pain that has worsened or become chronic or time. Chances are there is a treatment for your feet issues that will alleviate the pain.

What Causes Bunions?

The malformation of the joint of the big toe is commonly known as a bunion, although hallux valgus is the medical word for bunions. They arise from a structural issue in the bone of the foot and toes, most commonly in the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. As a result, the feet are no longer correctly aligned. A bunion is characterized by an outward-pointing toe and a lump on the inner side of the foot. Pain may arise when the bunion gets more noticeable.

Common Causes of Bunions

Your podiatrist in Austin, TX says that the most common reasons for bunions include:

Genetic Conditions

Unfortunately, it’s very common for people to simply inherit a foot type that precludes itself to bunions. When this happens, bunions may not be certain, but it makes good sense to try to avoid the risk factors of bunions.

Ill-Fitting Shoes

The best shoes are made of natural materials, such as leather, that allow the material to stretch. Shoes of vinyl and plastic materials tend to squeeze the feet and can contribute to the development of bunions.

Overweight

When a person is overweight, the weight is not distributed correctly on the feet. This can lead to standing and walking in a manner that can lead to the development of bunions in Austin, TX.

Arthritis

Certain kinds of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lend themselves to inflammation and malformation of joints, including the joint where the big toe connects with the foot.

Foot Injury

Whenever you have a foot injury, it’s imperative that you visit your Austin, TX podiatrist for treatment. Foot injuries that are not properly treated can lead to a lifetime of suffering with a bunion.

If you have one or two bunions, you may be able to have it treated by your podiatrist. Contact us today for a consultation.

Is Toenail Fungus Dangerous?

It may seem odd to have to visit a podiatrist in Austin, TX for a case of toenail fungus. After all, in summer, many people often get toenail fungus. In fact, though, toenail fungus can become a dangerous condition if left untreated.

What is Toenail Fungus?

The official name for toenail fungus is onychomycosis. It is a fungal infection that can become widespread, affecting the toenails and surrounding tissue. It occurs when fungi begins growing between the nailbed tissue and the nail, typically taking hold through a small cut or fissure in the toe. Toenail fungus is quite common, especially in summer, when feet are less likely to be protected. It’s also more common in older folks who may pay less attention to the health of their feet.

Is Toenail Fungus Dangerous?

Toenail fungus needs to be treated. It rarely just goes away on its own. Left untreated, it can become more troublesome and even dangerous in certain circumstances. Here are some possible results of untreated toenail fungus:

Pain and Discomfort

Toenail fungus often leaves toenails discolored and misshapen. It can cause the nail to thicken or even separate from the nail bed. This can make the wearing of shoes difficult or even painful. The nail may even fall off altogether.

Athlete’s Feet

When toenail fungus is allowed to spread, untreated, it often develops into a full-blown case of athlete’s feet. This is a painful condition that results in blistering, red and flaky skin. It leaves the skin on the feet very vulnerable to further infection.

Wider Infection

In persons with underlying conditions such as diabetes, toenail fungus can result in a widespread infection that threatens overall health. This may end up causing cellulite, which needs antibiotic treatment. The infection could even enter the bloodstream, where it can become life-threatening.

If you suspect that you may need treatment for toenail fungus in Austin, TX, see your podiatrist immediately. Don’t try to rely on over-the-counter medication that may mask symptoms but not get rid of the fungus. Contact us for help.

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.

What is a Foot Neuroma and How Can You Treat It?

A neuroma is a painful foot condition that develops between your toes. You may also hear your podiatrist in Austin, TX refer to a foot neuroma as a nerve tumor or simply a pinched nerve. Foot neuromas are a benign condition caused by an overgrowth of nerve tissues.

Symptoms and Causes of Foot Neuromas

The symptoms of neuromas sometimes mimic those of other food conditions, making it difficult to determine a diagnosis without visiting a podiatrist. The most common things to look for include:

  • Pain in the ball of the foot when you apply pressure to it
  • Pain towards the front of your foot and in between your toes
  • Numbness and tingling in the ball of your foot
  • Swelling between your toes

Foot neuromas are more common in women than men, mainly because women wear high heels and other types of shoes that can contribute to the problem. Be sure to wear shoes with low heels that provide your toes with adequate room to move to avoid developing neuromas. Look for shoes with laces or buckles that make it easy for you to adjust the fitting and avoid squeezing your feet too tightly. Other potential causes of foot neuromas include:

  • Having flat feet or feet with high arches
  • Repeated stress, such as a job that requires you to stand all day
  • Trauma to the nerves of the foot

Your shoes should also have thick and shock-absorbent soles along with insoles to take pressure off the foot. Wearing additional padding in your shoes near the toe area can also help prevent nerve damage to the toes that results in neuromas.

This problem typically gets worse without treatment. Dr. Jeffrey Lamour will determine if you could benefit from custom orthotics in Austin, TX or any other remedies during your initial appointment.

Recognizing and Treating a Ganglion Cyst on Your Foot

Ganglion cysts contain jelly-like fluid and form a hard lump at the point of a joint or tendon. The word ganglion refers to the knot-like lump or mass that forms beneath the surface of your skin.

Causes and Symptoms of Ganglion Cysts of the Foot

Despite being the most common type of benign soft-tissue mass, doctors still do not know the precise cause of ganglion cysts. The most logical explanation is that they develop in response to repeated micro-traumas or a single trauma. Your ganglion cyst may change size and even appear to go away for a time only to return. Typical symptoms include:

  • Appearance of a hard lump
  • Pain and irritation when wearing shoes due to the friction caused between the lump and shoe
  • Burning or tingling sensations if the cyst has developed near a nerve
  • Dull ache or pain if the cyst presses against a tendon or joint

If you suspect you could have a ganglion cyst on your foot, schedule an appointment for podiatry services in Austin, TX right away.

What Are Your Treatment Options for a Ganglion Cyst?

If the cyst does not cause you pain or affect your walking, Dr. Lamour may decide to monitor it to see if it will go away on its own. Wearing different shoes or a temporary slipper shoe can also help. Draining the fluid from the cyst and injecting it with steroid medication in a process called aspiration and injection can also help. You may need to complete the process more than once, and the cyst may grow back even larger in some cases.

Surgical removal of the cyst is another possibility and it has a much lower recurrence rate than aspiration and injection. As an experienced podiatrist in Austin, TX, Dr. Lamour will discuss all treatment options and allow you to choose the one that seems right for you.