The hustle and bustle of the season is upon us in full swing. This time of year brings on a lot of stress, but it also brings about a lot of joy and excitement. While you are out making dreams come true and helping bring the magic to those around you, don’t forget about yourself. Before you know it, it will be New Years and when the smoke clears from the holidays, you will still be there and any problems you have been putting off will be your company.
If you are anything like me, you put yourself on the backburner. Maybe you think you are being a ‘baby’ about that pain you have been feeling. Maybe you are ashamed to admit that you over did it. Maybe you, like me, are wondering how you feel old all of a sudden. What makes me feel old is pain. When my back starts to ache, when my feet hurt too much to walk without a limp, I am suddenly keenly aware of my mortality. Heavy stuff, right? But truthfully, the pain that we have burdens us, wears on us, changes our mood, makes us hurt emotionally as well. It isn’t worth it to live every day in pain.
So, if your pain that you have been putting off all year (or maybe even a few weeks) is slowing you down or making you want to stop what you love, call! Tell them you had a LOT of Christmas shopping to do if you need an excuse. We have so many people who come to see us and tell us they wish that they had done it sooner. Pain is not normal. When it is in your feet, a majority of time there is a solution. Also, you will be pleased to read that the solution often does not require surgery or down time.
So what types of things do we see around the end of the year? We’ll cover a few of the most common ones here.
Heel pain: Heel pain is something that SO may people suffer from – unnecessarily. The pain you may feel in the bottom of your foot, in the mornings and/or if you have been on your feet all day, is often a condition called plantar fasciitis. You may have even had your friends diagnose you back when you were socially distancing on your driveways months back. Heel pain from plantar fasciitis rarely goes away without some attention. If caught soon enough, your heel pain can be a thing of the past. It can be something you commiserate with others about (before you send them our way of course 😉). Some simple things to try at home before your visit are to do stretching and icing 3 times daily. Support is also a must with plantar fasciitis, so since you likely don’t have any custom orthotics laying around (or if you do maybe you want to leave them laying around) you can start with a good supportive pair of gym shoes. Have a pair that you designate to wear in the house. You wouldn’t believe how many steps and how much stress you put on your feet just in a day of house work and chores, or even snow blowing and leaf cleanup.
Ingrown nails: Well you got back into shoes in the Fall and your toenails are pinching. You do your little bathroom trimming, put on some antibiotic ointment and keep going. But that nail corner is still swollen and you are weary of your child/dog/husband/cat stepping on it because it will start that pain all over again. So here’s something – don’t struggle at home! While you, as a functioning adult, need to cut your toenails, it doesn’t mean you are or have to be an expert in ingrown nails. Take it from someone who knows, trimming out an ingrown nail is difficult for even a well-trained profession to perform ON THEMSELVES. There’s no way you can see what you need to in order to really resolve the issue. Good news is that if you get in before these nails get really painful or start to become infected, a simple visit can help alleviate a great deal of your pain. For ingrown nails that haven’t been stewing for weeks, months or years, we can trim and bevel the edge of the nail, reducing pressure and pain to this area. If a nail is red, swollen, draining in any way you should call RIGHT AWAY. If you need any type of procedure for the ingrown nail, we will walk you through every step and make sure you are as comfortable as possible. Once the infection is addressed and the offending nail border is trimmed away, the achiness that you have 1-2 days after will feel like nothing!
Bunions: Bunions are a deformity of the foot that present over a long period of time. During the summer months, our bunion patients get by with wearing sandals that do not put pressure on the prominent bone by their big toe joint. During the fall and winter their foot starts to hurt because now they have to keep their toes warm and depending on how large of a bunion a person has, those shoes may not be providing enough room to that prominence. True bunions are what we refer to as hallux abductovalgus. Another common condition seen that people may refer to as a ‘bunion’ is hallux limitus or hallux rigidus. This is a prominence that is more on the TOP of the big toe joint and usually is associated with underlying bone spurs. Our patients are often surprised by how much relief they can have through conservative treatments. If our patients do need to consider surgery, some prefer to have this done after the holiday season so that they can focus on resting and healing. If you think you have a bunion, an evaluation with a podiatrist and having x-rays performed helps to provide you with information that sets realistic expectations and outlines the treatments that may be available to you.
Whether you are reading this and feeling like you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about or you are thinking “none of those are the reason my foot hurts” we can help to make you feel better. We love the opportunity to improve our patient’s lives and lifestyles. I do hope that you will call so that our office can help you put your best foot forward and live a happy life without foot pain. Our welcoming and helpful staff would love to answer your call and get you on your way to feeling better.