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By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
August 09, 2018
Category: Toe Conditions
Tags: Hammertoes  

If you’ve noticed that your toes have become strangely rigid or curled, you may have a foot deformity called hammertoes.

A hammertoe gets its name from the way the bent toe resembles the shape of a hammer. Corns or calluses may appear in response to pressure and friction from repetitive actions, such as the toes rubbing against footwear.

In many people, the tendency for hammertoes is hereditary which may worsen by wearing ill-fitted shoes. Conditions such as trauma and arthritis can also worsen this condition. Hammertoes are more flexible at the beginning which is why early treatment can help yield better results.

Hammertoes seldom improve on their own, thus it is necessary to visit a foot doctor for proper diagnoses and treatment.

Here are some of the early hammertoe treatments that a podiatrist may suggest:

  • Stretching and strengthening.  Proper stretching and strengthening exercises can help you reverse the muscle imbalance that causes a hammertoe.
  • Splinting. Toes can be realigned with the help of splints or tape to avoid further bending.
  • Orthotic shoe inserts. Inserts can help reposition the foot and toe while wearing shoes.
  • Padding. Corns and calluses that may appear on the top of hammertoes can be isolated by using pads which help to reduce pressure and stress and lessen pain.
  • Footwear. Choice of proper footwear is important. Tight shoes and high heels should be avoided.

If you are suffering from hammertoes or any other foot and ankle condition, then it is time to call a podiatrist. Call our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, of Mid- Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Dr. Cohen and his team of highly qualified professionals can be your go-to team in helping you get rid of hammertoes and put an end to all your foot and ankle problems. You can reach our office at 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. 

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
August 01, 2018
Category: proper footwear
Tags: Bunions   Hammertoes   painful  

For hundreds of years, high heels have been a major fashion statement. Although they are extremely stylish, many high heels are not designed to support the foot in a healthy manner. Anyone who wears a pair of high heels can tell you how painful they can make your feet feel after walking in them all day, but the damage a heel does goes deeper than that. High heels can hurt your feet, legs, posture and back.

Our feet are designed to be flat against the ground. The ground naturally keeps our feet firm and in the proper shape with the forefoot and heel planted firmly on the ground. Now that we wear shoes, our natural foot shape has changed over time.  This is especially true with high heels.  High heels make the feet feel as if they are constantly walking uphill which adds additional pressure. Constant uphill pressure can lead to pain and metatarsalgia. Other common risks are hammertoes and bunions.

High heels also change your center of gravity. They make your body lean unnaturally forward to compensate for the higher heel, and this overcompensation can cause the shortening of your calf muscles as well as very painful shin splints.

Your knees can also be affected by high heels and their extra pressure. When we walk in a typical manner, our knees do not constantly bend. With high heels, it has been shown with studies that the knees constantly bend. This constant pressure can lead to swelling, pain and osteoarthritis later on.

Because your center of gravity has changed due to high heels and the muscles begin to shorten, your back can become affected. When the lower back muscles are affected, you may experience painful spasms that make it hurt to walk.

High heels can be very detrimental to the health of your feet and your ankles. Not only can they hurt muscles in the body permanently, but they can also cause deformities of the feet. Instead of a pair of high heels, opt for a short-heeled wedge sandal. Not only are they fashionable, but they have less painful long-term effects to the body.

If you hurt your feet by wearing a pair of high heels, then it is time to call a podiatrist. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. You can reach our office at 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. High heels do not have to cause you grief.

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
July 31, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Blister  

A foot blister is a small pocket of fluid that forms on the foot. Blisters can be painful while they heal. Foot blisters are caused by several things, including friction, burns, contact with irritants, and autoimmune diseases. Treatment can alleviate your pain, prevent infection, and help heal your blister. Here's what to do when you keep getting blisters on your feet.

1. See a podiatrist- When foot blisters interfere with your normal activities, you should see a podiatrist. Podiatrists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems, including blisters. Depending on the cause of the foot blister, your podiatrist will form a treatment plan for you. 

2. Cover your blisters- If a blister does occur, do not pop it. A blister should be covered to reduce irritation and cut back on the risk of infection. Wash your blisters with soap and water and cover them with dressings, like bandages or gauze pads. Your dressings should be changed every day. 

3. Use antibiotic ointment- Antibiotic ointment helps prevent infections in blisters. You can purchase antibiotic ointment at a local pharmacy. Apply antibiotic ointment to the foot blisters as directed, especially before you put on your socks or shoes.

4. Keep your feet dry- Keep your feet dry at all times. After you shower, dry your feet thoroughly. Wear socks every day to keep moisture away from the skin of your feet. For sweaty feet, use products that help control moisture. 

5. Use custom orthotics- Orthotic devices are molded pieces of rubber, leather, or other material that are inserted into shoes. You can get custom-made orthotic devices from your podiatrist. Orthotic devices can be helpful in preventing and treating foot blisters. Orthotic devices can reduce friction on foot blisters and alleviate your pain. 

6. Wear the right shoes- Rubbing and pressure from shoes that are too tight often cause blisters on the feet. Avoid wearing shoes that cause foot blisters. Wear good-fitting footwear that fit comfortably and leave your feet with some wiggle room, especially on long walks or runs. Wearing the right footwear can prevent future blisters.

7. Use foot powders- Friction can make foot blisters worse and increase your pain. In order to reduce friction on blisters, buy a powder designed for your feet at a pharmacy. Pour it into your socks before putting on your shoes to reduce pain. If a powder causes your foot blisters to become irritated, stop using it.

Don't let foot blisters knock you off your feet. Find a podiatrist in your area and schedule an appointment. A podiatrist can help you get rid of those foot blisters once and for all. The journey to healthy feet starts with you!

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
July 25, 2018
Category: back pain

Are you tired of suffering from lower back and hip pain? The first thing you need to do is to get to the bottom of why you are experiencing this pain. Back pain can cause a lot of grief in our life.  Not only is it hard to bend, but it can also be hard to sit or even pick something up. Many feet and ankle conditions can have an effect on your back health as well. This is because our feet are our bodies’ foundations. They take the blunt force of our weight when we move and groove. When our feet are hurting, it can lead to one big backache.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis can be a root cause of back pain. This condition affects the arch muscle in the foot and can cause extreme pain, especially first thing in the morning upon waking. The pain is usually very sharp and dulls as the day progresses. Many people with this condition tend to limp or adjust the pressure they put on their bodies. This affects the hips and the lower back and can cause pain.

Morton’s Neuroma

This is a condition that affects a nerve in the foot. The nerve experiences large amounts of pain and swelling. This can cause other nerves in the body to suffer from the inflammation, resulting in more pain. This condition can cause a person to limp or alter pressure, which can transfer pain to the lower back and the hip.

Treating the Cause

It is important to treat any foot and ankle injury to help prevent hip and back pain. The sooner you take proactive measures to cure the root cause, the sooner you will be pain-free in most cases.  It might take some time, but a podiatrist will develop a treatment plan that is right for you. In many cases, over-the-counter pain medication, orthotics, stretches and physical therapy can help to control pain and heal injury. In other more severe cases, surgery may be required to better assist with the healing process.

Back pain and hip pain do not have to be a part of your everyday life. Instead, come to our office to treat your feet and beat the pain. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. You can reach our office at 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. Your feet are our priority.


By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
July 19, 2018
Category: toenail conditions
Tags: injuries   infections   thickening   discoloration   curling  

Aging is a part of life that nobody can escape. It is a natural occurrence that slowly sneaks up on us. As we age, our bodies change. One area that changes right before our eyes are our toenails. Sometimes they change slightly, while at other times they develop abnormalities. While some abnormalities can be reversed with the help of a podiatrist, others are permanent.

Why Do Abnormalities Occur?

Abnormalities of the toenail can happen due to an array of different reasons. Usually, a healthy nail is smooth and has consistent coloring. As you age, your nail can become brittle and develop ridges.

When you see discoloration, spots, and nail separation, then this should alert you to an abnormality. Injuries, warts, infections and chemotherapy can all have an effect on the nails and cause them to react differently. Underlying medical conditions can also alter the natural, healthy state of the toenail. To rule out illness, it is important to see a podiatrist immediately if you notice a nail abnormality.

Symptoms of abnormal toenails

  • Discoloration
  • Curling or clubbing of the nail
  • Thickening or thinning of the nail
  • Brittle nails
  • Pitted nails
  • Bleeding around the nails
  • Nail separation
  • Pain around the nail

What Do I Do if I See an Abnormality?

If you notice you have an abnormality growing on your toenail or affecting your toenail, then you should call your podiatrist.

If you lose a toenail because of an abnormality, it is important to clean the area, put on antibiotic ointment and cover it up. This will help to prevent debris, infection and further damage from occurring.

Your toenails are an important part of your feet. If you notice anything different popping up on the toenails, then you should call your foot doctor immediately. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. You can reach our office at 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. Although the health of your toenail might not seem like a top priority to you, it is a top priority for us. Allow us the time we need to care for your feet and get them healthy again.

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