Arp Foot and Ankle Clinic, PA
801 S. College Street
Mountain Home, AR 72653
(870) 425-7363

Posts for category: Foot Care

By Dr. Eric Arp
January 03, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Pain  

Whether you suffer from chronic heel pain, are embarrassed by toenail fungus or were recently diagnosed with diabetes, you can benefit from visiting a professional podiatrist.

Podiatrists provide medical and surgical care for people suffering foot, ankle and lower leg problems such as corns, warts, bunions and sprains. Conditions which damage the feet, such as arthritis, diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, can also be diagnosed and treated by a podiatrist. Even back pain can be traced to your feet and relieved through proper evaluation and treatment by a skilled foot specialist.

Not all foot and ankle problems warrant an appointment with a podiatrist. In some cases, rest, ice or even a change in footwear is enough to reduce the pain and get you back on your feet. But when foot pain and discomfort cannot be resolved by home treatment, you need a professional’s care—someone who specializes in foot-related injuries and disorders.

When to Call Our Office

Feet are invariably the most ignored parts of the body. Too many people dismiss foot health until there is a serious, painful problem. Whenever a foot or ankle problem lasts for several days, contact your podiatrist. Other signs that indicate a worsening condition and warrant medical attention include:

  • Foot discoloration
  • Pain and swelling in one foot
  • A foot sore or wound that doesn’t heal

How often you should visit a podiatrist depends on the individual. Regular appointments can help you better understand the stresses and strains put on your feet and lower legs on a daily basis. Long-term care and prevention are also extremely important for individuals with diabetes, as podiatrists help prevent ulcerations and loss of limb with early diagnosis and care.

Remember, foot pain should never be taken lightly. Always consult your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis of foot disorders. 

Corns are thickened areas of skin that develop in response to excessive pressure and friction. This can occur when one toe rubs repeatedly against another or when the toes rub against ill-fitting footwear.  Typically hard and circular, corns are usually not a serious problem, but can be quite painful if untreated, especially when wearing shoes.

How Are Corns Treated?

Since corns are often symptoms of underlying problems, such as faulty bone structures or abnormal gait, self-treatment should only involve footwear modification. Never attempt to cut or scrape away a corn on your own, as this can lead to infection. It’s best to consult a podiatrist first, as many times over-the-counter treatments fail to effectively treat the underlying foot disorder and can damage the healthy surrounding skin if used incorrectly.

A podiatrist will assess your corn, determine the cause and help you determine a treatment plan to manage the pain and eliminate the pressure that is causing the corn. These conservative treatments may include padding to prevent pressure, footwear modifications and orthotics to relieve stress under the foot. When pain is persistent or conservative treatment isn’t effective, minimally-invasive surgical correction may be recommended to remove the corn or repair the bone structure beneath the corn.  

The surgery can often be performed in the doctor's office, the recovery time is brief and many patients obtain relief within days. Corns always require consultation with an experienced podiatrist. When treated early, most corns can be resolved with non-surgical treatments.

By Dr. Eric Arp
November 03, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Heel pain is one of the leading problems that sends patients to visit their podiatrist, and it’s no wonder. The relentless ache in the bottom of your foot or the sharp pain as you step out of bed in the morning is often enough to persuade even the most stubborn patient to make an appointment with his or her podiatrist.

Because there are many potential causes of heel pain, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, nerve damage or arthritis, it’s important to have your foot examined by a podiatrist with expert training in heel pain. Our practice will examine your foot, determine the underlying source of your heel pain, assess your symptoms, make a proper diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan based on your individual case. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent more serious problems.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, occurring when the thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that connects the heel to the toes becomes irritated and inflamed. When the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension, tissues of the fascia may tear or stretch, which leads to pain.

Faulty foot structures, such as flat feet or high arches, are common causes of plantar fasciitis. Non-supportive shoes and increased weight or strain may aggravate the condition as well.

Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Bottom of the heel pain
  • Pain that intensifies after sitting for extended periods of time and subsides after a few minutes of walking
  • Pain that worsens over a period of months

Most types of heel pain, once properly diagnosed, can be successfully treated with conservative measures, such as use of anti-inflammatory medications and ice, rest, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, footwear modifications and physical therapy. The longer heel pain is allowed to progress, the longer treatment can take. When plantar fasciitis doesn’t respond to conservative care, your podiatrist may recommend surgery as a last resort. Always seek care from our office for heel pain in its earliest stages for proper treatment.

Running Shoes

If you’re a runner, you know that your shoes are an integral piece of equipment when it comes to comfort, performance and injury prevention. Your foot type and function will determine which type of running shoe will be best for your unique needs and training regimen. A shoe must properly fit the shape and design of your foot before you can train in it comfortably.

There are several factors to consider when searching for a new running shoe. These may include:

  • Foot structure

  • Foot function

  • Body type

  • Existing foot problems

  • Biomechanical needs

  • Training regimen

  • Environmental factors

  • Previously worn running shoe

Failing to replace old, worn shoes is a major cause of running injuries, as old shoes gradually lose their stability and shock absorption capacity. The typical lifespan of a pair of running shoes is approximately 500 miles. It’s important to keep track of their mileage to avoid overuse.

Helpful tips for choosing your shoes include:

  • Go to a reputable shoe store that specializes in running footwear

  • Bring your old/current running shoes with you

  • Know your foot type, shape as well as any problems you’ve previously experienced

  • Have your feet measured

  • Wear the same socks you wear when training

  • Try on both shoes, and give them a test run

If you’re a beginning runner and just starting your training regimen, then it’s a good idea to visit our office for an evaluation. Your podiatrist will examine your feet, identify potential problems and discuss the best running shoes for your foot structure and type. Seasoned runners should also visit their podiatrist periodically to check for potential injuries.

Don’t allow poor shoes choices derail your training program and jeopardize your running goals. A proper-fitting running shoe is an invaluable training tool that allows you to perform your best without injury or pain. The correct footwear, in combination with a proper training routine and professional attention from a skilled podiatrist, is the key to minimizing faulty foot mechanics and maximizing your performance.

Foot Biomechanics

When your feet aren’t working correctly, you may experience injuries and pain in other areas of the body, such as the knees, hips and back. Even the slightest changes from the norm, such as leg length discrepancies or fallen arches, can have a huge impact on your entire body’s ability to function properly without pain or injury.

If you’re an athlete, many sports-related injuries develop from poor biomechanics of the foot. Athletes with poor foot mechanics are more prone to sustaining lower extremity injuries. As your body tries to compensate for any anomalies, your muscles, joints and tendons are placed under excessive stress.

It’s important that athletes visit their podiatrist for a thorough assessment of their biomechanics at the first sign of a problem or pain, including foot discomfort, poor balance or unexplained corns and calluses. An assessment of your low limbs will help identify what happens in your legs and feet when you walk, stand and run. A professional evaluation is critical for successful prevention and treatment of any injury or condition.

Many sports injuries can be traced back to biomechanical problems, including:

  • Sprained ankles

  • Back pain

  • Hip pain

  • Shin splints

  • Calluses and corns

  • Plantar fasciitis

Once our practice has identified the problem and cause of your pain, a tailor made treatment plan can be created to restore your lower extremities and feet to their normal function, thus improving your game. Treatment may involve one or more of the following:

  • Exercises and therapy to stretch or strengthen muscles

  • Orthotic devices are worn inside the shoe to control, realign or cushion the abnormalities, thus reducing discomfort

  • Footwear modifications

Don’t let poor foot biomechanics compromise your game. Whether you are a full-time athlete or a weekend warrior, your podiatrist can help you return to your favorite sporting activity. Not only will your performance improve, but you’ll significantly reduce your chance of injuring yourself again. So do the right thing for your body and contact your podiatrist today!



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