The Answers You Need to Settle Your Foot Care Questions

Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right answers to your questions. Other times it can be too embarrassing to even ask the right questions. That is why we take the initiative to answer common foot care queries without the need to be asked. Come get the answers you and your feet need.

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  • What is the best treatment for an ankle sprain?

    The best sprained ankle treatment follows the RICE procedure—rest, ice, compress, and elevate—and then rehabilitate the ankle. You need to take a break from all hard-impact activities and hobbies that may strain the joint, particularly sports and many outdoor activities. Icing the ankle will help reduce the painful inflammation in the soft tissues, allowing them to begin healing. Compressing the ankle in an elastic medical bandage discourages swelling. Keeping the foot elevated also decreases swelling, as well as forces you to rest for a little while. After a couple of days of RICE, you begin rehabilitation. This allows the ankle to recondition itself for your activities.

    In severe cases, treatment may involve time in a brace or cast to stabilize the joint and protect it as it heals. Immobilizing the joint for a few weeks allows the loose and damaged ligaments to recover without pressure that could accidentally reinjure them. Occasionally, severely-sprained ankles actually need surgery to repair torn tendons. Getting your sprain accurately diagnosed is the key to getting the right treatment. Let Parker Foot & Ankle help. Call our Houston office at (281) 497-2850 to make an appointment.

  • Can stretching prevent foot injuries?

    Sometimes you can prevent foot injuries by keeping your muscles and connective tissues adequately stretched. Your feet are under a lot of stress when you stand and walk; it’s fairly easy for your tissues to become tight and overworked. Stretching to prevent injuries helps alleviate some of this stress in your lower limbs. These stretches don’t have to be complicated to benefit your feet, either, and most are easy to do at home.

    Exercises like the step stretch, the towel pull, the wall stretch, the plantar stretch, and the sole massage work well. They impact different parts of your feet, ankles, and lower legs, helping you to stay conditioned and keep your tissues relaxed. If you’re struggling with tight tendons or muscles, don’t wait until you develop an injury to get help. Let Parker Foot & Ankle take care of your feet. You can call our Houston office for an appointment at (281) 497-2850, or use the online form to reach us. We’ll be happy to explain these stretches in detail.

  • What is the best stress fracture treatment?

    Stress fractures are relatively common injuries and often develop from overuse, typically in high-impact sports. These injuries are most likely to happen to the weight-bearing bones found in your feet and lower legs. There are a variety of stress fracture treatment options, but the best is to simply take time away from the activity that caused the condition.

    A stress fracture is a tiny crack in your bone that will heal on its own in roughly 6 to 8 weeks if further stress is not placed upon the area. If you are an avid runner with a stress fracture and want to maintain your physical conditioning, swimming and bicycling provide low-impact options that may work.

    Before you alter your workout plans, consult with Dr. Robert Parker. While resting is the best treatment, we may want to prescribe the use of protective footwear or a cast to ensure proper healing. If the stress fracture is bad enough, surgery might be required.

    When stress fractures happen, be sure to call Parker Foot & Ankle at (281) 497-2850 and schedule your appointment with our Houston office. We will make sure that you heal correctly and can return to enjoying your normal activities.

  • How can I avoid foot injuries during aerobics?

    Accidents that cause foot pain can happen any time you’re active—doing aerobics, for instance. There are ways to avoid foot injuries, though. Wear the right shoes whenever you work out. Make sure they have supportive, cushioned soles and fit your feet correctly. Always use the proper technique so you’re less likely to strain your feet and ankles. If you’re doing step aerobics, don’t use a bench or step that is too tall for your legs.

    Condition your lower limbs to handle the stress of your routine, too. Some simple exercises build up your toe, foot, and ankle strength, making them more stable. Calf raises, toe spreads, balancing exercises, and foot taps work the tissues that keep your feet strong and help prevent overuse injuries. Stretches, like the wall stretch and the plantar stretch, help prevent tissues from tightening too much and causing problems. If you develop foot pain during your work out, stop and take care of it. Dr. Robert Parker can help you prevent and manage any foot injuries. Just call our Houston, TX office at (281) 497-2850 or use the web contact form to reach us.

  • How can I prevent shin splints?

    There are several different ways you can prevent shin splints. They are an overuse injury often caused by doing too much too soon when you exercise. There are several diagnoses to consider, such as nerve entrapments, medial stress syndrome, and tibialis posterior tendonitis. Dr. Parker will of course determine which of these similar presenting conditions is actually causing your symptoms.

    Building up your routine gradually conditions your shins to handle the stress of your activities. Cross train regularly as well. Instead of doing the same exercises every day, take rest days for your lower limbs and do low-impact or upper body activities instead.

    Always warm up to make sure your muscles are ready to work before you start your routine. That way, they’re less likely to get injured. Make sure you wear well-fitted, supportive shoes to help your feet absorb the shock. If you can, try to avoid exercising on hard, unforgiving surfaces like concrete, too. Orthotics are in order if these conservative measures don’t help, or if you have a significant bowlegged situation or severe pronation.

    If you notice your shins starting to ache and burn when you’re active, stop what you’re doing and rest. Catching and treating the problem early is an important part of preventing full-blown shin splints. Let Dr. Robert Parker know if you’re struggling with lower limb pain. Call our Houston office at (281) 497-2850 for an appointment or use our website to reach us for more information.

  • Can I run with bursitis?

    People who love to run may ask us, “Can I run with bursitis?” We know it is hard, but this is one of those foot conditions where the best course of action is to let your foot rest, instead of just pushing through the pain. You will heal more quickly and prevent worse problems by taking a break.

    Bursitis is often linked with Achilles tendonitis. If you feel pain or burning in your heel that gets worse with physical activity and feels better at rest, then you may have bursitis. This is most likely a cause of suddenly increasing the intensity of your physical activity level without gradually building up to it. Your feet, just like the rest of your body, need time to build strength. To treat this condition you will need to rest your feet, ice your heels daily, and possibly use shoe inserts or undergo physical therapy to increase your heel and foot strength.

    If you have more questions about treating and preventing bursitis call Dr. Robert Parker at (281) 497-2850 to schedule an appointment at Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston.

  • What is turf toe?

    What is turf toe, you ask? Simply put, turf toe is a sprain of the big toe joint. Imagine the shape that a foot takes when an athlete is on the starting blocks preparing to sprint—the heel is raised, the weight of the body is placed upon the ball of the foot and toes. The ligaments of the big toe joint allow for this movement, acting as a hinge to move the big toe up and down. This means that it also absorbs the weight and pressure from which you propel yourself forward.

    When your body attempts to make that initial "push off," sometimes the big toe remains flat on the floor and doesn't lift. We call this a hyperextension, and if repeated enough over time, or with sudden force, it can cause a sprain in the ligaments of the joint. Turf toe is commonly seen in athletes that play on artificial surfaces, such as turf or basketball and tennis courts, as they are harder than grass. This injury may cause pain, swelling, and toe misalignment. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, contact Dr. Robert Parker at Parker Foot and Ankle here in Houston, TX.  Call (281) 497-2850 or fill out our online patient form.

  • When can I Run Again After an Ankle Injury?

    Knowing how soon to run again after an ankle injury can be a difficult thing to figure out. When you are making this decision there are a few things to keep in mind. You need to consider the severity (minor sprain or fracture?), how long you were off your feet, your physical fitness level before your injury, your experience as a runner, and whether or not you were able to cross train while recovering. If you are unsure of your ankle’s ability to support you, a good rule of thumb is being able to walk a half hour without pain before trying to run. Then increase your activity gradually. If you begin to feel pain, back up the level for a few days and then try again.

    If you have more questions about getting back to running after an injury, call Dr. Robert Parker at (281) 497-2850 to schedule an appointment at Parker Foot and Ankle in Houston.

  • What do I do When I Get Shin Splints?

    When you feel the beginning of shin splints, you should start treating them right away to prevent them from getting worse. You’ll need to decrease or stop your activities temporarily to relieve the stress on your shins. Stretch out your muscles regularly and try low-impact exercises to stay active during this time. Also, ice your shins to decrease swelling and inflammation. You may need to change your shoes or add orthotics for extra support. Once your lower limbs are functioning without pain, you can slowly ease back into your activities. You may need conditioning exercises to bring your shins back up to strength without reinjuring them.

    Don’t ignore the discomfort of shin splints; that will simply guarantee an injury. Contact Parker Foot & Ankle to have your lower limbs checked and treated before the problem gets worse. Call (281) 497-2850 or visit the online contact page to reach our Houston office. 

  • Does my Child Have Kohler’s Disease?

    If you’re concerned about your child’s foot pain and wondering, “Does my child have Kohler’s disease?” know that, while it is possible, Kohler’s disease is a rare bone disorder. It’s most common in children between ages three and five, and is more likely to affect boys than girls. The condition involves a bone in the midfoot, called the tarsal navicular, becoming inflamed. The bone deteriorates from a lack of blood flow, sometimes causing it to break down into fragments that heal later. This causes pain, swelling, tenderness, and limping. Typically the discomfort will be worse after activity and your child may not want to put weight on the foot at all.

    If your child is struggling with foot pain, don’t ignore it. It’s important to find out what is causing the discomfort and work to treat the condition. Because Kohler’s disease is quite rare, midfoot pain is usually caused by other problems; however, checking for the disorder and ruling it out is better than misdiagnosing it. If you’re concerned about your child’s foot pain, let us know at Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX. Call (281) 497-2850 or use the online form to make an appointment.