Do you have questions about foot care? We have answers.

Do you have questions about foot injuries or the causes of foot pain? Tanglewood Foot Specialists provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about foot injuries and foot care. If you would like to schedule an appointment to talk to a doctor about your foot pain, call Tanglewood Foot Specialists at (713) 785-7881.

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  • Is the painful bump on the back of my heel due to a bone spur?

    Haglund's Deformity and pump bump in HoustonSome people develop a bump on the back of the heel. Because of the pressure from the back of a shoe, it can become inflamed and painful. It is called a Haglund's deformity, but is commonly known as a pump bump. Women are generally affected by a pump bump more than men are because of the shoes that they wear are more likely to irritate the back of the heel.

    A pump bump is caused by a bone spur that forms on the back of the heel. It forms for one of two reasons. The first is due to excessive pulling of the Achilles tendon on the heel bone. This occurs due to a tight or shortened Achilles tendon. The other reason is due to the rocking motion of the heel bone during walking. This causes shear forces on the back of the heel and a buildup of bone in response to the pressure.

    If you catch a bone spur forming before it becomes painful, it is usually effectively treated with a custom orthotic device. The orthotic helps to stabilize the foot function and limit the pressure and pulling on the heel bone. In more severe cases, foot surgery may be necessary to provide complete relief. Don't wait for pain to start. Call your Houston podiatrist before a problem starts.

  • Is a bone spur causing my heel pain?

    Heel pain can be caused by a variety of factors. It most commonly caused by tension on the heel bone which causes inflammation. This is known as plantar fasciitis. The tension can also cause a bone spur, known as a heel spur, to form. The heel spur is not usually the cause of the pain and often does not need to be directly addrssed.

    There are times where a heel spur is the main cause of heel pain. This occurs when there is atrophy of the fat padding beneath the heel. This increases the pressure from the heel spur against the ground and causes pain.

    Both causes of heel pain are treatable and surgery is rarely required. Contact your foot doctor in Houston to learn how you can walk once again without pain.

  • Why do I have a bump on top of my foot?

    A bump on top of your foot can be caused by a few conditions. While many people think that it is caused by a neuroma, that is usually not the case. If the bump is soft, it caLump on top of footn be due to a bursitis or ganglion cyst, both of which are soft tissue conditions caused by pressure or trauma. If the bump on your foot is hard, it is often due to a bone spur.

    Bone spurs can appear on top of your foot in a number of places and is caused by arthritic changes in and around the joint. Arthritis is not unusual in the feet because of the pressure placed on them with each and every step. Sometimes your foot mechanics causes you to have excess pressure around some joints. Other times, it's trauma that causes the bone spur formation. 

    Bone spurs can be treated in a variety of ways. Sometimes the pain is not due to the spur itself, but rather the inflammation of the soft tissue surrounding it. In these cases, anti-inflammatory medication or cortisone injections can manage the inflammation and eliminate the pain. When the motion of the joint is causing the spur to be painful, the use of a custom orthotic can be helpful in redirecting the excess stress on the joint. Of course there are times where the spur may need to be removed. In those cases, foot surgery may be recommended to remove the spur.

    Visiting your foot doctor in Houston will provide you answers as to why your bone spur has formed and what can be done for it. Contact Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate appointment to learn all of your options.

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  • Is it true that I can wear cross trainers in any sport?

    Don't run in cross trainersThe name "Cross trainer" athletic shoes is very deceiving. The term gives the impression that the shoes are suitable for all activity and sports. This is not the case and wearing cross trainers for the wrong exercise can result in injury.

    Athletic and running shoes are all built in ways that provide maximum support and efficiency, or flexibility, depending on the needs of a particular foot type and demands of the sport. A court shoe, whether for tennis, volleyball, or basketball, are structured to account for the starting, stopping, and pivoting. Running shoes are built to account for the natural break in the midfoot and are available in varieties to account for the differences in foot type.

    Cross trainers are suitable for some exercises. They are good to use in the gym for strengthening exercise and weightlifting. You also can use them for aerobics and even the very popular Zumba classes. Consult with your foot doctor in Houston to determine if you are wearing the proper shoes to avoid injuries.

  • How can I prevent sprained ankles when I'm jumping?

    Unfortunately you can't always prevent a sprained ankle, especially when jumping is involved. Some people are more predisposed to ankle sprains because of their mechanics. Those with a high-arched foot naturally tend to shift their weight to the outside, making little force necessary to twist the ankle. Those with flat feet also have instability that can make the ankle twist.

    When someone is jumping, such as coming down from a shot in basketball, people are generally at equal risk of twisting an ankle. Sprained ankles from jumping is usually due to landing at the wrong angle. The unfortunate part is that ankle sprains are cumulative. The ligaments that are injured do not return to full strength, putting you at greater risk for future ankle sprains. In these cases, it is critical to use a superior ankle brace, such as the Gameday made by Ossur.

    Your podiatrist in Houston can evaluate you, provide exercises to strengthen your ankle, and provide you with a solution.

  • If I wear a custom orthotic when run, do I need one in my cycling shoes?

    Cycling orthotics in Houston A custom orthotic is used to balance the feet, which serve as the base of support for the entire body. The orthotic aids in providing stability and efficiency when there is instability in the lower extremity. It is commonly worn in running shoes, as well as all athletic shoes, work shoes, and dress shoes. This provides a consistency of the mechanics and how the foot and ankle functions.

    Many incorrectly view bicycling as a non-weight bearing activity. This perception is because the feet do not touch the ground. Cycling, however, is weight bearing and provides repetitive stress on the foot and ankle. When the cyclist uses clipless pedals continuous pressure is placed on the forefoot. This causes the foot and ankle to work differently from a natural walking gait.

    Orthoses are recommended to be worn in cycling shoes depending on the circumstances. If there is a mechanical instability involving the forefoot or an angular instability of the leg, an orthotic in the cycling shoes would be helpful. Some are comfortable wearing their same orthoses for their running shoes in their cycling shoes. Others, especially elite cyclists and ironman triathletes, have specialized orthotics designed specifically for their cycling shoes. Visit your foot doctor in Houston to see what is the right choice for you.

  • How can turf toe be treated?

    There is both conservative and surgical treatment for turf toe. Conservative treatment for turf toe can start with splinting or taping the great toe to limit motion and reduce jamming and pain. Another way to achieve this is with a thin, carbon-steel insole that is placed into shoes. While this limits motion around the joint, it does not limit activity. It also can be used in conjunction with a custom orthotic to control the overall lower extremity mechanics while supporting the painful joint.

    If conservative measures fail, then surgery would be an option for this joint. The most straightforward way to address this arthritic, painful great toe joint is a procedure known as a cheilectomy. This procedure is one to "clean up" the joint by removing the bone spurs around the joint and remodel it to help restore the motion. In more severe situations, the metatarsal bone needs to be surgically fractured to decompress the joint.

    Do not assume that you need surgery, visit your podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX to see what is the best treatment option for you.

  • What is turf toe?

    Turf toe effects Houston athletesTurf toe is a sprain of the great toe joint, occurring when the joint over-extends. It is a common football injury with a high prevalence on artificial turf, thus providing the name of the condition. It is not exclusive to football, however.

    Turf toe can occur anytime the joint is already extended. A force pushing you backwards will jolt the joint into suddenly hyperextending. Over time this one-time injury can cause breakdown of the joint. The motion in this joint will become limited and painful. A spur, known as a dorsal bunion, often forms on the top of the metatarsal bone. This becomes arthritis, further restricts the joint and causes additional pain

    Turf toe is progressive and gets worse with time and continued activity. The sooner it is treatment, the faster it will improve and have the pain controlled. If you are concerned that you have turf toe, or any other foot injury from sports, visit your Houston podiatrist for immediate treatment.

  • Why is the bottom of my foot dry and cracked?

    Houston podiatrist treating dry cracked feetThe bottom of your foot could be dry and cracked for two reasons. First is that your skin either becomes naturally dry or your environment makes your skin dry and cracked. This is common in the Houston summertime when you may wear more open shoes or sandals. The dust and dirt on the ground causes your feet, and heels especially, to dry and crack. This is well treated with an excellent moisturizing cream. Ask Houston Podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider to recommend one for you.

    The other reason for dry and cracked feet is because of a fungal infection, such as athlete's foot. This is commonly misdiagnosed, since there often is no itching or burning symptoms and the foot does appear very dry. In these cases, treatment is often effective using a strong moisturizing cream in conjunction with an antifungal medication.

    If your dry and cracked heels and feet are not properly treated, the cracks can worsen and bleed. This is painful for everyone and particularly dangerous if you have diabetes. The cracks can become infected and difficult to heal. Treating cracks in your heel early, before they become problematic, will ensure that your feet stay healthy and remove the risk of infection.

    If you've been using a moisturizing cream (or 2 or 3) with poor results, visit Tanglewood Foot Specialists to recommend the best treatment for your painful cracked heels and assess if you need an antifungal medicine as well.

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  • Why does my athlete's foot keep coming back?

    Athlete's foot requires treatment by a Houston podiatristOne of the biggest issues with Athlete's foot is that it keeps coming back over and over again. There are two main reasons for this to be the case. Most people who use topical anti fungal medication only use it until the symptoms, such as itching and burning, are eliminated. This is not, however, when the fungus is completely gone.

    It is pretty difficult to continue a course of medication after the discomfort is gone. It's all better if there's no pain or itching, right? It may be better, but it is not well! Using an anti fungal medication for a short period of time will first help the symptoms. At that point however, the fungus is not fully inhibited. Many prescription anti fungal medications for Athlete's foot should be used twice a day for two weeks. This regimen, however, may differ depending on the medication and the severity of the infection.

    If you have tried everything out there to control your athlete's foot, it's time to take control. In some cases, using topical medication isn't enough to cure the fungal infection. Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprehensive evaluation.

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