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By Dr. Snowden
February 07, 2018
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Bunions  

Have you been wondering why you developed bunions? Our Austin, TX, podiatrist, Dr. Joseph Snowden, explains why bunions occur bunionsand discusses treatment methods.

What are bunions?

A bunion is a bony bump at the base of your foot that forms when the joint becomes misaligned. In addition to pain and stiffness in the joint, you may also develop corns and calluses if your big toe rubs against your second toe. If you don't take steps to stop the progression of the bunion, you may develop other conditions that worsen your pain, such as a hammertoe or arthritis.

Are tight shoes the reason I have bunions?

You may have heard that wearing tight shoes or high heels is the reason that people develop bunions. Although the type of shoes you wear can play a role in bunion formation, footwear choice isn't the primary cause. Bunions tend to develop if there is an issue with the structure of your foot. Issues with loose joints or tendons, flat feet or your arches can increase the likelihood that you'll have bunions. Because these problems are usually inherited, you may develop bunions no matter what type of shoes you wear.

If you've inherited a structural problem or injured your foot, your joint is more likely to become misaligned, particularly if it's subjected to continual pressure from tight shoes or high heels.

What can I do about my bunions?

Staying off your feet as much as possible, padding the sore areas of your foot and wearing roomier shoes can improve your comfort and slow the progression of the bunion. If the bunion gets worse or remains painful, you may want to pay a visit to our Austin office. We can recommend devices and strategies that will decrease your pain. Wearing special splints at night and custom-made orthotics will improve the position of the joint, make standing and walking more comfortable and may prevent the condition from progressing.

Physical therapy may be recommended to prevent joint stiffness. Although it may be possible to stop your bunion from worsening with these treatments, bunion surgery offers the only way to restore the normal function and appearance of the joint.

Bunion treatment can help you get back on your feet. Call our Austin, TX, podiatrist, Dr. Snowden, at (512) 458-3549 to schedule your appointment.

By Dr. Snowden
December 15, 2017
Category: Podiatric Issues
Tags: plantar fasciitis  

What your foot doctor in Austin and Lakeway wants you to knowplantar fasciitis

Have you ever experienced pain around the heel of your foot? Your heel pain may actually be a symptom of plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the thick band of tissue, known as the plantar fascia, running across your heel. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, it swells and tightens, causing pain.

Fortunately, there are effective treatments to relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Dr. Joseph Snowden wants to share his knowledge of plantar fasciitis. He has two convenient office locations in Austin and Lakeway, TX to take care of your podiatry needs.

You are at increased risk of plantar fasciitis if you roll your foot inward when you walk, known as overpronation. Other issues that can increase your risk include:

  • Age; if you are between 40 to 60 years old
  • Weight; if you carry excess weight
  • Activity; if you run or do other high-impact sports
  • Foot structure; if you have flat feet
  • Work; if you walk or stand on hard surfaces for long periods
  • Footwear; if you wear unsupportive, worn-out shoes

A stabbing pain in your arch and the heel of your foot is a main symptom of plantar fasciitis. In addition, you should pay attention to:

  • Increasing pain after you wake up
  • Increasing pain after exercise
  • Increasing pain after rising from a seated position

If you think you may have plantar fasciitis, there are a few simple home remedies you can try. Consider:

  • Stretching your arches every day
  • Taking over-the-counter pain or anti-inflammatory medications
  • Getting more supportive shoes

For stubborn, severe plantar fasciitis symptoms, it’s best to visit Dr. Snowden. He has several effective treatments to eliminate your pain. He may recommend:

  • Stretching, physical therapy
  • Wearing custom-made orthotics
  • Prescription strength medications
  • Steroid injections around your heel

If you have plantar fasciitis, you don’t have to face the pain alone. Get some help by calling Dr. Snowden. He has offices in Austin and Lakeway, TX to treat your feet, so call today!

By Dr. Snowden
October 02, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: heel pain  

Have you been wondering why your heels hurt? Austin and Lakeway, TX, podiatrist Dr. Joseph Snowden discusses several causes of heel heel painpain and explains what can be done to ease your pain.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis becomes more common as you get older, but can also occur if you're overweight, are a runner or wear shoes that don't adequately support your foot. The pain starts when the plantar fascia, a tough band of tissue that connects your toes to your heel, becomes inflamed. Special exercises can stretch the fascia, reducing pain. Wearing splints at night and prescription shoe inserts can also be helpful.

Heel spurs

Heel spurs are calcium deposits that form on the bottom of your heel, causing pain with every step you take. If you've had plantar fasciitis, wear shoes that don't fit well, are overweight or participate in an exercise that involves running or jumping, you may be more likely to develop heel spurs. Over-the-counter pain medications can reduce pain and inflammation associated with heel spurs. If pain continues, you may benefit from physical therapy, corticosteroid injections or even surgery in severe cases.

Retrocalcaneal bursitis

The retrocalcaneal bursa is a fluid filled sac at the back of your heel that permits the smooth movement of your Achilles tendon. It can become inflamed due to overuse injuries, arthritis, gout or shoes that don't fit well. Staying off your feet and taking over-the-counter medications are important if you have the condition. Orthotics, corticosteroid injections, physical therapy or ultrasound treatment offered by your podiatrist may be recommended if rest doesn't help your pain.

Achilles tendinitis

Inflammation is also the cause of Achilles tendinitis, a condition that affects the tendon that connects your calf muscles to your heel. Flat feet, tight leg muscles or participating in activities that include running, jumping or pivoting increase your risk. If rest doesn't improve your pain, schedule an appointment with our Lakeway or Austin offices. Depending on the severity of your problem, you may benefit from heel cups, walking boots, physical therapy, cortisone therapy or ultrasound or shockwave therapy.

Don't let heel pain take over your life. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Joseph Snowden by calling (512) 458-3549 for the Austin office or (512) 458-3549 for the Lakeway office.

By Dr. Snowden
August 01, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Get control of your toenail fungus with professional treatment options available through an experienced podiatrist. If left untreated, toenail toenail fungusfungus can permanently damage the toenails or even spread to the surrounding skin. Untreated toenail fungus can cause additional problems for individuals with diabetes or other conditions that weaken the immune system. If you do have toenail fungus, it is important to get control of it by seeking treatment. Toenail fungus is treated by Dr. Joseph Snowden, your Austin area podiatrist.

Causes of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus can develop due to several possible factors. Certain medical conditions involving circulatory problems or a weakened immune system, such as diabetes or a history of athlete’s foot, can increase the risk of developing toenail fungus. An injury to the toenail plate can also result in the development of a fungal infection. Some of the signs of toenail fungus include:

  • Yellowish nails
  • White spots on the nails
  • Loose nails
  • Brittle nails
  • Unusually thick nails
  • Oddly shaped nails

Treatments Options

There are several different treatment options of toenail fungus in Austin, TX. The type of treatment that is right for you will depend on the type of toenail fungus you have. Treatment options include nail lacquers, topical creams, antifungal medication or removal of infected toenails. Your podiatrist can help you determine which treatment option is right for you.

Prevention of Toenail Fungus

Whether you have never had toenail fungus or want to avoid getting it again, there are various steps you can take to prevent toenail fungus from developing. Preventive measures include:

  • Keeping the feet clean and dry.
  • Maintaining good hygiene.
  • Regularly checking the toes and feet for signs of infection.
  • Wearing sandals or flip flops when walking through public locker rooms and showers.
  • Wearing sandals or flip flops when walking in public pool areas.
  • Using a talcum foot powder to keep the feet dry.
  • Wearing footwear that fits properly with enough room for the toes to move.
  • Wearing moisture wicking socks.
  • Regularly disinfecting nail clippers and home pedicure tools.

If you have signs of a fungal infection on the toenails, you can get control of your toenail fungus with treatment from an experienced podiatrist such as Dr. Snowden. For treatment of toenail fungus in Austin, TX, schedule an appointment with Dr. Snowden at either the Austin or Lakeway, TX office by calling (512) 458-3549.

By Dr. Snowden
May 22, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Foot Pain  

What your foot doctor in Austin, Texas wants you to knowfoot pain

If you suffer from foot problems, you know how they can affect your quality of life. The good news is there are several effective treatments to help heal even the most stubborn foot problems. Dr. Joseph Snowden wants to share some facts about common foot problems and their treatments. He has two convenient office locations in Austin, and Lakeway, Texas to help heal your feet.

Plantar fasciitis is a very common foot problem, occurring when the thick band of tissue running across your heel, called the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed. Sharp pain radiates from your heel to your shin, causing difficulty walking. You can get plantar fasciitis if you have overpronation when you walk, are overweight, stand or walk on hard surfaces for long periods of time, or if you play high impact sports or run.

Common professional treatments for plantar fasciitis include icing the area, prescription strength anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, custom-made orthotics, and other treatments.

A bunion is a large bony bump next to your big toe which can be very painful and make it difficult to wear shoes. Bunions are caused by toes getting forced out of alignment by shoes that are too narrow. The big toe gets forced sideways, causing the toe joint to protrude.

Common professional treatments for bunions include cortisone injections around the bunion to decrease swelling and pain, custom-fit orthotics and footwear, night splints, physical therapy, and possibly surgery to remove the bunion.

Toenail fungus is another common problem you can easily get from public pools and showers because fungi thrive in moist, warm places. You can also get toenail fungus if you wear shoes and socks that lock moisture in. Dr. Snowden can treat toenail fungus by laser nail treatment. Laser treatment works by heating the fungus and killing it. Laser nail treatment is comfortable so you won’t need anesthetic.

Foot problems are common, but that doesn’t mean they have to take over your life. If you have stubborn foot issues, it’s time to make an appointment to see an expert. Call Dr. Joseph Snowden with offices in Austin, and Lakeway, Texas. He will help you get back on your feet, so call today!

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