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Frequently Asked Questions and Fun Foot Facts

Frequently asked questions and fun foot facts all in one location. The patients in our Grapevine, Texas office love to ask a myriad of questions. We try to answer them all. Sometimes we even have to write a full length article on them, so take a look at our library as well. Have a question about your feet and ankles? You may find your answer here. Gait issues? Problems with shoes and socks? We have answers. Want more? Contact us and ask a question. We will answer!

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  • Why do my joints make noise?

    The snap, crackle, and pop that many of us hear when we get up from a sedentary position is actually gases in your synovial fluid (the liquid that lubricated your joints). When small forces are applied to the joint, one factor that limits the motion is the volume of the joint. That volume is set by the amount of synovial fluid contained in the joint. The synovial fluid cannot expand unless the pressure inside the capsule drops to a point at which the dissolved gases can escape the solution; when the gases come out of solution, they increase the volume and hence the mobility of the joint. The gases make the crackling sound. Tendons can also make a snapping sound when a joint is stressed. 

    Bottom line: the snap, crackle and pop is normal and some people's joints can be very noisy, but if they are not painful there is nothing to worry about!

    If you have pain, then its time to come in for a visit to figure out why.

  • My foot is red and swollen, but I didn't fall down or hit it. What could this be?

    A red, hot, swollen foot is a sign of inflammation. If you didn't fall down and go boom, then it could be an infection or gout. Anytime your foot is red and swollen, you should call and come into the office.

  • Should I have surgery to straighten my hammertoes if I don't like the way it looks and to prevent it from getting to the point where it hurts?

    Surgery should be avoided in the feet for cosmetic reasons because should some post operative complication happen, you could end up with a toe that hurts or is even cosmetically more unappealing than before the operation.  Only have surgery on your feet if they hurt and conservative treatment has not helped.  Remember, unlike shoes, you only get one pair of feet!

  • Do the toe splints or toe exercisers like "yoga toes" make a hammertoe straighten out?

    They may straighten your toes out if your toes are flexible enough, but only as long as you splint them.  Your toe will inevitably start to bend again once the splint is off.  Toe exercisers may make your toe stronger, but not straighter!

  • Why Does My Heel Pain Come Back?

    Simply said, most patients have recurrent heel pain due to the fact that they stop doing the things that made them better! They either stop stretching, stop wearing good shoes or any shoes at all, stop wearing their orthotics, or have totally worn out orthotics. If your heel pain comes back, think about thses simple things and come into the office and discuss it.

  • Why are my heels hot and burning?

    Do you know that heel pain is the most common complaint we see in our office?

    You could have plantar fasciitis, but did you also know that your pain could be caused by a bone spur, a broken bone or a torn ligament? Heel pain could also be caused by a recent gain in weight, tight calf muscles, sudden change in exercise regiment or improper shoes.

    Most people think if they ignore the heel pain that it will go away or at least the pain will get better. I am here to tell you that the pain will not go away and most likely it will get worse! A lot of times we can not remember hurting ourselves and we cant even remember when the pain started, the important thing to know is that if you have heel pain you can get rid of it, no one should have to walk around day to day with pain in their feet.

    A few things to think about if you are suffering from heel pain..

    • Are your shoes old?
    • Do your feet feel tired at the end of the day?
    • Is the pain worse in the morning when you get out of bed?
    • Are you stretching before and after you exercise?
    • Do you have to stand for long periods of time when you work?
    If the answers to any of these are yes then you should have a docotor look at your feet. Most times conservative treatments can get rid of your pain and make your feet feel new again.

  • I have orthotics. How often to I need to have these replaced?

    Orthotics lose their function, that is their ability to properly control abnormal foot function, right at about one to one and one half years. This will be on the lower end if you are heavy or very active. When you reach this point (or sooner if you find your feet becoming more tired or your foot pain is returning) it is time to have them replaced.

  • I was told by another shoe store I needed an arch support to help my arch return in both feet. Can an insert return my fallen arch to normal?

    A fallen arch happens over time, and cannot be reversed. An insert (arch support) placed in a supportive shoe will help create an arch for your foot and give you the support that is necessary in order to function correctly through the gait cycle. An arch support may also help decrease the progression of other deformities that may be caused by a fallen arch.

  • What is causing the pain under the balls of my feet?

    The term for pain under the ball of the foot is called "metatarsalgia" and can have many different causes from a torn ligament responsible for stabilizing the toe, to an injured nerve, an inflammed joint or even a stress fracture. The only way to find out what is causing your metatarsalgia, is it to have it evaluated by a podiatrist.