Podiatrist tackles common foot problems
Do your feet hurt? Take a look at your footwear, suggests Dr. Renee Pietzsch of Central Texas Foot Specialist in Georgetown.
While the weather is warm, people often trade in their shoes for a pair of flip flops. But this seemingly comfortable footwear can be detrimental to your foot’s health, says Dr. Pietzsch.
According to Dr. Pietzsch, flip flops are a common culprit in the development of bunions because the shoes offer no support or stability. Bunions, a common foot problem among Dr. Pietzsch’s patients, are a misalignment of the big toe joint, often resulting in a bump on the inside of the top of the big toe joint. Flip flops “have a lower arch [than other footwear], and you will have to grip more with your toes to keep the shoe on, which will cause a shift in stance and cause a bunion deformity or pain,” Dr. Pietzsch explains.
“Any time there’s pain, that’s not a good thing,” she continues. Bunions are usually inherited but can be exacerbated by improper shoes or flat feet.
Other footwear, such as high heels, can also lead to spurring of the joint by jamming the joint. And the higher the heel, the greater the risk of developing a foot irregularity.
Dr. Pietzsch recommends wearing proper shoes and limiting the use of flip flops and high heels. Orthopedic flip flops such as Orthaheels, which she recommends to her patients, provide good arch support. People can also prevent bunions from progressing by using custom orthotic inserts, which Dr. Pietzsch refers to as “prescription glasses for feet.”
Central Texas Foot Specialist considers surgery an option of last resort, but if patients are experiencing pain, then patients might consider surgery as a first-line option for treatment.
Another common problem Dr. Pietzsch sees in her patients is plantar fasciitis, which is the inflammation of a ligament-like structure from the heel to the ball of the foot. The inflammation is caused when the ligament structure on the bottom of the foot becomes stressed, strained, or overused. Heel or arch pain commonly results.
Plantar fasciitis may be caused by wearing unsupportive footwear, walking barefoot, spending too much time in flip flops, or changing one’s exercise regimen. Custom orthotic inserts, stretching, icing, and medication often provide relief to the foot, Dr. Pietzsch says.
Professionals at the clinic pursue ongoing education to stay current with the latest in podiatric medicine, so they are ready to help patients when foot trouble begins. When it comes to foot problems, Dr. Pietzsch recommends quick action: “The earlier you treat it, the faster the recovery. The longer you wait, the longer your recovery.”
Central Texas Foot Specialist
Dr. Renee K. Pietzsch, DPM, FACFAS
3316 Williams Drive, Suite 120
Georgetown, Texas 78628
Most insurance providers accepted.