Have a Question About Foot Pain or Treatment? Find the Answer Here

We get asked a lot of questions about foot and ankle pain. In fact, we’ve compiled a list of frequently-asked questions (and their answers) to give our patients fast access to common podiatry issues. Use the search bar on this page or browse through our list of frequent questions for solutions to your problem.

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  • Is ingrown toenail surgery painful?

    Ingrown toenails happen when the edge of the nail grows into the skin surrounding it. They can be visually unappealing, but more than that, they can cause discomfort and pain. In some cases, they can lead to bleeding, swelling of the skin, and infection. When conservative treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may have to be considered. Is ingrown toenail surgery painful? You won’t feel a thing! During surgery, a local anesthetic is usually injected into the area around your toe. This will numb your foot and prevent you from feeling the procedure as it occurs. The nail will be freed from the skin and removed if needed. After the operation, be sure to keep your foot raised and rested. You might receive over-the-counter or prescription painkillers to relieve any soreness you’re feeling. To stop ingrown toenails from returning, and to remove any harmful pressure on the foot, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and avoid overly trimming your toenails. Surgery is a successful way to stop your ingrown nails from hurting, and to keep ingrown toenails from coming back!

    Dr. Victoria Melhuish can explain more about ingrown toenails and how to take care of your feet. Contact us at Sierra Foot and Ankle by calling (775) 783-8037, or visit our office in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV today!

  • Why do I keep getting ingrown toenails?

    A returning ingrown toenail is a surprisingly common problem. It has to do with how your nail grows. Your toenail becomes ingrown when it grows sideways and outward into the skin around it, pinching or piercing the soft tissue. If your footwear squeezes your toes, it can influence the nail to curl. Sometimes changing your shoes may be enough to relieve the pressure on your toes so that the nail grows straight. However, a nail growth abnormality may mean your nail is unable to grow correctly. In that case, you may need a procedure to permanently remove the offending portion of the nail so it isn’t able to grow inward again.

    If you’re struggling with a painful, returning ingrown toenail, you do need to change something for long-term relief. Contact Sierra Foot & Ankle for an appointment or more information about taking care of your toenails. You can reach our Carson City, NV office by calling (775) 783-8037 or filling out the online contact form.

  • Is ingrown toenail removal really painful?

    Despite your best efforts, sometimes ingrown toenails are persistent or severely painful, and you may need to have the nail partially or fully removed. Toenail removal is a done with a local anesthetic. Within the hours following surgery you may feel mild discomfort. Possible complications include infection and it is possible the ingrown may return. If your toe becomes increasingly painful, swollen, or red, or if drainage develops, it should be reevaluated. If the ingrown toenail reoccurs, a second procedure may be necessary.

    Continue to apply prescribed antibiotic to the area until it has healed completed. We may recommend a pain reliever to lessen the mild postoperative pain. Strenuous exercise is discouraged for at least a week after removal. Contact Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV, for an appointment or to find out more information about nail health. Call (775) 783-8037 or submit our online contact form to reach us.

  • What are some low-impact exercises for feet?

    Low-impact exercises for feet don’t have to mean low calorie burning. You can get just as good of a workout—and sometimes even better—doing exercises that don’t aggravate foot problems.

    The term low-impact is so vague. Let’s get down to the specifics. Along with the traditional exercises of walking, cycling, and swimming, there are other activities like rowing, climbing stairs, in-line skating, and Zumba that constitute exercises that are easier on your body.

    High intensity can also be low impact. Sit on a chair or, even better, a box. Lean back, bend knees 90 degrees, keep your pointed toes on the floor, and put your hands up with palms facing in front of you—like you’re giving someone a high five! Lift your knees up and tap your thighs as you draw your legs in. Repeat as fast as you can for 45 seconds. Do three more times.

    If you’re injured and would like to learn more exercises with lower impact, please call Dr. Victoria Melhuish at Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City, NV, at (775) 783-8037. We also have an office in Gardnerville, which can be reached at the same number.

  • How do I prevent heel pain?

    Preventing heel pain isn’t difficult, but it does involve time and investment in your lower limbs. Different underlying issues can lead to uncomfortable heels, but adjusting your shoes and performing some stretches and exercises can help prevent the problem. Make sure you wear supportive footwear with cushioned soles and replace worn pairs. You may need orthotics to correct or control any biomechanical weaknesses. Try stretching your feet every day to work the tissues attached to your heel. Wall stretches, calf raises, plantar stretches, and toe exercises alternately relax and work those tissues that affect your hindfoot.

    Don’t wait until your feet are deeply uncomfortable to take care of them. Preventing heel pain before it starts is easier on your body than dealing with injuries. If you’d like help avoiding a foot problem, or are already struggling with discomfort, contact Sierra Foot & Ankle for an appointment or more information. You can reach us by calling (775) 783-8037 or using the online contact page.

  • What stretches relieve heel pain?

    Stretches for Heel PainYour body can work to heal itself, and there are many stretches that can aide in that process. Before turning to prescription medications or surgery, it’s a good idea to try noninvasive measures. This is especially true for your feet and heels. Stretches relieve heel pain, and can be fun too. Channel your inner ballerina, and try walking on tip-toe around the house. This simple and seemingly silly exercise extends the foot and can help alleviate suffering. Next, lose your marbles! Allow marbles, pebbles or other small rounded objects to scatter within reach of a comfortable chair. With some music or a movie on in the background, practice picking the marbles or pebbles up with your toes and depositing them into a cup or bowl. This provides a healthy, mild stretch to the ligaments in your toes and feet, working to treat and prevent injury.

    Relieve plantar plain with a simple floor exercise. Sit with your legs extended in front of you. Draw your right leg toward you until your right knee is bent. Then, gently pull on the ball of your right foot. Hold this position, allowing your muscles to extend up to twenty seconds. Repeat this exercise three times before alternating to your left leg.

    If you want to explore more stretches to help your heel pain, call Dr. Victoria Melhuish at (775) 783-8037. Learn more at Sierra Foot and Ankle in Carson City and Gardnerville, NV. Get your heels happy and healthy today.

  • Why do I have pain in my heels?

    Pain in heels can be caused by many different things, but the most common culprit is plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation and swelling in the tendon that stretches from the heel bone to the toes, called the plantar fascia. You can develop pain in your heels because of biomechanical issues, bad shoes, or a preexisting condition. Those problems strain the foot and put pressure on that tendon. The discomfort usually gets worse the longer you continue to use the affected foot. Quick intervention can treat the source of the problem to eliminate the pain and relieve the pressure, relaxing the plantar fascia.

    If you’re experiencing heel pain, don’t just hope it’ll get better on its own. Contact Sierra Foot & Ankle for an appointment to evaluate and take care of your feet or for more information. Visit the website contact page or call (775) 783-8037 to reach our office in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV.

  • What are at-home remedies for reducing foot pain?

    Home remedies are great for soothing sore, achy, painful feet—and do we have plenty of tips! Our remedies for reducing foot pain can get you back to normal in no time.

    Freeze a water bottle and roll your arch over the homemade ice pack for 20 minutes to experience some relief. You can also use a cold compress under your feet to get the same feeling. Rolling your foot over a tennis ball, golf ball, rolling pin, or store-bought massage tool can give you a relaxing massage as well.

    Stretches, like picking up pencils with your feet and spreading your toes, may take the ache out of your step.

    Plunge your feet into a warm foot bath. If you’re feeling especially kind, treat your feet to a few drops of peppermint, rosemary, or eucalyptus essential oil.

    Once you’re done rolling, icing, and soaking, kick up your heels and grab your favorite book! Elevation reduces swelling in your feet.

    If your foot pain is more serious and chronic, schedule an appointment with Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM, at Sierra Foot & Ankle in either Carson City or Gardnerville, NV. Our offices can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest! 

  • How do I moisturize my dry feet?

    You might be thinking “moisturizing my feet is such a hassle.” Sure, it can be little time consuming, but you need to remember that keeping your feet moisturized can save you from dry, cracked skin that can lead to fissures—or even wounds and ulcers for some people.

    If you’re already dealing with a dryness problem, trying using an oil, cream, or salve. Rub it deeply into your skin after taking a shower or foot bath. At first, try to stay away from lotions with alcohol in them; that could further deplete your skin of moisture. After your skin is showing signs of repair, you can begin to using lotion. You can also use moisturizing soaps when you wash them, and make sure you drink plenty of water.

    Your dry feet might also be an indicator of a more serious problem like thyroid disease, eczema, or psoriasis. If that’s the case, treating the underlying problem should help clear up your skin. If you’re concerned for your skin health, please make an appointment with Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM, at (775) 783-8037. Sierra Foot & Ankle can also be found on Pinterest and Twitter! 

  • How can I fix shoes once they smell?

    It takes some effort to remove foot odor from shoes, but it is possible. If your shoes are made of fabric, they may be washable. Remove the insoles and shoestrings and stick your footwear in an old pillowcase—then run it through the wash. Afterward let your shoes air-dry for several days. Stuffing smelly pairs with crumpled newspaper works well, too; the paper absorbs the old sweat as well as the odor.

    Some substances you find around the house are known for their odor-eating properties and may help you fix smelly shoes. Baking soda works very well. Sprinkle it directly into your footwear before bed, then shake out the powder in the morning. You can also use fresh orange peels or fill clean socks with kitty litter. Of course, you may need to look into stopping the smell at the source—your sweaty feet. If you’re struggling with foot and shoe odor, let Dr. Victoria Melhuish at Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City, NV help. Just call (775) 783-8037 or submit an appointment request through our website.