The majority of podiatric conditions are best treated in an office setting. Many treatment protocols require a series of in-office procedures. With most Americans adhering to stay-at-home orders from local governments, office appointments are at a premium. I have included some tips in this post that I hope will help ease your discomfort until you are able to be seen in the office.
- Soak: Submerge your feet in a cool bath of Epsom Salt for 15-20 minutes to reduce inflammation.
- Elevation: This will reduce any swelling in your legs and feet. For best results, you should lie flat in bed and elevate your legs above the level of your heart.
- Avoid barefoot: Always wear a supportive shoe or slipper. This is just as important for inside the home as it is for going outside. The lack of proper support leads to stress on the joints and muscle and tendon strain which leads to pain.
Corns and calluses
- File: The thicker the skin becomes the more pain you will have. It is important to soak your feet prior to filing. This will soften the skin and allow for increased exfoliation. Use a foot file like the option below. Never use a sharp tool or metal grater. Always moisturize after filing.
- Padding: Pads, when placed in the proper location, can relieve a significant amount of pressure and provide a great deal of comfort. Corn and callus pads come in all shapes and sizes and materials. Common shapes include those that have a cut-out and tube-shaped. Common materials include felt, foam and gel. The important thing to remember is to buy a non-medicated pad. Medicated pads, if left on the skin too long, can cause a blister or a burn. Dr. Jill’s Foot Pads is a great resource for all of your padding needs.
- Soaking: Submerge your feet in a cool bath of Epsom Salt for 15-20 minutes to reduce inflammation.
- Proper nail trimming: Cut your nails straight across (never round the corners) and finish with a file.
- Cotton packing: the goal of cotton packing is to separate the nail plate for the skin on the side of the nail. Clean the nail and surrounding skin with alcohol. Apply a small amount of Vaseline or antibiotic ointment to the side of the nail. Take a small amount of cotton from a cotton ball. Using a cuticle pusher, gently pack the cotton into the space between the nail and the skin from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. Repeat after the cotton packing falls out. This may be the next day or a few days later.
- Infection: Call the office or nearest Urgent Care Center if you are experiencing any of the following signs of infection: increase pain, redness, streaks of red on the skin, swelling, drainage consistent with pus (thick, yellow or green fluid). Do not attempt to treat infection yourself at home.
Heel and arch pain
- Reduce inflammation: Minimizing inflammation will help to reduce pain. This can be achieved by:
- Soaking your feet with Epsom salt.
- Applying ice to the affected area (wrap an ice pack in a cloth and apply to the affected area for 15-20 minutes twice a day).
- Applying topical anti-inflammatory preparations such as Aspercreme.
- Taking oral anti-inflammatory medications as long as there are no contraindications to doing so. Always consult with your doctor before starting any oral medication.
- Stretch: I can’t stress how important this is! For best results follow the Plantar Fasciitis Home Exercise Program sheet from my post on March 26 ,2020.
- Support: Avoid barefoot. Always wear a supportive shoe or slipper, even at home. Taping and pre-fabricated arch supports can provide short term relief while custom molded orthotics provide long term support.