A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Foot Health: Arthritis in your big toe might be causing your running injuries

By Dr. Matthew Ellsworth Special to KyForward Do you ever get big toe joint pain while or after running? Does it feel stiff or throb during or after running? You may be suffering from arthritis of your big toe joint. When you think of arthritis, you often say to yourself, “I’m too young for that”, or “that is only something my grandparents have.” Truth be told, arthritis can affect most...

Foot Health: Here are some answers to your questions about toenail fungus

By Dr. Matthew Ellsworth Special to KyForward What Is Toenail Fungus? Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is an infection underneath the nail surface caused by fungi. The prevalence in America is about 2-3 percent, but some have reported it as high as 13 percent. An estimated 6 million Americans with toenail fungus. Toenail fungus affects men twice as often as it affects women. The prevalence among...

Foot Health: Have pain? Maybe you should try (topical) compounding the issue

Dr. Matthew Ellsworth Special to KyForward Many patients undergoing treatment for high-blood pressure, acid reflux, heart failure and kidney disorders are unable to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) for pain, as their medical conditions or drug therapy typically prohibit the use of these agents systemically. In addition, some patients who are already on several different medications are...

Foot Health: A few tips on when you need to make a trip to the podiatrist

By Dr. Matthew Ellsworth Special to KyForward Most people visit their dentist twice a year to ensure that there is nothing wrong with their teeth. Most people also visit the eye doctor at least once a year for an eye exam – again just to ensure that things are going well. Most people also visit their primary care doctor for a yearly physical to ensure that everything is as it should be. Unfortunately,...

Foot Health: Feel like you are walking on a pebble? You just might have a Morton’s Neuroma

By Dr. Matthew Ellsworth Special to KyForward Morton’s neuromas are small yet painful lumps that develop on the ball of the foot, typically between the third and fourth toes. Not only can these small lumps cause you to feel as though you are standing on a pebble, but they can cause burning, numbness or tingling to your toes. If you have foot pain, especially in the ball of your foot between the...

Foot Health: It’s tough even for professionals to tell the difference between a callous, wart

By Dr. Matthew Ellsworth Special to KyForward Do I have a wart or a callus? Dry, tough skin on the bottom of your feet can even be difficult for professionals to determine whether it is truly a callous or a wart. Here are some differences between the two: — A callus is thickened area of skin that forms from pressure or friction, usually on the bottom of your foot. When they form on or between...

Foot Health: Tips for a safe rest of the winter while battling unpredictable Kentucky weather

By Dr. Matthew Ellsworth Special to KyForward With spring still weeks away, chances are we are in store for at least a bit more snow and icy weather. Here are just a few tips on how to tread safely on those icy and snowy surfaces as well as avoid injury shoveling snow. Walk like a penguin! Slips and falls are the most common type of injuries that can occur during the winter months. Despite adequate...

Foot Health: Leg injury by prominent Wildcat Hawkins places spotlight on high ankle sprains

By Dr. Matthew Ellsworth Special to KyForward Kentucky men’s head basketball coach John Calipari revealed Monday that one of his players, Dominique Hawkins, had suffered a setback during practice, apparently re-injuring the same ankle he sprained 3 weeks ago. The injury had been diagnosed as a high ankle sprain. Teammates helped Dominque Hawkins off the floor after he suffered a high ankle sprain...

Foot Health: How mothers to be can relieve aching feet during pregnancy

By Dr. Matthew Ellsworth Special to KyForward Pregnant women are susceptible to aching and swollen feet and should take care to watch for symptoms. 
 One problem that can occur is over-pronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward. This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.
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Foot Health: Fashionable, high-heeled boots can leave you treading on thin ice during winter

Dr. Matthew Ellsworth Special to KyForward Although fashionable, high-heeled boots put you at increased risk for slips, falls, and injuries on the ice and snow. Popular women’s boots typically feature sky-high heels and very little wiggle room for your toes. These boots can make your feet unstable on snow- and ice-covered surfaces. The higher the heel, the more unstable the foot and ankle. Falls...

Foot Health: When Jack Frost nips at your toes, follow these steps to keep them warm – and healthy

Is Jack Frost nipping at your toes yet? When winter rolls around, most of us make it a priority to keep our head and hands warm, but we often neglect our feet and toes, assuming they will handle the cold just fine. In many people, however, the feet and toes can be the most susceptible part of our body when dealing with temperature-related health issues. This is especially true of the elderly and diabetic...

Foot Health: With colder weather, Raynaud’s disease becomes more common; know what to look for

By Dr. Matthew Ellsworth Special to KyForward   With the colder weather, there is one particular foot condition that is common this time of year. I have seen it several times these past few weeks. Raynaud’s disease is a condition that affects small blood vessels, like the ones in toes. As these blood vessels shrink, less oxygen and nutrients are able to reach the skin. For this reason, people...

Foot Health: Your feet, horse’s hooves aren’t that different – a lot rides on appropriate care

  By Dr. Matthew Ellsworth KyForward columnist   The last weekend of October will cause lots of tired feet from all that trick-or-treating! But also on that weekend, watch for even more fun as Lexington hosts the grandest equine run of them all – the Breeders’ Cup.   With the big event just weeks away, let’s change it up and talk about horse feet today. Here are some fun...