Foot care is something that is important to your overall well-being and is something that is often overlooked. There are some basic guidelines you can follow in order to keep your feet healthy and feeling good.
1. Don’t ignore unusual pain. If you are feeling a constant pain in your feet, it’s important to call your podiatrist immediately. They can help identify any pain and develop a treatment plan to make sure that your feet are healthy.
2. Inspect your feet regularly. It’s easy to ignore irregularities around your feet, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on them. It’s important to be sure that there aren’t any drastic changes in color or temperature, and to make sure that your toenails aren’t too thick or discolored. Also be sure to pay attention to cracks or cuts in the skin, and to make sure that there aren’t any growths on your feet.
3. Keep proper foot hygiene. It’s important to wash your feet regularly, even between the toes, and make sure that the foot is totally dry. It’s also important to regularly trim toenails. Be careful to only trim nails straight across and not on the sides or corners to avoid ingrown toenails. If you are a person with diabetes, poor circulation, or heart problems, be sure to go to your podiatrist when trimming toenails in order to avoid infection.
4. Get proper fitting shoes. When purchasing shoes, try to go later in the day when your feet are at their largest and make sure to replace worn out shoes. Make sure that the shoes you pick are the correct shoe for whatever activities you are engaging in. Also, it’s important to not wear the same pair of shoes or socks multiple days in a row.
5. Avoid walking barefoot. When walking around barefoot, your feet are more prone to injury.
6. Don’t forget your feet! When wearing sandals, it’s very important to apply sunscreen to your feet as well as the rest of your body!
Following these guidelines will help keep your feet happy and healthy, and in turn help your overall well-being!
When most people think about foot deformities they most often think about bunions; however, hammertoes are just as common. This unassuming deformity comes about gradually, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late. “What is a hammertoe?” You might be wondering. A hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe (often the smaller toes), causing the toe to bend downward. In severe cases, a hammertoe will look almost claw-like.
There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. As you might imagine, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can still straighten the toe out. If you aren’t able to straighten the affected toe then this is a rigid hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe isn’t as serious as a rigid one; however, it’s important that you take care of your hammertoe to make sure that it doesn’t get worse.
While there is no way to cure a hammertoe there are simple measures you can take to prevent it from progressing. First and foremost, you need to take a look at the shoes you are wearing and make sure that they aren’t too tight. When you slip your feet into your shoes, does it cause your toes to bunch up against one another? If so then this could make your hammertoe worse.
Instead, opt for shoes with an ample toe box, which will allow your toes to wiggle and move around freely. If you have a structural imbalance within the foot this can leave you prone to foot problems such as hammertoes and bunions. To correct this imbalance, talk to your foot doctor about getting custom orthotics (shoe inserts), which can be placed into your shoes to help provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption for your feet.
If pain or stiffness does rear its ugly head you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can tackle both pain and inflammation in one fell swoop, or you can place a towel-wrapped ice pack (never put ice directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns) over the area for several minutes.
Just as you can buy pads to cover a bunion or callus, you can also buy a non-medicated protective pad to cover over a hammertoe. Since the deformed toe joint juts out this can leave the toe prone to calluses, which can cause pain when wearing shoes. To prevent a callus from forming, you can apply a protective pad over the deformed toe joint before putting on shoes.
Of course, if you are dealing with significant or frequent pain, or if the hammertoe is rigid, then you will want to turn to a podiatric specialist. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the disfigured joint.
The feet endure a lot of stress and impact throughout the day with every step taken. Over time, the daily stress can result in the development of various foot problems, such as strained ligaments. More strenuous activities, such as running and other types of exercise, can result in a range of foot and ankle injuries. Fortunately, there are treatments that can ease the pain while healing the injury. Our podiatrists at Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia in Lake Ridge and Stafford, VA treat ankle injuries and other foot injuries.
One common type of foot injury is a sprained ankle. Sprained ankles can occur while performing such activities as walking, running, jumping and playing sports. Sprained ankles occur when the ankle twists the wrong way and the ligaments inside become stretched or torn. If not properly headed, an ankle sprain can lead to chronic foot and ankle problems. Treatments for ankle injuries include resting the foot, applying ice to the ankle and wearing compression bandages. In Lake Ridge and Stafford, an ankle injury should be examined by a podiatrist for a treatment recommendation.
Heel pain is another common type of foot injury. There are different types of heel pain. The two most common types are plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonosis. Achilles tendonosis, also called tendonitis, is associated with pain behind the heel. Plantar fasciitis is associated with pain on the bottom of the heel, as well as the development of heel spurs. Heel spurs occur when calcium deposits form on the bottom of the heel. Heel pain treatment includes resting the foot, wearing orthotic shoe inserts, physical therapy and for more severe cases foot surgery.
Whether you are experiencing heel pain or have sustained an ankle injury, our podiatrists can help. The podiatrists at Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia can diagnose your exact injury and develop the right treatment plan. To schedule an appointment, call the Stafford office at (540) 720-0700 or the Lake Ridge office at (703) 491-9500.
Severe pain in your ankle is a sure sign you've hurt it, but sometimes the signs are more subtle. The Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA, podiatrists at Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia share a few signs that may indicate that you have an ankle injury and explain how your injury can be treated.
Your ankle is rapidly getting bigger
Inflammation follows damage to your cells. Your body reacts to the inflammation by flooding your injured ankle with white blood cells in an attempt to kill bacteria or stop leakage from the cells. The moment you hurt yourself, your body springs into action, triggering a response called vasodilation. Vasodilation temporarily widens your arteries, allowing more blood and white blood cells to reach your ankle. The response also causes swelling, which can cause your ankle to puff up.
You've got a bruise
Bruises frequently occur if you've hurt your ankle. You may notice a bruise whether you've broken the ankle or sprained it. Bruises also occur due to the sudden surge of blood to the area.
Your ankle just doesn't look right
Your ankle may become deformed if you've broken it or it's been dislocated.
You heard a pop
Sprains are caused by torn ligaments. It's not unusual to hear a popping sound at the moment that the ligament tears.
You can't bend your ankle
Difficulty bending your ankle or foot may occur if you've broken or sprained your ankle.
You put pressure on the ankle
Putting weight on the ankle may be impossible if you've broken a bone or experienced a severe sprain.
Your pain gets better when you stay off your feet
If your pain improves when you rest but gets worse when you walk, you may have a stress fracture. The condition occurs when a small crack develops in a bone due to an overuse injury.
How are ankle injuries treated?
In most cases, wrapping your ankle to reduce inflammation and swelling, applying ice and staying off your feet will improve your symptoms. If it's been a week or two, and your ankle hasn't gotten a better, it's a good idea to call our Stafford or Lake Ridge office. Depending on the cause of your ankle pain, you may need a cast, walking boot, crutches or physical therapy. If your ankle is broken and the bones have moved out of position, surgery may be recommended. Surgery may also be needed if a sprain affects the stability of your ankle joint.
Are you concerned about an ankle injury? Call the podiatrists at Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia at (540) 720-0700 for the Stafford, VA, office or (703) 491-9500 for the Lake Ridge, VA, office.
According to the Institute for Preventive Foothealth , about four percent of adults in America have flat feet, also called fallen arches. It’s a condition that can prevent you from participating in certain sports and professions. This problem usually starts in childhood, but even as an adult you do not have to live with flat feet because there are solutions available at the podiatrist’s office. Go to a foot doctor at Lake Ridge Foot and Ankle in Lake Ridge or Stafford, VA to have flat feet diagnosed and treated.
What Are Flat Feet?
When the inside bottom of the foot does not have an arch, it is an issue that podiatrists call flat feet. The foot should not ideally be with the floor on all sides when you stand—there should be a slight lift on the inside. Some people don’t experience discomfort from this foot condition, while others have progressive pain that makes normal physical activity difficult. Flat feet may be related to other foot problems like plantar fasciitis and they can cause pain in the legs and ankles. Patients can have varying degrees of this foot disorder—some see it progress when they’re children while others develop it as adults due to obesity and other factors.
How to Check for Flat Feet
It's easy to self-check for flat feet at home before your appointment with a Lake Ridge or Stafford foot doctor. Place a piece of white paper down, moisten your feet, and then put one foot on it. If the entire outline of your foot shows (including the inside part) you may have flat feet. See your podiatrist for an official diagnosis and exam.
Treatments That Can Help
There are a few therapies that may work for flat feet. Here are the most common treatments to consider:
- foot inserts or orthopedic shoes to lift the inner arch
- physical therapy
- flat foot reconstruction surgery
Improve Your Foot Health
Your feet are your foundation, so it’s important that you keep them healthy and well-formed. Call Lake Ridge Foot and Ankle in Lake Ridge, VA at 703-491-9500 and in Stafford, VA at 540-720-0700 to schedule time for a foot exam.
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