Our Blog

Posts for category: Foot Conditions

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
May 21, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Ankle Injuries  

Follow this helpful advice in order to keep your ankles strong and healthy.

Most people don’t worry about the health of their ankles until they start to notice issues. Perhaps your ankles don’t feel as strong as they Ankle_Injuryonce did when you first started running. Maybe an old injury seems to have made your ankle weaker over time. Whatever the case might be, our Lake Ridge podiatrists want to make sure that you are properly caring for your ankles so that they can continue to function optimally.

Here are some things you can do to prevent ankle injuries.

Choose the Appropriate Footwear

While this might seem like obvious advice you’d be amazed how many people don’t choose the proper footwear for their specific activity level or sport. Not all tennis shoes are created equally and some will provide better ankle support than others.

You will want to take your specific sport into account, as baseball players, runners, and soccer players will all need different types of shoes. Go to a specialty shoe store and talk to a specialist there who can fit you with the ideal shoes for your activity.

Warm-Up and Train Properly

You should never go into a new athletic season without the proper training. You should be keeping up with training throughout the year so that your body is fully ready when it comes time to play.

The same goes for runners: you should gradually increase the duration and intensity of your runs so as not to cause excess strain, which can lead to ankle problems in the future. It’s also important that you spend about 10-15 minutes actively warming up the body with dynamic stretches and light activity before a game.

Strengthen the Rest of Your Body

How your feet and ankles pound the pavement says a lot about the current state and alignment of the rest of your body from your legs and back to your core. If your leg muscles are strong they can also provide support so that your feet and ankles aren’t doing all the work. Making sure that you are training and strengthening your core, legs and hips will go a long way to improving how your ankles function.

Are you dealing with ankle pain, swelling or other symptoms? If so, Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, located in both Lake Ridge and Stafford, VA, are here to help. Call your podiatrist right away to schedule an appointment.

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
May 15, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Neuroma  

Are you dealing with pain, burning, tingling or numbness between your toes or in the ball of the foot? If you said “yes” then you could be dealing with a neuroma, a pinched nerve or benign tumor of the nerve that is often found between the third and fourth toes.

The classic symptom of a neuroma is pain, particularly when walking—a factor that leads many people to liken the condition to feeling like a pebble is in their shoe. You may find that the pain eases up whenever you aren’t walking or when you rub the pained area with your hands. While neuromas can happen to anyone, they are most commonly found in women.

Neuroma Causes

While the causes of a neuroma are still not clear, there are factors that can increase the likelihood of developing one, such as:

  • Extremely high arches
  • Flat feet
  • Trauma that leads to nerve damage in the feet
  • Improper footwear (high heels over two-inches tall; pointed toes)
  • Repeated stress placed on the foot

Treating a Neuroma

A neuroma will not go away on its own, so it’s important to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of the condition's symptoms. The type of treatment or treatments recommended to you will depend on the severity of the neuroma.

Those with minor neuromas may be able to lessen symptoms by wearing shoes that provide ample room for the toes and offer thick soles that provide more support and cushioning for the toes and balls of the feet. Sometimes a podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to place inside the shoes, as well.

Your podiatrist may also recommend padding or taping the ball of the foot to improve faulty biomechanics and reduce discomfort. While medication will not eliminate the problem, it can temporarily alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can often briefly reduce pain and swelling, but for those dealing with more severe pain, steroid injections may be necessary to ease symptoms.

Surgery for a Neuroma

Surgery only becomes necessary when conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief, or when the neuroma has progressed enough that conservative care won’t be enough. During surgery, the inflamed nerve is removed through a simple outpatient procedure. Afterward, there is a short recovery period of a couple of weeks before patients are able to move about pain-free once again!

Give us a Call!

If you are dealing with new or worsening foot pain it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist that can help give you the answers you need. Schedule an appointment today.

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
February 07, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions

Heel pain is one of the most common complaints a podiatrist hears about from patients. If you are dealing with heel pain above the heel bone then you could be dealing with Achilles Tendonitis, a result of overuse. The Achilles tendon is the longest tendon in the body and it serves to connect the muscles of the calf with the lower leg and heel bone.

While Achilles Tendonitis tends to occur most often in runners, this condition can still occur in athletes that play certain sports such as soccer or tennis. Unfortunately, this tendon does weaken as we get older, which makes at an increased risk for developing this overuse injury as we age.

 

What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?

The most obvious symptom of Achilles Tendonitis is pain above the heel bone. When the pain first appears it’s usually pretty mild and you may only notice it after running; however, over time you may notice that the pain gets worse after certain exercises. Along with pain you may also experience stiffness or tenderness in the heel, especially in the morning or after long periods of sitting.

 

When should I see a podiatrist?

If this is the first time that you’ve ever experienced heel pain then it’s a good idea to turn to a foot doctor who can determine whether Achilles Tendonitis is causing your symptoms or whether it’s something else. If you’re experiencing chronic heel pain around the Achilles tendon it’s also a good time to see a doctor. If the pain is severe or you are unable to put weight on your foot it’s possible that you might be dealing with a ruptured tendon, which requires immediate attention.

 

How do you treat Achilles Tendonitis?

In most cases, Achilles Tendonitis can be treated with simple self-care options. Unless symptoms are severe you may be able to treat your heel pain by:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain medications
  • Avoiding high-impact activities or activities that exacerbate symptoms
  • Elevating the foot to reduce swelling
  • Performing stretching exercises or undergoing physical therapy
  • Icing the heel
  • Wearing custom orthotics
  • Replacing worn-out shoes, especially running shoes

Surgery is only necessary if your symptoms aren’t responding to any other nonsurgical treatment options after several months or if the tendon is torn.

 

If you think your heel pain could be the result of Achilles Tendonitis then it’s time to turn to a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist can provide you with a variety of treatment options, from simple lifestyle modifications to custom orthotics.

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
October 22, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: warts  

What Causes Warts?

Got foot warts? Nearly everyone will have a wart at some point in their lives. Warts are typically small, hard skin growths caused by an infection with humanpallilloma virus. Foot warts are treatable. Foot warts are among the most common dermatologic conditions podiatrists treat. Read on to learn about the causes of warts.

An HPV Infection

Common warts are caused by by an HPV infection. Over 100 types of HPV exist. Certain types of HPV infection cause cervical cancer. Some types of HPV infection cause foot warts, while others cause warts that appear on the face, neck, or hands. Of the 100 types of HPV, about 60 cause common warts on areas such as the hands or feet.

Skin-To-Skin Contact

Wart viruses are contagious. You can get foot warts from skin-to-skin contact with people who have warts. However, not all HPV strains are highly contagious. You can get the wart virus by touching an object that another person's wart touched, such as clothing, towels, shoes, or exercise equipment.


Breaks in Your Skin

HPV infects the top layer of skin and usually enters the body in an area of damaged or cut skin. Cuts from shaving can provide an avenue for infection. Getting a scrape can also bring on common warts. Foot warts are very common in swimmers whose feet are scratched by rough pool surfaces.

A Weak Immune System

In most cases, your immune system defeats an HPV infection before it creates a wart. Someone with a weakened immune system is more vulnerable and therefore more likely to develop warts. Immune systems can be weakened by HIV or by immunosuppressant drugs used after organ transplants.


If you want to get rid of foot warts, see your podiatrist as soon as possible. Many types of effective wart treatments are available. They include salicylic acid, cantharidin, cryotherapy, laser treatment, and surgery. Your podiatrist can help you get rid of foot warts once and for all!

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
August 28, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions   foot pain  

Bunions on FeetBunions aren't always due to poor shoes. They are also hereditary. If you're one of those people suffering from bunions, the podiatrists at Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia in Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA, can offer you some advice.
More on Bunions
If you start to notice the joint of your big toe becoming larger, then you may be forming a bunion. The protrusion of the bunions can be very painful and other issues such as flat feet, foot injuries, and neuromuscular problems may contribute to their formation. The problem with bunions is that they can cause the formation of other toe deformities, such as hammertoes, bursitis, arthritis, and corns and calluses

Here are some things bunions can have an effect on:

  • Walking can be an obstacle because it rubs against your shoes causing friction, pressure, redness, and eventually pain.
  • If the bunion moves towards the second toe and starts to rotate, this is called Hallus Abducto Valgus.
  • The enlargement moves the toe at an angle where it starts bending in towards the rest of the toes.
  • The bunion can also cause the toe to overlap the third toe, which is something referred to as Hallux Valgus.

Dealing with Bunions

  • Make sure to wear shoes that have extra padding. The felt material in the padding creates a protective cushion that reduces friction. This will help reduce the amount of friction and inflammation to your skin.
  • To improve and maintain healthy joint mobility and reduce stiffness, your podiatrist may prescribe exercises.
  • Removing corns and calluses, if they've formed any, can help alleviate some of the issues experienced due to bunions.
  • Your Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA. podiatrist may recommend an orthotic device designed to keep your toe in the proper position.

Bunions are painful to deal with. If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, just call your Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA.