Posts for 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.
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.
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!
Bunions 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.
Are you experiencing numbness, tingling, or discolorations in your feet?
Even though poor circulation isn’t a condition, if you are experiencing poor circulation in your feet this is often a symptom of a much larger issue. This is why it’s important to understand the warning signs of poor circulation and when to see a podiatrist, as many of these conditions can be serious or cause further complications to your health.
Causes of Poor Circulation
There are many reasons why someone may have poor circulation. The most common conditions include:
1. Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
This causes poor circulation in the legs due to a narrowing in the arteries and blood vessels. Over time this condition can cause damage to nerves or tissue. While this condition can occur in younger people, particularly smokers, it’s more common for people over 50 years old to develop PAD.
2. Blood Clots
A blood clot causes a block or restriction in blood flow and can develop anywhere in the body. The most common places for a blood clot include the arms or the legs, which can lead to symptoms of poor circulation. In some cases, a blood clot can cause serious complications such as a stroke.
While this condition does affect blood sugar levels, it is also known to affect circulation within the body. Those with circulation issues may experience cramping in the legs that may get worse when you are active. Those with diabetic neuropathy may experience nerve damage in the legs and feet, as well as numbness or tingling.
4. Raynaud’s Disease
A less common condition, Raynaud’s disease causes chronic cold fingers and feet due to the narrowing of the arteries in the hands and toes. Since these arteries are narrow it’s more difficult for blood to flow to these areas, leading to poor circulation. Of course, you may experience these symptoms in other parts of the body besides your toes or fingers, such as your nose, ears, or lips.
Warning Signs of Poor Circulation
You may be experiencing poor circulation in your feet if you are experiencing these symptoms:
- Pain that may radiate into the limbs
- Tingling (a “pins and needles” sensation)
- Muscle cramping
If you are experiencing symptoms of poor circulation that don’t go away it’s best to play it safe rather than sorry and turn to a podiatric specialist who can provide a proper diagnosis and determine the best approach for improving circulation. Don’t ignore this issue.
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.