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Posts for category: Podiatry

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
July 08, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: hammertoes  

A hammertoe is a common foot deformity that affects the middle joint of the smaller toes. As a result, this causes the toes to bend downward. Since this bend causes the joint to stick out this can put more pressure on the affected joints when wearing shoes, which can also make the deformity worse over time. As with most foot deformities a hammertoe will start out minor and continue to progress over time if left untreated.

During the earlier stages you may not notice much pain and discomfort. In fact the only way you may be able to tell that you have a hammertoe is by examining the foot and noticing that the small toes bend downward like a claw. Of course, at this stage the deformed joint is still flexible enough to be straightened out.

However, if the deformity progresses this can cause the joint to become rigid, which won’t respond effectively to simple conservative treatments. As you might imagine, the sooner you see a podiatrist to treat your hammertoe the better. Early intervention is key, as a hammertoe will not get better without the proper care.

Hammertoes are often the result of an imbalance in the muscle or tendon of the foot. Over time, this leads to structural changes in the foot. Genetics may also play a role in whether your feet are at risk for this deformity. A hammertoe can also be made worse by wearing shoes that are too tight and put too much pressure on the toes.

Along with the structural changes that occur with hammertoes it’s also common to experience redness, inflammation or the development of a corn or callus on the toe. If you are noticing symptoms of a hammertoe see your podiatrist for an evaluation. A simple physical exam is usually all that’s needed to diagnose a hammertoe; however, sometimes an x-ray will be performed in order to determine the extent of the deformity.

If you are dealing with a flexible hammertoe, more often than not simple nonsurgical treatment options are all that’s needed. Following simple treatment options and care can prevent the hammertoes from becoming rigid or painful. Some nonsurgical treatment options include:

  • Wearing the appropriate footwear. This means wearing shoes that aren’t pointy or have high heels, which can put more pressure on the toes.
  • Placing custom orthotics into your shoes, which can ease discomfort and prevent pain resulting in a muscular imbalance.
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, which can reduce both pain and inflammation.
  • Splinting the toe or toes to keep them straight, which can also reduce stiffness, inflammation and pain.
  • Applying protective non-medicated padding over the top of the toe to prevent a corn or callus from developing.

If your hammertoe is painful or rigid then you may need to discuss whether surgery is the best option for alleviating your symptom and correcting the deformity. If you are dealing with a hammertoe turn to a foot specialist for help.

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
March 15, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Calluses  

Don’t let calluses make wearing shoes painful. Here are tips to treat and prevent them.calluses

Something feels a bit uncomfortable when you walk. You finally get home and take off those pesky shoes to see a rough patch of skin on the bottom of your foot. Chances are good you are dealing with a callus. While calluses are usually nothing to worry about for the healthy individual, our Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA, podiatrists offer up suggestions for what you can do to treat and prevent calluses in the future.

Treating Your Callus

You’ll be happy to hear that most calluses will go away on their own. However, there is one big thing you need to do to make sure that the callus heals as quickly as possible. You need to prevent the foot from coming into contact with any more friction or pressure. There are many ways you can do this. For one, you can stop wearing shoes that don’t provide enough cushioning and support, as well as wearing shoes that are too tight or too loose. The type of shoes you wear is a major contributor to calluses.

You can also protect this sensitive area of your foot by placing a non-medicated protective pad (e.g. moleskin) over the callus. Why should medicated moleskin pads be avoided? It’s possible for someone to not place the pad properly, which can lead to chemical burns on healthy, non-callused areas of skin. These pads are also not recommended for those with diabetes, poor circulation or nerve damage in their feet. If you have diabetes and develop a callus it’s important that you turn to your Stafford and Lake Ridge foot doctors for the proper treatment (do not try to treat the issue yourself).

If the callus is dry or cracked you can also apply a moisturizer several times throughout the day. To really make sure the moisturizer works its magic, apply it before bedtime and then place your callused feet in socks. If you find that these at-home remedies aren’t getting rid of your callus then it’s time to talk to us about other treatment options such as stronger creams that can get rid of your callus quickly.

Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia is pleased to serve both the Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA, areas. If you are dealing with foot pain or other issues then it’s time to turn to us for the TLC your feet need.

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
March 08, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: foot care  

Prevent foot problems from happening to you in Stafford and Lake Ridge by following these simple rules of foot care.proper foot care

Without your feet you wouldn’t be able to get around easily or do a lot of the activities you love, and yet you wouldn’t believe how many people abuse their feet or just don’t know how to care for them. Our Lake Ridge and Stafford, VA, podiatrists are here to provide the basics for how to keep your feet healthy and happy.

Sport the Proper Footwear

We know it’s easier said than done but if you want to protect your feet from corns, ingrown toenails, hammertoes and bunions then you’ll want to take a good hard look at the kind of shoes you are wearing. Make sure you wear shoes that offer your feet enough room to move. Avoid shoes that have high heels or don’t offer enough cushioning and support. Always choose the proper footwear based on your activities.

Walking Can Actually be Good

It might seem that moving around may just put unwanted stress on your feet but your feet are made up of muscles that need to be worked out and used in order to stay healthy and strong. By walking each and every day you can help to build strong muscles in your feet and to keep ligaments and tendons flexible, which can reduce your chances of injury, sore arches, etc.

Keep Feet Clean

Sure, this should be a no-brainer but you wouldn’t believe how many people forget to wash their feet when they step into the shower. Washing your feet is important for removing bacteria and fungus. Think about how often your feet are trapped inside shoes and socks. Feet can also sweat, which can leave you prone to fungal infections. By thoroughly washing your feet with soap and water every day, you can prevent issues from happening to you.

Lather on Moisturizer

Harsh winter weather can cause some nasty dry feet but exposing feet to warmer climates can also strip skin of moisture. To combat this you should apply a moisturizer every day, particularly right after you get out of the show. This will help to seal in moisture to prevent scaling and painful cracking.

Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia in Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA, is dedicated to providing thorough, comprehensive foot care to people of all ages. Call us today to schedule your next appointment.

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
January 27, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: warts  

Foot warts can be a real pain, especially when left untreated. However, these pesky little bumps normally get to a point where they wartsbecome painful and irritating, requiring the help of your podiatrist to find a good treatment plan. Learn more about the types of foot warts and how to deal with them with your doctors at Associated Foot and Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia in Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA.

Do I have a foot wart? 
The main type of wart found on a foot is called a plantar wart. These warts grow on the bottom of the foot and can make walking and standing very painful. As it grows, the pressure from the body’s weight causes the wart to grow inwards, causing a thick layer of skin to grow on top. Most patients describe a plantar wart as feeling as though there is a rock or pebble in their shoe. Periungual warts grow under or around the toenail area and spread quickly.

Preventing Foot Warts 
Plantar warts develop due to an infection caused by HPV, or human papillomavirus. The strain of HPV which causes plantar warts is not usually easily transmitted and thrives in a warm, dark environment like your feet. To avoid plantar warts, you should avoid walking barefoot in areas such as public pools or locker rooms as the virus enters the foot through tiny cracks or cuts in the skin or while the skin is softened due to being wet. To avoid periungual warts, keep your feet clean and dry.

Foot Wart Treatments in Stafford and Lake Ridge
While you may find many wart treatments over-the-counter at your local drugstore, they may take weeks or months of continued use before you see results. Since a plantar wart is painful and irritating, you may want to quell your symptoms faster. For this, you will require the help of your podiatrist. At your appointment, your doctor will use freezing, peeling or surgical methods to remove your wart.

For more information on foot warts, please contact Associated Foot and Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, serving Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA. Call (703) 491-9500 to schedule your appointment at the Lake Ridge location or (540) 720-0700 to schedule your appointment at the Stafford location today!

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
January 27, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: hammertoes   corns  

If left untreated, painful problems with your feet can quickly cause you to feel irritated and annoyed with not being able to perform your hammertoes, cornsdaily tasks. However, you can treat most problems, such as hammertoes and the corns associated with them, with help from your podiatrist. Learn more about these conditions and more with your doctors at Associated Foot and Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia with offices in Lake Ridge and Stafford, VA.

What is a hammertoe? 
A hammertoe occurs when muscle imbalance in the toe causes it to become curled, resembling the claw side of a hammer. This deformity may come from genetics, which puts you at a higher risk of developing hammertoe, injury to the toe, wearing ill-fitting shoes or arthritis. Hammertoes can cause pain, irritation and swelling of the toe.

What is a corn? 
A corn is an area of thickened skin located on the foot or toe. The patch may look like a bump on the skin and may be flaky or dry. The corn may become irritated, painful or tender over time. Corns normally develop in areas of the foot where there is excess pressure or friction due to wearing ill-fitting shoes or from other conditions affecting the foot.

How are hammertoes and corns related? 
Hammertoe causes the toe to curl unnaturally, which, in turn, causes it to rub against the top of your shoe. This rubbing action causes a corn to form on the top of the toe where it hits the shoe. This causes a new condition on top of the hammertoe, causing additional pain, swelling or irritation.

Hammertoe and Corn Treatments in Lake Ridge and Stafford, VA 
If you think you suffer from hammertoes or corns, you should consult with your podiatrist. Your doctor will begin with a physical examination to confirm your condition. If necessary, they may use x-rays or MRIs to draw further conclusions about your hammertoe. After confirming you are suffering from hammertoes, your doctor will begin determining your treatment plan. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy, switching the type of shoes you normally wear or surgery to correct your hammertoe.

For more information on hammertoes and corns, please contact Associated Foot and Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, serving both the Lake Ridge, VA and Stafford, VA areas. Call to schedule your appointment with your podiatrist today!