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Posts for: July, 2018

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
July 25, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: ankle sprain  

Thanks to their location on the body, the ankles are prone to injury in more ways than one. However, determining whether your injury is a ankle sprainsprain or a break can help you seek the appropriate treatment and begin your journey to recovery. Knowing the first steps after an injury or incident allows you to begin recovering as quickly and easily as possible. Find out what you should do if you think you have a sprained ankle with your podiatrist at Lake Ridge Foot and Ankle Center in Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA.

Ankle Sprain Vs. Broken Ankle
A broken bone and sprained soft tissue are very different conditions but provide similar symptoms. Pain, swelling, discomfort, and bruising are all common with both conditions. However, a broken bone does not allow any pressure to be placed on the foot at all while a sprain may allow you to limp. Additionally, a sprain will produce pain over the soft tissues around the ankle joint while a break will be concentrated over the joint itself. Your doctor will use imagining methods like x-rays to visually inspect the bones and soft tissues of the ankle to ensure that you have the correct diagnosis.

What should I do if I think I have a sprained ankle? 
Sprained ankles occur most after a traumatic injury, like falling or rolling or twisting your ankle. If you experience severe pain, abnormal swelling, or the symptoms of an infection, like a high fever or warmth and redness in the affected area, you should seek immediate medical care. If you have an ankle injury which you cannot walk on at all or can only place a bit of pressure on or have pain and discomfort which lasts more than a few days, you should see your doctor for x-rays, a diagnosis, and a treatment plan. Do not try to walk on the ankle and use crutches until you can see your doctor.

Sprained Ankle Treatments in Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA
Treating a sprained ankle relies mainly on the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. These four factors allow the body’s natural healing methods to take place and give the ankle time to begin improving. If necessary, over-the-counter painkillers help with pain and swelling. Your doctor may also suggest physical therapy or other methods of treatment if the more conservative treatments fail to provide results.

For more information on sprained ankles or what you can expect from their treatments, please contact your podiatrist at Lake Ridge Foot and Ankle Center in Stafford and Lake Ridge, VA. Call to schedule your appointment today!

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
July 25, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: athlete's foot  

Remaining active is a crucial part of keeping your body healthy and working properly. However, physical exertion often means perspiration,athlete's foot especially when it comes to your feet, resulting in frustrating and irritating conditions like athlete’s foot. Luckily, your podiatrist can help you understand and treat this condition and take the right precautions to prevent it altogether. Find out more about athlete’s foot and what it means for you with Associated Foot and Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia with locations in Lake Ridge, VA, and Stafford, VA.

What is athlete’s foot?
Though the name implies otherwise, athlete’s foot can happen to anyone, not just athletes. However, this fungal infection often occurs in athletes due to frequently being in moist, damp places like locker rooms, which are the perfect environment in which fungi grow, and experience more vigorous activity which causes increased perspiration. Though the condition isn’t serious, it is often stubborn and can take the help of your podiatrist before it goes away for good.

Do I have athlete's foot?
The symptoms of athlete’s foot begin with itching, stinging skin on the bottom of the foot and can progress into painful blisters and cracked skin. You will probably also notice cracking, itchiness, dry, raw skin, and burning between the toes. You may also have discolored, thickened, or crumbly toenails which pull away from the nail bed, meaning the infection has spread to the toenails.

How can I prevent athlete’s foot?
Preventing athlete’s foot is as easy as avoiding contact with the fungus itself. The fungus which causes athlete’s foot is often found in damp, enclosed places, like a public pool, locker room, or public showers. Due to its highly contagious nature, people spread athlete’s foot by simply coming into contact with a surface and leaving behind some of the fungus, which another person may then walk over and become infected with athlete’s foot. Always wear shower shoes in these at-risk areas and ensure that you keep your feet clean and dry, wearing fresh socks daily and ensuring that you clean your feet immediately after activities which cause perspiration.

Treating Athlete’s Foot in Lake Ridge, VA, and Stafford, VA
Your foot doctor can help you overcome even the most stubborn case of athlete’s foot. You should contact your doctor if you fail to see improvement with over-the-counter antifungal powders or creams available at drug stores. Then, your doctor may suggest prescription-strength antifungal creams, ointments, or even oral pills.

For more information on athlete’s foot and its treatment options, please contact Associated Foot and Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia with locations in Lake Ridge, VA, and Stafford, VA. Call (703) 491-9500 to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist at the Lake Ridge office or (540) 720-0700 to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist at the Stafford location today!

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
July 25, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Sports Medicine  

Foot and ankle pain and conditions are particularly common in athletes. In fact, half of the participants in an American Podiatric Medical sports medicineSociety survey reported that foot pain kept them from exercising or participating in their usual activities. If foot or ankle injuries keep you at home more often than you would like, a visit to the foot doctor may help you return to your favorite sport. The podiatrists at Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot & Ankles Centers in Lake Ridge and Stafford, VA, treat a variety of sports-related foot and ankle injuries.

What types of foot and ankle conditions are common in athletes?

Any of these conditions may make exercising or playing your favorite sport difficult:

  • Shin Pain: Pain can be caused by shin splints but may also occur if you have tendinitis, compartment syndrome, a tear or imbalance in your muscle or another condition. Continuing to run or workout despite the pain can lead to a stress fracture or worsening of an underlying condition.
  • Stress Fractures: You may be at increased risk of stress fractures if you participate in a sport that involves repetitive stress on your feet and ankles, such as tennis, soccer, running, basketball, or dance. Stress fractures can lead to complete breaks if you don't follow your podiatrist's advice and rest your foot or ankle.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: The tough band of fibrous tissue that connects your ankle to your toes can become inflamed if it's stressed. If you develop plantar fasciitis, you'll notice pain in your heel that's worse in the morning or when you begin walking after sitting for long periods.
  • Sprained Ankles: Some sprains don't improve after a few weeks of rest. If your ankle is still sore after a week or two, or you can't put any weight on it, it's a good idea to visit your Lake Ridge or Stafford podiatrist.
  • Achilles Tendinitis: Overuse injuries are often to blame for Achilles tendinitis in athletes. If you push yourself too hard, you may inflame or tear the tendon that connects the heel bone to the calf muscles.

How can a foot doctor help?

Your podiatrist can determine the source of your foot and ankle pain and offer treatments and strategies that will not only treat your current condition but help you avoid injuries in the future.

Have you been sidelined by foot or ankle pain? Schedule an appointment with podiatrists at Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot & Ankles Centers by calling (703) 491-9500 for the Lake Ridge, VA, office, or (540) 720-0700 for the Stafford, VA, office.

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
July 18, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: foot care  

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 Podiatrist in Lake Ridge, Stafford, VAto 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!

By Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia, PC
July 18, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: hammertoes  

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 Podiatrist in Lake Ridge, Stafford, VAjoint 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.