Posts for category: Foot Care
Dancing is a beautiful artistic endeavor, but, unfortunately, it can cause a number of footrelated conditions in the artist. If you’re a dancer, whether it’s for fun or your profession, learn more about dancing and how it can affect your feet. It’s wise to maintain regular appointments with a trusted podiatrist to ensure the ongoing health of your feet.
How Dancing Puts Wear and Tear on Your Feet
Some people don’t realize that dancing is a very demanding sport. Dancers put as much wear, tear and strain on their feet as sports athletes do. Ballerinas, in particular, have to manage a variety of foot and toerelated complications because of their shoes and the need to dance on tiptoes. Ballroom dancers also spend hours on their feet, performing complex movements that involve their feet, toes, ankles and legs. Even hiphop and step dancers often have problems due to putting frequent pressure on certain areas of the feet and stomping down on them.
Common foot conditions related to dancing include:
- Corns and calluses
- Bruises, wounds and ulcers around the toes or underfoot
- Hammertoe syndrome
- Heel spurs/plantar fasciitis
- Missing toenails
Pull Out Your “Dancing Shoes”
The shoes that you wear while dancing can have a major effect on the health of your feet. Invest in shoes or orthotics that are specifically designed for the type of dancing that you enjoy—even if they are a bit more expensive than what you find in regular stores. For instance, female ballroom dancers need highheeled dancing shoes that can absorb shock, cushion the heel and relieve pressure on the parts of the foot that often come in hard contact with the floor. Flexible orthotic insoles are available for ballet shoes that can help give the feet more support.
Foot Therapy for Dancers
Regular visits to your podiatrist are also crucial to keeping your feet healthy when you’re a dancer. Podiatrists can help by administering physical therapy and foot exercises designed to strengthen the tendons and muscles of your feet. Ice massage and soaking the feet can also help to relieve symptoms. A podiatrist may also prescribe NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications) for pain relief.
You can pursue the art of dancing without sacrificing the health and wellness of your feet. Schedule a visit with a podiatrist to talk about preventative solutions and relief of symptoms that you’re currently experiencing.
PAD, or Peripheral Arterial Disease, reduces blood circulation in the feet and legs. It can lead to a host of other serious physical problems if not treated and managed properly.
What is PAD?
PAD happens when the insides of the arteries experience a buildup of fatty deposits. Also known as plaque, these deposits reduce the blood flow to the legs and feet. Like the plaque that forms on your teeth, it is extremely detrimental to the tissues where it develops. The arteries harden and become narrow, a condition known as atherosclerosis. The disease presents as upper and lower leg pain during activity, foot or toe pain during rest, and ulcerated sores on your feet that heal very slowly. Some people do not experience pain, however.
As many as one in five Americans aged 70 and over are afflicted with this disease, and with it comes a markedly increased risk for death from a heart attack or stroke. Complications from PAD can also lead to amputations.
What causes PAD?
While diabetes and high blood pressure can exacerbate PAD, a person's habits can largely compound the problem. Smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor diet are all contributing factors to PAD and the complications that come with it.
How is PAD treated?
Your podiatrist will perform a simple test that compares the blood pressure in your arm with that in your ankle. An abnormality warrants other tests to determine how extensive your PAD is. It can then be managed with medicines designed to prevent blood clots and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Lifestyle changes are a must smoking cessation, an exercise regimen and a healthful diet are essential. Advanced cases may require surgery.
PAD is a serious disease, but maintaining a relationship with your podiatrist and committing to a healthier way of life can help control its effects.
Find out whether you need to visit a foot doctor for the proper care you deserve.
What is a podiatrist? A podiatrist is a doctor that specializes in the prevention, detection and treatment of conditions that affect the feet, ankles and lower legs. Our Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston and McLean, VA, podiatrists are here to treat patients of all ages, from young children dealing with flat feet to senior citizens suffering from nerve damage. Our goal is to improve a person’s quality of life and to make it easier to move around and stay active.
Whether you are dealing with serious issues or something more minor, we always have options for how to treat and manage your symptoms. Common ailments that we can help with include:
- Fungal nail infection
- Ingrown toenails
- Calluses and corns
- Flat feet
- Cracked feet
- Heel or foot pain
- Athlete’s foot
- Sports-related injuries
If you are dealing with pain or any of the issues above this is when you should visit our foot doctors who serve Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston and McLean, VA, so that no one has to go without the medical attention they need.
And even if your feet feel great it’s never a bad idea to consider coming in for a single visit to have feet cared for or to potentially detect something that could become an issue later on. Sometimes structural imbalances in the foot don’t initially cause symptoms. By being able to provide orthotics or recommend proper footwear we can prevent issues from happening.
If you have diabetes then you probably also know the importance of foot health. Even the smallest blister or wound could lead to serious complications. To prevent problems you’ll want to visit us regularly. We can make sure to treat small cuts, blisters and wounds and also properly trim toenails to prevent ingrown toenails.
If you are looking for foot care in Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon or McLean/Great Falls, VA, then look no further than Family Foot and Ankle Center.
Call us at (703) 723-9267 (Ashburn), (703) 273-9818 (Fairfax), (703) 556-8637 (McLean) or (703) 723-2719 (Reston).
One common foot issue that often prompts patients to visit the podiatrist is hammertoe. Hammertoe is a foot condition that is not only painful, but also embarrassing for patients who want to wear certain types of shoes and show off their feet. Learn more about what causes hammertoe and how it can be resolved at your podiatrist’s office.
What Is a Hammertoe?
The muscles of your toe help keep it in proper alignment so that it lies straight, the same way that your fingers look when you lay them out on a table. But in some cases, the joints in the toe become weakened, causing the top end of the toe to bend forward. This is called hammertoe—it usually happens to one or all of the middle three toes of the foot. In some cases the hammertoe is flexible, meaning that the toe can be manually bent back up into position, but in other cases it is rigid and can’t be adjusted. Hammertoe makes it difficult or even impossible to comfortably wear and walk in everyday shoes.
What Causes Hammertoe?
Hammertoe is most commonly caused by wearing bad shoes for extended periods of time. It is a problem often found in women because they like to wear attractive high heels that do unfortunate things to their feet. The design of many high heeled shoes causes the feet and toes to push up against the rigid front and bend them into the shape of a hammertoe. In some cases, people are more prone to hammertoe due to genetics or because of medical condition, like diabetes.
Treatments for Hammertoe
The treatment plan of choice for hammertoe is a combination of foot exercises, physical therapy and custommade orthotic shoes or inserts. Placing a splint on the affected toe can also help it heal back into its correct position. If the area is painful, your podiatrist may also administer cortisone injections. In the case of rigid hammertoe, where you lose the ability to move the toe up or down, surgery may be necessary to fix the joint.
Hammertoe is an embarrassing foot problem, but the good news is that it can be corrected or relieved in most cases. It is best treated when you catch it in its early stages, so make an appointment with your podiatrist at the first signs of a bending toe.
Patients who have uncontrolled diabetic symptoms and infections that affect the feet sometimes have to face the possibility of living with a missing toe. There are preventative therapies available to heal the feet before this happens, but in some unfortunate cases amputation of a toe is necessary. Here are some tips from podiatrists for how to adapt to a missing toe and still live a normal, active life.
Reasons for Missing Toes
One of the most common causes for complications related to the feet and toes is uncontrolled diabetes. Diabetic symptoms can cause foot ulcers, which are wounds that can become seriously infected and lead to the need for amputation of toes. Diabetes can also cause poor circulation, which starves the toes of the blood and oxygen needed to keep them healthy. The other common reason for a missing toe is a serious injury, such as a very heavy object falling on the foot.
Adapting to the Loss of a Toe
It’s true that you need your toes for balance and stability, but a missing toe is not the end of the world. Many people have learned to strengthen their other nine toes to walk and even run successfully. A podiatrist will likely recommend physical therapy and special exercises to help you to strengthen your muscles and adapt to a missing toe. Special shoes and toe fillers can be designed to provide you with the additional support you need. Prosthetics are also available to act as a toe replacement for athletes.
Protecting Your Feet and Toes
It’s important to take “steps” toward protecting your feet and toes to prevent future problems. Patients with diabetes must work closely with their doctor to get their blood glucose levels under control. That may include adopting a better diet, taking prescribed medication and checking blood sugar levels regularly. If you work at a job that puts your feet at risk, like construction or manufacturing, wear steeltoes boots or shoes at all times to protect your toes.
It is possible to live a normal life with a missing toe. Talk to your podiatrist if you have concerns about your feet—modern treatments and solutions are available to successfully relieve symptoms, strengthen your toes and bring your feet back to their full function.