Serving Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon and McLean /Great Falls VA.

Posts for category: Foot Care

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
May 02, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Spikes   Cleats   Soccer  

Soccer and football players must wear athletic shoes that contain spikes on the bottom. The spikes are crucial for traction and safety when running on the field—especially in harsh weather conditions. Here are a few tips regarding picking out soccer and football spikes (also called cleats) for yourself or your child athlete.

Spikes (Cleats)

The purpose of a spike is to give a player an advantage on the field. Football and soccer players often to have to play in muddy or wet conditions, so if they were to wear standard sneakers they’d spend more time sliding and falling than passing the ball. A proper spike gives a soccer or football player the traction and support needed to be successful in the sport and protect the foot from injury.

Pick Spikes Specifically Designed for Your Sports

One mistake that some athletes make is assuming that every sports spike is created the same. There are different spike shoe designs for different sports—soccer, football and running track. Track shoe spikes are often pointier. Soccer spikes and football spikes are more similar to each other in looks. Also called “mud cleats,” football spikes are commonly designed with blunter metal, rubber or plastic studs and a more angled sole. They also have studs near the top to facilitate fast forward movement as well as thicker soles.

Soccer spikes are lighter and low­cut to aid with quick, agile movements. The “spikes” are usually made of replaceable aluminum cleats. They don’t normally have spikes or studs at the front as in the case of football shoes.

Get Sports Advice from a Podiatrist

If you’re still unsure about which spikes to buy for soccer or football (especially if you’ve had foot complications in the past), consult your podiatrist in advance for any sports advice this season. Maintain regular checkup appointments throughout the year as well and be sure to replace your cleat studs when they become worn down.

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
April 19, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Problems   Scandals  

Find out how sandals can negatively impact the health of your feet and ankles.

We all like to find shoes that match our style; however, sometimes we replace comfort with fashion. While our feet might look stylish and trendy on the outside, they are often achy and unhappy on the inside. Many of the popular shoes we wear can affect our foot and ankle health and cause pain and other problems. If you love a good pair of sandals then you might be sad to hear this news; however, it’s important to shop for shoes that offer the most comfort and protection for your feet.

Sandals and Foot Problems

If you can’t get enough of these toe­wiggling shoes, they may be your go­to during the warmer months; however, because sandals lack the necessary support, you may also find yourself dealing with foot pain. This foot pain is often brought on by a condition known as plantar fasciitis. You may also find yourself with tendon problems and ankle sprains. 

So, how do you get the support you need while still wearing your favorite shoes?

Opt for sandals that boast biomechanical technology, which will give your foot and ankle the built­in support it needs to carry on with daily activities, from a night out on the town to just running errands.

You can also opt for custom­designed orthotics from your podiatrist to give you the exact support you need and to take pressure off the foot to reduce pain and inflammation, particularly on the plantar fascia.

There are even special plantar fasciitis shoes that are meant to support both the heel and the arch of the foot to alleviate discomfort. While you may be less likely to find a wide variety of sandal styles, there are still options for the sandal lover who also needs to take care of their plantar fasciitis.

Remember, your feet are vital to getting you around, so it’s important to treat them right. As always, if you notice pain or any other sort of discomfort that doesn’t go away, or is severe, then it’s time to see your podiatrist. Put your foot health first.

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
April 10, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Ankle Sprain  

What your doctors in Reston, Fairfax, Ashburn and McLean want you to knowankle sprain

You don’t have to play sports to sprain your ankle. You can sprain your ankle just from moving incorrectly or stepping off of the sidewalk. As you get older, your muscles, tendons and ligaments become weaker, making you less agile and more susceptible to an ankle sprain.

Your doctors at Family Foot and Ankle Center want to share their knowledge about caring for a sprained ankle. They have offices in Reston, Fairfax, Ashburn and McLean, VA, to help you.

Unexpected movements while you are exercising, walking or playing sports can cause you to twist your ankle. Some of the more common sports to cause ankle sprains include:

  • Running
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Football
  • Basketball

There are some definite signs and symptoms of an ankle sprain which you need to pay attention to. You may have experienced an ankle sprain if you feel these changes in your ankle:

  • Severe pain
  • Bruising, swelling and tenderness
  • A popping sound when you move unexpectedly
  • Uncontrolled movement of your ankle
  • Feeling instability in your ankle
  • You can try to treat the ankle sprain yourself by following a few simple home remedies including:
  • Taking the weight off of your ankle by resting it
  • Elevating your ankle during the first 48 hours
  • Applying ice for 20-30 minutes several times each day
  • Wrapping your ankle to support it
  • Taking over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications

For many ankle sprains, it’s best to visit your podiatrist who may recommend:

  • Immobilization by wearing a brace or walking cast for a few weeks
  • Using crutches for the first few days
  • Training and balance exercises to improve stability
  • Physical therapy to increase mobility and reduce stiffness

You don’t have to suffer from an ankle sprain when help is just a phone call away. If you have a sprained ankle, it’s time to call your doctors at Family Foot and Ankle Center. They have several convenient office locations in Reston, Fairfax, Ashburn and McLean, VA, to help you care for your ankle sprain. Call (703) 556-8637 today!

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
April 03, 2017
Category: Foot Care

With every step you take, you put pressure on certain areas of your feet. If you notice pain, sores or wounds developing on your feet, it’s time to see a podiatrist. One of the most common solutions for this problem is offloading.

What Is Offloading?

Offloading is a medical term for relieving pressure on a part of the body. In podiatry, offloading refers to reducing pressure to areas of the foot to reduce pain and “trauma” to those areas. Offloading is commonly used to discuss diabetic foot care, as some people with this medical condition also have problems with diabetic foot ulcers (DFU).

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

It’s estimated that about 15 percent of patients who are diagnosed with diabetes develop diabetic foot ulcers. These are wounds (sometimes painless) that develop over time due to a combination of applying too much pressure to certain areas of the foot when walking and complications related to high blood glucose levels. It’s also exasperated by wearing poorly made shoes. Diabetic foot ulcers can become infected and lead to hospital stays when they go untreated. They must be thoroughly cleaned, debrided and treated to eliminate the infection.

Offloading Techniques

Offloading is a set of techniques designed to help patients who have problems with foot ulcers and similar sores because of pressure to certain parts of the foot. Common offloading solutions include:

  • Wearing specially designed foot casts.
  • Prescribing orthotic walkers to assist with walking.
  • Designing custom orthotic shoes that will better distribute pressure throughout the foot.
  • Physical therapy to improve the way the patient walks.

Protecting Your Feet

In addition to exploring offloading solutions with your podiatrist, you can also take actions at home to relieve or prevent the symptoms of diabetic foot ulcers:

  • Wear comfortable shoes, preferably made of leather, that don’t put too much pressure on one area of the foot, such as the arch or the toes. Flip-flops are a no-no.
  • Clean and bandage your feet and the wound every day.
  • Keep your blood sugar levels in balance to aid in the healing process.

It’s important that you keep an open line with your podiatrist in case a foot ulcer or similar wound becomes infected. Offloading is the best solution to ensure that these sores heal and are prevented from developing in the future.

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
March 16, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Dancing   Dancing Shoes  

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
  • Bunions
  • 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.



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