• Dr. Richard S. Mendelsohn, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.
  • Dr. Gary Scheib, D.P.M.
  • Dr. Deena L. Charney, D.P.M.
  • Dr. Cameron Phipps, D.P.M., A.A.C.F.A.S.
  • Dr. Ashley Mayer, D.P.M., A.A.C.F.A.S.
  • Dr. Michael Petranek D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.

 

Posts for category: Foot Care

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
January 15, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Healthy Feet   Diabetes   Foot Hygiene  
Diabetes causes a condition of painful nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy can affect your entire body, but most often the legs and feet are the body’s most prone areas to serious health problems.  Damage to the nerves can cause the loss of feeling in your feet, making it difficult to detect extreme temperatures and pain as easily or readily as someone who does not have diabetes. Understanding the connection between foot care and diabetes is important to avoid more serious health problems. Visit your podiatrist in Fairfax at Family Foot and Ankle Center, about the best ways to care for your feet. 
 

Inspect Your Feet Regularly

If you have diabetes, it’s crucial to examine your feet every day and after every injury, regardless of how minor you may think the injury is.  If you notice redness, swelling, persistent pain, numbness, tingling or any other unusual signs on any part of your foot, call your Fairfax podiatrist immediately as this could signify serious health problems. 
 
It’s also recommended that people with diabetes see a podiatrist for annual checkups.  A professional podiatrist in Fairfax can detect signs of changes, broken skin or ulcers that can be detrimental to the health of your feet and body. He can also check your blood circulation, identify loss of sensation or detect areas of high pressure- all of which require professional medical attention. 
 

Small Foot Problems Can Lead to Bigger Problems

If you have diabetes, even the smallest foot problems such as a cut, can turn into more serious complications.  Some of these small complications include:
  • Ulcers that don’t heal
  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Cracked heels
  • Hammertoes
  • Bunions
  • Ingrown toenails
With these complications, you run the risk of developing diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which is a condition that develops slowly and worsens over time, and Charcot foot, which is a condition in which the bones of the foot are weakened enough to fracture.  Taking extra precautions and caring for even the smallest problem can save your foot. 
 

Keep Your Feet Healthy with Proper Foot Hygiene

Everyone needs to practice good foot hygiene daily, but people with diabetes should pay extra attention to keeping their feet clean in order to prevent health problems.  If you have diabetes your podiatrist in Fairfax urges you to:
  • Wash your feet daily with lukewarm water and mild soap, making sure to dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. 
  • Keep the skin on your feet smooth and soft by applying a non-irritating moisturizer, avoiding the areas between the toes. Doing so can help prevent cracks and sores that lead to infection. 
  • Avoid ingrown toenails than can get infected by keeping them neatly trimmed straight across.
  • Wear clean, dry socks and change them every day.
  • Avoid walking barefoot to protect feet from harmful foreign particles. 
  • Never attempt to remove corns, calluses or other sores from your feet on your own. See your Fairfax podiatrist for safe and pain free removal. 
Early detection, simple care and regular inspections can go a long way to avoid serious foot complications related to diabetes. Diabetes is serious, especially when it comes to your feet. If you have diabetes, talk with your podiatrist in Fairfax about what you can do now to keep your feet safe, strong, and healthy. 
By Family Foot and Ankle Center
January 02, 2015
Category: Foot Care

Keep your Children Active by Following Proper Foot Care

You often worry about your children’s teeth, eyes, and other parts of their body.  You teach them how to wash, brush, and groom, but what do you do about your child’s feet as they are still developing?  Many adult foot ailments, as with other health issues, have their origins in childhood and can be present at birth.  Periodic professional attention from your Fairfax podiatrist and regular foot care can minimize these problems in your child’s life later on.  
 
Neglecting your child’s foot health invites problems in other parts of the body, such as the legs and back.  Foot health begins in childhood because your child’s feet must carry him or her for a lifetime.  Your child’s life is certain to be happier and more enjoyable if you have your child develop strong, healthy feet as he or she grows into adulthood. 
 

Your Podiatrist in Fairfax Explains: The Early Years

The human foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body with 26 bones, as well as ligaments, muscles, blood vessels and nerves.  The feet of an infant are soft and pliable and abnormal pressure can cause deformities.  In the first year, a child’s foot grows rapidly reaching almost half their adult foot size.  Podiatrists consider the first year to be the most important in regards to development.  To help ensure normal growth, allow your baby to kick and stretch his or her feet and make sure shoes and socks do not squeeze their toes.  
 
Your toddler will walk when he or she is ready and you should try not to force this act.  Watch your child’s gait once he or she begins to walk.  Pay close attention to see if their toe touches down instead of the heel or if your child always sits while others actively play.  Many toddlers have a pigeon-toe gait, which is normal and some initially learn to walk landing on their toes instead of their heels.  Most children outgrow these problems, but your podiatrist in Fairfax can treat other conditions detected early more easily. 
 

Footwear for your Child

Children should not wear shoes until they can walk, so avoid pram shoes, which are normally soft, and usually made to match outfits.  For babies, avoid tightly wrapped blankets that prevent kicking and leg movement.  Walking barefoot, where it is safe, is good for children.  Your child’s feet are vulnerable to deformity from any ill-fitting footwear or hosiery until the bones are completely formed at about 18 years of age.  In addition, socks made from natural materials are better for your child’s feet than stretch-fit socks.  
 
When buying shoes for your child, the shape of the shoe and the toe area should be wide and round, allowing for toes to move and spread.  It is also important for the shoe to have a lace or a buckle, without this your child’s toes will claw to hold the shoe on.  The heel of the shoe should not be too high, as high heels can also result in foot deformity.  
 
Start early in taking care of your children’s feet because neglecting foot health is an invitation to severe problems.  Contact your podiatrist in Fairfax for further consultation on your child’s growing, active feet.  Having strong, healthy feet allows your child to walk, run, and play so take extra precautions and protect their feet in order to provide them a lifetime of healthy feet. 
By Family Foot and Ankle Center
December 15, 2014
Category: Foot Care

Remain Active in Sports with Help from Your Fairfax, VA Podiatrist

From weekend warriors to professional athletes, it is important to take care of your feet to remain fit and active while participating in sports and other recreational activities.  With repeated pounding that runners’ feet receive on paved surfaces or the side-to-side motion seen in court sports, there is no question that athletes’ feet and ankles are prime candidates for injuries.  It is important to be on the lookout for some of the common problems associated with athletes – from ankle sprains to heel pain.  With help from your podiatrist in Fairfax, VA at Family Foot and Ankle Center, you can take charge of your feet and avoid the bench.
 

Heel Pain/Plantar Fasciitis 

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue, called the plantar fascia, which stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone.  It is also commonly referred to as heel or arch pain.  Over-pronation may be a cause of plantar fasciitis.  As the foot rolls inward excessively when walking, it flattens your foot, lengthens the arch, and puts added tension on the plantar fascia.  Over time, this repetition causes inflammation of your heel and arch.  Your podiatrist in Fairfax, VA will determine the best treatment option to alleviate your pain. 
 

Orthotics Provide Comfort and Stability

Your Fairfax, VA podiatrist offers orthotics to reduce pain and restore proper function to the feet, thus relieving pain.  An orthotic device is inserted into the shoe and is designed to restore and aid the natural foot function. This is achieved by realigning the foot and ankles to their natural position, allowing muscles and joints to move with less stress and tension. 
 
Many people can benefit from orthotics, including people with jobs that require standing or walking for extended periods of time.  Common foot ailments, such as corns, calluses, Morton’s neuroma, flat foot, hammertoe and plantar fasciitis can often be improved with the help of a custom-made shoe insert that fits comfortably into the shoe.  
 
Orthotic devices allow the bones, tendons and muscles of the feet and lower legs to function at their highest potential. Orthotics can decrease discomfort and improve function, not only in the foot, but also in other parts of the body so that everyday tasks aren’t painful. 
 
Foot pain is never normal and should not be ignored.  Always visit your Fairfax, VA podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Whether you are active in sports or simply want to relieve pain caused by the stresses of everyday tasks, you can benefit from a custom made orthotic device.  
 
As an athlete it is important to remain on your feet.  With the help of sports podiatry and your Fairfax, VA podiatrist, you can ensure the health of your feet. 
By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
December 10, 2014
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Your Reston podiatrist gives you the lowdown on heel pain treatments.

Sometimes nothing feels better than getting in a really great run. Whether you participate in the Runners Marathon of Reston every year or you just enjoy pounding the pavement around your neighborhood, it’s important that your feet are able to keep up the sameHeel Pain pace. After all, working out is great for your body and your mind. However, there are times that even the best athletes will notice problems. If you’ve been experiencing heel pain as of late, it’s important to nip the problem in the bud before it keeps you from your workouts.

Q. What causes heel pain?

A. There are several things that can cause heel pain. For a lot of runners and athletes this pain could be due to overpronation. This means your foot tilts inward as you walk, putting unnecessary pressure on certain parts of your foot. This can lead to inflammation of the fascia, better known as plantar fasciitis.

Other heel pain causes are heel spurs, Achilles tendinitis and rheumatoid arthritis. If you’re noticing persistent pain even when you walk, it’s time to see your Reston podiatrist for a diagnosis.

Q. How do you treat plantar fasciitis-related heel pain?

A. Our first line of treatment is always conservative. Why go right for the more invasive treatments if you don’t have to! Here are some of the most common heel pain treatments:

Over-the-counter medication: Certain anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and Aleve can help ease pain and swelling related to heel pain.

Ice packs: Icing your heel pain can also provide some relief. Never apply ice directly to your skin. Always wrap it in a cloth or paper towel. You can ice your foot several times throughout the day but never for more than 20 minutes at a time. Like icing? Try this: freeze a water bottle and roll it under your foot (remember to wear socks!) for a few minutes a day. This can help ease some of the inflammation. While the coldness might not be the most pleasant experience, it’s most definitely better than pain.

Orthotics: From arch support to heel cups, custom-made orthotics can help you distribute pressure evenly throughout the foot, making walking and even running more comfortable.

Physical therapy: During your visit, we will show you some exercises to help stretch and stabilize the plantar fascia. You can do these exercises anywhere, including the comfort of your own home.

Sometimes these treatments won’t work for more persistent heel pain cases. In which case, we may consider extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT) to treat your heel pain. Through the use of sound waves, we can activate your foot’s healing process. If you’re interested in heel pain treatment in Reston, give us a call. We want you to be able to lace up your shoes and going for your next run again soon.

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
December 08, 2014
Category: Foot Care

Fitness and Your Feet

Most people do not realize the tremendous amount of pressure that is put on their feet during exercise.  For example, a 150-pound jogger puts more than 150 tons of impact on their feet while running three miles. Also during running, the 26 bones, 33 joints and 112 ligaments, and a network of nerves and tendons that make up the foot, all work together. Improper foot care during exercise can cause some of the over 300 foot ailments including athlete’s foot, blisters, corns and calluses and heel pain. Your Fairfax podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Center is available to help you live pain free. 
 

Check Your Shoes

One of the most important things you can do for your feet while exercising is wear proper shoes, especially if there is running involved. Good shoes need to provide cushioning for shock absorption because of the force you are putting on your legs, ankles and feet. It is important to select a pair of shoes designed for the shape of your foot and its natural structure and inclination. Your podiatrist in Fairfax will be able to help you find the best shoes for your feet and fitness regimen. 
 
Other tips for by good running shoes include shopping at the end of the day when your feet are slightly swollen to ensure a good fit. It also helps to wear the type of socks you will wear when running. If you use an orthotic, bring that as well when trying on shoes. Look for lightweight, breathable shoes to ensure comfort and consider buying two pairs and rotating them to extend the life of each pair. Running shoes should be replaced about every 400 miles. 
 

Other Guidelines for Foot Care

Besides having the right shoes for exercise, there are also other measures you can take to preserve the health of your feet. 
  • Wash your feet every day and make sure they are dried thoroughly. 
  • Good quality, well-fitting socks is also important for foot care. 
  • The more weight that is put on your feet, the more strain there is. 
  • Being in shape and being at a healthy weight will help take some of the stress off of your feet. 
  • Avoid walking barefoot. 
  • Do not ignore any foot pain. 
 
Contact your Fairfax Podiatrist as soon as you feel any pain in your feet. The earlier an ailment is diagnosed, the easier it is to heal. 


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