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

Posts for: December, 2014

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. 

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

Custom Orthotics Bring Relief to Your Feet

If your feet are suffering from pain or other ailments, you are in luck.  Your podiatrist in Fairfax at Family Foot and Ankle Center offers orthotics to help your stand, walk and run more efficiently and comfortably.  
Orthotic devices come in many shapes, sizes and materials to help alleviate your foot ailments. They also fall under three different categories, which include: rigid, soft and semi-rigid orthotics.  
At Family Foot and Ankle Center, your Fairfax podiatrist, we utilize orthotics to alter or modify foot function.  Orthotics are also designed to treat, adjust and support various biomechanical foot disorders.  The most effective are custom-made orthotics, which are created to meet the specific needs of an individual’s foot shape and problem. 
Your podiatrist in Fairfax prescribes orthotics as a conservative approach to many foot problems or as a method of control after certain types of foot surgery. Orthotics serve the purpose of correcting an abnormal walking pattern.  By slightly altering the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface, orthotics make standing, walking, and running more comfortable and efficient.
Visit your Fairfax podiatrist today for an evaluation and to remain on track for healthy, pain free feet with orthotics. 

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
December 01, 2014
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Ankle Pain   Foot Pain  

Any time a person engages in sports, they are running the risk of suffering an injury to the foot and ankle. Many of the injuries that cause foot ailments and pain are caused by high impact sports, such as

running. Other times foot problems can arise from wearing improper footwear or from inadequate training. 

There are a number of foot conditions that an athlete can suffer from, including ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot and blisters. Let’s take a brief look at two of the more serious and most common conditions: plantar fasciitis and ankle sprains. When these conditions occur, your podiatrist in Fairfax is available to provide you with the best treatment available.

Heel Pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot ailments experienced by runners and the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a thick, dense tissue that runs from the ball of the foot along the arch, connecting to the heel. People with flat feet or individuals who overpronate are more susceptible to heel pain because of the increased stress that occurs at the heel. 
Many times the pain is worse in the morning when you first get up, but subsides as you move around throughout the day. Treatment will vary depending on each case, but generally rest, ice and stretching can help ease the pain. When conservative treatments aren’t effective and the pain persists, see your Fairfax podiatrist at [Name of Practice] for recommended treatment, such as orthotics. 

Ankle Sprains

Caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the anklebones of the foot, an ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries experienced by athletes. The severity of a sprain will depend on the extent of stretching and tearing of ligaments. And how severe the tear is will determine how long it takes for your ankle to heal- sometimes up to several months.   When a sprain first occurs there will likely be chronic ankle pain. The ankle will swell and possible discoloration may occur. 
The RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) procedure should be administered right away for an ankle sprain. Serious ankle sprains, particularly among competitive athletes, may require surgery to repair and tighten the damaged ligaments.  If you’re prone to ankle sprains, avoid running on uneven terrain and wear firm, supportive footwear for improved stability. Unfortunately ankle sprains are often recurring. Your podiatrist in Fairfax can help determine the severity of your sprain and the necessary course of treatment, including exercises to strengthen the weak ankle. 
Heel pain and ankle sprains can be easily treated, yet many athletes delay proper treatment for fear of discontinuing their favorite sport.  Delaying treatment will only make the injury worse, often times leading to a far more serious injury that requires extensive care and treatment.  If you frequently participate in sports and other physical activities, it’s important to pay close attention to your feet and ankles as they are placed under tremendous pressure and are at high risk for injury. 
Remember to train properly for your specific activity and wear supportive shoes that offer stability for your specific sport.  If you are experiencing pain for extended periods of time, take time to rest. Chronic pain likely indicates a serious foot problem and continuing to play your sport will only make matters worse. Talk to your podiatrist in Fairfax at [Name of Practice] about the best ways to prevent and treat common sports-related foot injuries. 

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