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

Posts for: February, 2016

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
February 16, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Marathons   Runners  

How Marathons Affect Your Feet.Find out how marathons impact feet and what you can do to maintain good foot health.

Marathons are a great way to stay active and fit while also enjoying the rush of the competition. For some, marathons are a lifestyle that they just can’t live without. The adrenaline and endorphins from completing another marathon can leave you hungry for more; however, while you’re enjoying the afterglow of yet another completed marathon, it’s important to consider your feet!

While we often don’t think of our feet until there is a problem, it’s important to protect them during marathon training and competitions to ensure that they stay healthy and happy. Let’s learn about the effect marathons can have on your feet, and what you can do to protect them.

Common Foot Problems of Marathon Runners

While marathoners tend to be healthier than the rest of the population, there are some precautions that should be taken to ensure that the athlete staves off the common injuries that can occur over those strenuous miles. 

Do you know just how much a marathon knocks your feet around? On average, a runner will land about 13,000­20,000 times on each foot with their whole weight. That’s certainly a lot of force and pressure that your feet have to deal with. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you experience any of these common issues:

  • Blisters
  • Calluses
  • Corns
  • Toenail injuries

While these conditions are more common and rarely warrant a trip to your podiatrist’s office, there are some other more serious foot conditions that marathoners need to be aware of:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Stress fractures
  • Ankle strains and sprains

Foot Problem Prevention

The key to preventing marathon­related foot injuries is to always choose the proper shoes. This means finding high­impact shoes that can give you the ample support your foot needs to do its job properly. Go to a sporting goods shoe store, where the employees will have some expertise in which shoes would work best for your athletic needs. Here are some good rules when it comes to your marathon shoes:

  • Never purchase shoes that are too loose or too tight. While you want room for your toes to move around, you don’t want the shoes rubbing against parts of your feet.
  • Opt for orthotics to provide additional support and comfort while pounding the pavement.
  • Always throw out old shoes, as they won’t provide you with the proper support and cushioning you need. While it’s up for debate when you should replace your shoes, most runners tend to toss their old pair after about 300 to 400 miles.

Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right. While some foot pain can easily go away on its own with rest, some conditions are more serious and require your podiatrist’s attention. If your symptoms become severe or don’t go away after a couple days, it’s might be time to schedule an appointment with us.

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
February 10, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  
I Have Heel Pain; Is There Anything I Can Do? What you can do to help your heel pain.heel pain

Your heel really hurts. You feel a stabbing pain, and it’s so bad you can’t do what you need to do. Instead, you are forced to sit with your feet up and try to relax. It’s frustrating, because you have a busy life, but you can hardly put pressure on your feet. It’s time to see your podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Centers serving McLean, Ashburn, Fairfax and Reston, and get back on your feet.
There are many conditions which cause heel pain. You will experience heel pain if you have:
  • A heel spur, which is a hard calcium deposit on the bottom of your heel
  • A stone bruise, which you can get on the underside of your heel from stepping on a sharp stone or rock
  • Bursitis, which is inflammation where your Achilles tendon connects to your heel bone
By far the most common reason for heel pain is plantar fasciitis, a condition in which the thick band of tissue running across your heel (plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. You can get plantar fasciitis if you are overweight, stand for long periods, or are a runner.
Home remedies are the first line of treatment. For heel pain, along with resting and not being on your feet, you can try:
Getting more supportive shoes
  • Using wedges and heel or arch supports
  • Stretching your arches
  • Icing your heel 3 times a day for 15 minutes
  • Taking over-the-counter medications like aspirin or ibuprofen
If you still hurt after trying these home remedies, it’s time to make an appointment with your podiatrist. You should also seek immediate treatment if you have tingling or numbness in your heel, or you have an injury to your heel.
Your feet are important in your life, they support you, and you need to support them. Don’t suffer from heel pain. Call your podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Centers in McLean/ Great Falls at (703) 556-8637, Ashburn/ Leesburg at (703) 723-9267, Fairfax/ Burke at (703) 273-9818 and Reston/ Herndon at (703)723-2719. Or visit our website at Get some relief today and get back on your feet! 

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
February 03, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Hallux Valgus   Bunion  

Hallux ValgusHallux valgus may sound like a complicated, rare disease or a spell from the Harry Potter universe, but it's actually another name for bunions, a common foot disorder.

If your podiatrist has diagnosed you with hallux valgus, you may be a little taken aback. Don't worry,­ that's just a long name for a common foot disorder­ also known as a bunion. The hallux is better known as your big toe, and "valgus" means bent or twisted. These two words together describe exactly what a bunion is­ your big toe bent toward your other toes. Moving on to your next possible concerns: why does this problem exist and how can it be treated or prevented?

Hallux Valgus 101

Bunions form due to pressure on the two joints of the big toe. This toe becomes angled unnaturally inward and the bunion is the resulting deformity of the bone. Contrary to popular belief, they are not tumors or cysts. Bunions can present with pain, swelling, and increasingly limited range of motion.


Experts are divided on the cause of bunions: some believe that they are genetic, while others place the blame on years of wearing shoes that crowd the toes. In either case, shoes are thought to worsen hallux valgus deformities over time if they put pressure on the toes or contort the feet into abnormal positions. Since women's footwear is generally more narrow and confining than men's, bunions occur more often in them. While arthritis does not necessarily cause bunions, the joint inflammation can worsen them.


Your podiatrist will likely recommend non­surgical options first. You should ensure that your shoes are comfortable and fit properly. Specialty shoe store employees can take measurements of your foot and recommend the best size. Shoe inserts or arch supports can be used to redistribute your weight and relax the muscles. For pain, over­the­counter analgesics like ibuprofen or naproxen are recommended.

If you continue you to have problems, surgery to remove some of the bone or surrounding tissue to straighten the foot back into position. A change in the shape of your foot or the way your shoes fit warrants a call to your podiatrist for evaluation.

Contact Us