Posts for: August, 2018
Has bunion pain become part of your life? Home care strategies and foot care provided by your foot doctor may help ease your bunion pain. The podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center in Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon, and McLean/Great Falls, VA, treat bunions and a variety of other foot and ankle conditions.
What can I do to relieve my bunion pain?
If you suffer from bunions, one or more of these suggestions may help you manage your condition at home:
- Buy New Shoes: If you haven't already bought new shoes, get rid of your high heels or tight shoes and buy shoes that offer plenty of room for your bunion. Poor footwear choices can worsen your pain and the progression of your bunion.
- Try a New Form of Exercise: Have you stopped exercising because your feet hurt? Unfortunately, failing to exercise can lead to weight gain, which may put even more pressure on your bunion. If your favorite type of exercise worsens your pain, try swimming, Pilates, a rowing machine, or another foot-friendly type of exercise.
- Pad Your Bunions, Corns and Calluses: Adhesive pads, available in the foot care aisle at Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon, and McLean/Great Falls area stores, can make wearing shoes more comfortable.
Should I see a foot doctor?
Home treatment can help decrease your pain, in some cases, but it won't get rid of your bunion. If your pain is severe, worsening, or interferes with your life, your podiatrist can offer a few treatment options including:
- Splinting or Taping: Splints or tape helps improve the alignment of your foot, decreasing bunion pain and slowing progression.
- Orthotics: Orthotics, prescription shoe inserts designed to address your foot issues, re-position, support, and realign your feet when you wear shoes.
- Cortisone Injections: Cortisone injections may be helpful if you have severe pain.
- Physical Therapy: During physical therapy, you'll learn exercises that will prevent your toe from becoming stiff and inflexible.
- Surgery: Surgery may be needed to remove your bunion and realign the bones in your foot. In some cases, surgery may also involve repair of tendons and ligaments or fusion of the bones in your joint.
End your bunion pain with a visit to the foot doctor. Schedule an appointment with the podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center by calling (703) 273-9818 for the Fairfax/Burke, VA, office, (703) 723-9267 for the Ashburn/Leesburg, VA, office, (703) 556-8637 for the McLean/Great Falls, VA, office or (703) 723-2719 for the Reston/Herndon, VA, office.
Are you experiencing numbness, tingling, or discolorations in your feet?
Even though poor circulation isn’t a condition, if you are experiencing poor circulation in your feet this is often a symptom of a much larger issue. This is why it’s important to understand the warning signs of poor circulation and when to see a podiatrist, as many of these conditions can be serious or cause further complications to your health.
Causes of Poor Circulation
There are many reasons why someone may have poor circulation. The most common conditions include:
1. Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
This causes poor circulation in the legs due to a narrowing in the arteries and blood vessels. Over time this condition can cause damage to nerves or tissue. While this condition can occur in younger people, particularly smokers, it’s more common for people over 50 years old to develop PAD.
2. Blood Clots
A blood clot causes a block or restriction in blood flow and can develop anywhere in the body. The most common places for a blood clot include the arms or the legs, which can lead to symptoms of poor circulation. In some cases, a blood clot can cause serious complications such as a stroke.
While this condition does affect blood sugar levels, it is also known to affect circulation within the body. Those with circulation issues may experience cramping in the legs that may get worse when you are active. Those with diabetic neuropathy may experience nerve damage in the legs and feet, as well as numbness or tingling.
4. Raynaud’s Disease
A less common condition, Raynaud’s disease causes chronic cold fingers and feet due to the narrowing of the arteries in the hands and toes. Since these arteries are narrow it’s more difficult for blood to flow to these areas, leading to poor circulation. Of course, you may experience these symptoms in other parts of the body besides your toes or fingers, such as your nose, ears, or lips.
Warning Signs of Poor Circulation
You may be experiencing poor circulation in your feet if you are experiencing these symptoms:
- Pain that may radiate into the limbs
- Tingling (a “pins and needles” sensation)
- Muscle cramping
If you are experiencing symptoms of poor circulation that don’t go away it’s best to play it safe rather than sorry and turn to a podiatric specialist who can provide a proper diagnosis and determine the best approach for improving circulation. Don’t ignore this issue.
Itchy, uncomfortable athlete's foot doesn't have to become a permanent part of your life. Effective prevention and treatment options can help you clear your infection and avoid a new case of the common fungal infection. The podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center, serving the Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon, and McLean/Great Falls, VA, area, offer a range of podiatric services, including athlete's foot treatment.
What can I do to prevent athlete's foot?
All fungi, including the athlete's foot fungus, thrive in moist, dark places. Your shoes meet both criteria, particularly if you sweat heavily. Although your supervisor may frown on you walking around the office in sandals, exposing your feet to light and air can help when you're at home. You might have to wear shoes during the day, but that doesn't mean that you can't take a few steps to reduce your athlete's foot risk, such as:
- Using Powder: Apply powder to your feet before you put on your socks to help keep them drier.
- Alternate Shoes: The insoles of your shoes trap moisture, even though they look perfectly dry. If you wear the same pair of shoes every day, the fungi will continue to grow and multiply, making it hard to get rid of athlete's foot.
- Change Your Socks: Bring a clean pair of socks to work and change into them during your lunch break. Wash your feet first or use moist wipes to clean off your feet. Be sure to dry your feet thoroughly before putting on your socks.
You can also reduce the likelihood of an athlete's foot infection by wearing shower shoes or sandals when you visit public pools or use public locker rooms or shower rooms.
If athlete's foot is a frequent problem, wash your sheets, towels, bath mats, and socks in water that is 140F or hotter. If you use cold water, the fungi won't die.
How can my foot doctor help me?
Over-the-counter preparations may not be strong enough to treat your infection. During a visit to your podiatrist, they may recommend prescription-strength topical medications that are more effective. Oral anti-fungal medication may be an option if your infection doesn't respond to the prescription topical medication.
A visit to the foot doctor can help you finally relieve your athlete's foot symptoms. Schedule an appointment with podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center by calling (703) 273-9818 for the Fairfax/Burke office, (703) 723-9267 for the Ashburn/Leesburg office, (703) 556-8637 for McLean/Great Falls, (703) 723-2719 for McLean/Great Falls.
A foot blister is a small pocket of fluid that forms on the foot. Blisters can be painful while they heal. Foot blisters are caused by several things, including friction, burns, contact with irritants, and autoimmune diseases. Treatment can alleviate your pain, prevent infection, and help heal your blister. Here's what to do when you keep getting blisters on your feet.
1. See a podiatrist- When foot blisters interfere with your normal activities, you should see a podiatrist. Podiatrists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems, including blisters. Depending on the cause of the foot blister, your podiatrist will form a treatment plan for you.
2. Cover your blisters- If a blister does occur, do not pop it. A blister should be covered to reduce irritation and cut back on the risk of infection. Wash your blisters with soap and water and cover them with dressings, like bandages or gauze pads. Your dressings should be changed every day.
3. Use antibiotic ointment- Antibiotic ointment helps prevent infections in blisters. You can purchase antibiotic ointment at a local pharmacy. Apply antibiotic ointment to the foot blisters as directed, especially before you put on your socks or shoes.
4. Keep your feet dry- Keep your feet dry at all times. After you shower, dry your feet thoroughly. Wear socks every day to keep moisture away from the skin of your feet. For sweaty feet, use products that help control moisture.
5. Use custom orthotics- Orthotic devices are molded pieces of rubber, leather, or other material that are inserted into shoes. You can get custom-made orthotic devices from your podiatrist. Orthotic devices can be helpful in preventing and treating foot blisters. Orthotic devices can reduce friction on foot blisters and alleviate your pain.
6. Wear the right shoes- Rubbing and pressure from shoes that are too tight often cause blisters on the feet. Avoid wearing shoes that cause foot blisters. Wear good-fitting footwear that fit comfortably and leave your feet with some wiggle room, especially on long walks or runs. Wearing the right footwear can prevent future blisters.
7. Use foot powders- Friction can make foot blisters worse and increase your pain. In order to reduce friction on blisters, buy a powder designed for your feet at a pharmacy. Pour it into your socks before putting on your shoes to reduce pain. If a powder causes your foot blisters to become irritated, stop using it.
Don't let foot blisters knock you off your feet. Find a podiatrist in your area and schedule an appointment. A podiatrist can help you get rid of those foot blisters once and for all. The journey to healthy feet starts with you!