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By Crofton Podiatry
January 16, 2018
Category: Footwear

What does a nurse, line cook, hairdresser, and a member of the Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace all have in common? The answer: they stand for the majority (if not all) of their time at work. While standing still or simply walking around doesn’t seem too difficult, it’s more challenging than you think. It’s especially tough on the feet and ankles, as they do not get enough rest to recover throughout the day.

People who stand all day at work tend to have more issues with their legs, feet, and back, especially if they do not maintain a good posture all day (and let’s be honest, who is able to maintain proper posture the WHOLE time – with the exception of the Queen’s guard?). The surfaces are usually hard, so unless you have supportive, cushioned shoes, as well as a cushioned standing mat, your body can feel much more fatigued than the average office desk employee.

So what kind of shoes can help you if you have to stand all day? Consider the following footwear factors when buying your work shoes:

  • Cushion – Look for shoes with more cushion on the insoles than regular shoes. If you have to, add orthotic inserts to give you even more cushioning.
  • Fit – Shoes should fit well. They shouldn’t be too small, narrow, or tight as that can cause problems like hammertoes, bunions, or corns. They shouldn’t be too big either, as your feet will have to strain to stabilize you, causing overuse problems like plantar fasciitis.
  • Support – If you have flat feet or fallen arches, you’ll want to make sure you have good arch support. Otherwise, you may be standing or walking in an overpronated position all day, straining other parts of the feet like your Achilles tendon (causing Achilles tendonitis).
  • Material/Protection – Depending on your worksite, try to choose shoes that are breathable so that they do not get overheated and sweaty, which could lead to foot odor and fungal or bacterial growth. However, if you will be at risk of injury from heavy or sharp falling objects, adhere to the work site’s dress code for shoes and add orthotic inserts as needed. You may also want to change your socks mid-shift if you tend to sweat a lot (like with hyperhidrosis). 

Take breaks when you can, and try to elevate your feet if you are prone to swelling. When you get home, take a warm foot soak and get a foot massage to find relief and rejuvenate your feet for the next workday!

Do you have overuse injuries or pain from your work shoes? Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry to get an assessment for the right treatment. Make an appointment at our office in Crofton, MD by calling (410) 721-4505. Our office also serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.

By Crofton Podiatry
January 10, 2018
Category: Heel Pain

When it comes to foot problems, the balls of the feet and the heels tend to incur many of the most common issues. The heels in particular are prone to pain from heel spurs and discomfort from the surrounding soft tissues (Achilles tendon, plantar fascia). It’s important to pay attention to these problems so that they don’t lead to chronic issues or get worse.

And speaking of problems that can get worse, don’t forget about the skin that covers the heels. The skin is subject to a lot of wear and tear and can incur damage and irritation as well. The following are heel skin problems and what might cause them:

  • Blisters: Those who wear high heels may be all too familiar with blisters that form on the back of their heels. Actually, many shoes with closed heel cups that do not have padding can cause painful blisters. And don’t forget about shoes with thin straps in the back – they can cause blisters, but also dig into the skin if they are too tight.
  • Heel callus: When the heel endures friction or irritation, the skin around the area can thicken and harden. Ill-fitting shoes, repetitive motions, or standing for a long period of time can put extra pressure on the bottom of the heels, leading to thickened skin. However, the thicker it gets, the drier and more uncomfortable it can become. Those with diabetes with peripheral neuropathy are prone to developing calluses, as they lose sensation in their feet and do not make adjustments to reduce friction on their heels.
  • Heel fissures (dry, cracked heels): Friction and continuous rubbing of the skin around the heels can also cause heel fissures. This is common when wearing open-backed shoes, such as sandals, which can leave the skin on the feet to become dry. When the heels are dry and friction is present, the skin can crack and bleed. This uncomfortable and painful condition should be treated promptly to prevent worse symptoms, like ulcers. Those with skin disorders like psoriasis or eczema should be more attentive to the skin on their feet as they are more likely to have problems with dry, cracked heels that take a long time to heal.

The cold, dry winter air can make heel skin problems worse. Moisturize your feet nightly with foot creams to relieve discomfort and nourish the skin. Additionally, use padding and orthotic inserts to relieve pressure on the parts of the heels that may be affected. Orthotics can help keep the feet in place, reducing the friction that is caused when your feet slide around in the back of the shoe. 

Having recurring skin problems on your heels this winter? Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry to get the right treatment. Make an appointment at our Crofton, MD by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
January 03, 2018
Category: sports injuries
Tags: swelling   fractures   stretch   injuries   frostbite   sprain   black toenails  

It’s peak skiing and snowboarding season! If you haven’t already, you’re probably dusting off your gear and making sure that everything still works and fits correctly. And please, don’t forget this step! Many folks suffer from injuries each year while skiing or snowboarding due to improper use of equipment, ill-fitting boots, and not using safety gear.

Consider the following safety guidelines to keep you and your family safe while skiing or snowboarding:

Dress Warmly

  • Always wear layers and cover as much skin as possible. Gloves, socks, and a hat will keep you warm, especially when it is really cold and snowy. Bring extra socks to change into in case they get wet or sweaty.
  • It’s best if things can be waterproof so that you don’t risk getting your hands or feet wet, and then having them come into contact with snow or ice. That could lead to frostbite!

Use Protective Gear

  • Make sure you know how to use each piece of equipment properly. If you don’t know how the bootstraps tighten or loosen, or how to get out of skis once you are clipped in, ask a more experienced skier.
  • Use helmets, even if you’re a professional. You just never know what kind of accident might lead to hitting your head on ice, rocks or poles.
  • If you’re a beginner (especially in snowboarding), you may want to get knee, butt, and/or wrist pads for slips and falls to protect from injury and even fractures.

Prepare Your Feet

  • If you have to, try on multiple sizes of skiing or snowboarding boots to make sure they fit properly. While they must be snug, they should not cut off circulation to your feet and toes (which could lead to irritation on the skin, swelling, and bruises). If they are too loose, your feet and ankles will have to strain to give you the proper control over your skis or snowboard (and you can twist or sprain your ankle).
  • Make sure your toenails are trimmed so that they do not experience excessive pressure from the boots, which could lead to painful black toenails.
  • Stretch your toes, feet, and ankles before your skiing or snowboarding session to reduce risk of injury and warm them up before putting them to use.

Have you had an injury while participating in a winter sport? Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry to get the right treatment for your injury. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is prepared for quality assistance at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

 

By Crofton Podiatry
December 29, 2017
Category: Arthritis

You may have heard older loved ones talk about how the weather affects their joints. Days characterized by poor weather seem to make symptoms worse, especially when it’s raining or cold. For those who struggle with arthritis pain, even the day-to-day can be difficult; so when the winter chill rolls in, joint pain management can be more challenging. And of course, the many joints present in the feet and ankles are also prone to feeling more achy, stiff, and/or painful.

We mentioned some ways you can care for your arthritic feet in a previous post, but the following are some additional tips for foot care and pain management in the cold winter weather:

  • Dress warmly. Always wear socks when you go outside – double up if you get cold easily. If your feet get cold easily, even indoors, wear socks or slippers (with non-slip grips on the bottom for smooth floors; smooth bottomed socks and slippers for carpet).
  • Eat nutritiously, including vitamin D supplements, especially if you have osteoarthritis. Less hours of sunlight and winter weather can mean a vitamin D deficiency for many. Also be sure to add plenty of sources of omega-3 fatty acids for joint health.
  • Stay physically active, both inside and outside. Taking brisk walks and doing aerobic exercises (on an exercise mat) are great ways to keep your blood pumping and your feet and ankles engaged.
  • Keep up with physical therapy, if that is part of your arthritis care. It may even be beneficial to start physical therapy during the weather for worse symptoms. Talk to your physician or our podiatrist for more information.
  • Wear safe shoes and be careful with winter activities and sports. Over-the-counter orthotic inserts may help, but you may need custom orthotics to reduce painful symptoms. If you must go outside in the cold or snow, be sure to wear warm shoes that have non-skid outer soles.
  • Stay hydrated to help with circulation. Some studies suggest that dehydration can make you more sensitive to pain!
  • Take warm baths and get foot massages. Warm baths, hot tubs, or warm water swimming pools can be helpful in relieving arthritis pain. Additionally, find relief by pampering your feet with a foot soak and massage.

If the winter weather has got your feet or ankles in pain, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry to make sure it isn’t something else causing the pain. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.

By Crofton Podiatry
December 18, 2017
Category: Feet Safety

When you think about it, there are some clearly identifiable dangers to your foot health, such as blunt trauma and sports injuries. But did you know that some of your everyday habits might be posing risks as well? While some are a bit more obvious than others, we encourage you to review the following risk factors to see how much you know about what can be affecting your foot health!

Where you walk:

  • Outdoors – For those who like to be barefoot, you can have exposure to disease and sharp objects.
  • Indoors –When walking on smooth surfaces, you want to be careful of slipping. Older adults, in particular should wear non-slip socks or slippers. However, when walking on carpet, you do not want non-slip soles since they can trip you up.

The Way You walk:

  • Gait – Depending on the way you roll your ankles, the way the feet touch the ground, you may be more prone to having heel or ankle pain. You may want to get a gait analysis done by our podiatrist to screen for risks.
  • Heavy stomping – If you tend to have “lead” feet when you walk, you may be more prone to ankle, knee, and hip pain from the impact on hard floors. Wearing cushioned slippers can reduce the impact experienced by your legs.

Shoes you wear:

  • Size matters! – Be sure that you and your children wear shoes that fit appropriately. If shoes are too small, feet will be crammed and can develop corns and calluses. If shoes are too big, feet can slide around inside and they have to work harder to stabilize you, resulting in sore muscles.
  • Flats, flip flops, high heels, and pointy toe shoes – These do not have adequate support and can lead to injury as well as strained muscles and tendons as your feet and ankles work overtime to keep you stable. High heels put excessive pressure on the balls of the feet as well as cram the toes. This can lead to bunions and other foot deformities, as well as arch and heel pain.

Your workouts:

  • Not stretching your ankles and calves, sudden increases in workout, and high impact activities can all be causes of injury due to your physical activity routines. Overuse injuries, such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis are typical foot problems from your workouts. 

Lifestyle and other Risk Factors:

  • Being overweight or obese and/or having a sedentary lifestyle can lead to poor circulation and excessive strain on the feet.
  • Smoking – Among a host of other health problems, you have a higher chance of developing Peripheral Artery Disease, in which plaque builds up in your arteries, making it hard for blood to reach your feet. Your feet can begin to feel pain and be slower to heal injuries.
  • Drinking excessively – This can lead to alcoholic neuropathy, in which there is weakness, pain, and tingling in the hands and feet. Eventually, nerve damage can result in loss of sensation and poor circulation, which means poor healing.

While not a complete list, these are risk factors that you should check often when considering foot health. If you have found that one or more of these may be affecting your foot health, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505 to receive a thorough assessment. Contact our dedicated team at our Crofton office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

 





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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505