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Posts for: June, 2016

By Crofton Podiatry
June 28, 2016
Category: Foot Conditions

In China, the practice of foot binding can be traced back to the first millennium. It was in attempts to imitate the notion of beauty regarding feet at the time. Girls as young as 3 years old would have their feet dramatically deformed by breaking of bones and having them reset in a manner that would shorten the length of their feet and make their arches higher. According to a study of some of these women, foot binding deformities were so severe that they increased the likelihood of falls, decreased ability to do squats or rise from a chair without help, and had lower bone density in the hip and spine.

While the traditional practice of foot binding is long gone, there are many comparisons that can be made in modern day. For the notion of beauty, there are procedures done and sacrifices made that may ultimately result in foot deformities and long-term negative consequences.

One such procedure is called cosmetic toe-shortening. This is usually done in conjunction with other surgical procedures such as bunion removal. The shortening process is done by removing a knuckle and pinning the toe back together. While there are medical reasons to undergo this procedure, like diabetic ulcers or hammertoes, the cosmetic reasons have to do with attaining prettier or shorter feet that can fit into high heels and other restrictive footwear without having “clown feet”.

But is the pain worth the sacrifice? Removal of the knuckle limits the toe’s functional abilities, like for rock climbing, yoga, or other activities that require the toes to bend and grip. The recovery period is also significant, with some requiring 12 weeks of no pressure on the foot. And while fitting into high heels can be nice, there are some that associate narrow shoes with causing or at least contributing to bunion development – which would deform the feet again. Additionally, since this is more of a newly developed procedure, there hasn’t been much research done on what the long-term effects of toe-shortening might be. Like with the Chinese practice of foot binding, they could cause imbalance and other foot issues in the long run.

In almost all cases, toe-shortening is not medically necessary. Therefore, before considering any type of cosmetic procedure to your feet, consult our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. It is important to discuss all the possible outcomes, discuss alternatives, and understand what the actual benefits and consequences are before you proceed with any type of foot or ankle related procedure. Dr. Toll will help you make an informed decision, using the latest diagnostic and therapeutic technology. Make an appointment today by calling our Crofton, MD office at  (410) 721-4505.

 


By Crofton Podiatry
June 23, 2016
Category: Proper Foot Wear
Tags: workout shoes  

 

No, we’re not talking about clothing fashion or makeup trends. Instead, we’d like to focus on the best footwear to get the best out of your workout.

 

Running sneakers – If your workouts primarily deal with running on a treadmill or sprints on AstroTurf, your best bet is to get sneakers that are designed for running. They provide the right support for long distance running and cushion for impact from running or jumping. The front of the sneakers are usually airy with mesh material, but supportive enough to not allow for sliding around. Since there is a lot of forward motion, the toes area should be snug for support, but not too tight to cause chafing.

 

Weightlifting shoes – These are shoes that come up just under the ankle, and a raised, solid heel. For those who like to “pump iron” as their main gym routine, you should get shoes that provide support and stability to prevent any imbalance from the shoe itself. The instability could cause a wobbling effect, leading to improper form and possibly even injury. The other reason weightlifting shoes have these specific characteristics is to allow for maximum performance by ensuring that the power that goes to the ground is transferred straight back up through the weightlifting motion.

 

Cross-trainers – The most versatile and multi-functional footwear for gym training is the cross-trainer shoe. For those who train in various types of fitness, like crossfit, martial arts, or calisthenics, you will probably take part in movements that require stability and lateral actions, as well as running or weightlifting. Because of the variety of movements performed, cross-trainers provide a good amount of support, flexibility, and traction through: grip soles, cushioned insoles, flexible but sturdy material, mesh, and heel support.

 

Flip Flops – Don’t forget to clean your feet and keep them clean! After your workout, you should have a pair of flip flops for the shower since it is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. While the showers do get cleaned, they may not have enough cleanings in between people, so disease can be carried and transferred. Plus, people may urinate in the shower – gross!

 

Your choice of shoes for your fitness is an important part of getting the most out of your workout and preventing injury. If you have any questions about proper footwear, especially because of previous or current injuries, contact our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, at Crofton Podiatry and he will help you find the best footwear and the best workouts for your situation. Also, if you are dealing with foot disease from bacteria or fungi, make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office by calling (410) 721-4505, today!

 

 


By Crofton Podiatry
June 16, 2016

At or around week 20 of your pregnancy, you will most likely experience some swelling in your body. Your hands, breasts, butt, calves, ankles, and feet will probably show at least a little bit of swelling and will last until you give birth.

The edema comes as your body changes to retain more fluid to help soften the body to allow for expansion. There is also increased blood flow and pressure in your veins near the uterus as a result of baby growth and increased weight in your pelvic area. Eventually, the growing baby restricts return blood flow back to the heart, keeping more fluid in the ankles and feet.

If you are concerned about swelling in your feet or ankles during your pregnancy, please contact our board-certified foot and ankle doctor, Brad Toll, DPM. He will help you manage swelling and make sure that there are no other podiatric issues.

Tips on Managing Swelling

Hot days, standing for long periods of time, low potassium in diet, high caffeine or sodium intake, and low water intake can increase your swelling throughout each day during pregnancy. The following are some tips on managing your swollen feet and ankles:

  • Avoid high sodium and caffeine in food and drinks.

  • Eat foods that are high in potassium such as bananas.

  • Try not to stand for long periods of time or have long days of activity.

  • Elevate your feet when resting.

  • Wear comfortable and supportive shoes since ligaments and tendons can become loose.

  • Use compression socks or supportive tights or stockings.

  • Stay hydrated so that the body doesn’t feel the need to retain fluids.

  • Avoid too much time outdoors in the summer heat.

  • Do some physical activity to get circulation, but do not put too much strain on your feet.

  • Use cold compresses on swollen areas.

Swelling during pregnancy is normal, but excessive swelling can be a sign of other issues. Pay attention to any uneven swelling on one side as this may be a sign of blood clot. Also, if there is increased overall swelling, including in the face and hands, it may be a sign of complication in the pregnancy.

Our team at Crofton Podiatry will do their best to care for your feet and ankles during your pregnancy and let you know if you need to seek additional medical care. If you have any concerns about unusual swelling, make an appointment today by calling our office (410) 721-4505 in Crofton, MD.


When actors take the stage, you commonly hear “break a leg”. For dancers, however, there’s an obvious reason why you would not say “break a leg”. This could mean a huge recovery period and possibly the end of their career. A dancer’s livelihood depends on healthy legs, ankles, and feet. That’s why although they may not discuss the topic amongst themselves anymore, they all understand the importance of caring for their overused, disfigured and often injured feet.

 

If you have injuries from recreational or professional dancing, seeing your podiatrist often is beneficial to maintaining good foot health. Our board-certified foot and ankle doctor, Brad Toll, DPM will help you find the best way to continuously care for your feet.

 

Common foot problems experienced by dancers

 

There are many foot and ankle injuries that dancers experience, including: Achilles Tendonitis or Injury, Ankle Sprains, Stress Fractures, Corns and Calluses, Fractures, Hammertoes, Heel Spurs (Plantar Fasciitis), Ingrown Toenails, Turf Toe, and Metatarsalgia. The following are the most common:

 

1. Hallux Rigidus or Limitus – You may feel pain or be unable to move at the joints of the big toe. The joints can rub together and become inflamed or degenerate the joint. Dancers should ice and relieve inflammation. Taping the toes can reduce further issues.

 

2. Bunions – Foot pain can be felt in the big toe or the ball of the foot. Repeated positions, postures, and other combinatory injuries can cause bunions at the big toe joint. Dancers should keep aware of any deformities and pain since untreated bunions could even require surgical interventions.

 

3. Metatarsalgia – There is pain and tenderness to the touch at the ball of the foot. This is commonly caused by extreme force on the smaller toes. The constant overstretching can cause instability in the joints and cause sharp pains. Strengthening the muscles that control the small toes can be helpful in preventing or treating metatarsalgia. Orthotic inserts can help relieve the pressures on the ball of the foot when walking.

 

4. Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Spurs – The soles and heel of the foot can feel painful when overusing the tissues of the plantar fascia. The tissue becomes inflamed and painful, especially when there is tightness in the calf muscles or Achilles tendon. Use physical therapy to release tight tissues, stretch, and take anti-inflammatories if necessary.

 

5. Sesamoiditis – The tendon between the sesamoid bones can become inflamed when you are on the balls of your feet often. Pain is felt under the big toe, and also while bending the toe. Resting as much as possible to reduce pain and inflammation is recommended. If pain is chronic or very sharp, you may want to take X-rays to be sure the bones are not fractured.

 

As a dancer, it is wise to treat any issues early and often since repeated and untreated injury can lead to more severe issues. Our team at Crofton Podiatry will do their best to care for your feet and ankles, which are essential to your dance career. Make an appointment today by calling our office (410)721-4505 in Crofton, MD.


Now that summer is here, it’s also high time to hit sunny beaches and new adventures with friends and family. For many of us, that means taking a flight to or down the coast – or maybe even overseas! Wherever your vacation may take you, make sure that you don’t forget to take care of your feet during the flight to prevent edema and other problems.

Most airplane seats are small and uncomfortable. To improve your flight and circulation, we at Crofton Podiatry would like to offer ideas on some tips to prevent swelling in your feet and ankles:

  • While you’re seated, flex and extend your feet. You can make small circles at your ankles, both inward and outward. If room allows, you can even try to stretch your legs as straight as possible and then bring your knees in and hug them. This movement will keep the fluids and blood flowing in and out of your legs. If you can, ask for an aisle seat to allow for more room!

  • Try not to cross your legs while seated, which constricts blood flow.

  • Wear non-constricting clothing as any that do will cut off circulation. Compression socks or leggings are good options.

  • Especially on long flights, get up and take walks up and down the aisle whenever you get up to use the bathroom. If you find room, do some whole body stretches.

  • Stay hydrated! You can bring an empty bottle and ask the flight attendants to fill it up. Stay away from too many salty snacks, which can cause further bloating. Alcohol can make you feel more dehydrated and if you have enough, it can also cause you to be too unsteady to safely walk around the cabin.

Following these tips may help you feel better throughout your flight, as well as prevent the more serious problems related to edema. Most people will not experience much swelling to the point of being noticeable as the swelling will go away as you land. However, it’s important to consider the effects of swollen feet, ankles, and legs if you are at higher risk for edema (prone to blood clots or diabetic). Shoes can be more difficult or painful to put on. You may feel numbness and be unsteady when moving. Severe, long-term swelling can even indicate deep vein thrombosis (or a blood clot).

If you experience pain, numbness, or severe swelling after a flight, you may want to seek medical attention. Make an appointment with Dr. Brad Toll at our office in Crofton, MD, where he and his team will help you find the right solution to your foot and ankle needs.

 





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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