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Posts for: March, 2017

By Crofton Podiatry
March 29, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Hammertoes  

Hammertoes make your toes look like an upside-down V when looking at them from the side. The first joint (close to the base of the toe) is affected by a deformity in which there is abnormal development of muscle tissues. The causes include:

  • Genetics – it can be hereditary.
  • Trauma via injury.
  • Arthritis, which affects the joint.
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight.

Hammertoes are not always painful, but can become painful if left untreated. Symptoms associated with hammertoes include swelling and redness, pain at the base of the toe, pain when you try to move the toe, and development of a painful corn on top of the V of the toe. If you catch it early, and the hammertoes can be straightened out, they are considered flexible hammertoes. This can be treated with padding and taping. However, hammertoes that become rigid may need other treatment such as surgery if they really affect quality of life.

When hammertoe symptoms are mild, you can try some at-home treatments:

  • For pain and swelling, use an ice pack several times a day.
  • For corns or blisters that cause pain, you can buy or make a hammertoe pad (gauze or cotton for cushioning) to put on the top of the bent toe.
  • When you have a corn or callus, use a pumice stone after a warm soak to file it down.
  • Get footwear that is taller near the toes and more cushiony. This will remove the factor of shoes making the deformity worse. It will also lower the pressures on the toes.
  • Do physical therapy exercises that stretch and strengthen the toes, such as picking up and moving objects around.

If home remedies do not help, come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Some treatment options he may suggest include:

  • Padding and taping the toes. This will help to straighten the toes and protect from painful impact or blisters.
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for pain relief, or a cortisone injection for severe pain or swelling.
  • For severe cases, treating hammertoes may require surgery.

Make an appointment to find out what the appropriate treatment should be by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.


By Crofton Podiatry
March 24, 2017
Category: Foot Care Tips
Tags: yoga   push ups   exercise   ankle injury   foot injury  

The last thing we usually want to do after a foot or ankle injury is to be active and exercise. Or maybe there are some that would be itching to get back in the game. Regardless of what your attitude may be, it is important that you find ways to stay active and healthy. It will improve circulation and promote healing too.  

Your normal routine for exercise might include exercises that use your feet, so to help you stay on target, we’d like to suggest a few exercise alternatives that you can do when you have an injured foot or ankle. Consult your doctor to make sure that these exercises are okay for you to do.

Cardiovascular Workouts: Most people will think of running and the elliptical, but why not try swimming, rowing, and cycling (if the injury allows you to do so)? These exercises put minimal strain on the feet while working your heart out – literally!

Ab/Core Workouts: Many workouts involving your abs can be done on the floor, with no use of the feet. Crunches, “beach chairs”, hanging leg raises, and side-to-side oblique toe touches can all work out the core.

Upper Body Workouts: You can do many upper body workouts sitting with free weights and on workout machines. Work your biceps, triceps, and lats. You can also do pull ups – use a step stool to get up and down gently.

Lower Body Workouts: Use machines to do leg curls and leg extensions to exercise your quads and hamstrings without straining your feet or ankles.

Push Ups: Work on your push up game – if you only have one side injured, put it on top of the other foot while you do your push ups. You can also modify them by going on your knees instead of your feet.

Yoga: There are some yoga poses you can do that do not involve hardcore use of your feet or ankles. Practice some balancing poses (on the uninjured foot) and core strengthening poses.

It is important to remember that pain should not be a part of your workout. If any part of your body hurts or shifts to compensate for the injured foot, you may overstrain the uninjured leg. It is best to find another exercise instead.

Do you have an injury or need guidance on exercises you can do with your injury? Make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

 


By Crofton Podiatry
March 15, 2017
Category: Foot Care Tips
Tags: vitamin D   dairy   vegetables   foot nutrition  

We often hear about what to eat for a healthy heart, beautiful skin, or weight loss. However, we should keep in mind that eating a balanced and nutritional diet affects all parts of the body, including the feet. Since each foot and ankle structure is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, more than 100 muscles, tendons & ligaments, and skin, it is important to feed those anatomical features to help them function properly and prevent injury or disease.

You may be surprised at the types of nutrients some foods can provide. The following list are examples of foods you can eat to nourish your feet and ankles:

  • Dairy Products – Milk and yogurt are great sources of Calcium and Vitamin D (in vitamin D-enriched products), which are necessary for building and maintaining strong bones.
  • Dark, Leafy Greens – Who knew? Kale, Collard Greens, and Spinach all have calcium, which also contributes to strong bones. They also have many other vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water, so they get bonus points!
  • Salmon, Olive Oil, Walnuts, and Seeds – These Omega-3 Fatty Acid-rich foods are necessary for combatting painful arthritis by reducing inflammation in joints. They also help reduce risk factors for heart disease.
  • Turmeric, Ginger, and Cinnamon – These are anti-inflammatory spices that you can add for extra inflammation fighting power.
  • Meats, Tofu, and Cottage Cheese – Muscles, tendons, and ligaments need protein to rebuild after a workout. Strong muscles and tissues will help to prevent injury and support proper gait.
  • Raw Vegetables – Packed with minerals and vitamins, they also have many enzymes necessary for muscle tissue repair.
  • Dark Chocolate, Pecans, and Wild Blueberries – These are delicious foods that are packed with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and fight disease, like cancer. They are also great for protecting and nourishing the skin. Don’t forget, skin is on your feet too!
  • Water – Experts say to drink at least 8 cups of water per day (depending on your body size). Adequate hydration has many benefits including: keeping your skin moisturized (preventing dry cracked heels), supporting muscle function, improving immune health, and aiding digestion.
  • Sunlight – Yes, sunlight! While this is not a food, it’s necessary for your body to build it’s own Vitamin D. Get about 20 minutes per day if you can.

Additionally, exercise is important to benefit all parts of your body, from building strong bones to improving cardiovascular health. If you have foot or ankle issues, or want to learn more about nutrition for foot health, make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.


By Crofton Podiatry
March 08, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions

A severe twist of the foot or heavy object dropping on it can cause severe pain throughout the midfoot, bruising or blistering on the arch, and the inability to bear weight. This injury is called a Lisfranc injury as it affects the Lisfranc joint and ligament. You may not have heard of this word or name, but Lisfranc injuries can happen in many circumstances, such as car accidents, running or football injuries, as well as while horseback riding accidents.

The Lisfranc joint is where the bones that lead up to the toes and the bones in the arch come together. The Lisfranc ligament is tissue that keeps the bones together. You can feel for the joint area by following the big toe bone up the foot until it reaches a ‘V’ where it meets the second toe bone, near the top of the arch. When there is a sprain (stretched ligament from twist of foot), fracture (broken bone from impact), or dislocation (bones get forced out of place), the Lisfranc joint or ligament gets injured and can cause you severe pain.

Treating a Lisfranc Injury

  • RICE method to keep pain and swelling at bay – The first thing you should do is to get off your foot (Rest), put a cold pack on the foot for 20 minutes each hour (Ice), wrap the foot if you can (Compression), and prop it above your heart level (Elevate).
  • See your podiatrist as soon as possible, or if the pain and swelling is severe, go to the emergency room. Do not put any weight on the foot.
  • If the bones are not out of alignment, you may just need a cast and painkillers, like ibuprofen or aspirin.
  • Lisfranc surgery may be required if the bones have broken or shifted out of position. It may require pins, plates, and/or screws to put the bones in their proper alignment as they heal.
  • After healing, you may need physical therapy to regain strength to walk and bear weight.

Oftentimes, as a result of this injury, complications can arise, such as: chronic pain and arthritis, bone alignment issues, and surgical complications (including nerve damage and wound re-opening) due to swelling.

If you suspect you have a Lisfranc injury, call our office immediately. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, can properly assess and diagnose your symptoms to find you the right treatment. Make an appointment today at Crofton Podiatry by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

 


By Crofton Podiatry
March 01, 2017
Category: Footwear
Tags: Orthotics   Uggs   wide toe box  

The Good:

Uggs and other fur-lined boots have become a staple winter item for many living in colder winter climates. Originally developed for surfers to keep feet warm after hitting the waves, the warm and cozy footwear has grown in popularity to everyday wearers. For the most part, the large roomy toe box, plush lining, and grippy outer soles make it seem like comfortable and safe shoes for the winter. However, from a podiatric standpoint, there are some red flags. 

The Bad:

While fur-lined boots are great for warmth, it may be too good at retaining heat. For anyone who easily overheats (or has hyperhidrosis), Uggs can be a sweat trap. This makes for a damp and dark environment in which bacteria can flourish. It can lead to foot odor and if you have cuts or scrapes, can raise the risk of infection. There are many who do not wear socks with these boots, further increasing the chance of smelly bacterial growth.

The Uggly:

While there are features that seem to be great for feet, like comfort and a wide toebox, there are othe

r features that many fur-lined boots lack. The lack of arch support, heel cupping, breathability, and a toebox that is too wide makes for poor stability in the feet and ankles. They are not structurally helpful for correcting pronation issues and alter peoples’ gait; we often see teenagers dragging their feet in Uggs. As the feet struggle to have proper form and support, the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia can be strained.

Quick fixes:

  • Always wear socks when wearing fur-lined shoes, even if you don’t feel like you need the additional warmth. Not only do they help with the sweat issue, a little bit of thickness added to your feet can help fit your feet into the shoes better and prevent issues of sliding around inside the shoe. If your feet overheat, try to air them out. Also, do not wear the shoes every day or get another pair to rotate with.
  • Orthotic inserts can help where the shoes lack support. Custom orthotics from your podiatrist are best for specific foot support needs you may have (flat foot or plantar fasciitis). It will provide arch support, cup the heels properly, prevent sliding around in the shoe, assist with pronation issues, and give proper cushioning for the bottom of your feet.

Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, can help you with custom orthotic inserts. Make an appointment today at Crofton Podiatry by calling (410) 721-4505 so that we can help you save the Uggs. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie 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