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Posts for: July, 2017

By Crofton Podiatry
July 27, 2017
Category: Heel Pain

It’s not uncommon for people to experience heel pain. Because of the many stresses that the feet endure (including carrying us everywhere), they are prone to acute and overuse injuries.  Also, because your heels are part of a joint, they can experience problems like arthritis and bone diseases (like bone tumors and fractures). 

Possible reasons for painful heels include:

  • Bruising – from stepping on something hard.
  • Plantar Fasciitis – an overuse problem, the tissues along the bottom of the feet can become tight and pull on the heel, causing pain on the bottom of the heel where the tissues connect to the bone.
  • Achilles Tendonitis – an overuse injury that develops when the Achilles tendon has repetitive stress on it, which can begin to cause tightness and inflammation. The irritation at the back of the heel where the tendon and heel bone connect can cause pain.
  • Heel Spur – a bony growth can develop on the heel as a deformity or from long-term irritation (like from plantar fasciitis). This growth can cause discomfort and pain when pressure is applied onto it.
  • Arthritis – The heel joint can be affected from this painful inflammatory problem in joints throughout the body.
  • Stress Fracture – When there has been repetitive use or an injury that receives constant impact, a stress fracture can occur or become bigger. The crack or break in the bone can cause immense pain and requires a lot of rest to properly heal.
  • Bursitis – an inflammation of the fluid sacs between your joints can cause pain in the heel joint.
  • Bone Diseases – which include issues like bone tumors and osteomyelitis are conditions of the bone that can cause pain as well.

When you’ve got heel pain, it’s not always easy to determine why the problem is occurring. It’s best to get properly assessed so that you can find the proper treatment for your pain. Otherwise, the problem can continue, or an underlying issue can be overlooked.

If you or someone in your family has heel pain, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you and your family at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.


By Crofton Podiatry
July 21, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions

After a long day of sports training or walking around in high heels, the balls of your feet may hurt. Unless you bring other shoes to change into, the route home can seem so long that you may be tempted to take your shoes off and go barefoot. So what’s going on?

Pain in the balls of your feet is generally referred to as metatarsalgia. The five bones between the toes and the arch are called the metatarsals. When one or more of the joints involving those bones becomes affected, it can become inflamed and cause you pain. People who repeatedly put pressure on the metatarsal joints may notice a callus there. 

What can cause metatarsalgia?

  • Uncomfortable and unsupportive shoes – Women who wear a lot of high heels will often notice this type of pain because they bear most of their weight on the balls of the feet while walking. Additionally, when anyone wears shoes that do not have good arch support or have toe boxes that are too narrow, it can cause irritation to the metatarsals. Poorly fitting shoes can also cause other issues like foot deformities that can put pressure on your metatarsals.

  • Intense training or exercise – Any activity that includes impact on the feet (e.g. walking or jumping) risks pain because of the forces that the midfoot endures.

  • Other conditions: Stress fractures, Morton’s Neuroma, Arthritis, Obesity – If you have trauma or repeated injury, you can develop broken or fractured bones that alters your gait in a way that applies pressure on the feet. Additionally, Morton’s Neuroma affects the third and fourth toes, with extra fibrous tissue growing around the nerve in the metatarsals that could cause pain. Furthermore, because arthritis affects the joints, the metatarsal joints are subject to arthritic pain. Finally, being overweight can also make you put more pressure at the forefoot, applying more pressure on the metatarsals.

How to ease pain

Because metatarsalgia is more of a condition to describe the pain in the ball of the feet, pain relief includes symptom management. In most cases, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) can help after a day of walking or exercise. Changing to more supportive and shoes can also help prevent and relieve symptoms. Some orthotics (like metatarsal pads) may be in order for those with deformities or pain from shoes, especially if you have specific work shoes that need to be worn.

When these treatments do not work, you may need to check for other conditions that may be contributing to metatarsalgia. If foot deformities like hammertoes are causing pain, surgery to correct that issue may be required. To find the best solution, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you and your family at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.


By Crofton Podiatry
July 13, 2017
Category: Footwear

In many of our previous blog posts, you may have noticed that one of the solutions listed for many foot or ankle problems is orthotics. Ankle sprain? Orthotics can help. Flat footed? Orthotics can help. Plantar Fasciitis pain? Orthotics can help.

The main way that orthotics help is that they provide extra support where you might need it. Most athletics shoes are designed to give at least minimal support in the arches and heels, but other shoes that are more fashion focused may have little or not support at all. When people wear non-supportive shoes for most of the day, every day, the feet are left uncared for. New problems can arise and existing issues can get worse over time.

Foot problems developing can depend on what part of the foot tends to carry your body weight. The more the ball of the foot carries the weight, the more problems can arise in the big toe joint, the plantar fascia, and the Achilles tendon. Mild problems can be taken care of with over-the-counter orthotic inserts, but moderate to severe problems may require custom orthotics that range from soft to rigid types.

Types of Custom Orthotics

After a thorough assessment, our podiatrist can prescribe you custom orthoses. They can be inserts or complete shoes. Since they are constructed to the specific contours and needs of your feet, they help you walk more efficiently to prevent worsening issues. Depending on the needs or issues of the foot or ankle, one of the following types of orthotics will be used:

  • Soft Orthotics: These are usually meant to absorb shock and provide padding for milder issues. Diabetic, arthritic, and deformed feet are effectively assisted by orthoses.

  • Semi-Rigid Orthotics: Using soft cushions and reinforcing them with harder materials, semi-rigid orthotics are used to help with walking or playing sports. They help children with flat feet, in- or out-toeing, and other deformity issues. They help athletes with pain and protect from sudden injuries while playing sports.

  • Rigid Orthotics: These are made from hard materials to control motion, especially in the heel joints.

Most people can benefit from orthoses, and they are highly effective in assisting those with podiatric issues. Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. After a thorough examination, he will be able to prescribe you the proper type of orthotics you need. You can make an appointment online or by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you and your family at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

 


By Crofton Podiatry
July 05, 2017
Category: Ankle Sprains

Newly-drafted Charlotte Hornet, Malik Monk, will be out for the summer due to an ankle injury sustained during the draft workout process. The Hornets were hoping to see how he does with the team as shooting guard, but that will have to wait until his injury has healed. The outlook is that he will have to wait 2-4 weeks while rehabilitating his ankle. 

While the Hornets will miss out on practicing with him as a team, Monk will still be able to watch and learn how the team functions. The 2-4 weeks that he will be out suggests that it was most likely a minor or moderate ankle sprain – a Grade 1 or 2 Sprain. The time spent on healing and treatment will reduce the chance of re-injury or worsening symptoms.

About Ankle Sprains

An ankle sprain occurs when the ankle is turned beyond its limits, causing excessive stretching and tearing of a ligament. Most sprains occur on the ligament along the outside of the ankle, but they can also happen on the inside as well.

In the case of mild sprains (Grade 1), the ligament can be overstretched and have small tears, but for severe sprains (Grade 3), it can tear completely. All sprains will cause tenderness and swelling, but the severity of symptoms will depend on the degree of the sprain. Symptoms will also last longer and will require more treatment and rehabilitation with higher grade levels.

Immediately after a mild sprain, it’s best to use the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) to alleviate pain and swelling. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are helpful in reducing symptoms as well.

For a Grade 2 or 3 sprain, which involves more pain and instability, the ankle will need immobilization with a cast or brace for about 2 or 3 weeks. Patients will probably need crutches to keep weight off of the injured ankle. Additionally, as the ankle heals, it will benefit from physical therapy to help restore full function.

Our Podiatrist can help!

We won’t know exactly when Monk will be back in play, but we do know that rest is best for sprains. If you suffer an ankle injury, get properly diagnosed by our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. After a physical examination, as well as in-office imaging (if necessary), he will grade the sprain in order to choose the best treatment for you. You can make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you and your family at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.


By Crofton Podiatry
July 03, 2017
Category: Proper Foot Care
Tags: blisters   hikers   injury  

Hiking is a great activity that you can enjoy all year round. The terrain may stay the same, but the scenery varies with the seasons, making it a new adventure each time you go. Trail hiking can range from short and easy to long and difficult with many changes in elevation.

 

It’s important, however, to make adequate preparations to have a successful hike. Otherwise, you could be left with pain and even an injury. The following are some tips for taking care of your feet before, during, and after your hike:

 

Before a hike:

  • If it is your first hike, it’s best to start with easy trails.
  • Make sure you have shoes that fit you well and are comfortable from the first time you try them on. Since trails can have uneven surfaces, shoes should have adequate cushion and traction.
  • Even if the shoes are comfortable, it’s best to wear in your shoes gradually by wearing them around the house or on walks around your neighborhood.
  • Make sure you cut your toenails so that they do not cause you pain if they push against the front of the shoes.
  • Bring a water bottle and snack in case your hike is longer than you anticipated.
  • Before you begin your hike, make sure to warm up and stretch, which will reduce risk of injury.
  • Use the bathroom and fill up your water bottle so that you can stay hydrated throughout your hike.

 

During your hike:

  • Establish a slow and steady pace so that you don’t wear yourself out. If you need to, use a hiking stick to steady yourself.
  • If you begin to feel chafing on your feet, use adhesive bandages or padding to prevent blisters.
  • Take rests as needed so that you do not overwork your foot and ankle muscles, especially if you roll your ankle or strain your feet.

 

After your hike:

  • Cool down toward the end of your hike and stretch your ankles, feet, and toes with your shoes off.
  • A foot rub and an Epsom salt foot soak can help you find relief from a good workout and promote healing to prevent soreness later.

 

If you have concerns about hiking with a foot or ankle condition, or if you suffer an injury while hiking, come see our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you and your family 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