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Posts for: August, 2017

By Crofton Podiatry
August 24, 2017
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Having one of those days? It may even be painful to get out of bed and move around. If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, the day-to-day tasks can be difficult. Eventually, there’s a good chance that it will begin to affect your feet and ankles. The many joints in your feet and ankles can become inflamed, as with any other joints in the body. 

But don’t get too down about it. While arthritis affects everyone differently, there are ways to figure out how to deal with your symptoms. If you keep track of your symptoms, your food and activity triggers, and amount of sleep you get, there’s a good chance that a few lifestyle changes can help to minimize your symptoms.

The following are ways to care for your arthritic feet:

●Keep stress levels low. Too much stress can aggravate the inflammation problem and worsen pain. Find ways to relieve stress and methods to deal with stressful situations, such as meditation and yoga.

●Avoid foods that trigger inflammation, such as sugary or fried foods. Instead, increase anti-inflammatory foods such as ginger, nuts, and salmon, which have Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

Physical therapy and exercise can reduce painful symptoms. Stretch muscles and tissues that affect joints, such as the Achilles tendon. Walking and swimming can help keep in shape. However, high-impact activities can make the pain worse.

●Get a foot massage and make sure to schedule time for rest. Pampering the feet can help reduce joint stiffness. Using Epsom salt in a warm foot soak can help reduce swelling.

●Apply a pain-relief topical cream or ointment with capsaicin (which interrupts pain signals), or take anti-inflammatory drugs, such as NSAIDs.

●Wear the right shoes. Over-the-counter orthotic inserts may help, but you may need custom orthotics to reduce painful symptoms. At home, wear cushioned slippers and place foam mats where you tend to stand for long periods of time.

If you are cannot find relief from your arthritic feet with some of these tips, 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 at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.


By Crofton Podiatry
August 19, 2017
Tags: Untagged

Ballet dancers seem to epitomize grace and glamour. Their smooth movement and seemingly impossible flexibility can leave you in awe. However, unless maybe you are a ballerina or you’ve seen a movie about ballet dancers, you may not know that most struggle with gruesome foot issues. While natural talent and practice may help them get to their goal positions, taking care of their feet and ankles are just as important to being able to successfully pursue their career goals.

 

Hiding within their soft ballet shoes, you can often find cut and bruised toes, purple or black toenails, and/or swollen toes and toe joints. The invisible issues are the ones that typically get abused and ignored – sprains and strains that do not get enough rest and treatment. For new dancers and veterans alike, it’s important to know and acknowledge that leaving injuries untreated can make problems worse. 

 

The following are common issues that ballet dancers may experience and how to take care of them:

  • Ingrown, bruised, or broken toenails – Because ballet dancers are often “en pointe,” toenails can suffer from constant impact and pressure. Keep toenails trimmed and see a podiatrist to take care of any broken toenails. Use ice and rest to allow bruises to heal.
  • Hammertoes – These deformities are also caused by the excessive pressure put on the toes while “en pointe”. Using tape can help support your toes, treating them early is the best way to prevent a permanent deformity.
  • Sesamoiditis, bunions, metatarsalgia – These big toe joint and midfoot related conditions are caused by repetitive movements and pressure involving the forefoot. Rest is crucial early on to prevent worsening of symptoms. These conditions can also result in inflammation or deformity, so get treatment earlier than later.
  • Ankle sprains or tendon issues – The ankle is prone to injury during the many positions and jumps that ballerinas perform. Strengthen them to prevent injury, but use the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) at the first sign of injury. If conditions do not improve, come see our podiatrist for further treatment.
  • Fractures or Broken Bones – Repetitive injury and pressure can result in fracturing bones. A fall or mistimed jump can also end in broken ankles. These must be treated promptly, or the problem can become more severe.

 

Being embarrassed about how your feet look, or ignoring the problem so that you don’t lose your starring role can ultimately be damaging, long-term. It can even get to the point where an injury can prematurely end your career.

 

Instead of avoiding the problem, it’s best to address your problems early and often. Our foot doctor can guide you as you continue to strive for success. Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our dedicated staff is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.


By Crofton Podiatry
August 07, 2017
Category: Footwear

Other than in winter, flats, especially ballet flats, are a popular footwear choice for women. They are more comfortable than high heels, but are fashionable and can be appropriate for work attire. What you may not know, though, is that it can be the root of your foot pain problems!

While they are the best option for closed-toed fashion footwear, they still have their problems, such as:

  • They tend to have narrow toe boxes – For those who have wide feet or have bunions, the front part of the shoes can be constricting. Wearing tight shoes like this can cause or worsen symptoms of bunions, tailor’s bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and even neuromas. Rather than ballet flats, loafers or boat shoes may be better options.

  • Limited cushioning – Flats tend to have minimal inner sole cushioning so that the shoes can be dainty and thin. This can increase impact on your joints while walking and cause foot fatigue.

  • Little or no arch support – Many times, the inner sole is flat to match the shoe shape, which means that there is no support for the arch. This can cause the foot to work harder to stabilize and cause painful symptoms like that of plantar fasciitis.

  • Little heel support – Footwear should have good heel cupping and cushioning to prevent heel pain and provide stability.

  • Unsupportive shoe shape and quality – Depending on the quality and materials that they are made with, they can cause irritation to your feet in the form of blisters and cuts.

The following are some ways to improve your flat wearing experience:

  • When purchasing flats, make sure to try them on. Try walking around in them. If they are cutting into the top of your feet or feel crowded in the toebox, they are not the shoes for you. Your toes should be able to wiggle around a bit, but not enough that your foot slides around in the shoes.

  • Recently, podiatrists have been working with shoemakers to design comfortable, supportive flats. Look for these types of shoes with supportive features built in.

  • For flats that do not have adequate cushioning, arch support, or heel support, try using orthotic inserts. You’ll probably be able to walk around in them for longer without foot fatigue.

  • Try not to wear shoes barefoot. Even sheer, no show socks can help prevent chafing and blisters.

If you are experiencing foot pain after a long day in your shoes, you may want to consider making a change. For persisting problems that cause you 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
August 02, 2017
Category: Childrens Feet
Tags: surgery   clubfoot  

What is clubfoot?

Clubfoot is congenital deformity that is found in about one newborn for every 1,000 live births. The infant is born with one or both feet turned inward, changing the shape and/or positioning of the foot.  This deformity can be identified during pregnancy or right after birth, since the foot is so abnormally shaped. Genetics and environmental factors seem to play a big part in whether or not a child is born with clubfoot.

How do you treat clubfoot?

The baby’s doctor will be able to begin treatment almost immediately. If left untreated, quality of life can be severely impacted, since the child’s mobility will be compromised. Treating the deformity early can make it easier to correct the problem, since babies are more flexible compared to when their bodies develop and bones begin to harden.

Typically successful methods of treatment include:

Ponseti method – This method includes one or two sessions per week of stretching the child’s foot to the correct positioning, and then casting it. Since they are still very flexible while they are babies, it is easier to get the feet to the correct position before they develop and set. This resetting and casting can happen over several months. Toward the end, your podiatrist may need to perform surgery to correct the length of the Achilles tendon.

French Functional method – This physical therapy method includes 3 sessions per week over several months. The process includes stretching, mobilization, and taping to slowly move the foot into the correct position. Exercise and massage helps to coax the foot back into the right shape and place, and then a plastic splint is placed to keep the foot in place.

Both methods are found to be successful, but only if the parents continue to stretch, exercise, and brace the foot and ankle to retain the correct position.

In the case where the above methods do not work, surgery might be necessary. The tendons may need to be adjusted to the right size and position as well. Afterward, the child will require a cast. If treatment is not started early, bones may need restructuring as well.

Was your child born with clubfoot or other congenital foot disorder? 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.





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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

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