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Posts for: February, 2019

The kind of shoes you wear can really affect your foot health. Someone who typically wears tight, high-heeled shoes is going to experience more foot pain than someone who wears cushioned, supportive walking shoes most days. That might explain part of the reason why women tend to experience more foot problems than men do.

In fact, women who wear pumps (high heels with a low cut front and no fastening strap) are likely to develop a “pump bump.” If you’re not familiar with it, you’ll know it because it’s a small bony bump that can develop at the back of the heel bone. That growth, in combination with the constant friction against the back of the shoe, can also cause inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs (bursa) around the bones. This condition is called Haglund’s Deformity.

You’ll know if you have Haglund’s Deformity if you:

  • Feel pain at the bump.
  • See redness, swelling, and a pronounced bump at the back of the heel bone.
  • Get blisters, also from rubbing the bony part against the back part of your shoes (especially rigid backs, like with high heels)

If you start to experience symptoms, you’ll want to try your best to mitigate your pain. Try some of these at-home treatments:

  • Ice and Elevate – After a day of experiencing back of the heel pain, rest your feet, ice the bump, and elevate your feet if there is swelling.
  • Use heel pads if you have to keep wearing specific shoes for work or if you are very fashion conscious.
  • Try changing out of uncomfortable or tight shoes as soon as your workday or event is over.
  • If you can, change the types of shoes you wear. You’ll want to wear comfortable, supportive shoes that do not have a rigid back. This will reduce the rubbing against the heel bone.

If symptoms keep getting worse, you’ll want to come to see our podiatrist. He might suggest:

  • Custom orthotic shoes – especially while you get your symptoms under control.
  • Medication – anti-inflammatory meds, which could be steroidal or non-steroidal.
  • Surgery – if the condition gets to the point of becoming untreatable, and it interferes severely with your day to day, you may need to have surgery to reduce the bony spur. This would be a last measure after trying to treat with more mild methods.

If you have feel that you may be developing a bony spur at the back of your heel(s), make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. He will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments to get you comfortable in your own shoes. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.


By Crofton Podiatry
February 18, 2019
Category: exercise
Tags: achilles tendonitis   stretching   yoga   exercise   injury  

Are you one of those people who easily roll your ankles? Or maybe you’ve been feeling some tightness in the Achilles tendon (Achilles tendonitis) since you started a more intense workout. Maybe you want to get stronger ankles to protect from injury in a contact sport.

There’s no bad reason or time to strengthen and continue strengthening your ankles. By increasing strength, flexibility, and balance in the ankles, you can protect yourself from injuries. What’s a great way to improve your ankle health? Yoga!

Here are some poses you can incorporate into your stretching and strengthening routines (or just while you watch TV!):

[Please note: if this is your first time doing yoga, it’s best to find a teacher who can help you correctly practice these poses. For those who have practiced yoga, take your time with these poses and never put yourself in a position of pain to realize these poses.]

  • Lotus – Sit cross-legged. The ultimate goal of lotus is to sit cross-legged, but with the ankles over the thighs, with the soles of the feet facing upward. Work your way up to that, first starting with a comfortable cross-legged position, then bringing one leg up and over, and then eventually, the other leg crossed over as well.
  • Downward-facing dog – Get all your hands and knees, then push your butt up and back so that you end up on your hands and feet. Your head comes down between your straight arms, so that your arms are near your biceps. You should feel a stretch in your arms, shoulders, and down the back of your legs. Try to press down with each heel, further stretching the backs of your ankles.
  • Warrior poses – Warrior 1 and 2 are both great for ankle flexibility and strength because your back foot is turned at an angle. As you lunge to get into the position, your back feet are stretching the ankles. Be sure to do each pose on each foot.
  • Tree pose – This balancing act is a sure fire way to get your ankles to balance and strengthen. Try the variations as your balance improves.
  • Garland pose – This low squatting position is not comfortable for everyone, but it’s one you can work toward. You might start squatting on tip toes, but work your way to having your heels touch the ground to work strength and balance.
  • Hero pose – As you sit in this pose, the tops of your ankles are being stretched out. Breathe and allow them to release the tension in your soft tissues in your feet, ankles, and shins.

If you have any issues with some of these poses, or notice pain while trying any exercise, make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. He will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments to get you back to being active. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas. 


By Crofton Podiatry
February 13, 2019
Category: Pregnant footcare
Tags: swelling   exercise   pregnancy   orthotic  

Are you growing a little one in your belly? Congratulations!

It’s incredible how the body knows to make changes to not only support the weight of the growing baby but also to help prepare for the birthing process. During pregnancy, the heart rate increases, blood flow increases, and soft tissues and bones stretch and shift to make room. As a result of these changes, the mother-to-be’s body can experience a lot of symptoms, like ligament pain, back aches, and swelling hands and feet.

For the feet in particular, here are some things that you can expect (although each woman’s pregnancy can be different):

  • Swelling – As the pregnancy continues, the body might retain more fluid to help become more malleable as needed. The feet can suffer the most obvious swelling because, being the farthest away from the heart, it has a more difficult time returning fluids to the top half of the body. When the baby is larger in the belly, it can physically be the cause of slower circulation back to the top half of the body. Exercise and elevating the feet can help!
  • Pins-and-Needles/Tingling – When there is increased swelling, your nerves might become compressed, and blood flow might be constricted. These can cause you to have a tingling or pins-and-needles sensation. This can be felt more if you’ve been standing all day or if your feet start to swell while you are exercising. Be sure that your shoes are not too tight.
  • Pressure Point and Joint Pain – Certain parts of the feet that experience more pressure can be more sensitive to aches and pains. Elevate the feet and rest them whenever you are sitting to help them recover.
  • Flattened arches – The extra weight that you carry, especially toward the end of the 2nd trimester, and in the 3rd trimester can cause your arches to become stretched out. They can become flattened as the feet work harder to support the weight gain. Wear supportive shoes and/or use orthotic inserts to help reduce pain along the bottom of the feet.

If you are experiencing moderate to severe pain in your feet during pregnancy, see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll to help you figure out the best solution. Pay special attention to any uneven swelling in the legs or feet, as this can indicate an issue with blood clots. To make an appointment, call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.


By Crofton Podiatry
February 06, 2019
Category: skin conditions

Every person’s skin is different. The way they react to the moisture, or lack thereof, can be very different. Some people develop rashes, while others become very itchy and scaly. That’s why there are so many different kinds of moisturizing solutions out there!

The skin on your feet will most likely react the way it does everywhere else on your body. If the air is dry, the parts of your body that are most exposed to the elements are likely to respond by drying out.

Here are some causes for dry feet and what you can do about them:

  • Dry air – Especially in the winter, the air can become dry. With humidity levels dropping, your skin needs more moisture. Apply a moisturizer such as lotions or creams more often than you do during the summer. Additionally, try your best not to expose your skin to dry windy air for too long, as that will make the dryness worse.
  • Overexertion and/or dehydration – Much physical activity can cause your body to overheat resulting in lots of sweating to help you cool down. If you are not hydrated enough, excessive sweating can lead to dry skin, due to dehydration. Make sure that you drink adequate amounts of water each day – about 8 – 8oz glasses per day.
  • Skin conditions – If you have skin issues like eczema or psoriasis, you are more likely to have rashes and/or dry, flaky skin. It can even lead to painfully cracked heel fissures. Be sure to stay on top of moisturizing, and if necessary, topical medications. Drink plenty of water each day.
  • Skin infection – If dry skin is because of an infection like Athlete’s foot, be sure to treat the source of the problem right away. Use over-the-counter antifungal creams at the first sign of symptoms. If they are not effective, come in so that we can prescribe you a stronger treatment.
  • Health conditions – Some health conditions can have a side effect of dry skin. Diabetes is one of the conditions that can lead to dry skin. The lack of circulation can cause problems for bringing necessary fluids and nutrients to nourish your skin. Ask your doctor how you can help your dry skin when you’ve got diabetes.

If you’ve got persistent dry skin and only using moisturizers doesn’t seem to be working, try some of these home remedies to help your dry skin.

  • Set up a nice warm footbath. Soak for at least 10 minutes and then gently scrub areas of dry skin with a pumice stone. Make sure you moisturize your feet after drying them off.
  • Add Epsom salt, apple cider vinegar, or honey to the foot soak. These can help to increase moisture absorption, as well as help keep infections at bay.  
  • Use paraffin wax to seal in moisture while you sleep.

Got persistent dry feet that won’t heal up no matter what you try? Make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll to help you find treatment for your dry feet. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.





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