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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
September 26, 2018
Category: Running

Whether it’s to fundraise for a good cause or to challenge yourself with a new activity, running (or walking) a 5K race can be a lot of fun! This is especially true if you join in with friends or family as you cross the finish line.

While 5Ks and other running events are healthy physical activities, they come with risks if you are not careful. The following are tips on how to get started with preparing for a 5K (or longer) running event:

  • Start slow. If you are not a runner, running a 5K without any preparation can be an exhausting activity. Walk or slowly jog the distance you’re training for to see how far it really is. Do not overdo it on the first go, as you might be left with blisters, painful shin splints, and/or shortness of breath. Doing too much too quickly can also lead to chronic Achilles tendonitis or other overuse injuries.
  • Build up endurance and speed. Again, start slow and practice running the 5K (or longer) distance. The more practice you get, the easier it will be on your body when it comes to actually running the race. Start with shorter distances and then make them longer as you train. Then, you might want to practice running the distance at a faster pace. (Hint: use music to help you stay at a steady pace)
  • Wear the right shoes. Are your feet sore or tired after your practice runs? It might mean that you are not wearing the right shoes. Make sure they fit you correctly, have ample cushioning on the inner sole, and are not wearing down on the outer sole. The extra cushion will reduce the impact on your joints!
  • Use orthotics. If your feet have a specific shape, such as flat feet, you may want to use orthotic inserts to get more support.
  • Rest, stretch, and hydrate. Be sure to rest enough so that your feet and ankles do not become injured with overuse injuries. Don’t forget to stretch and hydrate before and after each training as well!

Running a 5K without preparing for it can lead to injuries, so it’s important to start with the above tips. If you have pain from running, come to see us at Crofton Podiatry for an assessment. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505 to see our board-certified foot doctor, Dr. Brad Toll. Our team is ready to assist you and your family at our Crofton office, which also serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.

By Crofton Podiatry
August 29, 2018
Category: ankle pain

Whether or not you realize it, the Achilles tendon is very highly utilized, and therefore prone to developing Achilles tendonitis. It is the largest and strongest tendon in the body, allowing the calf muscle to pull up on the heel bone. Any time your heel is raised off the ground, your Achilles tendon is in action.

The Achilles is prone to injury and inflammation because of the forces it endures and how often it is utilized. If the tendon becomes inflamed from overuse, it can be characterized as Achilles tendonitis.

Causes of Achilles tendonitis

For most instances of Achilles tendonitis, it occurs because of a sudden increase in intensity or duration of activity. A common injury for runners, adding a lot of sprinting or uphill running can cause inflammation and pain. For some, symptoms can set in as soon as you engage in an abrupt activity. For others, it can cause you chronic pain that can get worse over time.

When you are affected by Achilles tendonitis, you might feel:

  • Soreness, aching or burning pain in the back of the ankle or calf, especially after a workout.
  • Swelling along the back of the ankle
  • Tenderness or stiffness at the back of the ankle when you wake up.
  • Development of a bone spur where the ankle meets the calf (after long-term aggravation of the Achilles tendon).

What you can do to ease the pain of Achilles tendonitis:

  • Stop what you’re doing! The Achilles tendon takes longer to heal because of the low blood flow. Give your ankle time to heal before you put it through more work. If our podiatrist believes you need to immobilize your feet, he’ll prescribe an orthotic brace or cast.
  • Stretch the Achilles tendon to relieve tightness or stiffness.
  • Get a foot massage. Roll a frozen water bottle or another cylindrical object up and down your lower leg. A partner can also help you release painful symptoms.
  • Use orthotics. Orthotic inserts can help to provide more support to your feet and ankles. Our podiatrist can help you figure out how to best utilize them.

In extreme cases, surgery might be necessary to correct a chronic case of Achilles tendonitis. Make an appointment today at our Crofton, MD office to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. At Crofton Podiatry, we will use the latest treatment options to assess and take care of your family’s foot and ankle care needs. We provide services to the Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

If you’ve been a runner for a while, you know how much your feet endure when you hit the pavement. A long run or even a quick sprint can leave your feet throbbing, aching, or in pain. Long-term, you might suffer from foot problems such as chronic plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis.

Still, you can’t beat that runner’s high, right? If you can’t seem to resist that daily run, here are Top 5 Tips you can use to take care of your Runners’ Feet:

  1. Start slowly and increase slowly. Beginners should start with a slow pace and a short distance and increase as experience grows. If you increase speed or incline too much, too quickly, you can end up straining the tendons and ligaments in your feet and ankles.
  2. Use the right shoes. Running shoes should be supportive and have adequate cushioning to reduce the impact on the bones and joints. Repetitive pounding on the hard surfaces can lead to weakened bones that are prone to fractures. Arches and heel cups will keep the feet stable in the shoes. If you have existing foot problems, you can use orthotic inserts to prevent worsening symptoms. 
  3. Don’t skimp on socks. Wearing shoes without socks can lead to irritation and blisters on the skin of the feet. Sweaty feet can make the shoes smelly, and increase the chances of bacterial or fungal infection like Athlete’s foot. Always wear a clean, fresh pair of socks for running to reduce the likelihood of foot issues.
  4. Stretch the toes, feet, ankles, and calves. Always warm up and cool down, including stretching of the lower extremities. Strengthening the toes can help to reduce chances of toe deformities and help you stabilize your feet in the shoes.
  5. Practice good foot hygiene. After a good sweaty running session, you’ll want to make sure to wash your feet (probably while you shower) with soap and warm water and then change into a new pair of socks. If you run every day, you may want to invest in more than one pair of shoes so that you can allow them to dry out completely between running sessions. Keep toenails short and take care of any ingrown toenails or fungal toenails. Additionally, any cuts and scrapes can become more inflamed while running, so be sure to treat them promptly.

If you’ve sustained an injury while running, or if you have concerns with whether or not your feet are in shape for running, come to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, at Crofton Podiatry. Call us today at (410) 721-4505 to make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.

The World Cup is upon us! For all the soccer fans out there, it’s an exciting time to get together and watch the talented international superstars face off each other. After opening ceremonies, it might even stir up some inspiration to go out and score some of your own goals as well.

As a fan, you might have concerns about some of the previous injuries that some of the soccer players (footballers) have incurred. They might affect whether or not they get to participate. For example, we know that Brazil’s Dani Alves is already out of the world cup due to a knee injury, while Neymar’s future is also uncertain after his broken foot in March. He’s been seen to join in on practice, but we’ll see what happens!

So what are some common soccer foot injuries we should be on the lookout for during the world cup?

  • Ankle sprains - Ranging from mild to severe (Grade I to III), ligaments can become injured (or even torn) while running, jumping, twisting, or when there is a collision between soccer players.
  • Fractures and broken bones - When there is traumatic impact or repetitive stress on the foot or ankle bones, the bone is subject to pressure that can make the bones crack or break.
  • Sever’s Disease - Commonly affecting active children, a sports injury due to impact can cause problems with the growth plate of the heel bone.
  • Overuse injuries - There are certain injuries that can develop due to repetitive motions and strains on the feet and ankles, such as pushing off the forefoot for sprinting. These are called overuse injuries and include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and sesamoiditis.

Let’s hope that none of these injuries appear during the World Cup, but it’s not unlikely, given that our soccer players will be playing their hearts out!

If you have sustained a foot or ankle sports injury in all the excitement of the World Cup, make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. At Crofton Podiatry, we will use the latest treatment options to take care of your foot and ankle care needs. Visit our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD 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