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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.

By Crofton Podiatry
January 24, 2018
Category: Fungal toenails

Onychomycosis, more commonly known as fungal toenails, is a contagious fungal infection. This means that you can get the tinea fungus, which causes your toenails to become discolored, thickened, and brittle, from someone else who was infected. Tinea and other fungal strains can infect you through breaks in the skin, such as cuts or scrapes, which means that going barefoot makes you more prone to becoming infected.

But you didn’t notice that someone else had it, so how could you have gotten it?

There are a few ways you may have become infected, including:

  • Going barefoot in communal showers and locker rooms – Tinea thrives in warm, moist environments, so if someone who had fungal toenails or Athlete’s foot (also caused by tinea) was barefoot in the same places, your feet could have picked up the fungus. This also goes for communal pools or saunas where you walk barefoot in warm, moist areas.
  • Sharing a foot towel with someone who has foot or toenail fungus increases your chance of being infected.
  • Borrowing shoes or socks from someone who is infected.
  • Getting a pedicure at a salon where they did not properly disinfect the tools or sharing nail clippers or nail files with someone who has it.

Here are some Prevention Tips:

  • Stay healthy – Those with weakened immune systems are more likely to be affected by foot and toenail fungus once it enters the skin.
  • Treat cuts or wounds promptly – This is their primary form of entry, so it’s best to pay attention to the area around your toes, especially if you have ingrown toenails.
  • Use flip-flops or shower sandals – After a workout, showering at the gym can be convenient, but be sure not to go barefoot!
  • Change your socks once or twice a day – This is important especially if you sweat a lot due to conditions like hyperhidrosis. Fungi can flourish in your warm, damp shoes.
  • Allow shoes to fully dry before you wear them again – Fungus can survive in shoes for a while if they remain damp. Rotate the shoes you wear each day or get two pairs if you have a favorite work shoe.

For home treatment, you can try topical antifungal medications applied directly to the nails and skin around it. File down thick nails to allow for better penetration. For stubborn fungal nails, you may have to come into our office for stronger treatments including topical, oral, or laser therapies. Schedule an appointment at Crofton Podiatry for the right treatment by contacting us online or calling our Crofton, MD office at (410) 721-4505. You can consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, and our dedicated team. We serve the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD and are ready to assist you.

 

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
April 19, 2017
Category: Ingrown Toenails

Having ingrown toenails is a common foot problem. Also known as onychocryptosis, it usually occurs on the big toes, although all the toes can be at risk. This is especially the case when it is compounded with other toe problems like hammertoes or curly toes.

Most ingrown toenails develop because of incorrect cutting of the toenails. They should be cut straight across, but if they are cut too short or too round, the toenails can grow into the skin. Another cause or co-cause is excessive external pressure, such as ill-fitting shoes or trauma from injury. Hereditary factors can also affect the shape of toes, which can make them more prone to ingrown toenails. Finally, fungal infections can also harden the toenail forcing the toenail into the skin.

Prevention Tips

  • Trim your toenails straight across, and not too short. Leave a little bit of the white parts to prevent swelling from cutting the toenails too short.

  • Wear shoes that fit well. Footwear should be supportive and roomy enough to wiggle your toes around. However, they should not be so big that your foot slides around in the shoes.

  • Treat fungal and bacterial infections promptly to prevent them from hardening and pushing through the skin.

  • Apply ice to reduce swollen feet and toes from any injuries.

  • If you have hereditary traits that make you more prone to ingrown toenails, speak to your podiatrist to find preventative solutions.

Home Care Tips

  • Use bandages on ingrown toenail areas as cushioning from shoes.

  • Soak your feet in warm water for about 20 minutes a few times a day to relieve pain. Epsom salt may help. When the skin has softened from the soak, try to put some space in between the nail and skin to help the nail grow away from the skin.

  • If you have redness or inflammation from the ingrown toenail, or if your toe has a cut from the ingrown toenail, treat with antibiotic cream.

  • Take NSAIDs to relieve pain.

Have persistent ingrown toenails? Are you diabetic? In these cases, see a podiatrist to help you with ingrown toenails. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, can help safely treat ingrown toenails, as well as find solutions for recurring ingrown toenail problems. At Crofton Podiatry, we will work with you to find the best treatment. 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.

When actors take the stage, you commonly hear “break a leg”. For dancers, however, there’s an obvious reason why you would not say “break a leg”. This could mean a huge recovery period and possibly the end of their career. A dancer’s livelihood depends on healthy legs, ankles, and feet. That’s why although they may not discuss the topic amongst themselves anymore, they all understand the importance of caring for their overused, disfigured and often injured feet.

 

If you have injuries from recreational or professional dancing, seeing your podiatrist often is beneficial to maintaining good foot health. Our board-certified foot and ankle doctor, Brad Toll, DPM will help you find the best way to continuously care for your feet.

 

Common foot problems experienced by dancers

 

There are many foot and ankle injuries that dancers experience, including: Achilles Tendonitis or Injury, Ankle Sprains, Stress Fractures, Corns and Calluses, Fractures, Hammertoes, Heel Spurs (Plantar Fasciitis), Ingrown Toenails, Turf Toe, and Metatarsalgia. The following are the most common:

 

1. Hallux Rigidus or Limitus – You may feel pain or be unable to move at the joints of the big toe. The joints can rub together and become inflamed or degenerate the joint. Dancers should ice and relieve inflammation. Taping the toes can reduce further issues.

 

2. Bunions – Foot pain can be felt in the big toe or the ball of the foot. Repeated positions, postures, and other combinatory injuries can cause bunions at the big toe joint. Dancers should keep aware of any deformities and pain since untreated bunions could even require surgical interventions.

 

3. Metatarsalgia – There is pain and tenderness to the touch at the ball of the foot. This is commonly caused by extreme force on the smaller toes. The constant overstretching can cause instability in the joints and cause sharp pains. Strengthening the muscles that control the small toes can be helpful in preventing or treating metatarsalgia. Orthotic inserts can help relieve the pressures on the ball of the foot when walking.

 

4. Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Spurs – The soles and heel of the foot can feel painful when overusing the tissues of the plantar fascia. The tissue becomes inflamed and painful, especially when there is tightness in the calf muscles or Achilles tendon. Use physical therapy to release tight tissues, stretch, and take anti-inflammatories if necessary.

 

5. Sesamoiditis – The tendon between the sesamoid bones can become inflamed when you are on the balls of your feet often. Pain is felt under the big toe, and also while bending the toe. Resting as much as possible to reduce pain and inflammation is recommended. If pain is chronic or very sharp, you may want to take X-rays to be sure the bones are not fractured.

 

As a dancer, it is wise to treat any issues early and often since repeated and untreated injury can lead to more severe issues. Our team at Crofton Podiatry will do their best to care for your feet and ankles, which are essential to your dance career. Make an appointment today by calling our office (410)721-4505 in Crofton, MD.




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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