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By Crofton Podiatry
April 24, 2019
Category: Footwear
Tags: podiatrist   hiking boots   running shoe   proper fit   feet  

When it comes to spending time outdoors, activities like camping, fishing and hiking require a different type of footwear, one more durable and especially designed for more rugged activity.

Hiking boots can be broken down into three main categories. They are:

  • Low cut and light weight – very near a running shoe with basic cushioning.
  • Day hiking boots – Usually a mid-ankle type of footwear that provides more ankle support and will usually have a more aggressive sole. Used for midday hikes with a light backpack.
  • Backpacking boots – Mid ankle to high footwear designed to carry heavy loads with the most aggressive tread.

Hiking boots can be made of many different materials depending on what and how you plan to use them. Among them are full grain leather, synthetic and waterproof materials. Boots can also be insulated to protect against the cold and frostbite especially important if you plan on using them during the winter or in inclement weather.  

Tips for choosing the right boot:

  • Know your size – Measure your foot in the store.
  • Wear the right socks – wear the socks you plan on using with the boot for a proper fit.  
  • Boots should be snug and supportive– Your foot should be comfortably snug like a regular shoe, especially with the laces tied firmly. They should also provide proper support for walking on hard surfaces or long lengths of time.
  • Proper laces – choose braided laces if you can, avoiding leather or cloth. Both the latter eventually rip and tear, very frustrating if you’re on the trail and they suddenly break.
  • Try new boots on at the end of the day – Your feet swell by late afternoon, so make sure they fit when they are a little bigger.

One more important aspect of the boot is the tread. Often the heavier the boot, the more aggressive the tread, but this is not always true. Know the kind of surface you’re going to be walking on, staying away from a hard and slippery tread if you’re going to walk on rocks or other possibly smooth surfaces. A softer and more flexible tread would be better.  

If you have any questions about choosing the proper footwear or have any other questions about your feet, call our office and make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. He will assess your feet and the make the appropriate suggestions or find the appropriate treatments. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas. 

There are many reasons why you might find yourself limping due to pain in your feet or toes. It could be a bunion, callus or corn all of which are quite treatable. One, though, may require more than average especially if it’s not taken care of. An Ingrown toenail may sound somewhat minor to the average person, but if not taken care of can require surgery to fix, something most people will want to avoid if possible and do if needed.

An ingrown toenail is when your toenail starts to grow into the actual toe groove causing pain and discomfort. What may start out to be a slight issue can quickly escalate.

Causes of Ingrown Toenails include:

  • Poor fitting shoes – shoes that are too tight at the toes not allowing for growth and pushing the nails inward.
  • Poor trimming – nails that are not trimmed properly can grow this way.
  • Family History – a history of ingrown toenails in your family can be passed on to relatives.
  • Trauma – trauma to the toes may case nails to grow inward.

Symptoms of an ingrown toenail include redness, swelling, pain and possible drainage from an ongoing infection. Any or all of these can indicate an ingrown toenail. In other words, if the toenail is ingrown you will know it by how it looks and feels.

If you do have an ingrown toenail you will want to see your podiatrist as they are best trained to assess and treat them. You want to catch it before it progresses too far, and surgery is needed. To avoid getting them you will want to do the following.

  • Wash your feet with anti-bacterial soap to keep feet and toes clean and dry.
  • Cut your nails straight across, not on a curve.
  • Cut them when they are soft like after a bath or shower.
  • Wear proper fitting shoes not too tight or too loose at the toes.

Treatment beyond trimming the nails could include the podiatrist cutting out the sides of the toenails to stop the ingrown nail from growing further which in most cases is quite successful.

If you believe you have an ingrown toenail or any other concerns with your feet, call our office and make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. He will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas. 

By Crofton Podiatry
April 01, 2019
Category: Shin Splints
Tags: podiatrist   flat feet   footwear   stretch   shin splint   insoles  

With warmer weather on its way, Spring promises to provide more and more opportunities for outdoor activities. Basketball, running, tennis and other sports all require the constant pounding of feet against the ground, and with this, can follow something called a shin splint. What is a shin splint? Defined as a common foot-related injury, shin splints, also known as tibial stress syndrome, is caused when stress on your shinbone and the connective tissues that attach your muscles to your bones become inflamed and painful, making running or even walking very difficult.

Causes of Shin Splints:

  • Flat feet – The lack of an arch to absorb shock every time the foot hits the ground.
  • Poor fitting footwear – footwear must fit your feet and provide overall support, especially for hi-impact sports or activities.
  • Failing to stretch before activities - It is very important to stretch the foot and leg muscles before any activity to loosen them and get the blood circulating.
  • Weak ankles, hips and core muscles – as the body works in unison, each works in tandem to help the foot better absorb shock.

How to Treat Shin Splints:

  • Rest – if injured, take time off from your activity giving your body time to heal.
  • Ice – putting ice on the affected area will reduce pain and inflammation. It is recommended you do this for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 2 to 3 days or until it is better.
  • Insoles – wear store bought or custom insoles or inserts that strengthen your arch.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine – ibuprofen or other medicine. Be especially careful to use only as directed. Your podiatrist would be the best source of information.
  • Surface choice – if you’re a runner who likes to run on hard pavement, consider finding a softer surface like an artificial track often found at high schools or other public areas.
  • Medical exam – see your podiatrist to make sure you do not have any other related injury.

If you believe you are prone to or already have shin splints or any other concerns with your feet, make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. He will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas. 

By Crofton Podiatry
March 12, 2019
Category: Bunion
Tags: podiatrist   corns   calluses   surgery   Bunion   arthritis  

Choosing the right fitting footwear is very important, as making the wrong choice could cause very painful problems for your feet. One of the effects of not doing so is the development of something called a bunion or a painful bony lump on the inside of the foot at the big toe joint. The lump, or bunion, also known as hallux valgus, puts pressure on the big toe causing it to turn inward.  While not everyone gets a bunion, those who do need to see a podiatrist to have it treated.

Risk factors for bunions include:

  • Inherited foot type. You may have a structural defect that’s been passed down from others.
  • High heel shoes. Shoes which put excessive strain on the toes pushing them together.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. A condition of sensitive swelling in the toe joints.
  • Poor fitting shoes. Both men and women need to make sure shoes provide plenty of width, especially at the toes.

Usually, someone suffering from a bunion will feel pain enough to know something is wrong, but other symptoms may also occur including difficulty finding correct fitting footwear, a visible lump near your big toe, corns or calluses where toes overlap and a lessened ability to move your toes. All these are signs that you may be developing a bunion.

Treatment of bunions will depend on the severity of the bunion. Non-surgical treatments include:

  • Wearing correct fitting and more comfortable shoes.
  • Wearing bunion pads which helps place the toes in a more anatomically correct position.
  • Placing ice on the foot which will help reduce swelling.
  • Pain medicine. The use of over the counter pain meds to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Injecting Cortisone in the foot to alleviate swelling.

In more severe and painful cases surgery may be needed including:

  • The removal of swollen and painful joint tissue.
  • Removing or cutting parts of the big toe thereby straightening it.
  • Adjusting the bones in your feet to make them straighter with regard to the toes. 
  • Repairing the tendons and ligaments around the toe.

Of course, only the most severe cases require surgery. The best person to determine how to treat your bunion is your podiatrist. Only they will know what is best for your foot.

If you believe you may have a bunion or have any other concerns with your feet, make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. He will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas. 

By Brad Toll
September 24, 2015
Category: High Heels

Following ‘on the heels’ of last fall’s post regarding pumpkin spice and fall prevention in the autumn season, it seems only fitting that our next post should be about Posh Spice’s function meets fashion shoe line. It wasn’t too long ago when Victoria Beckham, now wife of uber soccer pro David Beckham, went by her internationally known name ‘Posh Spice’ in the infamous 90’s group Spice Girls.  Shedding her 90’s image for a more modern and mature look, Victoria is still expressing some of her previous grandeur with a new line of designer shoes. 

High-fashion shoes are notorious for the damage the cause to women’s feet, and are well attributed to the development of painful bunion, Morton’s neuromas, Achilles.  Yet, Posh must be feeling the pains of wearing the designer stilettos, as her new shoes ditch the narrow heels for a lower and platformed shoe.  This marks a stark divergence in the functionality of the shoe, and goes a significant length in maintaining the foot’s normal anatomy.

While higher-heels are always going to increase the risk of falls, sprains, and damage to your foot architecture, shoes that have a wider toe-box or that feature a firmer platform are certainly the preferable option.  For once – it seems a designer has woken up to this concept, and is willing to blend fashion with a greater sense of function.  If you’re looking for a new pair of dress shoes to enter the fall season, shoes like Beckham’s which feature a wider and more supportive base will go a long ways in maintaining your comfort and reducing long-term damage. 

Dr. Google doesn’t always have the right answer, and may only delay the correct diagnosis and intervention.  If you or a family member has any questions about foot pain, deformity, or proper shoe wear they should seek out a local expert to prevent treatment delay. If you’re in the Crofton, Annapolis or Bowie areas come see us at Crofton Podiatry for expert foot an ankle care.

By Brad Toll.




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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

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