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By Crofton Podiatry
October 11, 2018
Category: Bunion
Tags: high heels   flats   shoes   surgery   orthotic  

While the wrong types of shoes may not directly cause bunions, they can be the reason why they become worse. Long-term use of shoes that do not have the proper foot support can lead the bunion becoming larger, stiffer, and more painful.

So what actually causes bunions?

While the exact cause is unknown, it seems that genetics, injuries to the big toe joint, and excessive pressure to the forefoot causes the big toe to begin pointing toward the other toes. The bony spur develops as a response to direct pressure, improper healing, or as a support to the big toe joint.

Then what types of shoes make bunion symptoms worse?

  • High heels (higher than 2 inches) – Wearing high heels puts an extraneous strain on the forefoot, especially at the big toe joint. The extra pressure can cause inflammation and pain after even just a few minutes. Eventually, it can cause the bony spur to get bigger and more painful.
  • Narrow and/or pointed-toe shoes – While some shoes seem very fashionable and trendy by being pointy or narrow, it’s not actually the right shape for your feet. Forcing your feet to spend the day walking in narrow or pointy shoes can further force your big toe to point toward your other toes.
  • Tight shoes or shoes that are small for you - Don’t forget that your feet swell a little bit throughout the day, so it’s best to find shoes that fit you in the afternoon. Additionally, some shoes do not come in half sizes, so you may have to size up or down. Be careful with sizing down since your feet (and bunions) need space to feel comfortable.
  • Stiff, non-adjustable shoes – Shoes with elastic material, straps, or laces will allow you to adjust your shoes to comfort as the day goes on. Again, tight shoes will only make bunion symptoms worse! If your bunion becomes inflamed, you’ll want to give your feet some breathing room by adjusting them.
  • Flats – Ballerina flats and other flat shoes that do not have arch support can cause more pressure on the big toe joint. If you prefer to wear flats, try adding arch support inserts to feel more comfortable.

What is the lesson learned? If you have bunions, don’t make them worse with the wrong shoes. Try looking for footwear that is low-heeled, comfortable, roomy for your toes, supportive for your arches, and adjustable throughout the day.

Of course, those with severe bunions already should speak with our podiatrist for the best solution. You may need custom orthotic shoes to fit severely deformed feet. Surgery might even be necessary if bunions really get in the way of your life.

We can help you! Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505 to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Come to visit our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
September 18, 2018
Category: Children's Feet
Tags: swelling   corns   calluses   blisters   shoes   Sever's disease   gait problems  

Depending on the age of your children, they may or may not be able to vocalize their foot problems to you. Some children might even ignore or hide foot pain or discomfort so that they do not have to “go see the doctor.”

 

Remember: Foot pain is NOT normal for growing children. Pain in the feet or ankles should not be attributed to growing pains. If your child complains of discomfort, it’s more than likely that they have a foot problem that needs attention, such as Sever’s Disease. Bring them in as soon as possible to receive an assessment with our podiatrist.

The following are signs that your child might have a foot problem:

Non-verbal signs:

  • Cranky and keeps touching feet.
  • Does not want to put shoes on and/or does not want you to touch their feet.
  • Wants to be picked up more often, rather than spend time walking or running. Keeps going back to crawling, even after they have become “expert walkers.”

Verbal signs:

  • Complains of foot pain or discomfort (Make sure that their shoes are not too small or too tight).

Visual signs:

  • Redness, swelling, bruising, and/or heat. (After an injury, your child might have some of these symptoms. However, if they won’t go away after a few days of home treatment, there could be a more serious problem.)
  • Blisters, corns, or calluses developing on the feet (Look for these when you have them in the bath or when you are clipping toenails).
  • Toe or foot deformities.
  • Gait problems, such as in-toeing or toe walking. Watch them as they walk to see if something seems abnormal or if they seem to be tripping over their own feet. Some problems do correct themselves as children grow, but it doesn’t hurt to have them checked out.
  • Limping or refusal to run. If feet or ankles are uncomfortable, your children might limp without realizing that they are doing so.

Because children’s bodies continue to develop and grow, it’s best to correct problems before they become worse. Some children need some orthotics to help them feel better, while other children might need surgery to correct a major deformity. Our podiatrist can help you find the best solution for your children’s foot problems.

Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505 to see our board-certified foot doctor, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Our team is ready to assist you and your family at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
August 15, 2018
Category: Arthritis
Tags: swelling   Gout   shoes   injury  

Gout can be a very debilitating condition to have. It can affect your daily life and require you to make many changes to your lifestyle. This form of arthritis is caused by a buildup of uric acid in your joints. It commonly affects your feet, especially your big toe joint. However, it can also affect other joints like the ankles and knees as well.

Following several painful bouts of gout, you may notice a pattern to when they arise. Participating in some activities or eating certain foods can put you at higher risk of experiencing a gout attack:

  • Eating foods that are high in purines (seafood, alcohols) and other inflammatory foods, such as those with a lot of refined sugar (sugary drinks)
  • Drinking excess alcohol
  • Not drinking enough water (dehydration)
  • Taking certain medications that cause a flare-up as a side effect
  • Being sick (including hospitalization, surgery, kidney disease)
  • Wearing poorly-fitting and unsupportive shoes (shoes that aggravate the affected joints can trigger an attack)
  • Jumping or other high-impact activity, injury (impact or trauma to the affected joint can cause a bout of gout)

You may also learn to recognize the symptoms of an oncoming bout of gout, including but not limited to:

  • Feeling: burning, tingling, pain, stiffness, and/or soreness in the joints
  • Seeing: redness and swelling

Do your best to avoid increasing the risk of a gout attack. However, if you have indulged a bit, you may want to take steps to reduce your chance of a prolonged and painful attack. This is especially the case for those who experience gout without warning, even being woken up by sudden painful gout attacks.

When you feel a bout of gout about to happen, or if you want to reduce the risk of gout attacks, try some of the following:

  • Hydrate! Drink lots and lots of water to assist you in flushing out excess uric acid.
  • Exercise! If symptoms have not fully set in, but you feel an attack coming on, you’ll want to keep moving (walk around) in order to promote circulation. It will help you prevent large uric acid buildup. However, if symptoms have set in and you are in pain, it’s best to rest.
  • Rest! If you’re already in pain, sit and elevate your feet. An excess strain on painful joints will worsen the gout attack.
  • Use ice packs or cold compresses and/or take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to reduce inflammation and pain.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with gout, you should keep up with a healthy lifestyle and diet. Keep up with your medications to reduce your chance of a gout attack. However, if you need additional assistance with foot care for gout, 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 assess and take care of your foot and ankle care needs. Contact our dedicated team at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.

 

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
June 06, 2018
Category: Footwear
Tags: shoes  

It seems like just yesterday that you were saying how you “can’t wait until my baby can walk”. Now, just like that, the little rascal is running around the house, leaving you reminiscing about the good old days when you couldn’t lose track of them.

Now the routine of leaving the house includes making sure to put some shoes on your toddler, or at least bringing them with you – because let’s face it – they don’t want to be strapped in a stroller when they can be running around with you chasing them!

But they seem to be growing so quickly! They only wore that one pair twice before they no longer fit! How can this be? Seems like you’ll be buying new shoes every month at this rate! So you might think, “Better get bigger ones next time so that they can wear the shoes longer.” Or maybe you can just “use hand-me-downs, since they won’t be used very long, right?”

Well, no. Sorry, but we are here to caution you against doing either of those things. Instead, follow these guidelines to make sure your children don’t develop new foot problems from wearing shoes that are wrong for them:       

  • Be sure to measure your toddler’s feet each time you need new shoes. After all, you should buy the right size since you need a bigger size anyway. But they might even need 2 sizes up from the last ones you bought. It’s best to see which ones look like they fit better, rather than guessing. Additionally, each brand may have slight differences in shoe size, so having your toddler try them on is better than purchasing by number. Don’t be tempted to buy 2 sizes larger than ones they actually need because this can become a hazard for injury/tripping for your toddler. Their little feet will also need to strain more to stabilize in larger shoes.
  • Have your toddler try shoes on with socks. Sometimes, it’s easier to just throw some shoes on your toddler without socks. However, this can lead to irritation of their skin and can actually make it harder for you to get their feet into the shoes!
  • Do not give them hand-me-downs. This goes for toddlers and growing children. The biggest issue here is that some shoes can wear down more quickly than others. Growing feet should have all the support they can get so that they do not develop painful problems.

Wondering if your toddlers have problems with poorly-fitting shoes? Do you think they can benefit from corrective shoes or custom orthotics? 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 family’s foot and ankle care needs. Our team is ready to assist you 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

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505