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Tuesday, 14 December 2021 00:00

Don’t Ignore Them - Stretch!

The many muscles in the feet and toes are often neglected during a typical workout. But just as any other muscle in the body, they require stretching and strengthening to function properly. This is especially true if you are a runner or involved in other activities that keep you on your feet. Ignoring your feet during warmups and workouts can lead to foot injuries and pain later on, so it is suggested that you stretch your feet three to four times per week. One very simple exercise that you can do is roll a tennis ball under your foot. This helps stretch and relax the muscles on the bottom of your foot. For more information about the benefits of foot stretches, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Stretch Your Feet
Tuesday, 07 December 2021 00:00

What Is Achilles Tendonitis?

The Achilles tendon is one of the longest tendons in the body. It attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). Because it is a critical part of the body’s walking and running movements, it can become damaged due to wear and tear. People who play tennis, softball, volleyball, soccer, or participate in track and field are more prone to developing problems with their Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury that produces symptoms including inflammation, stiffness, and pain. This condition can make tears in the Achilles tendon more likely, which typically occur after a sudden traumatic event like an injury. It may be difficult to walk or stand if the Achilles tendon is torn. If you have suffered from an injury that is causing pain, inflammation or stiffness in the Achilles tendon, contact a podiatrist to receive the proper care you need.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
Tuesday, 30 November 2021 00:00

Gout May Be Causing Pain in Your Big Toe

If you suffer from sudden pain, swelling, tenderness, heat, and stiffness in the joint of your big toe, you may have gout. This condition is an inflammatory form of arthritis where excess uric acid forms hardened crystals in the joints. The big toe is usually where gout occurs. People most at risk of developing gout are those with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, kidney dysfunction, or a genetic predisposition to it. Some believe that eating foods that are rich in purines can also contribute to gout’s formation in a person’s body. Uric acid is a byproduct of the body’s process of breaking down purines. People who suspect they have gout should consult with a podiatrist who can not only diagnose the condition, but help manage pain with anti-inflammatory medicine, make dietary recommendations, and even remove uric crystals in severe cases.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Tuesday, 23 November 2021 00:00

High Heels Can Be Harmful

Most little girls can’t wait for the day that they are able to wear high-heeled shoes. And while high heels often look attractive, down the road, they can eventually cause painful foot conditions. Aside from the obvious possibilities of falling or spraining an ankle, wearing high heels for extended periods of time can also lead to lower back and knee pain. If 5-inch heels are causing a problem, rather than switching to flats, a middle-of-the-road approach is suggested. Flat shoes can cause the Achilles tendon to become inflamed, and this may hurt the back of the heel. Wearing lower heels somewhere between 1 and 2 inches can help alleviate symptoms as well as a wider toe box. If your feet hurt, whether you wear high heels or not, it is a good idea to consult a podiatrist for an evaluation and treatment plan.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet
Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

What to Consider Before Bunion Surgery

A bunion is a common foot deformity characterized by a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe joint. The bump can become inflamed, red, swollen, and painful. It also pushes the big toe out of alignment, so that it is tilted toward the smaller toes instead of pointing straight ahead. Bunions progressively worsen without treatment, and surgery is often the only option to permanently remove them. That said, there are many things to consider prior to making the decision to operate. Certain underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout, can increase the risk of complications from surgery. It is also important to think about your lifestyle. Do you intend to wear high heels, exercise, or stand for prolonged periods of time? These factors can help your podiatrist determine if bunion surgery is the right treatment option for you. For more information about bunions, please consult with a podiatrist. 

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

How Are Corns Removed?

Corns are small, hardened bumps of skin that can grow on the feet due to friction. Even though they are small, corns can be tender and painful enough to interfere with daily activities. In addition to more conservative treatments like resting the affected foot and wearing wider, more comfortable shoes, various other treatment methods can be used to help get rid of a corn. Corns can be chemically removed using salicylic acid to pare down dead, thickened skin before it is trimmed off. More stubborn corns can also be removed with a scalpel by your podiatrist. If you have painful corns, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist near you. 

Corns can make walking very painful and should be treated immediately. If you have questions regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? And How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns are thickened areas on the skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure and friction on the skin. Corns press into the deeper layers of the skin and are usually round in shape.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as:

  • Wearing properly fitting shoes that have been measured by a professional
  • Wearing shoes that are not sharply pointed or have high heels
  • Wearing only shoes that offer support

Treating Corns

Although most corns slowly disappear when the friction or pressure stops, this isn’t always the case. Consult with your podiatrist to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Corns and Calluses

The severity of an ingrown toenail can range from mild and slightly uncomfortable to severe and even dangerous for certain people. When an ingrown toenail grows deep into the surrounding skin or breaks it, a medical intervention may be necessary to provide relief and help avoid further complications from developing. People with systemic health issues such as diabetes, poor circulation or nerve damage are particularly at risk of developing complications from an untreated ingrown toenail. Since these complications make it harder to detect, feel and heal decayed or damaged tissues in the skin, the condition may worsen and lead to a local infection, a foot ulcer, or even a bone infection. Prevention, early detection, and proper treatment will help keep ingrown toenails from developing and worsening, and podiatrists are experts in all of these areas. Call your local podiatrist for more information on treatment.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
Tuesday, 26 October 2021 00:00

Advanced Treatments for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) affect approximately 15% of Americans who have diabetes. These wounds can be difficult to treat, as they often go undetected until they have progressed and have a poor blood supply, which makes the healing process very slow. Furthermore, people with diabetes are at greater risk of having an impaired immune system, making the wounds more likely to become infected. Fortunately, there have been many recent breakthroughs in wound treatment. Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) uses wound dressing and airtight film with a suction device to cover the wound, drain fluid, and promote healthy new tissue growth. Skin grafting has also advanced and can be used to treat DFUs in some patients. To learn more about advanced diabetic wound care, consult with a podiatrist today. 

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care
Tuesday, 19 October 2021 00:00

Why Is My Big Toe Suddenly Painful?

There are several different types of arthritis that can affect the feet, including gout. This painful condition is brought on by an overabundance of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is a byproduct of the body’s process of breaking down purines (an organic compound within the body and in certain foods). When a person’s body cannot flush excess uric acid sufficiently, it may form hardened crystals on joints, most commonly on the joint at the base of the big toe. These crystals can cause sudden and intense bouts of pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness in the joint area. Gout is often an inherited disease that can be brought on by obesity, high blood pressure, kidney dysfunction, and certain drugs. Some also believe certain foods high in purine—such as red meat, seafood, sweetened beverages and alcohol—can also contribute to the onset of gout. A podiatrist may treat gout with anti-inflammatory medicine, steroid injections, and even surgery to remove the uric acid crystals formed on the joint, in advanced cases.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout

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