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Most people associate flip flops with sunny days and relaxed summer months. One benefit that many people enjoy is the ease of wearing this type of shoe. They do this, however, in spite of the many problems that may arise as a result of frequently wearing flip flops. A pre-existing foot condition that may become worse would be bunions, which are large bony protrusions on the side of the big toe. This may occur because the toes must consistently flex to keep this type of shoe on, often causing pressure on the side of the foot. People who have flat feet are advised to cease wearing flip flops because of the lack of support. Additional disadvantages may consist of increased heel pain, possible exposure to a fungal infection, and an altered posture, which may could affect the entire structure of the body. Research has shown if you choose to wear flip flops, it may be beneficial to significantly limit the time they are worn.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are there injuries associated with flip-flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like wearing flip-flops, are there safe alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more, but will also last longer as a result.

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.

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If you see a small bony area at the base and side of the big toe, you may have what is known as a bunion. This is typically a result of a deformed bone structure, and it appears as if the feet are not aligned correctly. There may be several causes for bunions to form, including having low arches, which may lead to instability as walking occurs, medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, or injuries that the foot may have incurred. Recent research has shown that women who frequently wear high heels could cause a pre-existing case of bunions to become worse, and may notice that the toes do not have enough room to move about. The area may feel tender and appear red, possibly accompanied by swelling and a burning sensation. Complications may develop as a result of not seeking medical treatment. Many patients may experience calluses and difficulty in walking when bunions have developed, and it’s suggested to seek the counsel of a podiatrist, who may provide information about the correct treatment options.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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.

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The most common cause of heel pain may be a condition that is referred to as plantar fasciitis. It occurs when the thick ligament that connects the heel to the front of the foot becomes inflamed. It’s purpose is to aid in walking, in addition to supporting the arch. Some of the symptoms that many patients experience is heel pain and moderate to severe stiffness, which may make walking up and down the steps difficult. This condition may affect people from all walks of life, and more specifically runners, women in late pregnancy, and those who are overweight. Additionally, this ailment may be caused by inherited traits, which may play a role in altering the structure of the foot. If you feel you may be afflicted with plantar fasciitis, it’s important that you contact a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can advise what the best possible treatment options are for you.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affects people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best 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.

 

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Monday, 23 July 2018 00:00

Are Ingrown Toenails Painful?

Increased pressure of a toenail that grows into the surrounding skin is often referred to as an ingrown toenail. This condition can often produce severe discomfort and pain as a result of inflammation that may occur. If this ailment is left untreated, infections can occur, which may lead to additional unwanted foot conditions. Typical reasons why ingrown toenails can develop, may include having a pedicure performed incorrectly, traits from inherited genes, or shoes that do not fit correctly. Medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, bunions, or hammertoes may play a significant role in developing this painful condition. If you are afflicted with an ingrown toenail, it’s advised to seek a consultation with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to learn about correct treatment options.

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.

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Recent research has shown the importance of children walking barefoot or wearing shoes that have a soft sole when they are beginning to walk. This will enable the development of necessary muscle strength in addition to learning sensory information that originates from the soles of the feet. The feet should be properly measured once walking commences, to ensure a proper fit for shoes. Children’s feet grow rapidly, and frequent measuring of the feet will aid in choosing shoes that fit correctly. Foot conditions may develop as a result of poorly fitting shoes. These may include ingrown toenails, blisters, or the inability to walk correctly. When shopping for shoes, it’s important for the toes to have adequate room to move around and the front of the shoe should be wider than the heel. Most children are born with flat feet and arches will form when walking begins. Please consult with a podiatrist if your child appears to be flat-footed once walking has started.  

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, 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.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of intoeing or outtoeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water, and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

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.

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Monday, 09 July 2018 00:00

Have I Broken My Ankle?

If you have suffered a traumatic ankle injury that may result in swelling, severe pain and bruising, you may have broken your ankle. Most broken ankles occur from a fall, which causes one or more of the ankle bones to fracture. Occasionally, if jumping from an extended height occurs, the joints may undergo extreme flexing, which may cause a broken ankle. It’s important to take all weight off the ankle as soon as possible, and this is typically accomplished by immobilizing the ankle in a cast. Research has shown that six weeks is the average time a cast is worn, which typically allows ample time for the ankle bone to heal. For severe breaks, surgery may be necessary to adequately repair the bone, which may include inserting metal pins or plates. It’s beneficial to begin a rehabilitation program when the cast is removed. This may ensure proper mobility. Please speak to a podiatrist if you have broken your ankle for additional information.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, 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. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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.

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Monday, 02 July 2018 00:00

Several Common Types of Foot Pain

There are several foot conditions that may produce considerable pain. Fractures, sprains and Achilles tendon injuries may all be among common foot ailments that fall into this category. Stiffness may be a result of tendinitis in the foot, and relief may be found by consulting with a podiatrist for proper treatment options. A type of arthritis referred to as gout is known to cause severe pain at the bottom of the big toe and surrounding areas. It is a result of excess crystals that form in the bloodstream due to a large amount of uric acid in the blood. Foods that are rich in purines such as shellfish and red meat may contribute to the onset of gout. Other causes of foot pain may include plantar fasciitis, uncontrolled diabetes, or Morton’s neuroma. A podiatrist will be able to determine the specific cause of certain foot pain, and it’s suggested to seek counsel as soon as possible.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

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.

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Monday, 25 June 2018 00:00

Can Wearing High Heels Damage My Feet?

Many women choose to wear high heels so the feet and legs can have a luxurious look. Research has shown there may be reasons why high heels should be avoided. Toenails can become damaged, and wearing certain high heels is said to be the number one cause of ingrown toenails. Many women tend to fall much more frequently when this type of shoe is worn, and this may cause possible bone fractures. If there is not an adequate amount of room to move about within the shoe, it can cause an already existing case of bunions to become even worse. It’s suggested to limit wearing high heels to a few days per week, and to also choose a lower heel. Doing these things may provide ample relief. Additionally, having your feet massaged regularly will not only feel good, but may aid in the overall health of the foot.

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.

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Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

Causes of Athlete’s Foot

A fungal infection that develops in the skin of the feet, which may be referred to as athlete's foot or tinea pedis, often produces discomfort and pain. Probable symptoms may include itching and burning skin in addition to blisters that may form in between the toes. Athlete’s foot is typically caused by a fungus that thrives in warm and dark environments and may spread when the foot touches the contaminated area. This type of fungus often lives in public showers and pools, and may be prevented from spreading by wearing appropriate shoes in these areas. If you are affected by this condition, it may be beneficial to wash your feet often followed by thoroughly drying in between the toes. If your socks should become wet from excess moisture, it’s important to change them frequently in addition to wearing cotton socks which may aid in absorbing additional perspiration. For severe infections, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised for more aggressive treatment options

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms:

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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.

 

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Many joggers are acutely aware of how incurring an injury can hinder running activities. Achilles tendinitis is a common injury that is felt by runners who increase the miles they run in a short amount of time. The Achilles tendon is considered to be the longest tendon in the body and it connects the heel bone to the calf. Symptoms of this includes severe pain and tenderness at the back of the heel, and the pain may extend to the calf. This may be prevented by strengthening the calf muscle which can be accomplished by standing on a step and then alternating lowering the heels until a gentle stretch is felt. Additionally, shin splints can be a common injury and can produce considerable pain and soreness. This discomfort can often be felt from the shin to the arch of the foot. Wearing the correct shoes may aid in preventing this condition in addition to strengthening the foot by performing toe raises while holding dumbbells. It’s important to speak with a podiatrist for additional information on how to protect the feet from running injuries.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training Into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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 Prevent Running Injuries
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