Do you have an ingrown toenail? It might be time to visit a foot doctor if your nail can't be freed easily. Podiatrists Dr. Michael Frank, Dr. Marc Goldberg, or Dr. Adam Lowy of Family Foot and Ankles Associates of Maryland in Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton and Kensington, MD, share a few signs that may indicate that your ingrown toenail requires professional treatment.
When should I visit a foot doctor?
If you have an ingrown toenail, you may need to see a podiatrist if:
- You can't free the nail yourself. In some cases, it may be possible to dislodge the nail yourself before it becomes firmly embedded in the skin. Unfortunately, as the nail grows, this may no longer be possible. If you try to forcefully remove the edge of the nail, you'll damage your skin and increase the risk of infection.
- Walking is difficult. The pain from an ingrown toenail can make walking, standing or even wearing shoes very painful. If your pain has become constant or severe or you find it hard to walk, you may want to schedule an appointment with our Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton or Kensington offices.
- You notice signs of infection. Your toe may be red and feel warm to the touch if it's infected. Other signs may include red streaks and pus around the nail. Failing to treat your infection may cause it to spread.
- You have diabetes. Don't attempt to free your ingrown nail yourself if you have diabetes, even if the nail has only just begun to grow into the skin. Because diabetes can slow healing, even seemingly minor foot conditions should be treated by a podiatrist to prevent hard-to-treat infections.
How do podiatrists treat ingrown toenails?
You may need a minor procedure to free and remove the trapped portion of the nail. Before the procedure begins, you'll receive a local anesthetic to ensure that you feel no pain. If you frequently experience ingrown toenails, we may recommend removing all or part of the nail.
Are you concerned about an ingrown toenail? Schedule a visit with Dr. Michael Frank, Dr. Marc Goldberg, or Dr. Adam Lowy by calling (301) 924-5044 for the Olney, MD, office, (301) 439-0300 for the Silver Spring office, (301) 868-7670 for the Clinton office or (301) 942-8110 for the Kensington office.
Your heels provide you with invaluable support and flexibility for walking, running, and maneuvering. But when they start to hurt, all you may want to do is have a seat. Understand some of the most common causes of heel pain so that you can get back to your normal activities. A podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland in Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton, and Kensington, MD can help you figure out the cause and treat your feet.
The most common cause of heel pain is a condition called plantar fasciitis. It is inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue under your foot caused by too much pressure. Some patients wonder how irritated tissue that runs under the foot can cause the heels to hurt. This is because the plantar fascia ligament connects the heel bone to the front of the foot. The pain can be felt at the base of the heel.
Flat Feet and Heel Spurs
Patients who have flat feet are also more likely to have issues with plantar fasciitis and heel pain. The formation of small bone spurs on the bottom of the heel (heel spurs) may also contribute to discomfort. They are also common in people who have plantar fasciitis. Your Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton, and Kensington can treat these problems with orthotics, physical therapy, and Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT).
Haglund's Deformity and Calluses
Women who wear fashionable but poorly designed high heels are at a higher risk of developing Haglund's Deformity, which can cause heel pain. The heel swells and a bump starts to form. As the bump grows, it can also cause problems with the Achilles tendon. If you have ever purchased a pair of shoes that was a half a size too small, that decision could also be contributing to heel pain. As shoes that are too tight squeeze and rub up against the back of the heel, calluses and sores develop.
Ask a Foot Doctor About Heel Treatments
If you are currently managing heel pain that won't go away, seek help from a podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland in Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton, and Kensington, MD. Call today to schedule a time and date to visit Dr. Michael Frank, Dr. Marc Goldberg, or Dr. Adam Lowy.
Dealing with heel pain? You could just have plantar fasciitis.
If you are dealing with sudden heel pain, our Clinton, MD, podiatrists are here to tell you what might be going on and what they can do to relieve your pain.
What is plantar fasciitis?
There is a thick band of tissue that runs under the soles of your feet from the heel bone to the toes. This band of tissue is known as the plantar fascia. This ligament can become inflamed if it’s been overworked or strained, which often happens in you suddenly increase the intensity or duration of your workout regimen. When the ligament develops microtears and becomes inflamed this is known as plantar fasciitis.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain. In fact, this condition is the number one cause of heel pain. The pain may even radiate to the arches of your feet. Often times, plantar fasciitis-related heel pain will be worse in the morning or after periods of rest.
You may find that the pain dissipates throughout the day and you may not even notice discomfort during physical activity but the moment you take a break this is when the pain sets in. Along with foot pain, you may notice that the heel is tender, swollen or stiff.
How do you treat plantar fasciitis?
Luckily, this condition can often be treated with simple at-home measures. As our Clinton, MD, foot doctors will tell you, one of the most important things you can do is rest and be kind to your feet. Sure, we know that it can be difficult to take time to rest (particularly if you are on vacation and wanting to sightsee) but it’s important to prop those feet up often throughout the day and give them a break.
When you do have to move around it’s crucial that you wear shoes that provide proper support, stability and shock absorption, particularly around the arches and heel. In some cases, we can also make a prescription orthotic to place inside the shoes to offer additional support and cushioning while your foot heals. Some people also find relief from their symptoms by just bracing or splinting the foot.
We can also show you a variety of foot exercises that you can perform multiple times a day to ease symptoms, prevent flare-ups and to strengthen and stretch out the muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues of the feet.
Don’t let foot pain ruin your day-to-day life. If you are having trouble getting your foot pain under control then it’s time to turn to the foot care specialists at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland. We offer comprehensive podiatric services throughout the Olney, Clinton, Kensington and Silver Spring, MD, areas.
Find out if simply wearing custom orthotics could improve the health of your feet.
Your feet take quite the beating every day, whether you are a high-heel wearer or you are a runner. Isn’t it time that you gave your feet the support and shock absorption they need to prevent issues from occurring? While wearing the proper footwear will certainly go a long way to keeping your feet healthy, our Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton, and Kensington, MD, podiatrists are here to tell you whether custom orthotics could also help you.
What are custom orthotics?
Chances are pretty good that when walking down the foot care aisle of your local drugstore or grocery store that you’ve found orthotics or shoe inserts. These cushioned foot-shaped devices are designed to go in your shoes and offer support and comfort for your feet, particularly when you are standing or moving around.
Of course, over-the-counter orthotics offer a one-size-fits-most approach, and because everyone’s biomechanics and foot structures are different sometimes the OTC orthotic can actually do more harm than good. This is why you should turn to our Kensington, MD, foot doctors, who can create a customized shoe insert to fit your specific needs.
What are the different kinds of orthotics?
Orthotics can be either functional or accommodative. As you may be able to tell by the name, functional orthotics are often used to improve the function and mechanics of your feet, while accommodative orthotics are used to offer more cushioning and support for the feet and can be a great option for someone with painful foot conditions (e.g. arthritis; diabetes) that need a little extra TLC.
Orthotics are also made from different kinds of materials, all of which offer their own unique benefits based on the wearer’s needs. Orthotics may be soft, semi-rigid or rigid.
Who can benefit from wearing orthotics?
Most people do not have perfect biomechanics in their feet, which means that you may be prone to injuries or other foot issues down the road. To prevent problems from happening, custom orthotics can provide cushioning, support, stabilization and shock absorption while also redistributing weight more evenly throughout the feet to improve the way your feet function. You may want to consider orthotics if:
- You are an athlete
- You deal with foot, leg or back pain
- You have fallen arches
- You have diabetes
- You have arthritis in your feet
- You have high or low arches
- You have or are prone to developing plantar fasciitis
- You have a neuroma
If you are considering the benefits of custom orthotics then it’s time to turn to our foot care experts at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland in Olney, Silver Spring, Clinton, and Kensington, MD.
Of course, you'd like to avoid surgery, but what can help your foot condition in a comfortable, non-invasive way? At Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland, Drs. Frank, Goldberg, and Lowy often recommend custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts. Crafted according to plaster casts of your feet, orthotics fit right inside your shoes, providing the support and protection you need to stand, walk and run comfortably and without pain and injury. Could orthotics in Silver Spring, MD, help you? Read the details here to find out more.
Who needs orthotics?
The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society says many people do. Adults, teens and even children who have foot deformities, such as bunions, flat feet, or hammertoes, benefit from the stability, cushioning and protection orthotics provide.
Individuals with gait issues, such as toeing-in or toeing-out and overpronation (foot rolls inward and flattens the arch), may benefit as well as orthotics relieve undue pressure and subsequent inflammation. Diabetics and people with arthritis need special consideration for foot ulcers, pressure points and deteriorating joints.
In addition, people who are on their feet a lot throughout the day because of their occupations find orthotics relieve pressure on the lower back. Athletes, as well, use them to cushion the heels and base of the toes from the stresses of repetitive motion (as with running, tennis and dancing).
Kinds of orthotics
During a complete podiatric examination and X-ray imaging, your podiatrist will determine if and what kind of orthotics are right for your foot structure, health conditions and lifestyle. He uses plaster molds to cast accurate impressions of the feet so construction of the orthotics is precise.
Regarding materials, there basically are three kinds:
- Soft, which provide optimal cushioning for diabetics
- Rigid, usually constructed of acrylic or carbon, and provide stability for the foot and ankle
- Semi-rigid, a combination of materials, and best for people with balance and gait issues and for athletes
The quality shows
Because your foot doctor customizes orthotics in Silver Spring, they likely will last you five to ten years or more. Plus, as your podiatric needs change, the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland are there to answer questions, make adjustments and ensure your best foot and ankle health and function.
If you want happier feet and ankles and avoid more complex therapies, call one of our convenient offices to arrange a consultation. In Olney, call (301) 924-5044. In Silver Spring, MD, phone (301) 439-0300, and in Clinton, call (301) 868-7670. For the Kensington area, phone (301) 942-8110.
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