Posts for category: Foot Issues
There are 52 bones in your feet and ankles, which means that feet contain about 25 percent of the bones in our bodies. Our feet also contain about 20-25 percent of the total joints in our body; therefore, it’s not too surprising to find out that your feet and ankles are unfortunately more likely to deal with tendon and joint pain at some point, whether through injury or certain conditions such as arthritis. When pain and other foot problems arise it’s important that you have a podiatrist you can turn to.
Common Causes of Tendon and Joint Pain in the Feet
Tendons are soft tissues that connect the muscles to the bones. Everything from overuse and foot injuries to structural imbalances can lead to pain. Common causes of tendon and joint pain include:
- Tendonitis: inflammation of the tendon caused by injury or overuse
- Sprains and strains: a common but usually minor foot and ankle injury, typically caused by physical activity
- Arthritis: a chronic, progressive condition that leads to joint pain, stiffness, and damage (osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to affect feet and ankles)
- Obesity: being overweight or obese can also put excessive pressure on the joints and tendons of your feet and ankles, leading to pain and other problems
Treating Tendon and Joint Pain
Visiting a podiatrist is the best choice you can make if you are dealing with severe, persistent, or new foot and ankle pain. Since some conditions can get worse without proper care and rest it’s important to find out what’s causing your pain so you know how to effectively treat it.
If you are dealing with pain caused by a sports injury or strain it’s a good idea to see a medical professional so you know the extent of the injury. More severe sprains may require protective boots or crutches to reduce the amount of weight being placed on the injured ankle or foot.
Arthritis is also a surprisingly common cause of foot pain. If you notice joint pain and stiffness that affects functionality, range of motion and mobility in your feet then you could be dealing with arthritis. Since arthritis can get worse without treatment, it is important that you work with your pediatrician and a team of medical professionals to determine the best medications and course of action to help manage your foot pain and to prevent permanent joint damage.
If you are experiencing foot pain it’s important to see a qualified medical professional that can determine the best way to treat your symptoms. Call your podiatrist today for a comprehensive evaluation.
How orthotics from your podiatrists in Fairfax, VA, can help you
If your feet hurt on a day-to-day basis, you owe it to yourself to learn more about orthotics and what they can do for you. Here at Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, your foot doctors, Dr. Steven Vetter and Dr. Jugal Dharia, offer a full range of footcare services, including orthotics, to help you and your feet. Read on to learn more!
What orthotics can do for you
Whether you stand all day, walk for extended periods of time, or play foot-stressing sports, your feet sure can take a beating on a day-to-day basis. Additionally, aging, weight gain, diabetes, and other issues can also increase the pressure felt by your feet. Fortunately, orthotics support and cushion your feet, providing them with the TLC they need to get you through your day.
Custom-fit orthotics aren’t just the cookie-cutter inserts you purchase in the grocery store—they are handcrafted just for you in order to provide the individual support you and your feet need. Consider:
- Rigid orthotics if you are having joint or tendon problems; rigid orthotics help relieve the strain on tendons and joints, giving strong support to your feet, legs, and lower back. Rigid orthotics are made of hard plastic and provide great support.
- Soft orthotics if need help with balance and stress relief for your feet; soft orthotics are an excellent choice if you are diabetic, have arthritis, or are suffering foot pain from bone deformities.
- Semi-rigid orthotics if you are playing sports, jogging, or walking regularly need added support; semi-rigid orthotics are made of a combination of soft and rigid materials, so you get the benefit of both.
Interested? Give us a call
To learn more about the different types of orthotics and what they can do for you, call Dr. Steven Vetter and Dr. Jugal Dharia of Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, by dialing (703) 352-8888 today!
Are you dealing with pain, burning, tingling or numbness between your toes or in the ball of the foot? If you said “yes” then you could be dealing with a neuroma, a pinched nerve or benign tumor of the nerve that is often found between the third and fourth toes.
The classic symptom of a neuroma is pain, particularly when walking—a factor that leads many people to liken the condition to feeling like a pebble is in their shoe. You may find that the pain eases up whenever you aren’t walking or when you rub the pained area with your hands. While neuromas can happen to anyone, they are most commonly found in women.
While the causes of a neuroma are still not clear, there are factors that can increase the likelihood of developing one, such as:
- Extremely high arches
- Flat feet
- Trauma that leads to nerve damage in the feet
- Improper footwear (high heels over two-inches tall; pointed toes)
- Repeated stress placed on the foot
Treating a Neuroma
A neuroma will not go away on its own, so it’s important to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of the condition's symptoms. The type of treatment or treatments recommended to you will depend on the severity of the neuroma.
Those with minor neuromas may be able to lessen symptoms by wearing shoes that provide ample room for the toes and offer thick soles that provide more support and cushioning for the toes and balls of the feet. Sometimes a podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to place inside the shoes, as well.
Your podiatrist may also recommend padding or taping the ball of the foot to improve faulty biomechanics and reduce discomfort. While medication will not eliminate the problem, it can temporarily alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can often briefly reduce pain and swelling, but for those dealing with more severe pain, steroid injections may be necessary to ease symptoms.
Surgery for a Neuroma
Surgery only becomes necessary when conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief, or when the neuroma has progressed enough that conservative care won’t be enough. During surgery, the inflamed nerve is removed through a simple outpatient procedure. Afterward, there is a short recovery period of a couple of weeks before patients are able to move about pain-free once again!
Give us a Call!
If you are dealing with new or worsening foot pain it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist that can help give you the answers you need. Schedule an appointment today.
Do your smaller toes look like little hammers or mallets? If so, you may have an acquired deformity of the foot called hammertoes. Luckily, your podiatrists here at Oakton Foot and Ankle Center, Dr. Steven Vetter and Dr. Jugal Dharia, have plenty of experience in treating this condition! Read on to learn how our Fairfax, VA, office can resolve the problem.
How do hammertoes form?
Defined by a characteristic contracture and stiffening of the smaller toes, this condition may arise from blunt force trauma; however, it more often occurs gradually over time. Contributing to the odd shape, pain, corns, calluses, and sores of hammertoes are factors such as:
- Wearing tight, narrow shoes and high heels
- Heredity (the deformity runs in families)
- Poor circulation
- An unusually high arch
- Imbalances in gait (or how you walk)
- Age plays a role as well, particularly if other deformities, such as bunions, exist
How your podiatrist can help
Accurate diagnosis and treatment is key to limiting the progression of hammertoes. During a consultation at our Fairfax office, Dr. Vetter or Dr. Dharia will inspect your foot and how you walk. You will also be asked about your symptoms and what worsens or alleviates them. Finally, he'll take some X-rays to assess the internal structure of your foot.
With a confirmed hammertoe diagnosis, your podiatrist may recommend several remedial strategies. Surgery is an option, too, but only if the hammertoe is very advanced and cannot be addressed by these simpler interventions:
- Wearing low-heeled, comfortable shoes with proper arch support and room in the toes
- Padding the hammertoe (moleskin is a frequent choice)
- Using custom-made shoe orthotics (inserts) to balance muscles, tendons, and ligaments and to correct gait issues such as overpronation
- Removing or padding calluses or corns on the toe
- Corticosteroid injections
- Taking over the counter ibuprofen to lessen pain and relieve inflammation
- Exercising (stretching your feet and toes morning and evening)
- Toe splints
Find out more
If you need relief from your hammertoes, phone our Fairfax office today for a consultation with Dr. Vetter or Dr. Dharia: (703) 352-8888.
An unexpected fall or twist can result in an injury of the foot or ankle, such as a sprain or strain. Immediate first aid can help prevent complications, reduce pain and improve recovery.
Rest, ice, compression and elevation--commonly referred to as R.I.C.E.--is the first and best treatment for minor injuries. The following tips can aid in the early treatment of common foot and ankle injuries to help reduce swelling and control the inflammatory process during the initial phase of injury.
Rest: Whether you have a strain or a sprain, rest from any physical activity is essential to protecting your injured ligaments, tendons or muscles from further damage while your body starts the repair process. Avoid putting weight on the injured foot or ankle as much as possible. In some cases, complete immobilization may be required.
Ice: Gently ice your foot or ankle with ice wrapped in a towel in a 20-minute-on, 40-minute-off cycle for the first few days post-injury. Ice is excellent at reducing inflammation and pain.
Compression: Applying some type of compressive wrap or bandage to an injured area can greatly reduce the amount of initial swelling.
Elevation: Prop your foot up while lying down or sitting so that it is higher than or equal to the level of the heart.
After a few days of R.I.C.E., many acute injuries will begin to heal. If pain or swelling does not subside after a few days, or if you are unsure of the severity of your injury, make an appointment with your podiatrist. A skilled podiatrist can properly diagnose your injury and recommend the best course of treatment.