Posts for: April, 2020
- Running requires shoes with shock absorption. Your feet take on a lot of pressure and friction. Cushioning your shoes in the correct areas keeps you from feeling the pain.
- Traction is important in sports that need quick changes in direction and sprinting, like basketball. Traction should never be too high or low. The right shoes keep you from slipping on the floor while letting you move and pivot.
- Ankle support is a must. It limits the side-to-side movement that knocks your ankle out of alignment. This kind of support keeps ankle sprains at bay. For sports like basketball, hockey, skiing, and skating, make sure that your shoes aren’t too high. Otherwise, they will dig into your Achilles tendon. You can also wear soft ankle braces.
- Arch support varies for everyone. Your podiatrist can test your foot to determine your gait. Depending on the results, your podiatrist can recommend orthotics or special shoe inserts.
The arches of the feet play a role in supporting your body’s weight when standing or in motion. The tarsal and metatarsal bones make up the arches of the feet, also receiving additional support and stability from tendons and ligaments; however, our feet, like the rest of our body, can be affected by infections, disorders, and structural changes that can impact not only the health of our feet but also our mobility. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of arch problems so you know when you to see a podiatrist.
Arch Pain Causes
If you are dealing with arch pain it is most likely caused by an injury or by structural abnormalities in the foot. For example, those with very high arches as well as those with flat feet may experience arch problems due to these common structural issues.
As a result, there are other factors that could also lead to further arch problems including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Plantar fasciitis
- Cavus foot
- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
It’s important to understand a little bit more about these common foot disorders and how they could affect the arches of your feet.
This condition that causes inflammation and microtears in the plantar fascia is also the most common cause of heel pain. Of course, because the plantar fascia (a ligament that connects the toes to the heel bone) also supports the arches of the feet this can also lead to arch pain. This condition is usually the result of overuse and is seen most often in runners. If you have plantar fasciitis it’s important to avoid physical activities until the fascia has fully healed.
This condition, which affects the structure of the foot, leads to excessively high arches. People who’ve had a stroke, as well as people with certain conditions such as cerebral palsy may be more likely to develop cavus foot. This problem causes arch pain when standing or walking and can increase the risk for ankle injuries. Your podiatrist may choose to treat cavus foot through custom-made orthotics (shoe inserts), bracing, or by recommending specialized and supportive footwear.
Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
The posterior tibial tendon runs from the calf muscles to the inner portion of the foot. This condition leads to changes in the tendon, which in turn affects its ability to support the arches of the foot. Flat feet can be caused by posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, and this is often the cause of flat feet that develop in adulthood. Like the other conditions above, treatment for PTTD usually involves bracing, orthotics, or providing custom devices that provide additional support to the arches of the feet.
If you are experiencing foot pain, swelling or other problems that affect mobility then it’s time that you turned to a podiatrist for care. Conditions and injuries that don’t respond to rest and at-home care may require more advanced treatments and therapies.
How Custom Orthotics Can Improve Your Life
Many of us experience foot pain after long hours of standing at work or pounding the pavement during a daily run. You may have tried soaking or massaging your aching feet, or even purchased drugstore insoles or pads for your shoes. But if your feet are causing you constant discomfort, custom orthotics could be the key to lasting relief.
Dr. Steven Vetter and Dr. Jugal Dharia of Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax can fit you with custom orthotics so you can stand and stroll in comfort.
What foot conditions can benefit from orthotics?
If you have one or more of the following, orthotics can help:
- foot or toe deformities
- plantar fasciitis
- shin splints
- back pain
- hammer toes
- flat feet
- high arches
What are orthotics?
Orthotics are insoles for your shoes that help keep your foot properly aligned. At our Fairfax office, your podiatrist will help you customize your insoles by selecting specific materials that accommodate your needs. Your orthotics will be sized to fit the shoes you wear on a daily basis, whether your work loafers or your athletic sneakers. By providing support and cushioning, your orthotics will help you participated in physical activities with less risk of injury while alleviating discomfort.
Why are custom orthotics a good investment?
If you have tried drugstore shoe inserts, you've likely found them to be flimsy, quick to wear out and poorly fitted to your shoes. The custom orthotics from our Fairfax office are crafted to last, made durably and designed to target the exact areas of your foot that experience pain when walking or standing.
With comfortable, quality orthotics, you can get through your work day and your exercise routine in comfort.
Call Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, today at (703) 352-8888 to learn more about custom orthotics.
Hammertoe is a type of foot deformity that arises due to an imbalance in the ligaments, tendons, or muscles that usually hold the toe straight. It causes the affected toe to bend upwards, resembling a hammer. This deformity can be caused by injury to the foot, your choice of footwear, and the structure of your foot. Drs. Steven Vetter and Jugal Dharia are your Fairfax podiatrists who specializes in the treatment of hammertoe.
Two Types of Hammertoes
- Flexible hammertoe: In the early stages of this condition, it can be treated by wearing flat shoes that are at least a half-inch longer than your longest toe. Foot exercises, such as picking up small objects with your toes, may help to increase the flexibility of the affected toe. Hot and cold treatment may help with swelling and pain. You may also find comfort in placing a pad over the toe to prevent shoes from rubbing the skin.
- Rigid hammertoe: In the second stage of the condition, the toe joint becomes inflexible. In this case, the home treatments suggested above may only offer a brief respite from symptoms. Your podiatrist may suggest making a customized orthotic device. If this does not work, surgery may be an option.
Symptoms of Hammertoe
Hammertoe causes an abnormal bend in the middle joint a toe. It can occur in any toe, though typically the second, third or fourth toes are affected. The deformity is clearly visible. Symptoms include:
- Movement causes pain in the affected toe
- Callouses and corns may develop in the affected joint
- A burning sensation may be felt
- Visible swelling and redness
- A burning sensation around the affected joint
Surgery for Hammertoe
Types of surgery for hammertoe include:
- Tendon transfer: In this type of surgery, the tendon is pulled across the top of the joint of the affected toe. This realigns the toe and improves its appearance. It also minimizes pain.
- Fusion: A portion of the joint is removed to allow the bone in the toe to grow together. This type of surgery straightens the toe and minimizes pain.
If you’re looking for a podiatrist in Fairfax, VA, call Drs. Steven Vetter and Jugal Dharia today on (703) 352-8888 to make an appointment at Oakton Foot and Ankle Center.
Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection of the feet that is typically characterized by itchy, burning patches of skin between the toes that may also crack or bleed. Since untreated athlete’s foot can spread to the toenails, it’s particularly important that you treat this problem as soon as you notice it. Athlete’s foot won’t typically clear up by itself; however, home remedies and treatments may be all you need to eliminate the fungal infection.
Treating Athlete’s Foot
If you are an otherwise healthy individual who is just dealing with an unfortunate bout of athlete’s foot chances are pretty good that you’ll be able to treat the problem on your own. There are a variety of over-the-counter antifungal creams and ointments that can be applied directly to the skin. Make sure to read and follow all instructions to ensure that the medication gets rid of the infection.
Along with properly treating your athlete’s foot it’s also important to keep feet as dry as possible. After all, fungus thrives best in warm, damp environments. By keeping feet dry you make it a less hospitable environment for this infection. This means wearing clean socks and shoes every day. Opt for socks with natural fibers, which are breathable and can wick away sweat. If your feet are particularly sweaty you can also apply an antifungal powder throughout the day.
When to See a Podiatrist
If you find that cracked, painful feet are making it difficult to stand or move around then this means it’s time to see a podiatrist for treatment; however, if the fungal infection isn’t impacting mobility then you may be able to treat the problem on your own with over-the-counter medications.
If you notice signs of an infection such as a swollen foot, pus draining from the foot, increased redness, or open sores it’s also important that you see a doctor right away. Antibiotics will be necessary in order to treat the infection.
If you are dealing with diabetes, nerve damage in your feet or other problems that impact the health of your feet it’s even more important that you see a podiatrist right away if you notice symptoms of athlete’s foot or other problems. Do not try to treat the infection on your own, as this could lead to more serious complications.
If you are dealing with persistent or recurring athlete’s foot it’s important that you also have a podiatrist that you can turn to for answers. While this condition may seem harmless it’s important that you don’t leave it untreated. A podiatrist can provide you with the treatment you’re looking for.