Getting bunion discomfort under control doesn’t have to be difficult.
Bunions are one of the most common issues we see in patients, particularly women. Years of wearing high heels can do quite a number on the structure of your feet over time. While you might not be able to prevent bunions (a lot has to do with genetics, after all) our Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist Dr. Gerard Ranieri is here to tell you how to manage your symptoms to prevent your bunion from getting worse.
While the only way to get rid of a bunion is through surgery, this is rarely the first course of action when it comes to handling a bunion. After all, as our Woodbridge, VA, foot doctors will be able to tell you during your consultation, this is a common problem and one that can be managed with a little knowledge and some proper self-care measures in place.
Whether you deal with bunion pain or swelling, here are just some ways to get those symptoms under control:
Wear the Proper Shoes
This is by far the most important piece of advice you should take away. The shoes you wear can comfort and support your feet or they can make your bunion even worse. The choice is yours. This means giving up shoes with high heels (nothing above a 2-inch heel), shoes with pointed toes and shoes that bunch up your toes or put pressure on the bunion. We mean it! These shoes will only serve to make matters worse.
Splinting Works Wonders
Sometimes toe spacers or bunion splints can help reposition the foot into a more natural position, preventing the bunion from sticking out. Splinting or wearing toe spacers for a little bit every day could help retrain the foot and improve the foot’s overall function and structure. Plus, wearing a bunion splint could make it easier to move around without pain.
If you are dealing with pain and other problems due to bunions and you can’t seem to get your symptoms under control then it’s time to call our Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist Dr. Gerard Ranieri at Lake Ridge Podiatry. Your bunion shouldn’t take over your life. We can help.
Are you worried that one of your toenails may be growing into your skin? Our Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Gerard Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry, discusses ingrown toenails and explains what you can do to relieve your pain.
What causes ingrown toenails?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of a nail begins to penetrate the surrounding skin. The condition may be more likely to occur if you round your nails instead of cutting them straight across, wear tight-fitting shoes that press your nail into your skin, or have a fungal infection. In some cases, ingrown toenails are very hard to avoid. If your toenails naturally curve downward, ingrown toenails can become a chronic problem. Although the condition can affect any toe, it most commonly occurs in the big toe.
What can I do to treat ingrown toenails at home?
It may be possible to remove the trapped edge of your nail from the skin if you've just noticed a problem with your toe. Soak your foot in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes, then gently lift the edge of the nail with dental floss or a piece of cotton. Keep the cotton or floss in place during the day, and replace it after your daily foot soak. Don't force the nail when you try to free it. If it won't move easily, make an appointment with our Woodbridge office.
Home treatment shouldn't be attempted if you notice any signs of infections such as redness, red streaks, pus or warmth. If you have diabetes, it's important to visit a foot doctor when you first notice your ingrown toenail symptoms. Because diabetes interferes with healing, even seemingly minor foot problems and wounds can quickly become infected.
How do podiatrists treat ingrown toenails?
If your toenail won't budge, or you notice signs of infection, you'll need to schedule an appointment with the foot doctor. During a minor, in-office procedure, your podiatrist will make a small cut in your skin to free the nail. You'll receive local anesthetic to ensure that the procedure is pain-free, and may need to take antibiotics if you have an infection. If you experience ingrown toenails often, surgery to remove all or part of your nail may be recommended.
A visit to the foot doctor can help ease your ingrown toenail pain. Call Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry, at (703) 491-2603 to schedule an appointment.
Spraining an ankle is a very common injury, and it's one that podiatrist Dr. Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, diagnoses and treats very frequently. Below, he explains what happens when you sprain your ankle, as well as some signs that could indicate you need treatment.
What is a sprain?
A sprained ankle happens when the foot makes contact with the ground in a way that causes the ligaments (the bands of tissue that stretch between bones) within the ankle to be stretched beyond their normal capacity. Sprains can be mild to severe; your Woodbridge podiatrist will carefully examine your sprain to determine its classification. People most commonly turn their ankle outward, which is known as an inversion or lateral sprain; between 70 and 85 percent of sprains are of this type.
How do I know if I've sprained my ankle?
- Pain-This is due to the damage that your ligament sustained when you twisted it. A grade 1 ankle sprain means mild stress on the ligament, a grade 2 means that the ligament has sustained a partial tear and has loosened, while a grade 3, the most severe, indicates that the ligament has been completely torn. The degree of pain you have with a sprain often correlates with the grade your Woodbridge podiatrist will assign to it.
- Bruising-The body's immune system responds to a sprain by sending more blood flow to the area. This translates into bruising, which can be significant if your ankle has sustained a severe sprain.
- Instability-As with bruising and pain, the way your ankle feels when you try to put weight on it can be indicative of how much damage has been done to the ligaments. If you are unable to bear any weight on the ankle at all, it needs to be evaluated immediately.
If you think you've sprained your ankle, or you have questions about treatment, contact Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, for an appointment with Dr. Ranieri today!
Give hardworking feet the care they need both on and off the field.
It’s not an easy job that feet have, particularly if you are an athlete. Whether you are out pounding the pavement every day or you are part of a team, athletic feet can be especially prone to injuries if you aren’t careful. Our Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist Dr. Gerard Ranieri is here to provide you with some helpful tips for keeping your sporty feet safer.
Be Gradual in Your Training
You wouldn’t immediately sign up for a marathon if you’ve never run before, right? Don’t let your workout go from zero to 60. Instead, gradually increase the length of time or the intensity of your training sessions. If you don’t spend time training in the offseason also don’t expect to come back and immediately get right back into the same shape you were in during the season.
It’s important that you continue to train regularly if you want to maintain a strong, healthy body. By easing back into training or slowly increasing the difficulty of your workouts you can prevent foot and ankle injuries.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Warm-Up
We know that before a game your mind is racing and your heart is probably pounding. Adrenaline can do some pretty amazing things in the heat of the moment; however, you don’t want to just rely on adrenaline to carry you through the game. You need to warm up the muscles, tendons and other soft tissue in your body and feet to loosen them up and reduce your chances of an injury. Take 15 minutes for some light cardio and stretching.
Orthotics are prescription shoe inserts that can provide further support, stability and even shock absorption for your feet. While you may have seen these products at your local drugstore, this one-size-fits-most approach to foot support may not help and may even make issues worse. Luckily, our Woodbridge, VA, foot doctor can make custom orthotics to cater to your specific needs. These simple devices could give your feet the added protection they need to improve how they function on the field.
Don’t Go Barefoot
While this might not seem like the most important advice you’ve received it is important if you want to avoid an unpleasant condition known as athlete’s foot. This fungus thrives in moist, dark environments like your school’s locker room or your gym’s showers. Remember to always wear shoes, particularly in communal areas, to reduce your chances of developing athlete’s foot.
Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, is ready to provide you with the care you need. Whether you are an athlete or someone dealing with diabetic foot problems, we are here to help.
Though it often begins mildly and progresses slowly over time, heel pain can take a huge toll on your quality of life, affecting daily activities like simply walking to the car or checking the mail. Understanding the causes of heel pain is crucial to finding its proper treatment and, eventually, overcoming this frustration condition. Find out more about what is causing your heel pain and what you can do about it with Dr. Gerard Ranieri at Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA.
What causes heel pain?
Podiatrists are well-acquainted with heel pain as it is one of the most common foot issues. While the most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, this inflammation of the plantar fascia is not always the culprit. Some other common causes of heel pain include:
- heel spur
- Achilles tendonitis
- injury or trauma
- stress fracture
- fracture or break
How will my doctor diagnose my heel pain?
Your podiatrist will normally use several diagnostic techniques to determine the cause of your heel pain. A physical examination allows your doctor to see and feel any abnormalities obvious on the outside of the foot. Imagining techniques like MRIs or x-rays help them see the inside of the foot to its bones and connective tissues. They will also take into account your medical and family history and lifestyle choices.
Heel Pain Treatments in Woodbridge, VA
Treatments for heel pain vary greatly depending on your diagnosis. In many cases, your treatment will begin with treating any underlying conditions. Treatment also occurs at home with over-the-counter medication and the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method. However, if these treatments fail to produce results, your doctor may suggest a prescription orthotic to wear inside your shoe, a brace, or, in severe cases, surgery to correct the problem.
For more information on heel pain, please contact Dr. Gerard Ranieri at Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA. Call (703) 491-2603 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Ranieri to find a treatment for your heel pain today!
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